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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a patron scam the system last night..she shows up at the restaurant riding an electric cart and claims that her little 10 lb lap dog/mutt is a "service dog", she even had some flimsy paperwork stating such, which got her past security...what was most disturbing is that the little dog was allowed to sit at the table in a high chair while resting its head on the table..I actually thought they were going to serve the dog B-day cake...

But for you legal eagles out there, is there an actual law or is it up to local interpretation as to what is considered a "service dog"..the actual ones that we have had before in the restaurant always seemed to either equipped with a harness or a clearly marked vest and usually trained to rest under the table and out of the aisle
 

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Had a patron scam the system last night..she shows up at the restaurant riding an electric cart and claims that her little 10 lb lap dog/mutt is a "service dog", she even had some flimsy paperwork stating such, which got her past security...what was most disturbing is that the little dog was allowed to sit at the table in a high chair while resting its head on the table..I actually thought they were going to serve the dog B-day cake...

But for you legal eagles out there, is there an actual law or is it up to local interpretation as to what is considered a "service dog"..the actual ones that we have had before in the restaurant always seemed to either equipped with a harness or a clearly marked vest and usually trained to rest under the table and out of the aisle

http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm



U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section






COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT

SERVICE ANIMALS IN PLACES OF BUSINESS



1. Q: What are the laws that apply to my business?

A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 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.
2. Q: What is a service animal?

A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:
_ Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.

_ Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.

_ Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.

A service animal is not a pet.
3. Q: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?

A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.
4. Q: What must I do when an individual with a service animal comes to my business?

A: The service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from other customers.
5. Q: I have always had a clearly posted "no pets" policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow service animals in?

A: Yes. A service animal is not a pet. The ADA requires you to modify your "no pets" policy to allow the use of a service animal by a person with a disability. This does not mean you must abandon your "no pets" policy altogether but simply that you must make an exception to your general rule for service animals.
6. Q: My county health department has told me that only a guide dog has to be admitted. If I follow those regulations, am I violating the ADA?

A: Yes, if you refuse to admit any other type of service animal on the basis of local health department regulations or other state or local laws. The ADA provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and so it takes priority over the local or state laws or regulations.
7. Q: Can I charge a maintenance or cleaning fee for customers who bring service animals into my business?

A: No. Neither a deposit nor a surcharge may be imposed on an individual with a disability as a condition to allowing a service animal to accompany the individual with a disability, even if deposits are routinely required for pets. However, a public accommodation may charge its customers with disabilities if a service animal causes damage so long as it is the regular practice of the entity to charge non-disabled customers for the same types of damages. For example, a hotel can charge a guest with a disability for the cost of repairing or cleaning furniture damaged by a service animal if it is the hotel's policy to charge when non-disabled guests cause such damage.
8. Q: I operate a private taxicab and I don't want animals in my taxi; they smell, shed hair and sometimes have "accidents." Am I violating the ADA if I refuse to pick up someone with a service animal?

A: Yes. Taxicab companies may not refuse to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Private taxicab companies are also prohibited from charging higher fares or fees for transporting individuals with disabilities and their service animals than they charge to other persons for the same or equivalent service.

9. Q: Am I responsible for the animal while the person with a disability is in my business?

A: No. The care or supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. You are not required to provide care or food or a special location for the animal.
10. Q: What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control?

A: You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, from your facility when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded. You may not make assumptions, however, about how a particular animal is likely to behave based on your past experience with other animals. Each situation must be considered individually.
Although a public accommodation may exclude any service animal that is out of control, it should give the individual with a disability who uses the service animal the option of continuing to enjoy its goods and services without having the service animal on the premises.
11. Q: Can I exclude an animal that doesn't really seem dangerous but is disruptive to my business?

A: There may be a few circumstances when a public accommodation is not required to accommodate a service animal--that is, when doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the business. Generally, this is not likely to occur in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities. But when it does, for example, when a dog barks during a movie, the animal can be excluded.

If you have further questions about service animals or other requirements of the ADA, you may call the U.S. Department of Justice's toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD).
 

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seems like a pretty broad definition.

what did the paperwork that she had state specifically??
 

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Here's a link to a story regarding a restaurant in our area that denied entry to a service dog...and the litigation that resulted.

The incident received considerable publicity and the restaurant ultimately went out of business.

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/153627/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so basically I can call any animal a service dog and you cant question it..sure doest seem fair to those people that have legitimate service animals or those that raise puppies for future use as a service animal (which I think is very cool)
 

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seems like a pretty broad definition.

My understanding is that service dogs can assist with a wide range of disabilities and that persons with a disability are not required to disclose the nature of their disability.

For example, if Bon's customer has epilepsy and her service dog detects that a seizure is imminent, my understanding is that she is not required to say anything other than that she has a disability and that her dog is a service dog.

Not sure this is the best forum for this discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
seems like a pretty broad definition.

what did the paperwork that she had state specifically??

Have no idea, she was in the station next to me, it didnt set well with a couple of my guests seated nearby..Glad I didnt have to make the call on it
 

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I intend for my pup to retrieve dead ducks. He will be specially trained for this and wear a special camo collar and vest as I.D. He will perform this as a service to me. ;-)
 

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My dog helps with my depression and social anxiety disorder. Should I be able to take him anywhere I please??
 

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The problem is that people should not have to disclose their disability in order to use the assistance of a service dog. It's tough, certainly.

EDIT: Also be aware that even small dogs are often service dogs. Many programs use the smaller dogs for hearing dogs so don't assume because its not a lab its not a service dog. However, if it has poor manners it can be kicked out even if it is a legitimate service dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My understanding is that service dogs can assist with a wide range of disabilities and that persons with a disability are not required to disclose the nature of their disability.

For example, if Bon's customer has epilepsy and her service dog detects that a seizure is imminent, my understanding is that she is not required to say anything other than that she has a disability and that her dog is a service dog.

Not sure this is the best forum for this discussion.

Note to Mods: you can move this to POTUS or I can delete the thread if its inappropriate for the RTF
 

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My dog helps with my depression and social anxiety disorder. Should I be able to take him anywhere I please??
Well yes, actually you can. If you can talk a therapist into calling him an "emotional assist animal" and writing you up something official stating that you needed him for your emotional well-being he would then be a service dog and covered by the ADA.
 

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Well yes, actually you can. If you can talk a therapist into calling him an "emotional assist animal" and writing you up something official stating that you needed him for your emotional well-being he would then be a service dog and covered by the ADA.
Nope.

2. Q: What is a service animal?

A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:
_ Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.

_ Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.

_ Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.
Service dogs must provide trained service. Being a dog is not a trained task. Additionally, individuals must meet the definition of disabled, as defined by the ADA. Emotional Support Animals are not Service Dogs, and are not granted pubic access rights.
 

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Nope.



Service dogs must provide trained service. Being a dog is not a trained task. Additionally, individuals must meet the definition of disabled, as defined by the ADA. Emotional Support Animals are not Service Dogs, and are not granted pubic access rights.
The problems with this:
1. The Q&A states that a person with a disability must be allowed to bring the service animal into your establishment, BUT...
2. they are NOT required to prove that they are disabled, and
3. they are NOT required to prove that their animal is certified as a service animal.

Therefore, if the Q&A from ADA is to be believed, all the person has to do is CLAIM that they have a disability, and CLAIM that their dog is a service animal, and you MUST allow them in. So any old liar can get away with it.

You can also go online and get a "certification" and identification kit, sight unseen, for any dog that you think meets the criteria listed on their site.

I've heard stories in the past of people sewing patches onto doggy backpacks, identifying the dog as a service animal, and being allowed onto an airliner, no questions asked.
 

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My dog helps with my depression and social anxiety disorder. Should I be able to take him anywhere I please??
Actually yes, you can get him cleared for that. Not sure how but you can. My mom had a co worker that had one.
 

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Nope.



Service dogs must provide trained service. Being a dog is not a trained task. Additionally, individuals must meet the definition of disabled, as defined by the ADA. Emotional Support Animals are not Service Dogs, and are not granted pubic access rights.
I know a therapist who has an Emotional Support Animal- a long haired Chihuahua. This dog is used in nursing homes, and is not used to provide assistance to the owner. It is one of those that poops on the floor, yaps, and sits on tables. She said it is "certified" and that she takes it everywhere with her, restaurants, theaters, shopping, etc. But she has a certificate she carries and I'm sure businesses are scared to tell her "no."
 

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The problems with this:
1. The Q&A states that a person with a disability must be allowed to bring the service animal into your establishment, BUT...
2. they are NOT required to prove that they are disabled, and
3. they are NOT required to prove that their animal is certified as a service animal.

Therefore, if the Q&A from ADA is to be believed, all the person has to do is CLAIM that they have a disability, and CLAIM that their dog is a service animal, and you MUST allow them in. So any old liar can get away with it.

You can also go online and get a "certification" and identification kit, sight unseen, for any dog that you think meets the criteria listed on their site.

I've heard stories in the past of people sewing patches onto doggy backpacks, identifying the dog as a service animal, and being allowed onto an airliner, no questions asked.
As it was explained to me, the service dog using community is split on whether certification is desirable or not. Currently, no certification is required. That does not mean any one who does have certification is faking, or that anyone who lacks "papers" is faking.

Businesses CAN ask a service dog to leave if it is being disruptive. If it's not being disruptive, well, it's not being disruptive. Personally, I feel it is better that some guy gets the pleasure of sneaking his dog into stores than a disabled person gets denied their right of public access.

This is a blog written by a friend of mine. She uses a German Shepherd as a mobility service dog and recently got a puppy to train as her current dog's successor. http://twitchandshout.wordpress.com/
 

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Emotional Support Animals are not Service Dogs, and are not granted pubic access rights.
A dog that supports a PTSD sufferer would classify as an emotional support animal. That's already been handled in court versus MacDonald's no less.

Eric
 

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I saw a show once with a dog that warned a person of oncoming seizures that was given papers as a service dog. This dog did nothing special other than notify the owner when she had a seizure coming on.
That would be a tough call.....
 
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