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Author Topic: Che Forest and PSD in Australia - appeal  (Read 854 times)

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Offline bj2circeleb

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Che Forest and PSD in Australia - appeal
« on: June 30, 2008, 04:17:16 AM »
This case involved a mentally ill person taking in a dog, whom he claimed was an "assistance animal" into a hospital and health centre. In the initial case the judge said that the Act does not say what level of training or health of the dog or other animal is required and hence the dog should be allowed. In the appeal which is below, they found that the health services had not discriminated against him as they would allow him inside without his dogs, and they were happy to accommodate his dogs when he could prove that they had recieved some form of obedience training and had certain levels of health care, basically the same as those required for visiting pet therapy dogs. The judges in the appeal, felt that given that their are legal guidelines within the laws for the training, health and behaviour standard of guide and hearing dogs, that the hospital had a right to guarantee some levels of training and hygiene in relation to the dogs in question as they were not governed by legal standards, and that as they put it there are some places in which most dogs simply do not belong, and a hospital is definately one of those places. There was something in the appeal in which there is actually closed circuit television evidence of the dogs behaving appauling in the hospital environment and the reasons the hospital had denied access to his dogs, and not him was appropriate in the circumstances.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCAFC/2008/96.html

The guy concerned has been ordered to pay all cost associated with the original case and the appeal including the costs of the state government who the case was against!!!!

About time the law finally realised that these dogs are not assistance animals!! :biggrin: :smile: :laugh:

Offline Shidash

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Re: Che Forest and PSD in Australia - appeal
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2008, 09:37:23 AM »
Thats great!

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Che Forest and PSD in Australia - appeal
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2008, 07:08:21 PM »
Finally!

Frankly, no offense meant, Belinda, but I was starting to wonder just how stupid the Australian justice system was if they would allow this obviously dangerous person to trample all over everyone.  I wonder if this will affect his little "training" and certification program....
Kirsten and Tardis
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"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Che Forest and PSD in Australia - appeal
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2008, 07:13:02 PM »
Please help!

I'm having difficulty reading the decision at this time.  Would someone give me a summary on the CCTV evidence?  Is a copy of that footage available?  I'm otherwise fairly familiar with the case, but this is the first I've heard of the CCTV evidence....
Kirsten and Tardis
with Luna and Ruby
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline bj2circeleb

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Re: Che Forest and PSD in Australia - appeal
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 01:42:16 AM »
The link is only a summary of the reasons for the decision. I am not able to get access to the word to word court transcripts, only certain jouralists have that right. Their is no link to the CCTV footage that I could give, I haven't actually seen it myself. What was said in the summary is that the hospital heirarchy had had two lengthy meetings to discuss Che and the dog, and what they should do about him having access with the dog. The decided not on the basis of what staff had said, but on the basis of CCTV footage that the dogs were clearly not trained to a level required in order to be able to access a hospital environment.  I have no idea if they were even shown in court. It was certainly not something that was mentioned in the first decision, but the magistrate in that decision did feel that the law did not specifically state the level of training required. She also said that while the dogs did appear to have been out of control around the hospitals they were only puppies at the stage and obviously were in training. What she failed to take into account is that dogs in training do not have access rights under federal law.

In the appeal they have said that the idea of the legislation is not to place an unnecesary burden on the community at large. Guide dogs by their very training do not place that burden, and so dogs for other kinds of disabilities should not either. Further, the hospital and health centre at no time refused him access, in fact they went out of their way to try to find a way for him to feel comfortable in the settings without his dogs being with him. Further, they said that when he could show them evidence of the dogs training and hygiene standards, then they would be happy for his dogs to be in the hospital and health centre. This was all done through letters, they basically refused to talk to him about it when he tried to talk to them, and instead communicated through letters. In order for them to have discriminated against him they had to do so on the basis of his disability, not on the basis of the equipment which he choses to use for such a disability.

They also raised concerns about the levels of the dogs training, and whether the tasks he claimed to have trained the dog to do, would actually help him, which two psychiatrists which he bought in as witnesses claimed would not happen.

One can hope it will have an effect on his so called program and certification, but I and many others really doubt it. At this stage he is the only one who will really have anything to do with PSD, and he is inflitrating the mental health system throughout the country like their is no tomorrow. My next door neighbour is a consumer consultant and had heard heaps about Che, which is all coming from clients of his, and he actually assumed that the organisation that accredited Brooke was Che's!! I have been asked twice recently when I admited to people that she was a PSD, why I wasn't with Che as he is the expert in these kinds of dogs!!! :tongue: :evil: :mad:

The lawyer who helped me in my recent case has recently taken a counselling course, as at least once a week he has to deal with people who have dogs which Che said were PSD, and they should not even be walking the streets, let alone be in public places. The people are also incredilby severely mentally ill, and have no way of coping with a pet dog let alone a working dog. The idea of the counselling course is so that he can break the reality of situation to them in a way that will not traumatise them more than they already are.

I know of two others that have considered setting up such a program, but the need here is just so great. Nobody in the mental health system here has any access to any form of therapy or counselling unless they pay for it privately, which you cannot do on a pension, and people are seeing dogs as something which makes them feel better. They are also incredilby unsure of how to assess a persons ability to handle the dog, and then they would need to find a way to breed and then train the dogs, as they recognise that these dogs have to have better temperaments than the best guide dogs, and so you will not find them through the pound. You then have the stigma which is rife about mental illnesses, most of the cases of animal cruelty involve people who are mentally ill, and so people think that these people shouldn't be around dogs, and so trying to fund a program would be almost impossible. Programs are willing to certify the dogs, as they have done with me, but they will not in any way train a dog for such a thing.

I will give the judge in the original case credit, in that she did say at the end, that she felt that her decision was wrong given the behaviour of the dogs, but given her interpretation of the law she felt no other way to make the decision that she made. She urged the government to seriously consider the issues that are being faced by such dogs being in public places, and that they need to find a way to reassure the community that such dogs could be trusted in the same way that guide dogs are.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2008, 01:45:23 AM by bj2circeleb »

 


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