[nagdu] Service animal confusion causes conflicts
National Association of Guide Dog Users
blind411 at verizon.net
Wed Jul 10 18:11:08 UTC 2013
Though it is each individual's prerogative to have their service
animal wear some identifying gear, coat, and/or identification, the
statement by this law enforcement official that it is good to do so is based
upon one person's assertion who does not use a service animal. The question
I would ask of this person is "good for whom"? Such identifying garments and
I.D.'s may help one person avoid issues, but it may - and will likely -
cause another to experience them without necessity. I know some believe we
should be willing to present identification, but the law does not require it
and, by doing so, gives the impression to entities that all should. Those
who train their own service dogs have just as much a right to full and equal
access as those who receive dogs from established programs; however,
owner-trainers will not have such identification. If more people submit to
the expectations of the ignorant staff of entities, we will create a pattern
that will result in the very discrimination the law is meant to prohibit.
I would like to urge everyone to avoid presenting identification
and/or the use of identifying garments so as to not further confuse the
already confused. When asked, reply with what we are legally required to
say: "I am disabled; this is my service dog!" When asked for identification,
advise the entity you are not required to present it and be on your way! If
you choose to educate further, that is your choice and, frankly, would be
mine! However, if you choose to not be interfered with, that, too is your
choice! Happy trails!
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Criminal Justice
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Service animal confusion causes conflicts
I guess I have another good reason why for making sure Odie always wears his
orange vest with his patches and have a card in his zipper pocket,
specifying his duties as a working partner.
I also have a tag on his collar that says medical alert service dog.
Of course, everyone may have their own opinions on Odie and I as a team, but
I figure as long as he can still do his job, that is what counts.
If he starts to get more tired out, then Odie will let me know it's time to
hang it up for good.
Bibi and son Odie
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