|Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 12:30am PST |
|-What does a dog need to be a p service dog (apart from being trained to service its owner and good behavior)? Does the state have a way of certificating?
In order for a dog to be a service dog first their handler has to have a disability compliant with the ADA's definition of disabled. The dog must be well trained and of a good temperament and must be specifically trained to mitigate some portion of the handler's disability. Things that don't qualify as task trained would be things that fall under the mantle of 'the dog makes me feel better, more comfortable' ect, or protection based behaviors. No additional paperwork is necessarily for general day to day use.
That said I highly recommend that if you choice to have a service dog that you are prepared to have proof of your disability and your dog's training. Vest's are not required but again they are recommended not only for you but for the business's that you have your dog in. You will significantly cut down on public access challenges as well as cutting down on confusion with the public. A service dog should be clean, well behaved, and marked as a service dog in a way that make's it clear to the public and to business's that you are a legitimate team.
I recommend that you read ADI's code of conduct because while these are not all Laws public access is granted under the assumption that it is a reasonable accommodation. And a business can successfully make the argument that a dog that smells, is unruly, or unmarked is an unreasonable accommodation and if you were to land in court it Would count against you.
-What are the IDS and certificates? What are the legal requirements for p service dogs? In CA
Depending on what county you are in California requires you to have a state issued ID tag registered with the county. It is not a requirement under federal law but I always recommend that you comply as much as possible with state and local laws on service dogs because that offers you that much more protection and support in the case of an access challenge.
-Do p service dogs need to be neutered?
It is not a requirement under ADA law. However it is recommended in most cases because a dog that has been altered will be less distracted and because the average owner/handler is not prepared to deal with an intact dog. It may be a requirement under state or local laws that is something you would need to look into.
-What happens when you go to court and need to prove your dog is a p service dog?
That depends largely on what you are going to court for, the court, the judge and any number of factors. Just for absolute basic's though I would recommend that you have a current letter from your psychiatric doctor stating the nature of your disabilities and the ways that a dog is trained to assist you and that they support your use of a service dog. As well as current vet records, and training logs showing that you have at Least 100+ hours of training in both task work and public access training. In addition I would either have a certified trainer, do a paper or video public access, good models are the ADI public access test or IAADP's public access test.
-What do you have to carry when going on an airplane with p service dogs?
The ACAA requires for traveling with a psychiatric service dog that the handler have a letter from a licensed psychiatric doctor no less than a year old that is on that doctor/practices's letterhead a note that states
1. That the passenger has a mental health-related DISABILITY listed in the DSM IV. Note it is not just a mental illness diagnosis, but a mental illness. They are not allowed to ask what specific disability that the passenger has.
2. That the presence of the animal is NECESSARY to the passenger's health or treatment.
3. That the individual writing the letter is a licensed mental health professional and that the passenger is under his or her care.
NOTE: Airlines may also require documentation including the date, type, and state of the mental health professional's license.
-Can a dog be both emotional support dog and p service dog?
Emotional support dogs is not a term used for a dog going into public access. An ESA is only used in non pet housing and if flying where the handler would need to have the same/similar letter as above, and they are essentially just pets that make the owner feel better. They have no federal protection to be in any non pet friendly places and are not covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. A service dog is a dog that is specifically trained to assist their handler with an ADA compliant disability
*Note* A service dog is no different regardless if they are trained to guide a person that is blind, alert a person that is hearing impaired to sounds, assist with medical conditions or mobility, or trained to assist with psychiatric conditions. A service dog is a service dog if they qualify as per training and a handler's disability.
I hope this helps some, let me know if you have further questions.
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