Discussion: Allergies and Phobias and Service Dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Discussion: Allergies and Phobias and Service Dogs

One of our members posted this for a discussion topic.

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Originally Posted by WateryTart View Post
What about this one?
...

Also, if there are legitimate issues of allergies and phobias, what then? A kid with a debilitating phobia or deathly allergies has a right to an education also. Again, I'm not well versed in the legalities when one person's rights bump up against another's like this.
The issue of allergies and phobias are an important topic for SD handlers.

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Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 01:04 PM
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Support Animals Versus Allergies: Here We Go Again - The GateThe Gate


Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility. From: https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm


Schools can place the child with the allergy or fear of dogs in a different classroom on the same campus or school or have one of the children attend a different school or campus within the same district.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 01:36 PM
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This is an interesting discussion. I had a friend growing up who was so deathly afraid of dogs she'd start panicking at the sound of distant barking. Clearly a phobia. I think if she even knew there was a dog in the school, it would have negatively impacted her. Not justifying it, I thought she was crazy and I loved dogs, but I have seen true dog phobia and it isn't pretty.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Muskeg View Post
This is an interesting discussion. I had a friend growing up who was so deathly afraid of dogs she'd start panicking at the sound of distant barking. Clearly a phobia. I think if she even knew there was a dog in the school, it would have negatively impacted her. Not justifying it, I thought she was crazy and I loved dogs, but I have seen true dog phobia and it isn't pretty.
This is my nephew. My SIL told my husband that she thought her son would soil himself the last time he was even in the presence of a dog. It was that bad. Needless to say, they don't visit us and we board our (pet) dog before we go their way so he won't even cross paths with her. I would feel terrible for him if he was forced to deal with that level of stress and panic at school even though I was pretty horrified by how that little girl in the story was treated and fully support her right to have the dog with her.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 02:35 PM
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I think this topic is interesting also.

The main reason it caught my eye is because of the drastic measures being taken in schools regarding *food* allergies.

Earlier this year I volunteered to teach several classes for high interest/career exploration day at our local elementary school - I was teaching kids about architecture and plants. Before I was allowed to teach the kids, I was given an information sheet that John Doe in 2nd Grade has a peanut allergy, and Jane Doe in 5th grade has a shellfish allergy, and I had to sign the sheet acknowledging my understanding. I was informed, in writing, that under no circumstances could I bring peanuts or peanut butter into the school for my own lunch. (Well, fine, I prefer hummus anyway). It was pretty obnoxious, and since I don't have kids of my own I was pretty surprised how adamant they were and how strong the language was.

So.... while our public schools are going to crazy lengths to ban peanuts, while concurrently becoming more permissive of service/working dogs on school property, the juxtaposition interests me.

I've never met a peanut butter sandwich that jumped up and endangered a bystander, but I have met children that are terrified of dogs. Interesting debate, I'm not sure what my opinion is.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 02:45 PM
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Phobias are curable. Disabilities are not. So that is no legitimate excuse to restrict a PWD access rights. Living with phobias is a choice, living with a disability is not.

Allergies are sticky. But really, most pet owners, especially children, bring pet hair and dander with them even if they leave the pet at home. If someone is so allergic to animals that it is a threat to their life they need to be taking steps already to mitigate the effects of exposure.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 02:47 PM
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So.... while our public schools are going to crazy lengths to ban peanuts, while concurrently becoming more permissive of service/working dogs on school property, the juxtaposition interests me.

Sadly there are more and more children who are highly allergic to peanuts, to the point if another child eats a peanut butter sandwich and then simply touches the child who is allergic it is life threatening. Several years ago a teenager kissed his girlfriend who was allergic to peanuts, she died. We've had teachers in my school who had to carry an epi pen in the past due to peanut allergies. If a child had eaten anything made with peanuts at home and came to school and touched the child, it was almost an immediate reaction. So for some, an allergy to peanuts is literally life threatening.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 02:51 PM
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelas View Post
Phobias are curable. Disabilities are not. So that is no legitimate excuse to restrict a PWD access rights. Living with phobias is a choice, living with a disability is not.
Granted, my exposure to psychological research is old now (like 16 years), but I am curious about whether that is supported by the literature. Do you know offhand the success rate for treatment of phobias? I know you can do desensitization treatments, but like I said, my info is old. I'd be interested in hearing more, if you have access to more current info.

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Originally Posted by angelas View Post
Allergies are sticky. But really, most pet owners, especially children, bring pet hair and dander with them even if they leave the pet at home. If someone is so allergic to animals that it is a threat to their life they need to be taking steps already to mitigate the effects of exposure.
That's totally true. I know I carry both cat and dog dander with me, even if I'm lintrolling the heck out of my clothing. Basically I would rather warn than try to make myself allergen-free, if it was that bad.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb View Post
So.... while our public schools are going to crazy lengths to ban peanuts, while concurrently becoming more permissive of service/working dogs on school property, the juxtaposition interests me.

Sadly there are more and more children who are highly allergic to peanuts, to the point if another child eats a peanut butter sandwich and then simply touches the child who is allergic it is life threatening. Several years ago a teenager kissed his girlfriend who was allergic to peanuts, she died. We've had teachers in my school who had to carry an epi pen in the past due to peanut allergies. If a child had eaten anything made with peanuts at home and came to school and touched the child, it was almost an immediate reaction. So for some, an allergy to peanuts is literally life threatening.
That's certainly nothing to mess around with.

I think I found it so startling because I don't have much involvement with the school system beyond occasional volunteer work. I would not have been surprised if they did a background check, or asked for my photo ID at the door (this school did neither), but the written food warnings surprised me. I wasn't there to serve lunch, or even to eat a snack with students, in fact I had zero physical contact with any of them.

Angelas brings up a good point, rather than focusing on phobia, focusing on the medical matter of allergies. I have a brother-in-law who has severe dog allergies, even with medication he can't breathe comfortably if he's in a closed room with dogs. Some of our local school buildings are pretty old, with lots of interior (windowless) classrooms and older HVAC systems. Air filtration might make kids or teachers more comfortable, depending on the individual situation..... hmm.
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