44 thoughts on “September 11, 2015

  1. It a real problem. From the ADA, “Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform.” Violate that and you could end up in court.

    Since there is no standard for what is a service animal or how to identify a legitimate one, you can’t boot them out unless they are not under control. Another screwed-up mess thanks to our politicians.

      • Nope. Could be a comfort animal for psychological reasons.

        For me, it was “is that a service animal?”

        If the answer was Yes. That was the end of that. We couldnt even ask what it was for.

        • There is a difference between service animals and therapy animals. From the ADA’s web site “Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.”

          • Unfortunately, all it would take would be a customer whining to the media that the store wouldn’t let their service/therapy animal in the store (even if it’s not legitimately a service/therapy animal). The store would get bad press long before anyone stopped to say, “Hey, wait, is this ACTUALLY an ADA certified animal?”

      • Thank goodness our laws are more strict… over here, we’re actually allowed to ask for the animal’s service papers. And yes, we do enforce it, because if we get a health inspection and they find an animal inside, we have to close the store that very second. Which would suck.

        • True. I once saw a service miniature horse in the grocery store. It surprised me. The owner was really sweet and called us over so my daughter (who couldn’t take her eyes off the horse) could meet it. I had been telling her no since I saw the service animal label on it.

    • What irks me is the smug look on his face, knowing that he’s just pulled on over on Marla. Backpfeifengesicht if ever I saw one.

      • Some sort of identifying feature. a cover would be impractical in the case of this very cute iguana, but maybe a collar, or some kind of neck band? If there’s no such label, then whoever challenges should be able to legally deny the animal access to the store. Oh, and the collar/whatever would be free.

      • > Since you feel that our ‘politicians’ have messed this up, how would you set up to manage this issue? <
        A universal way to recognize a valid service animal – and fines for impersonation. It's the failure to certify animals that's the root of the problem.

    • Not quite. Services animals are restricted to dogs, with some miniature horses. The animal must perform a specific task.

      The animal must be properly socialized. If it misbehaves or messes on the floor, it may be asked to leave.

    • Or, you just couldn’t try to enforce a silly “no pets” rule in the first place. It’s not like they’re messier than customers or their children.

    • Preach. I like most animals more than most children. A dog may poop on the floor, but when a kid has done it, their owner never cleaned it up.

  2. For all the good the ADA is to many folks, it is ridiculously abused by others.

    I remember at one of my previous jobs, we had this one kid that was……well, he couldn’t hold in his own pee along with some other mental disability. And this kid had “handlers” and his mom was well off a/or influential And this kid kept “relieving” himself onto the carpet and his handlers would always quickly leave. And the mom would just treat it as “it’s our fault, you deal with it” mentality. This pissed us off to no end. It was clear this kid had access to services many families of disabled kids would kill for, yet this woman was just using her kid as a tool for getting what she wanted. It was like she loved having the protections of the ADA, but didn’t want to pay for diapers.

    • Yeah, the ADA has been responsible for more ridiculous lawsuits than almost any other piece of legislation in American history.

      The law may have been well-intentioned – aren’t they always? – but remember what they say about using good intentions as paving material.

  3. I saw a lady with two small dogs sitting in her cart. Approached a senior staff member who said, “Oh yeah, we know her. The dogs are well behaved so it’s fine.” I guess dog butts are probably not the grossest things we’ve had in the bottom of our shopping carts. And the dogs were better behaved than a lot of customers.

  4. You can’t usually see debilitating anxiety, but we know people take advantage of the gray area. Some are bold enough to be rude on purpose. I’m against more government interference, but I’m sure I’d get a doctor note to ease minds.

    • Reminds me of a Simpsons episode where Homer got locked up in a nut house and at the group therapy session, totally deconstructed the guy who said he “just couldn’t leave the house anymore.”

      I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something like:

      “Why, did you lose your keys?”
      “Wouldn’t your car start?”
      “No clean clothes?”

      Homer listened to this guy’s whining and contemptuously declared him a baby.

    • I can see that being a grey area, since the physical part isn’t obvious, and some people really do need it. There was a Canadian Army Vet. on one of the R/C forums I go on and he ended up needing one after returning from his tour. He would be fine until one thing would trigger his PTSE, then he’d react line he did overseas. The incident that pushed him to get one was that he and his family were in a mall and somebody tapped him on the shoulder, he went blank, and next thing he remembered, he had that guy face down on the mall floor with that particular arm twisted behind his back and waiting for back up! He was at the point he was afraid of hurting somebody far worse and decided that one of these dogs was a good idea.

  5. The news said only dogs are recognized as service animals after that guy took his boa constrictor into a restaurant claiming it was his service animal. Considering how many reptiles carry salmonella, that’s a good thing.

  6. Everything has the potential for abuse but there are plenty of people who benefit from service animals. Remember not all disabilities are visible. As long as the people and the animals are well behaved, I have no problem with it.

    • I have no problems with valid service animals, but this law is so messed up it does as much good against abusers as a single fence post does in keeping out trespassers.

    • The issues many of us have is that for all the good the ADA brings to people with disabilities, many folks who are not disabled uses the law as a smokescreen to get away with malicious mischief. It’s clear the law needs to either be scrapped and a new one put into it’s place, or overhaul the current act and plug the holes.

  7. Only dogs are legally recognized as service animals. Other animals may be comfort animals, and other animals may even be service animals, but only dogs are legally recognized as such.

    http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

    Of course, that wouldn’t necessarily prevent a lawsuit; it’d just mean the customer would lose.

    A customer complaint, on the other hand, would probably reach the know-nothings in corporate, who would be so aghast at her refusing the iguana entry that she could get in real trouble over a nonexistent issue. Which is the norm, it seems…

  8. Seeing Eye Mini HORSES are now becoming more common and fall under the category of “other trained animal”. They live a lot longer, have a greater range of vision, and long memories. They are a legitimate service animal too as long as they’re housebroken.

  9. My Ops mgr said that all we could ask is if the animal helped the person shopped. On that thought, I asked if I could bring my 22 ft pet python b/c it’d totally help me shop . . . by clearing the store!!! 😉

  10. Actually, I know someone with a service iguana.
    Xe has narcolepsy. The iguana slaps hir with its tail if xe starts to nod off.
    (Gender-neutral pronouns to keep the person anonymous.)

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