Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or documents? - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 03-09-2019, 07:04 AM #1
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Default Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or documents?

This has come up lately and around my area some airlines have listed which animals are allowed and not allowed. But do you think that people with animals for support should have official paperwork or documentation of their purpose and who they are for? And do you think that they should only be allowed to wear an official "working dog vest or tag" and that all others should not be allowed to have their dogs wear anything that states they are a service animal implied or otherwise? It is such a subjective, grey area. How do you determine who gets to have one? What is the criteria? Should everyone just be allowed to bring their animals anywhere? What would you do if you knew someone wasn't legit? How would it be enforced and what type of consequences? What about allergy sufferers? Have you ever experienced dogs that had official looking stuff on but you know the person was just bringing their pet around with them? have you ever experience an animal wearing a vest (that you can order online personalized to say whatever you want) behaving so badly you knew they were not trained? I always hear stories about animal defecating in the aisle of an airplane because the poor animal isn't trained and is scared. I know I ask alot of questions and probably make no sense but I have wondered about it ever since I saw a dog in a dog handbag in the grocery store. But truthfully I do not know how I feel about this and am looking for opinions and input from others....
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:34 AM #2
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

I work both for an airline and professionally in the pet industry. I have SO much to say on this but I am at work. Will post later.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:11 AM #3
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

I think they should have documentation and some sort of vest or designation for the public. And should be limited to certain species for places such as airplanes.

One of my sons has an emotional support dog and he has paperwork for it. He can't take it in public places like a service animal. I don't think he's allowed to take it on airplanes.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:12 AM #4
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

ESAs are not allowed in public. They require documentation already for housing or airlines, the only two places they are allowed.

As a person with a service dog, someone's mild allergies do not take precedence over my disability, which requires a service dog. Businesses are required to accommodate both people with disabilities who have a service dog and people with allergies. The thing is, all people who own animals have pet dander on them all the time. So if your allergies are that bad, then you will have an allergic reaction just standing next to me. People with peanut allergies tell the airlines that they have an allergy; it's no different. So if you have a dog allergy, tell the airline when you book your flight, just like I am required to tell them I have a service dog when I book. Funny thing is, Astro is quiet as a mouse and lays at my feet and no one sees him, and no one has allergies the whole flight UNTIL we stand up to get off the plane and they see him and say "I didn't know there was a dog there! I'm allergic!" Except they just spent 4 hours on the flight with him and had no symptoms. Hmmm...

Service dogs do not require certification nor are they required to be vested. There are many, many reasons for this. It's not just arbitrary. Remember the law is to give equal access to the DISABLED. We can't change the law, thereby punishing the DISABLED and affecting their civil rights because of some fakers. However, many states are enacting laws to prosecute fakers, and that is a good thing. A LOT A LOT A LOT of thought has gone into how the ADA works. It is a CIVIL RIGHTS law. To require me to carry documents of my disability is a violation of my civil rights. If a normal person doesn't have to carry said documentation then a disabled person, to have EQUAL access, does not either. It's not like a handicap placard, which is a privilege and does not guarantee you access. If all the handicap spots are taken then you're out of luck. But I can enter a business with my service dog regardless if another service dog is there.

To have an ESA, the law requires that you have a mental health disability. That is the requirement. It is far too abused by people who are merely lonely or want to usurp housing requirements. A service dog is also only for a person with a disability. This is the law.

You are asking all these questions but have you read the ADA, the ACAA, or the FHA? The laws are actually pretty clear. The problem is with the laws not being upheld.

I don't want to get into a public conversation about this because it really upsets me to have people basically trying to violate my civil rights and equal access, but I would be happy to PM with you to answer your questions and explain why many of these things are the way they are, and why the ADA is written the way it is.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:31 AM #5
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

Quote:
Originally Posted by seesaw View Post
ESAs are not allowed in public. They require documentation already for housing or airlines, the only two places they are allowed.

As a person with a service dog, someone's mild allergies do not take precedence over my disability, which requires a service dog. Businesses are required to accommodate both people with disabilities who have a service dog and people with allergies. The thing is, all people who own animals have pet dander on them all the time. So if your allergies are that bad, then you will have an allergic reaction just standing next to me. People with peanut allergies tell the airlines that they have an allergy; it's no different. So if you have a dog allergy, tell the airline when you book your flight, just like I am required to tell them I have a service dog when I book. Funny thing is, Astro is quiet as a mouse and lays at my feet and no one sees him, and no one has allergies the whole flight UNTIL we stand up to get off the plane and they see him and say "I didn't know there was a dog there! I'm allergic!" Except they just spent 4 hours on the flight with him and had no symptoms. Hmmm...

Service dogs do not require certification nor are they required to be vested. There are many, many reasons for this. It's not just arbitrary. Remember the law is to give equal access to the DISABLED. We can't change the law, thereby punishing the DISABLED and affecting their civil rights because of some fakers. However, many states are enacting laws to prosecute fakers, and that is a good thing. A LOT A LOT A LOT of thought has gone into how the ADA works. It is a CIVIL RIGHTS law. To require me to carry documents of my disability is a violation of my civil rights. If a normal person doesn't have to carry said documentation then a disabled person, to have EQUAL access, does not either. It's not like a handicap placard, which is a privilege and does not guarantee you access. If all the handicap spots are taken then you're out of luck. But I can enter a business with my service dog regardless if another service dog is there.

To have an ESA, the law requires that you have a mental health disability. That is the requirement. It is far too abused by people who are merely lonely or want to usurp housing requirements. A service dog is also only for a person with a disability. This is the law.

You are asking all these questions but have you read the ADA, the ACAA, or the FHA? The laws are actually pretty clear. The problem is with the laws not being upheld.

I don't want to get into a public conversation about this because it really upsets me to have people basically trying to violate my civil rights and equal access, but I would be happy to PM with you to answer your questions and explain why many of these things are the way they are, and why the ADA is written the way it is.
OMG I am so sorry! I was not asking those questions because I felt that way and I was definitely trying to talk about emotional support animals- and telling the difference between those that have them ..(lawfully, legally- i dont know the right word) and those that like to bring their purse dogs everywhere a la paris hilton. In NO way do I think you should have to carry documents to prove anything. And I just assumed that the service dogs were the only ones Allowed to wear vests- not that they have to. I meant it like emotional support animals wearing vests that implie they are service dogs. I was not at all trying to violate anyone's rights to fair and equal access.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:31 AM #6
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

And Seesaw I tried to pm you but it says you are not accepting pms?
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:45 AM #7
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
And Seesaw I tried to pm you but it says you are not accepting pms?
I'll add you as a contact. And I can answer questions. Its really frustrating for us too that have real.servcue dogs and seeing all these fakers or our dog gets attacked by one of those purse puppies!.I've had to do desensitization training with Astro before after one of those little dogs attacked him w while he was working.

I'm glad states are finally enacting faker laws because now people can actually get in trouble for it. I'm hoping that will curb some of the fakers out there.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:48 AM #8
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

Yes I do.

I also think they SHOULD have more public rights than they do. For example... my ESA helps me with intense anxiety at the dr. I have permission from my OBGYN dr to bring him but any other place I've gone wont allow him and I get into panic attacks there sometimes. It makes it so much harder for me to get health things done that are needed.

I also have some social issues and it's very difficult for me like when I worked as a cashier but having him there, would have made it easier on me to talk to people. However he isn't allowed.
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:08 AM #9
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

Seesaw, how can someone report a person who is just hauling their pet around and calling it an ESA if there is no way to determine if the animal is or isn't? I'm not trying to be argumentative. How can states enforce laws against fakers if there is no way to determine if someone is faking?

I've seen people with what I'm pretty sure were pets passing as ESAs in stores. They were ill mannered and misbehaving. My understanding is that a business can not challenge a person and ask for proof that an animal is an ESA. How can businesses separate the real ones from fakes?

To answer the OP, I would like to see some kind of visible way of telling that an animal is an ESA for the reasons in my question above. I love my cats. I'd love to be able to take Miette to work with me. What's to stop me from claiming she is an ESA and taking her to work.

How do we draw a line for the rights of the person with the ESA and others in the area? There was mention of someone freaking out finding out they flew on a plane with a dog claiming they had an allergy. Obviously the allergy must not have been that bad, but what if they were so allergic it sent them into a major asthma attack?

I saw a story awhile back about a man in a restaurant with his ESA that was a snake. Other patrons were uncomfortable with the snake climbing around on the guy at the table. My mother had such a phobia of snakes that we could not even say the word "snake" around her because she would have screaming nightmares as a result. Can you imagine her reaction if someone at the next table had a snake crawling on him?

Back to the OP... service animal wear identification to show they are a service animal. Why not have the same requirement for ESAs? One last thought.... one reason service animals were some kind of identification is so that the public knows they are "on the job" and not to be distracted. Wouldn't ESAs benefit from the same?
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:32 PM #10
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Default Re: Do you believe emotional support animals should have official "proof" or document

there are already so many issues with folks buying fake vests for service dogs and bringing them into stores, restaurants etc & their dogs behaving badly that the idea of a possibly untrained dog now becoming a dog with a vest & allowed in more areas just doesn't sit well with me.

the vest doesn't make the dog. in the area of service dogs, training does. therapy dogs, the ssame. esa dogs are not meant to fill into one of those categories. people bring their dogs into stores etc because of what ever reason..and their dogs in many in stances behave poorly. and all of a sudden it's ok because it's a esa (or a service dog)..either way, it's not.

your dog as a esa with a vest is afforded no special protection under the law. period. vest or no vest.

there is no official registry of service dogs , nor is there an "official card" that owners carry..regardless of the one you can buy on line.

therapy dogs if they are affiliated with a licensed group with have a card with their #, name and expiration date . yearly they require recertification. they may, or may not wear a vest. also they do NOT have the same privileges as a service dog (entry into stores, etc).

so should esa's wear a vest? I see no purpose. my dog is a therapy dog and an esa. he needs no vest for the esa function. his role does not need input from society when we are out & about, and there is nothing that a vest would change. as for his therapy work..at times he does wear a vest, other times not..depends on where we are.

esa's are NOT service animals. the ada is clear on that role.
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