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ADA and Service Animals

Some links to ADA information about Service Animals:

Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business

ADA Business BRIEF: Service Animals

Printable version of above:

U.S. Government Rules Governing Service Animals in Air Transportation

APIC State-of-the-Art Report: The implications of service animals in health care settings

Advisory letter from the DOJ regarding service animals in hospitals and medical offices



1. April Workman - 13 July 10

I actually have a question. I have a service dog who’s job requires she be off a leash. I have nothing to back up that fact, but she does get put on a leash when she is being walked off property. My landlord at my apartment complex is now threatening me with a violation letter on my housing. I have a daughter that has ptsd. When she gets out of control outdoors to the point that I can’t get ahold of her, by dog tackles her down without harming her. My dog cannot do that if she is leashed!! What can I do??

2. turtlemom3 - 14 July 10

Dear April – Contact the organization from whom you obtained your service dog. They should give you some support on this. The other thing is, if this is your daughter’s service dog, have you considered a waist tether for her? That would satisfy the leash requirement. You may need to stay closer to your daughter, or put the dog on a longer leash. You can get a 30′ lead at most pet shops, and certainly online. You will be able to figure out how to keep the leash coiled until you need to let it go. Join IAADP [http://www.iaadp.org/] and see if you can get some support from them. The ADA regulations should cover your problems with your landlord, too. It is obvious that you will need to do some education with him – to help him understand your needs and your daughter’s need, the laws applicable, etc. Check your state’s law regarding service dogs. I think, though, of all the solutions above, the 30′ lead would be the easiest in the short term.

3. Paul Propst - 12 March 11

Here in VA the animal must be under rigorous control. Here that can include electronic leash (training collar) or verbal/visual control IF the animal follows it’s commands reliably. The electronic leash satisfies most local authorities. My seizure dog needs to operate off leash at times. Most new businesses (new to ME) balk at first, but after seeing the do’s behavior they usually accpt the situation. Download, print and laminate a publication called: “ADA Business BRIEF: Service Animals”. Show this to people and explain that an electronic leash is better that a physical leash in many respects. On my dog Ashi I have disabled the shock part of the controller. All he needs is the beep and he will immediately stop and look to see what I want.

turtlemom3 - 13 March 11

People can check the laws in their state here: http://animallaw.info/
Some municipalities have separate laws, but these should be compatible with both the Federal ADA and the state law.

AnonymousPatronThatDoesntWantToBeBitten - 23 November 11

and does that acceptable behavior include lunging at another patron of the bar (unknowningly walking too closely) while snapping and barking? I would suggest that your service dog be muzzled if you’d like to continue bringing it into public venues. Especially because you allow the dog massive freedom in being nowhere near the dog at times and therefore unable to control its temperamental actions.

turtlemom3 - 23 December 12

Obviously you don’t know me, much less Emmy. I would never countenance such behavior from her. I don’t know what “service dog” you encountered, but it should have been excluded from the bar (I don’t go to bars). The service dog partners I know are all leashed whenever they are out, with the exception of the occasional seizure alert dog. They are under extreme voice or electric leash control.
I regret that someone allowed their service dog to be obnoxious. This shouldn’t happen under any circumstances. It makes me wonder if this was a situation in which the owner has a “fake” service dog – bought a cape online and calls the dog a service dog so it can come along everywhere. This happens, in fact it is happening so much, it may lead to mandatory certification – either through the state or through an over-riding organization.
One last thing – don’t EVER accuse me or my service dog – certified by the organization that trained her, and re-certified each year for public access. My service dog is totally obedient, doing whatever I ask her to do. She didn’t even whine when a 300+pound man stepped on her foot on an elevator – just looked at me to take care of her – which I did. So be very sure of what you are talking about when you discuss some service dog that offends you.

4. April - 16 March 11

Thanks. She has always been well under control. A great dog, always right where I can see her, comes when I call. She was not only to help with my depression and anxiety, but her job with the children required her to be off leash. My daughter was hurt by her dad, and would go into some sort of panic where she would run around crying thinking her dad was chasing her. I have had to send my dog to get ahold of her on several occasions cause I just could not catch her. Zeena would always get her stopped and calmed down enough that I could bring her into the house and we could have our talks about her being safe where she is, and to come to me if she thinks someone is trying to get her. Anyhow, Zeena is back in Wyoming and she has a great life. I got tired of fighting with my management, so I sent her to where she knows and can be off leash all the time.

Paul Propst - 16 March 11

Please tell me what state you live in? Your landlord seems to be in clear violation. If you state your case to your landlord more than once and they refuse to cooperate you can file a title two complaint under the ADA. If they try to expel you because you have filed a complaint that will likely cause them so much trouble the owners will likely hire a new manager. If you send me your info I will send complaint forms, instructions for filing them, etc. Please keep in mind that in court it will not be you versus them. It will be the people of the US vs them. All you have to do is file a complaint. the legal suit will be filed by the US Department of Justice. Also there are lines they can cross and the DOJ will consider your treatment by them to be a hate crime.

Gloria - 27 January 13

Thank you for the kind offer that you have done for Zeena and her master.
Unfortunately, I am in some what of a situation as this family is.
I would like to know of the forms that you have spoken of as I am Perm Disabled with a Service Animal, and I am having the worst of problems with MANY small dogs off leash at a senior complex. I called Animal Control, as both my dog and myself have been twice chased and once bitten by a terrier that runs free of leash. I found that this being Private Property

Griffin - 18 September 13


5. Gloria - 27 January 13

I cannot do anything legally, and management will not do anything to help for the past year. I am afraid to take my Greyhound out to do her business. I had bi-lateral knee surgeries 5 months ago and I am doing my best to get around, however in fear.
I would definitely file with any department that would help.
Thank you!

6. Paul Propst - 13 April 13

Tell me what state you are in. Most states have passed state laws protecting Service Animals I keep all of them in the Eastern US on file and will gladly send you a copy. Also I can send you Title 2 complaint forms for filing for federal prosecution of violators of the ADA. Do you have a facebook account or some other private email that I can send files to?

7. Paul Propst - 13 April 13

Here in VA they passed laws a couple years back and interfering with Service Animal will get you a $500 to $2500 fine from the state of VA. If your Service Animal is damaged or killed the Feds can levy up to $100,000 total.

turtlemom3 - 4 October 13

Pity that fine won’t reimburse the individual whose Service Animal was damaged or killed. It would be good if they also forced the person doing the damage to pay for the vet bills and/or the cost of a new Service Animal – including travel and expenses of going to training camp.

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