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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Service Dog Owner Hoping for More Education After ShopKo Incident
By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
Story Created: Jun 20, 2013 at 5:16 PM CDT

Deppe said, "I work with kids who have autism. She works in my class as a comfort dog. "

"We take her out in public just to keep her training up." said Deppe. "That keeps her used to being around people. "

Service Dog Owner Hoping for More Education After ShopKo Incident | KCRG-TV9 | Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather | Local News

Yes, it would be nice if someone writing a news report, someone reporting the news, or even local experts would take a little time and check out their facts or even give the proper information that impacts this story.

Unless Jodi Deppe is legally disabled she does not qualify for a Service Dog.
Unless Gabby has been trained a task to mitigate her owner's legal disability she is not a SD.
Unless Gabby is being trained a task to mitigate her owner's legal disability she in not a SDIT which is a classification in those states which recognize SDITs - and then some of those states only recognize dogs being trained by professional or even only trainers working for a training facility.

While the profession of Ms. Deppe is a wonderful one and that Gabby is good around the children goes toward making a nice human interest story, it has nothing at all to do with if it is legal for Ms. Deppe to take Gabby into a no pets allowed place of business.

"She says a ShopKo employee questioned whether Deppe had a disability."
This question is allowed per the Dept. of Justice.

'Deppe said, "When I pointed out that she wasn't a pet she asked me if I was blind. ..." '
The employee was wrong to ask Deppe if she was blind and needs training on this point.

Linda Ayers in the story and later the video interview is correct that the question about Ms. Deppe being blind was illegal but she then needs to clarify that if Ms. Deppe is not herself legally disabled then it is illegal for her to be calling her dog a Service Dog.

Per the questioning printed in the article and the video shown, both Jodi Deppe and Linda Ayers seem to be giving back answers which are only indirectly related to the questions themselves.

The bottom line of this story is first it must be clarified:
1) Is Ms. Deppe legally disabled and if she is then
2) Has Gabby been trained to mitigate Ms. Deppe's legal disability

I hope the news department doing this story decides to do a follow-up to clarify and that they also do some basic research before publishing any more stories on the topic of Service/Assistance and Therapy Dogs.
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