Author Topic: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local  (Read 1069 times)

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Offline Kirsten

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2017, 01:12:04 PM »
Under HIPAA, covered entities are healthcare providers, insurance providers and businesses that warehouse medical information. 

Plain English:
Actual regulatory law:

So if I, as a website operator know that you (generic "you") have, let's say an STD, so something you'd really rather not be public knowledge and I decide to share that information, have I violated HIPAA?  Nope.  Because I am not a covered entity.  Your grocery store typically is not a covered entity though if it has a pharmacy, that pharmacy is covered.  Your coffee shop is not a covered entity.  The movie theater is not a covered entity.  And so on.  If they ask you what is wrong with you, have they violated HIPAA or the ADA?  Nope, not a violation of either one.  If they tell you you cannot enter without revealing what is wrong with you, THEN they will have violated the ADA, not HIPAA.


Markings are not needed in locations where pet dogs are permitted.  They are needed, but are not legally required in areas where pet dogs are not permitted.  They are needed both for the sake of the person with a disability (saves them some hassle and misunderstandings, some hostility, etc.) and for the sake of the business being visited.  Even if you don't mind the glares and the intrusive inquiries, if you choose not to mark your dog as a service dog (not with your disability), you are choosing to make life more difficult for the business that is hosting you who presumably have done nothing to cross you and deserve you making their life more difficult.  That's what I mean by "courtesy."  How is it more difficult for them?  They'll lose some customers who are disgusted that pets are permitted and others will approach and complain and they have to spend time calming and appeasing these customers, when they've done nothing wrong to deserve this.  I have personally watched a manager at one of my favorite restaurants field an angry customer, angry about the presence of my dog.  She chewed him out and he had to do what amounted to an access dispute on my behalf.  I do not enjoy access disputes and would not wish them on a person who was kind to me.  His name is Marty, and he greets me with a smile every time I enter and has never ever hasseled me about my dog.  In fact, he's asked me questions about how to handle situations.  A really nice guy.  And I felt bad that he got chewed out because of me being there.  So for Marty, I always vest my dog in public accommodations as a courtesy.  And if we ever get legal standardization and regulation, I'm fine with being required to vest in places where pets are not permitted.
Kirsten and Tardis
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 SandyStern

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2017, 01:27:44 PM »
Henry: There's a related point about dressing your dog.  I feel strongly about making sure dogs are prominently identified in non-dog spaces, even if the staff knows you, so that pet owners don't see a naked service dog and assume their pets are welcome.  I heard this very thing from an elderly woman in a Manhattan grocery store.  A clerk was explaining that her pet dog was not permitted, and she was saying, "but I see dogs here all the time." It was probably helpful that I came along just then, because the clerk was able to point out the harness and explain service dogs to her.

Offline ZombieFodder

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2017, 03:05:06 PM »
What's ironic is that towards the end of using dogs I used to hear the opposite quite commonly. That they could bring their pet dog if they just get them a vest like this dog. I used to routinely have people ask me where I got it.

It was really within maybe the last decade. Before that I never had problems like that.
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Offline OlgatheGSD

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2017, 03:21:11 PM »
I've had the same experience, ZF. Even though it clearly has the brand name on it, people still ask. Thankfully the harness it expensive without the handler discount so it drives people away. By far the most popular with the people who have undertrained or untrained service dogs are the padded vests with the reflective strap across the chest and handle on top with some sort of velcro patch on it. I get nervous around dogs with those on but I've rarely seen a dog misbehave with a vest. I've never seen a dog with a mobility harness in person.

I mark her because I don't want to give the impression she's there for emotional support or comfort even though she's tasking. I had someone ask how I could let my dog pull me around like that, even though she was responsive to directional and speed changes lol

Marking your dog doesn't stop people from being stupid or malicious, but I feel like it's the least you can do as a courtesy for the businesses you visit to keep the well intentioned public from trying to bring pets in there.
"Some people are like clouds; once they are gone, it's a beautiful day."


Offline Henry Kisor

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2017, 05:19:48 PM »
It is good for me to get this kind of feedback. I must assure everyone that Trooper wears his vest to almost all public accommodation venues. We often do not wear it in the local coffee shop down the block because we sometimes stop by on a whim during our undressed pee walks. The owners know us, the staff knows us, and most of the customers do as well. There are no complaints. That, of course, is a special case.

That said, I have encountered quite a bit of divergent opinion from service dog partners. Some insist on the letter of the law—no ID necessary—for their own particular reasons. I do agree they are making things tougher for business owners, but they believe they are making things easier for themselves as PWD. In some ways it's like the old and unnecessary war between the speaking deaf and the signing deaf . . . it's forgotten that every case of deafness is different and it's unwise to generalize about modes of communication.

An example: Trooper wears a patch on his vest, an ID from the State of Michigan Department of Civil Rights, and we carry an ID card from it. That department has a voluntary registration plan for service dog handlers who are Michigan residents (we are in the summer, though we live in the Chicago area). In order to get a card and a patch, the applicant must have a doctor fill out an affidavit that the person has a disability, with the doctor's state license number. (Michigan does check up on that.) The patch has been useful in persuading restaurateurs that Trooper (a little black schnoodle) is a legitimate service dog, not only in Michigan but in other states.

On the other hand, there is a prominent Michigan service dog trainer (and operator of a Web site devoted to them) who is very much against this scheme for a number of reasons. Among them: She feels that the registry, even if it is voluntary, flouts the spirit of the ADA and that the absence of the patch on a dog's vest may lead a Michigan public accommodation to believe the dog is not a real service dog. I have no idea if this indeed has happened.

I disagree with her but respect her opinions.