Hee Haw! Hee Haw!  Are these people and their “service” animals making jackasses out of the rest of us?

“Ooh, ooh, ooh, ah, ah, ah, ah!

That’s a big “YES” in Capuchin Monkey language…, another popular “service” animal.

I’ve heard multiple stories now about questionable “service” animals and questionable use of these animals.

I believe it’s time for MrEricksonRules to rule on the correct way of looking at this whole “service” animal situation.

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The latest story regarding “service” animals revolves around a horse!

Yes…, a horse.

According to Lee Brown of The New York Post, “A Michigan woman startled other passengers on a recent series of flights when she brought aboard a mini-service horse and traveled with him in first class to California.”

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“Ronica Froese made the journey starting on Feb. 7 with her equine companion Fred, who was specially trained to make the high-altitude trip, according to WXMI.”

If you say so, Ronica.

‘“I paid an arm and a leg for tickets, but I did so because it was Fred’s first time and I wanted him to be comfortable,’ Froese told the station.”

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‘“I wanted him to have the most room.’”

Oh by all means!

Let’s make sure the horse is comfortable!

I haven’t been comfortable on a flight since 1977!!!

“Froese, who has trained Fred — who dressed in a sleek suit that made him look like a Lucha Libre wrestler — to be a therapy and a service horse, said everyone was ‘sweet as pie.’”

And “There ain’t no education in the second kick of a mule” either.  Right Ronica?

“She said that the ‘experience was way better than I actually anticipated.’”

That’s because I wasn’t sitting anywhere near you, Ronica!

Believe that!

“Fred’s flying days may soon be a thing of the past, however, with the US Transportation Department recently announcing plans to tighten the laws so that only dogs actually trained to help the disabled qualify for flights.”

“Surprisingly, Froese seems to agree in part — telling WXMI that the system is ‘out of control.’”

What?

Please tell me more.

‘“It’s a very abused process — there are a lot of untrained service animals on the plane that are not trained,’ Froese told the station.”

Oh…, and Ms. Froese knows this because, how?

‘“It’s definitely an abused system, but the sad part is what the DOT is looking at doing, they are looking at excluding me as a handler from taking my horse on the plane,’ she said.”

I agree it’s definitely an “abused system” as well, Ronica…, but you, of course, are not doing any of the abusing.

You and your horse, I mean.

You and your horse sitting in first class on an airplane, I mean.

I really don’t think I’m that far out of touch with our society today, am I?

Maybe I am.

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If flying on a passenger jet next to horses, cows, pigs, snakes, etc. is now okay these days, then I guess “I” am the jackass!

But I really don’t think so.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, “The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 20 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).”

So they’re adding to and modifying the law without worrying about going through that old bothersome Congress, whose job it is to make the laws.

Having unaccountable, unelected, Washington bureaucrats creating their own legislation is a troubling habit that Obama era “regulators” grew accustomed to.

The Americans with Disabilities Act [Law] was enacted in 1990 under George H. W. Bush.

“Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.”

“A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”

“Generally, title II and title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.”

“Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”

What was that again?

“Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”

So “providing comfort or emotional support does not qualify” when determining the need of a “service” animal.

Okay.

I just wanted to make sure we were clear about that.

“Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. For example, in a hospital it would be inappropriate to exclude a service animal from areas such as patient rooms, clinics, cafeterias, or examination rooms. However, it may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.”

“When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. 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. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.”

Hmm, that’s interesting.

Soooo, someone parking in a “disabled only” parking spot has to display a “disabled” parking tag, but these people cannot be questioned in the least bit?

That doesn’t seem appropriate to me…, but let’s proceed.

“Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.”

I’m kind of not getting how “they both should be accommodated.” In a situation regarding allergies, both parties would not be able to be in the same space.  One of the parties would, by definition, have to be denied access.

It happens, people.

The world cannot be completely fair, or even fair at all in some cases.

Adults understand this.

And what was all that talk earlier about, “It may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment?”

I guess there’s compromising an environment and there’s compromising an environment.

“Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.”

That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

“In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.”

Remember what I said before about these unaccountable bureaucrats adding to and modifying the law without worrying about having to go through Congress…, whose job it is to make the laws?

Well, here you go.

When the law was originally passed, it was limited to service dogs only.  The law was never intended to allow horses or any other animal the designation of a “service animal.”

Yet, here we are.

In many cases, people intentionally confuse “service animals” with “comfort animals,” “emotional support animals,” or “therapy animals,” in order to get additional allowances or considerations that they are not necessarily entitled to.

In fact…, the Americans with Disabilities Act itself does not actually define or address service animals at all!  Animals are not even mentioned in the statute, but concepts like “reasonable accommodations” and “reasonable policy modifications” are established there, which opens the doors to a world of interpretations.

“Until 2010 the DOJ and DOT regulations defined service animals the same way (“any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability …”). In 2010 DOJ revised their regulations and eliminated the “other animal” part of the definition; now only dogs can be considered service animals under DOJ’s rules. A service animal can be any type, size, or breed of dog, but cannot be any other type of animal.”

“Cats, monkeys, goats, rats, snakes, rabbits, pigs, or other types of animals, regardless of whether they have been trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities or how well-behaved they might be, are not considered service animals under DOJ’s rules.”

In addition those animals listed above, we have seen iguanas, ferrets, parrots, squirrels and ducks claimed to be “service animals” as well.

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Please don’t get me wrong.

I love dogs, and I don’t have a problem with most animals.

I just don’t think animals belong in the cabin on a passenger jet, for any reason, period.

Not when the airlines are already treating us like a bunch of sardines when they pack us in there!

 

NOT WINNING in the service animal, support animal, and therapy animal arena at this time.

 

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Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

 

 

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