anyone registered as a service dog? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-02-2012, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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anyone registered as a service dog?

I'm thinking about doing something sneaky and am wondering if anyone here has done it. Someone told me you can register your dog as a service dog and he/she can then travel on planes with you without being in the crate! Also, it's free instead of paying the fee for pet travel. You just complete a pretty simple application form and then you receive the service vest and certificate. The sneaky part is that to get on the airlines, you have to get a certification from a shrink saying you need your dog for an emotional disability (like phobias, fear of planes, and a long list of other emotional conditions). Has anyone done this?

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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-02-2012, 06:21 PM
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I have a feeling that it is more than that. Probably have to pass courses, etc. But I got a handicap placard for our car by just asking my Dr. If the service thing works, I will get Rosie certified. We wouldn't be flying, but sure would be good to take her in all hotels.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-02-2012, 08:12 PM
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If you have a shrink who will write you a note -- and certify that you must have the dog with you for emotional stability -- there is nothing else you have to do. The airlines are NOT allowed to ask you about your disability or even what your disability is. That is considered private (and protected) information between you and your doctor. If someone does ask you, demand to see their supervisor. It is legal . . . not sure I could do it, but I'm a chicken sh**! If you do it, let us know how it goes!!!!


PS: I know I feel emotionally fragile if I'm separated from my boy!! Unfortunately, I have a shrink who doesn't think it's "Kosher."
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-02-2012, 08:22 PM
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I think if you have some sort of doctor's note you can register, the airlines have become more liberal with service dogs that aren't seeing eye dogs, such as emotional assistance support/ anxiety assistance dogs and the like.

As far as flying with them, most airlines require they be in the carrier under the seat for take off and landing, just for the safety of humans AND the dog, flying around a cabin could certainly be dangerous for everyone and the dog, but as far as them sitting on your lap, it depends on the attendant, some are cool about it, others, not so much. dog people...just cross your fingers and hope you have a dog person as a FA Even if you don't, I often bring blankets and put them over her when they walk by, (she sleeps on my lap most of the way)) but I always put her back under the seat for landing and take off.

As far as I'm concerned, being a "crazy dog lady" is a psychological reason to have your dog with you at all times !! .....

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 05:03 AM
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One of my dog trainers certified his rescue jack russell terrier as a service dog. that dog trainer is almost blind in one eye, so it's 'legit'.

I have 2 certified therapy dogs, and I really researched making my 1/2 hav 1/2 shih tzu a service dog. I have migraines but no real major medical condition. I can answer the service dog question though... it's really just an organization doing an assessment and saying your dog passed. no one in the state of california governs it, it's a matter of having all the paperwork in order and whomever is looking at it to accept it.

I will say that at a bare minimum, the service dog must perform 4 functions for you, or for a speific disability. on average service dogs usually perform 50 functions.

I have seen certified therapy dogs for: deaf, hoh (hard of hearing), autism, seizures, ppl needing wheelchair assistance.

I will also say they dogs are predominately labs and goldens. Most service dog schools will not accept a house pet, but instead provide the puppies themselves.

I was trying to find a program I could attend with my pup and get certified as a service dog, for autism, b/c I work at a school and my site houses the programs for severely autistic children. It would change what he does, it just gives him more cache to be there.

sounds like you need a dr's note stating your medical condition, and then some sort of certification that proves your dog is a service dog.

hope that helps.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your helpful replies! I will now start looking for a shrink to write a letter and hopefully we will be able to get my dog on planes and in hotels without a problem. I would still love to hear from someone who has actually done this....would hate to get to the airport and get turned away.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:41 AM
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Okay...I'll be the "bad" guy and say something here. If you do not have a specific condition, medical or mental, and if your dog does not perform specific tasks to help you deal with or, in some cases, survive, that condition, then your dog is not suited to be labeled a service dog.

The ADA and service dog organizations have taken great measures to enable service dogs to accompany their handlers everywhere possible. It would be reprehensible to 'fake' having a service dog to avoid paying flight fees.

While there is no one agency "certifying" service dogs, there is a clear description of what a service dog should be in the ADA's literature.

One link here ADA Requirements for Service Animals.

The ADA and other agencies have fought hard for the rights of disabled people with service dogs to get access to all public places for those dogs. We, as fellow humans, should not do anything to undermine that effort for the sake of saving money, or bypassing hotel rules for pets. It diminishes the real importance of what a service animal does for its handler.

You might be thinking of an emotional assistance dog, which is different than a service dog, for your fear of flying. You should ask your psychiatrist about that one. My sister has an emotional assistance dog for her depression in dealing with breast cancer. The little guy has done wonders for her.

Just something to think about before you go ahead. Believe me, I would LOVE to have Pepper certified as a service dog so I could take him everywhere, but the fact is...he's not a service dog, he's my beloved pet.

Wanda & Pepper
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:49 AM
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I WAS referring to emotional assistance dogs. These are companions who provide support to persons with emotional disorders. I'm not sure that most of our friends and relatives wouldn't agree that Crazy Dog Lady is an emotional dysfunction!!

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 12:10 PM
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I have to agree here with Wanda. I do have a certified service dog, and she is truly a life saver. I don't agree with certifying a dog just because, if the dog does not perform any acts that are of a service to you other than just to be with you as your beloved pet.

Before my one service girl, I would do like anyone else, you find the hotels that accept a pet and you play by the rules of the airlines. And I still do the same when traveling with any of my other dogs. I'd hate to see that you promote your dog as a service dog (if it in fact is not) and get onto an airplane and your dog get upset and possibly cause an issue.

People with real disability's and with true service dogs have fought hard to get where they are today. But if people keep trying to register "Faking service dogs" It could end up ruining it for the ones that do trues rely on their dogs to live a normal everyday life


Caché Havanese
"What Lies Behind Us And What Lies Before Us
Are Tiny Matters Compared To What Lies Within Us."

Here are some links to help educate yourself in how to fight for your rights to continue to own and love your animals. Please do not be mislead by PETA or HSUS who is PETA in suits.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Of course you all are right that one should not do this if one does not need to and that it is taking advantage and all that. I agree. Unfortunately, my dog does not fit into a crate, I cannot drive all the way across the country, and sue me - I'm not always such a model citizen! My bad.

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