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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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breed restrictions?

Hola! I recently retired and moved to Costa Rica.I have been happy to discover that, although taxis do not allow animals/pets, they have recognized and accepted my toy breed service dog. I carry a copy of my MD documentation with me. My service animal is quite old, and when she passes away, my next service animal will definitely be a Geman Shepherd Dog. My two questions for the folks on the forum are first- the airline asked me when I flew here if my service animal was under 20 pounds. If my next animal is an 85# GSD, does this matter, except for where to seat me? Second question - in the States, should I move back, do a particular town's breed restrictions apply to a service animal? Some landlords may be reluctant to rent to a GSD owner, but I believe they cannot refuse a service animal, regardless of breed. I need to know, before putting thousands of dollars into having another animal trained! Thanks!
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 01:27 AM
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All of this will vary drastically not only from state to state, but from county to county, so broad-scope answers will be utterly useless until you know exactly where you want to move to.

Generally speaking, service animals, regardless of breed or size, get special exemptions from regular animal restrictions. That said, do not expect free reign just because you have a service animal - especially in the "landlords not being able to refuse a service animal" department.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 10:39 AM
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If you have a question on rentals in the U.S. also look to HUD for Regulatory Law pertaining to landlords. Remember that the ADA deals with Regulatory Law that covers the Civil Rights of a person with a disability.

Most housing rental issues are under the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but it is important to know that you must first determine if the house or rental unit that you are looking at is indeed under HUD.
While the DOJ only considers dog's that are *trained* to mitigate (tasks and work) for their disabled handlers to fit in their Regulations, HUD uses a broader range of animals (including other domestic animals) to fit into theirs.

Another important point that may cause confusion is that while the DOJ only allows two questions to be asked by a business in Public Access, [U]HUD allows a landlord to go into more depth when reviewing a Request for Resonable Accommodation. If a person's disability is not readily apparent a landlord may request a letter or form signed by the medical provider who is treating the owner in which it is stated that the dog (or other animal) is providing some type of service to the owner's disability.

HUD's position is "that animals necessary as a reasonable accommodation do not necessarily need to have specialized training. Some animals perform tasks that require training, and other provide assistance that does not require training."

The DOJ and HUD did make a joint statement which states that they are jointly responsible for enforcing the federal Fair Housing Act. This statement "prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability."
See
JOINT STATEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UNDER THE FAIR HOUSING ACT
MAY 17, 2004

*****
In a Request for Reasonable Accommodation, a dog can be excluded based on breed or type of dog if the landlord can show that by accepting this particular dog it would be an undue burden in regards to insurance purposes. In other words that their insurance would greatly increase or that it would in fact be dropped.

See -->
Memorandum for: FHEO Regional Directors
From: Bryan Greene, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Programs, ED
Subject: Insurance Policy Restrictions as a Defense for Refusals to Make a Reasonable Accommodation

According to the Joint Statement on Reasonable Accommodations, an accommodation is unreasonable if it imposes an undue financial and administrative burden on a housing provider's operations. If a housing provider's insurance carrier would cancel, substantially increase the costs of the insurance policy, or adversely change the policy terms because of the presence of a certain breed of dog or a certain animal, HUD will find that this imposes an undue financial and administrative burden on the housing provider. However, the investigator must substantiate the coverage, by verifying such a claim with the insurance company directly and considering whether comparable insurance, without the restriction, is available in the market. If the investigator finds evidence that an insurance provider has a policy of refusing to insure any housing that has animals, without exception for assistance animals, it may refer that information to the Department of Justice for investigation to determine whereto the insurance provider has violated federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination based upon disability.

Also see --> (When reading this it is important to note that here the dog must meet the definition of the DOJ for a Service Dog.)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SERVICE ANIMALS AND THE ADA
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil rights Division
Disability Rights Section
July 2015

Under Breeds
Q22. Can service animals be any breed of dog?
A. Yes. The ADA does not restrict the type of dog breeds that can be service animals.

Under Miscellaneous
Q35. Do apartments, mobile home parks, and other residential properties have to comply with the ADA?
[For this answer the DOJ defers to the HUD -- and on this point remember HUD has a broader definition for a service animal.]
A. The Fair Housing Act is the Federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities in residential facilities. For information or to file a complaint, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 01-05-2016 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Adding info into a sentence for clarification.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the in depth information!
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 03:05 PM
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There are no restrictions on service dogs if they are medically prescribed and you are registered under Americans with disability. Rules maybe changing in few years because so many people are printing fake cards online, but there is actually no card what so ever in the sates for service dogs and you don't have to have one. What you have to have is an actual prescription from a doctor. There are a few things people can legally ask as proof, they are just to scared or don't realize that they can. The airports ask so they can accommodate your seat better. The only rule that owners are responsible for cleaning after service animal and if they are destructive.

Rules do apply to other types of support animals such as Therapy and Emotional Support. I have a prescription for ESA and my dog does not get any privileges, but i have stayed at friendly pet hotels where they have declined to charge me a pet fee. i did mention it was not a service animal and presented the document, but they still wanted to be nice.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 06:31 PM
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There are no restrictions on service dogs if they are medically prescribed and you are registered under Americans with disability.
!) Service Dog handlers are not legally required to have any documentation from their doctors in order to own and work a SD. There are limited times that a handler would need some documentation and that would be
  1. Flying with a PSD. A PSD is the only type of Service Dog that requires paperwork sent in 48 hours before flight.
  2. When the handler is applying for an Accommodation through their HR dept. to take their SD to their job.
  3. If the handler is trying to rent from a landlord in no-pet housing in some circumstances.
  4. If the handler for one reason or another goes in front of a judge, then there may a request to have such documentation.

The ADA is a Civil Rights Law. Various Fed. Agencies were mandated by Congress to oversee different sections / Titles of the ADA. The Department of Justice is over Title II and Title III. The DOJ does not recognize any registration of a SD.

Frequently Asked Questions About Service Dogs and The ADA
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section
July 2015


CERTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION

Q17. Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as service animals?

A. No. Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal , as a condition for entry.

There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.

Q20. My city requires me to register my dog as a service animal. Is this legal under the ADA?

A. No. Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA. However, as stated above, service animals are subject to the same licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILGHAUS View Post
!) Service Dog handlers are not legally required to have any documentation from their doctors in order to own and work a SD. There are limited times that a handler would need some documentation and that would be
  1. Flying with a PSD. A PSD is the only type of Service Dog that requires paperwork sent in 48 hours before flight.
  2. When the handler is applying for an Accommodation through their HR dept. to take their SD to their job.
  3. If the handler is trying to rent from a landlord in no-pet housing in some circumstances.
  4. If the handler for one reason or another goes in front of a judge, then there may a request to have such documentation.

The ADA is a Civil Rights Law. Various Fed. Agencies were mandated by Congress to oversee different sections / Titles of the ADA. The Department of Justice is over Title II and Title III. The DOJ does not recognize any registration of a SD.

Frequently Asked Questions About Service Dogs and The ADA
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section
July 2015


CERTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION

Q17. Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as service animals?

A. No. Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal , as a condition for entry.

There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.

Q20. My city requires me to register my dog as a service animal. Is this legal under the ADA?

A. No. Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA. However, as stated above, service animals are subject to the same licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.

I'm very confused by this. How would one be "entitled" to a Service Dog unless a doctor said it was necessary??
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ILGHAUS View Post
!) Service Dog handlers are not legally required to have any documentation from their doctors in order to own and work a SD. There are limited times that a handler would need some documentation and that would be
  1. Flying with a PSD. A PSD is the only type of Service Dog that requires paperwork sent in 48 hours before flight.
  2. When the handler is applying for an Accommodation through their HR dept. to take their SD to their job.
  3. If the handler is trying to rent from a landlord in no-pet housing in some circumstances.
  4. If the handler for one reason or another goes in front of a judge, then there may a request to have such documentation.

The ADA is a Civil Rights Law. Various Fed. Agencies were mandated by Congress to oversee different sections / Titles of the ADA. The Department of Justice is over Title II and Title III. The DOJ does not recognize any registration of a SD.

Frequently Asked Questions About Service Dogs and The ADA
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section
July 2015


CERTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION

Q17. Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as service animals?

A. No. Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal , as a condition for entry.

There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.

Q20. My city requires me to register my dog as a service animal. Is this legal under the ADA?

A. No. Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA. However, as stated above, service animals are subject to the same licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.
Correct, nothing legally required, there are no registrations or cards, you do not have to carry documents with you. But if you are approached, questioned by law, something happens legally and you do not have proof, and your dog was not trained to do work for a disability, it's a federal crime to have a service dog that you named a service dog on your own. Service dogs can be covered by insurance and tax deductible so that's where lots of legal issues can come in as fraud. I talked to my doctor and she seen lawsuit regarding fake service animals, had to testify that there was no knowledge of disability. Sad thing to happen, but it does. Just so many fakes, it's so sad. So many untrained and wild dogs making people with real disabilities look bad. I see people carry a Yorkie in their purse with a vest. Really? maybe it's an ESA so has no privileges to be in the store, but what service can that tea cup Yorkie provide? sad

Some states also have laws on top of ADA as mentioned here:

Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business

and

Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers: Service Animals

Q37. Do commercial airlines have to comply with the ADA?
A. No. The Air Carrier Access Act is the Federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities in air travel. For information or to file a complaint, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation, Aviation Consumer Protection Division, at 202-366-2220.

"In Florida, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law this month making it a misdemeanor to pass off an unqualified pet as a service animal."

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Zeus {Ymka Von den Oher Tannen, CGC} - Red/Black 01-07-2013
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Liulfr View Post
I'm very confused by this. How would one be "entitled" to a Service Dog unless a doctor said it was necessary??
People fake it. Most real service animals are recommended by a doctor. Support animals are not the same and do not have rights to "go everywhere" with the owner. They do not perform a task.

Ruby {SG1, VP1, VP3 USCA Sieger Show, Kati Von den Oher Tannen} - Red/Black 11-15-2013
Zeus {Ymka Von den Oher Tannen, CGC} - Red/Black 01-07-2013
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
it's a federal crime to have a service dog that you named a service dog on your own.

This is not correct.

First, the ADA is a Federal Civil Rights Law. Under the section dealing with Persons with Disabilities it states the rights of those individuals. Since it is a Civil Rights Law, not a law under a Criminal section, there are no punitive decrees given.

Criminal notice and punitive actions are under State Statutes. As of this date not all states have addressed such.

Secondly, the Dept. of Justice recognizes owner trainers and those OTs decide when their dog meets the requirements set out by the definition give by the Dept.

The bolding in the following quote was put in by myself to highlight points.
Federal Register
Published September 15, 2010
Effective Date March 15, 2011
Signed by Attorney General Eric Holder
July 23, 2010

Final regulations

Revised definition of “service animal.”

“Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”


Also quotes from the following document,

SERVICE ANIMALS PER THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TITLE II PRIMER
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section
June 8, 2015

The ADA does not require service animals to be certified, licensed, or registered as a service animal. Nor are they required to wear service animal vests or patches, or to use a specific type of harness. ... Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability. ...

Elsewhere there are requirements that are in place for pet dogs that must also be met by a working SD such as required vaccinations.

The above documents state what a SD must do by training. Once those requirements are meet an OT who trained completely on their own or with help of a professional trainer may claim their animal is a SD.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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