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Discussion Starter #1
Indiana law

I am fairly new to the forum, and am also new to Indiana. I trained a service dog (seizure detection/assistance) for my wife and did plenty of reading up on ADA, ACAA, and Indiana law when we moved from Texas.

Indiana has done it right. There definitions pretty much match ADA, and there requirements match ADA, but they take it a step further and require the same access for "IN TRAINING" dogs and the law is enforceable as a criminal matter as a Class "c" misdemeanor.

While we have never been chanlenged with my wives dog, it is nice to have the support of the law from the get go.
 

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Re: Indiana law

[ QUOTE ]
and the law is enforceable as a criminal matter as a Class "c" misdemeanor

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not sure here what you are refering to. If you don't mind could you go into a little more detail. Are you talking about say a merchant who might try to refuse entry of a SD or are you talking about someone trying to pretend that their dog is a SD or SDIT when in fact they are not. I'm asking for clarification for people with SDs from your state.

Also wanted to add--I admire anyone who can train a SD. I did not realize myself how much work was involved until I started helping with the public access and CGC parts.

As far as State Laws go, I felt FL was one of the better states and now it looks like they are improving a few more points. Some states are pretty bad and have a lot of room for improvement.

I went and took a look at your Heidi. She is a very nice looking girl. Bet you are very excited about your new pup coming. Best of luck. We have some very good Schutzhund people on this board that will be able to give you lots of good tips in his training.
 

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Re: Indiana law

Do you have a better link for info on your state law.
With a search to a link on Indiana State Law this is what I came up with.
web page

The only other thing I could find was the penalties for harming or killing a SD. I know there has to be more because of your post. They sure don't want to make it very easy to find information do they?
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An aside for everyone here...
I'm starting a list on another thread for links to state laws. If anyone has a link just go ahead and PM it to me and I'll put it on the list--also if you see that the law posted on the thread by link for your state is old and you have a newer link please PM the updated link to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Indiana law

That link is the one that has the actual law as on file. If you look about mid way down it says that a person that refuses access or charges for the dogs access commits a class C infraction.

I spoke to the local K9 cop and asked him what this means. While the officer may have the authority to arrest for this violation most likely the officer would issue a citation and refer to the prosecuting attorneys office.
 

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Re: Indiana law

Okay, I see where the Class C Infraction is addressed. I was looking for something on a misdemeanor.

Now the following is based on my understanding at this time and of course I am not an expert--I am in the process of learning.

For those who might not know the difference, a misdemeanor is part of your criminal history forever (or until pardoned or expunged). An infraction is part of your court record and part of the local agency record. Infractions are not criminal charges but are civil complaints. You can not be sent to jail for committing an infraction but the Court may impose a fine. (Now if the merchant would refuse to follow the orders of the Court or not attend any required Court appearances then that disobedience can become a criminal matter.)

So it looks to me like Indiana is indeed a forward state for the rights of a person with a disability in that a merchant who refuses access is subject to fines.

So what is the big deal here you might think? The ADA says the same thing and a PWD is protected by Federal Law. Well, this is one of the several times that it pays to have a good state law concerning PWDs and their rights to SDs. While a person might indeed have a good case to fight in the courts there is a waiting time of several years and not all cases go to court. There is not the time or the manpower to address all the problems and so only a percentage make it that far.

Another point on why certain states are better than others on the issue of SDs. While it is a civil infraction to deny access in many states, in some it is a criminal offense to harm or interfere with the performance of a SD.

To sum it all up--sounds like Indiana is on the right track. Like all states it needs improvements, but it is ahead of many. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Indiana law

here is another example of the progress Indiana is making. This is the law concerning harming or interfearing with a service dog. It holds the same punishment as harming or interfearing with a police dog. (SAR dogs have there own protection laws here as well)

IC 35-46-3-11.5
Cruelty to a service animal
Sec. 11.5. (a) As used in this section, "service animal" means an animal that a person who is impaired by:
(1) blindness or any other visual impairment;
(2) deafness or any other aural impairment;
(3) a physical disability; or
(4) a medical condition;
relies on for navigation, assistance in performing daily activities, or alert signals regarding the onset of the person's medical condition.
(b) A person who knowingly or intentionally:
(1) interferes with the actions of a service animal; or
(2) strikes, torments, injures, or otherwise mistreats a service

animal;
while the service animal is engaged in assisting an impaired person described in subsection (a) commits a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) An offense under subsection (b)(2) is a Class D felony if the act results in the:
(1) serious permanent disfigurement;
(2) unconsciousness;
(3) permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ; or
(4) death;
of the service animal.
(d) It is a defense that the accused person:
(1) engaged in a reasonable act of training, handling, or disciplining the service animal; or
(2) reasonably believed the conduct was necessary to prevent injury to the accused person or another person.
As added by P.L.143-1996, SEC.2. Amended by P.L.9-2003, SEC.4.
 

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SDIT Law in PA

Hi everyone. I have been trying and trying to locate the laws involving SDITs in the state of PA. I need to know what the law is regarding public access for dogs who are still in training. Here in FL I was able to locate the laws easily with the help of this board (thanks very much ILGHAUS!
) but I will soon be visiting family in PA for a few weeks. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


-Jackie
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Jackie, I've been looking but PA doesn't have a very user friendly system. Everything seems to go back to an individual's website with links to various PA statutes.


The only thing I could find was pretty much like here in FL but I have nothing to officially link for you. When do you need this by? I hate to tell you something just because it says so somewhere on the Internet and it could possibly be all wrong. I'll keep looking.
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Here ya go.. it also says that trainers have the same access rights.. so, SDITs being trained would have access rights-- as in my state, Massachusetts. Please scroll down. Yes, part of this is copied from the brochure Service Dogs Welcome, but, some applies directly ro PA law!


Amd yep.. I found it on a mini-horse guide horse site LOL!

http://www.mini-horse.org/news_horse_guides_state_rights.html
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Thank you both very much! Patti, that's just what I needed.
I wanted to be able to have a specific named law that I could show proof of, so I printed that section out to carry in my info file.

ILGHAUS,
I also found that not just the disability laws, but PA laws pertaining to anything else to be extremely difficult to find! It's like they're trying to keep that stuff a secret! LOL! I need the info by Monday evening, which is when I will be flying with my SDIT in the plane cabin for the first time. Wish us luck!


-Jackie
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Good luck Jackie. You will do SUPER come Monday! I'm sorry I missed you today.
I am 100% positive you will do an awesome job. Honestly, 1 phonecall ahead to a shop's manager, and you will be surprised how SMOOTH things will go for you.
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Quote:I found it on a mini-horse guide horse site LOL!
Now that is where I should have looked for the State Statutes on Service/Assistance Dogs.
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Now as to the part of you flying with your dog in the cabin with you -- Did you check with your particular airline? There is a difference between a SD and a SDIT under the Air Carriers Act. Also check to see what the requirements are of your particular airline as to a qualified trainer.

Quote:
What about service animals in training?
Part 382 requires airlines to allow service animals to accompany their handlers in the cabin of the aircraft, but airlines are not required otherwise to carry animals of any kind either in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Airlines are free to adopt any policy they choose regarding the carriage of pets and other animals provided that they comply with other applicable requirements (e.g., the Animal Welfare Act). Although “service animals in training” are not pets, the ACAA does not include them, because “in training” status indicates that they do not yet meet the legal definition of service animal. However, like pet policies, airline policies regarding service animals in training vary. Some airlines permit qualified trainers to bring service animals in training aboard an aircraft for training purposes. Trainers of service animals should consult with airlines, and become familiar with their policies.

Guidance Concerning Service Animals in Air Transportation
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

If you had asked sooner it would have been easy. You could have contacted The Seeing Eye of Morristown NJ. They have puppy raisers all over this part of PA. This is from their web. Do you have an ID card? Does the dog have a vest?

<span style="color: #FF0000">http://www.seeingeye.org/AboutUs.asp
12. Can we take our puppies everywhere, since they are going to be Seeing Eye dogs?

Although working Seeing Eye dogs are allowed access to all public places, Seeing Eye puppies in training are not. You will need to check with managers or owners before visiting public place to make sure it is OK. Respect the answer if it is no, and find another place. You don't need to take your puppy to food stores and restaurants and in fact, we don't encourage this. </span>

Apparently there is a difference in the law between a service dog and a service dog in training. What part of Pa are you going to?
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

<span style="color: #FF0000">A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),</span> privately owned businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA requires these Businesses to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed.

Under Pennsylvania law, individuals with disabilities who use guide or <span style="color: #FF0000">support animals or trainers of such animals are entitled to equal opportunity in all aspects of employment, as well as equal access to and treatment in all public accommodations, and any housing accommodation or commercial property without discrimination. </span>Violation of this law may result in an award of damages or other remedies pursuant to the <span style="color: #FF0000">Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. 43 P.S. § 953.</span>

Additionally, under Pennsylvania law, an owner, manager, or employee of a theater, hotel, restaurant or other place of public accommodation may Violate the Pennsylvania Crimes Code if he or she denies access to an individual with a disability who is using a guide, signal, or service dog. 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 7325.
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Quote: Apparently there is a difference in the law between a service dog and a service dog in training.
That is correct. The ADA of 1990 did not address Service Dogs (Assistance Dogs) at all. Only through the DOJ, the governing agency of the Act, in later publications do we hear about Service Dogs (Assistance Dogs). Again nothing about dogs in training therefore a handler/trainer does not receive any additional rights to train a dog at the Federal level.

To help clarify there is this quote from Isabelle Katz Pinzler, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, dated July 3, 1997:
Section 36.302 of the Department of Justice regulation implementing title III of the ADA states that a public accommodation must modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability. The ADA does not specifically require such modifications for persons who are training service animals.
Technical Assistance Letter on DOJ Website

It is only through State Statutes (and these are not all states) where a handler/trainer receive the right of "Public Access" with their SDIT (and this is not with all SDITs and in all circumstances).

If the individual state has Public Access Rights for a trainer working with a SDIT then there are still certain facts that must be checked on. Some states only give these rights to "a qualified trainer" or may state "to a trainer affiliated with an approved school", have even seen the term "a bona fide trainer", or one of several other statements. This would do away with owner trainers in these states.

You must also verify what disabilities are covered under the individual state statutes. Some only acknowledge SDITs being trained for "physical" disabilites or address "Guide and Hearing Dogs" only.

Once you find out if that particular state acknowledges SDITs (including the venue of your particular SDIT), then you must follow all of that State's regulations including if they require a special colored leash/harness, special ID, or other items. The ADA states no special equipment or ID for a SD, but remember ADA does not cover SDITs so to receive any special benefits of a State you must follow all of that State's requirements.

If in doubt, the best way to clarify is to contact the Attorney General's Office of that state. Always ask to have your answer sent to you in writing even if given an answer over the phone. Do not rely soley on the word of other SD handler's since they may be incorrect.

Whenever someone gives you an answer (including here) always look for the "official" word on the subject. This is why I do not like to post just what I know, but always try to post a link so the reader can check it out for themself. Afterall, it will be the person that is looking for the info that can be inconvenienced by delays or refusals to fly or enter "no pet" establishments.

Once your dog goes from SDIT status to SD status then all issues here revert to the FED level. But I also like to give a warning here, do not claim your dog as a SD if it is not in reality ready to be considered so. Such a claim could very well backfire. (This "you/your" is not directed at the OP but is being used broadly for all trainers and handlers of SDITs.)
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Thanks again for all the information provided to me in this thread. I appreciate everyone's help. I do understand that the law is different and goes state-by-state when it comes to service dogs who are still in-training. That is why I was searching for the laws of the state of PA so that I am familiar with them beforehand, and ready to deal with them accordingly. (By the way, I need them for tomorrow, Monday, when I am going to be flying there and staying with family outside of Pittsburgh for a few weeks.) From what I understand now, SDITs accompanied by their trainer have the same access rights as SDs in the state of PA? At least that's what I interpreted the info from the net to mean.

In addition, when training in public places, since my dog is still in-training, I like to either call ahead and speak with a manager, or do so upon entering an establishment. That way things go smoothly and I don't have 10 different employees telling me "no dogs allowed." I understand that some SD owners discourage this, as they believe it can lead to a habit of business owners pushing to see identification from ALL SD teams. I agree to a certain point, however, in my opinion, since the dog is still in training and not yet functioning as a full fledged SD, I believe the business owner is entitled to an explanation. I DO mention to the business owner/manager every time I introduce myself and my dog that once any service dog attains that status, legally they are not required to provide identification or proof of disability. I explain to them that they are by law only permitted to ask if the handler is disabled and if the dog is a service animal. I have found that the majority of them have been happy to talk to me and learn. I am glad to do this because not only does it make my visit that day a whole lot easier, plus I'll someday be visiting these places as a SD/handler team, but also by educating people, it could be of help to other SD/handler teams.

Furthermore, like ILGHAUS said, I agree that honesty is very important when it comes to this matter. Many negative consequences can come from trying to pass off a SDIT as a SD, not to mention that fact that it's illegal. Another reason why, though I may not HAVE to, I will always touch base with a business before training there.

-Jackie
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

Quote:Did you check with your particular airline?
Yes, before I made the reservations I called to ask if they allowed service dogs in training to fly in the cabin. The first person I spoke with was a standard customer service rep and tried to tell me that I needed "official certification" so I spent a good bit of time "arguing" with him that there is simply no such thing. Finally after it was clear he was not understanding me, I asked to be transferred to a supervisor who also told me I needed "official certification." Again, I explain that for SDs this doesn't exist, and tell her that the best I can provide her with is a copy of the ADA law and also orders from my doctor. (I do not mind providing my doctor's orders at this time since my dog is still in training. This will change once he is through with training.) She puts me on hold for quite some time, then finally returns and tells me everything is fine and I am ok to fly, but does he have a harness? I'm thinking, what in the WORLD does that have to do with anything?! Confused I tell her yes and ask if he needs to wear it for the flight. She tells me yes, he will need it.
Maybe she's thinking a harness is the same thing as an ID cape??? Oh well...I'll just make sure he's wearing his harness... I also asked for her name (so if I run into any problems I can name the supervisor I spoke with) and instead of giving me a full name, she only used her first. I thought that a bit weird but again, oh well... I also asked her for the contact info for the in cabin ADA specialist working for the airline and once again, I was put on hold for quite awhile after which she finally told me she wasn't able to locate that number, but gave the the number for the "front desk" who would be able to connect me with who I need to speak to on Monday morning. So, that's the best I could do.

Any other steps anyone suggest I take? I also tried to request "bulkhead" seating at the time, but was told this cannot be done until I get to the ticket counter at the airport. As mentioned, I will also have my doctor's orders and a copy of the ADA information/laws concerning SDs. Thanks!

-Jackie
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

The following is my own advice, so, consider it as such. But, it is based on years of experience dealing with access issues with people uninformed about the law.

Contact that ADA in-cabin specialist as soon as possible. This will confirm for you that you are in accordance with rules and regs. Plus, you can use this person's name, and title, to smooth things, should you run into someone who's unsure of your access rights.

Mike Spolling of the DOJ was VERY helpful to me during one airline incident, and suggested having the ADA in-cabin specialist's name on hand... and her number, too.


Be polite, but be very clear. Make direct eye contact. You and your SDIT are a team already, and functioning well as a team. Be proud of that!
You can do this. I've lost count of the times I've flown with my last dog, and had only one incident.

True story: Once I was seated with my SD in the bulkhead seating, and this German lady came and blah-blah-blah'd about her GSDs, what a great breed, how ideal to see them working in a real job, etc etc. 15 minutes went by, and the plane just sat there. The woman went on about the virtues of working temperament, then put on her cap-- and walked right up the aisle to the cockpit. She was the pilot! We'd held up the flight.


You'll do super. Good luck! Have fun. You will do GREAT!
 

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Re: SDIT Law in PA

To cover all your bases -- if you haven't already done so, call the airlines again and tell them that you will be traveling with your SDIT (mention that you have permission) and request that this info be put into the computer. Or you may find yourself going through the whole ordeal again at the counter.

A friend of mine traveled a couple of months ago with a SDIT and did not have any problems at all, so don't worry yourself overmuch. Just be prepared and then relax and enjoy the flight. If you haven't ever flown with a dog in the cabin before I would like to pass on a travel tip. Have a doggie treat for when the plane takes off.

For people who wonder why handlers, trainers, and advocates have such a sour taste in their mouths for "fakers" this is a good example of the extra problems that they cause for those who follow the rules.

Good luck in your travels and hope you enjoy yourself. Please let us know how things went and be sure to give any travel tips that you may pick up on the way.


************************************************
Ok, after I posted I happened to see that Patti did just before me. Very good advice Patti and always helpful to hear from someone who has experience in a situation.
 
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