[nagdu] Conditional Ownership

Danielle Ledet singingmywayin at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 00:02:48 UTC 2015

Alysha, I agree. I thought of this when we had adiscussion on the list
but hadn't posted yet. The only way we are made aware of agreements
between the school and the graduate is by the graduate. Why don't the
schools publish a sample copy of it's contracts/ownership agreements
so that these can be used when making inquiries and doing research on
guide dog school options? Maybe this would clear up alot of
misunderstanding regarding this issue. Jennifer, conditional ownership
refers to the terms grads have to abide by upon graduation regarding
the dog. It means that the school retains ownership of the dog until
certain requirements are met by the grad, if that is an option.

On 8/18/15, Jennifer Woods via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> What is conditional ownership?
> On Jul 13, 2015, at 7:39 PM, Alysha via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents about the ownership issue. I am a Seeing
> Eye grad, and their policy of full ownership is very important to me.
> However, I also understand that schools want to make sure the dogs they
> work
> so hard to train and match are being treated well and worked appropriately.
> I think many animal rescue organizations have conditional ownership
> contracts. For example, they might require that if the animal needs to be
> rehomed, it must be given back to the rescue organization rather than given
> to a new home directly by the owners. Also, a parrot rescue organization in
> my area requires that you agree to conduct an annual veterinary exam of
> your
> bird with bloodwork as a condition of adoption. I have no problem with a
> guide dog school putting some conditions on ownership. However, I believe
> these conditions must be reasonable and very clearly stated. Also, the
> school should provide a specific written statement regarding what actions
> will be taken by the school if the handler does not abide by the contract.
> If the school wishes to retain the ability to repossess a dog, they should
> be able to include the specific possible reasons for doing so in their
> contract. They should be required to gather strong evidence of wrongdoing
> which should be shared with the graduate. I think every school should have
> such a legally binding contract, and this contract would give both the
> school and the handler legal recourse if they feel the contract was
> violated
> by the other party.  Schools should be willing to publically share these
> contracts to their prospective students, donors, volunteers, etc. It seems
> a
> bit crazy that we keep going back and forth on the various ownership
> policies of several schools on this list, but most of our information comes
> from anecdotal accounts of graduates. Why is there no easily found
> information from many schools that states their policies? Why have schools
> been unwilling to share copies of their contracts with NAGDU? Whether we
> believe that all schools should grant full and unconditional ownership or
> not, I think we can all agree that a guide dog school should not
> arbitrarily
> repossess a dog without due process. So I think the most serious problem is
> with schools that retain full ownership of the dogs, leaving the handler
> with basically no rights what-so-ever. Conditional ownership is still
> ownership. It may feel patronizing to be asked to turn in vet reports or to
> be periodically evaluated by an instructor, but at least there are specific
> conditions the handler knows they must follow to retain ownership of their
> dog. If the school owns the dog completely, the handler is at the total
> mercy of that school. Perhaps NAGDU might consider offering a resolution in
> the future that calls for more fairness and transparency in how schools
> deal
> with their graduates and encourages schools to abolish policies that grant
> full ownership of the dog to the school. I could see this as a good first
> step that might possibly be a bit less controversial.
> Alysha
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Email: singingmywayin at gmail.com

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