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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 05:47 PM

Today, after watching this video about a woman with a seeing eye horse who uses it to do things a dog would traditionally do--like shop in Target, it made me think. What would you consider to be a service animal? Now, in the United States, any animal can be considered a service animal but they are considering limiting it to just dogs. What disorders should service animals be allowed to take care of? I'm currently researching this subject now and I've read about monkeys bring medicine to people with diabetes, miniature horses leading the blind, and ferrets to help deal with anxiety. Personally, I'm all for having animals being trained to help you. I think you should be allowed to take them where ever you need, if the animal has been trained and certified to do so. I don't think they should limit what you consider to be a service animal. If the animal provides you emotional support and helps you deal with things like anxiety, then I think you should be able to have it with you.

Another point that I've come across in my research is animals near food. Let's say you have a monkey as a service animal. It's fine to have him with you while you are eating, but I do not think that animal needs to be anywhere near the food especially if you are at a buffet type situation. That is not clean and I would not want an animal near my food, regardless of the type.

This article is one of the best articles I have found so far. It goes through a lot of cases and brings up some points that I have mentioned.

When it comes to letting all animals serve as service animals, I might be a lot biased. I have not been diagnosed with anything, because my parents do not believe in mental health disorders--but that is another story, but I'm fairly certain that there is something wrong with me. I have issues going out into public. I'm much happier when I'm with animals. I could see myself with a dog one day that I train to do things like remind me to take my medicine or something similar. I certainly would like to think that if I need use of a therapy animal that I would be allowed to have it.


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 06:22 PM

Oh, yeah, I've heard about the pygmy horses being used as seeing eye animals and such. I think those are pretty cool, the show was saying how they're better for crossing streets because of the position of their eyes on either side of their head? Yeah, I think that was it, haha. I can understand how they would want to just used dogs, though. For one thing, they're easier to potty train and yeah, people might have bigger problems with a monkey in a food area than a dog.


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 06:32 PM

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Originally Posted by star_crossd View Post
Oh, yeah, I've heard about the pygmy horses being used as seeing eye animals and such. I think those are pretty cool, the show was saying how they're better for crossing streets because of the position of their eyes on either side of their head? Yeah, I think that was it, haha. I can understand how they would want to just used dogs, though. For one thing, they're easier to potty train and yeah, people might have bigger problems with a monkey in a food area than a dog.
What animals should be considered service animals in your opinion? Who should be allowed to have them?


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 06:43 PM

Hm, well definitely dogs, they're like the original service animal. I like the thought of pygmy horses too but it seems like they'd be harder to train? I dunno, thats just me. I've never heard of ferrets being used as service animals but for anxiety problems? That sounds like a really good idea, actually. But in the article thing where you read it, did it say if they were like in a little carrying case or something?


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 06:54 PM

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Originally Posted by star_crossd View Post
Hm, well definitely dogs, they're like the original service animal. I like the thought of pygmy horses too but it seems like they'd be harder to train? I dunno, thats just me. I've never heard of ferrets being used as service animals but for anxiety problems? That sounds like a really good idea, actually. But in the article thing where you read it, did it say if they were like in a little carrying case or something?
I don't think I've heard anything about them being in a carrying case. However, I'm sure that if you were going out with a ferret you would have the appropriate things needed. I know you can leash train ferrets however, but that does not seem very practical.


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 07:01 PM

Ha, yeah, leashing them does seem impractical. But the thought of them as anxiety animals is nice.

So, say you do want to have one of these service animals, the ferret for example, would you have to go and ask your doctor? How would you actually go through the process of acquiring one?


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 07:15 PM

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Ha, yeah, leashing them does seem impractical. But the thought of them as anxiety animals is nice.

So, say you do want to have one of these service animals, the ferret for example, would you have to go and ask your doctor? How would you actually go through the process of acquiring one?
According to this site, you need a letter from a doctor to begin training a dog as a service animal. You are not required to have paperwork saying that your dog is a service animal. However, I think you can register the animal with service dog societies and that would provide paperwork. That could probably make things easier if you are one of those people who don't look disabled--for instance, psychiatric problems. This is a fascinating topic, because I had no idea you could train your dog to wake you up in the morning or fetch your pills for you. They just "know" when to get you up. It's quite spectacular.


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 07:31 PM

I'd like a service dog. I think it would help me a lot.

But I also think that any animal who helps a person in some way should be considered a service animal.



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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 08:27 PM

I don't think service animals should be limited--at least not severely. Quite clearly I hope I never see someone with a service lion .

The food issue is an issue. But there are solutions.



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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 08:35 PM

I think just about any animal can be trained to be a service animal. The issue is also which animals are practical to have in daily routines, such as shopping, walking around outside, taking care of, etc... . Technically, if you could get a tiger to be a service animal, that'd work but is it practical? I think you could allow various animals to be a service animal but you have to consider your surroundings; for example, if you live in an apartment, a horse or tiger may not be practical. A dog or ferret would be.

That said, I think animals near extinction or very endangered ones shouldn't be a service animal, simply because there should be focus on having them re-populate. Perhaps considering if the animal is lethal, such as a komodo dragon or a tiger, they may be allowed but you'd need immense training and ensure somehow that the tiger doesn't get hungry and try to take a chunk out of someone/another animal. If you could ensure that, then I say the only other thing to consider is, how easy is it to train and how practical is it in your living area (and is it legal)?
   
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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 08:36 PM

I think any animal that can be trained reliably and can live comfortably in that sort of lifestyle should be allowed. I also think that "who should be allowed to have them" can only be decided on a case by case basis.


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 10:48 PM

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I don't think service animals should be limited--at least not severely. Quite clearly I hope I never see someone with a service lion .

The food issue is an issue. But there are solutions.
What are some possible solutions to the food issue? How should that be regulated in your eyes. I think that service animals that are small enough to be crated should be crated in meal type situations. Animals like dogs and horses can stand or lie next to the table. Monkeys, well I guess they can sit next to the person if they can behave. If not, I want them in a cage.


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 11:06 PM

The first thought that popped into my head from reading this was. "OMG You can train ferrets????"

Then well, I don't think I would mind having an animal in a restaurant as long as they stayed at least a couple feet away from the food and were not the huge shedding type.


Quote:
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I don't think service animals should be limited--at least not severely. Quite clearly I hope I never see someone with a service lion .

The food issue is an issue. But there are solutions.

It would be impossible to train a lion to be a service animal, simply because they are a Class I species and you can only keep them if breeding them or rehabilitating them. Either way you'd need a very special permit and those aren't fun to get.


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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 11:20 PM

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What are some possible solutions to the food issue? How should that be regulated in your eyes. I think that service animals that are small enough to be crated should be crated in meal type situations. Animals like dogs and horses can stand or lie next to the table. Monkeys, well I guess they can sit next to the person if they can behave. If not, I want them in a cage.
You can't necessarily crate a service animal. If you need them, you need them. If you're at a buffet and need the service animal to guide you, and they're in a crate, then what? Possible solutions are encouraging short haired breeds of animals that do not shed much.

Although this may be controversial, you could also keep a section reserved for people without service animals that don't want to eat near animals. This would be similar to smoking and non-smoking sections. Another good reason to do this is animal allergies.

Quote:
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It would be impossible to train a lion to be a service animal, simply because they are a Class I species and you can only keep them if breeding them or rehabilitating them. Either way you'd need a very special permit and those aren't fun to get.

That was one very extreme example not meant to be taken literally.



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Re: Service Animals - March 22nd 2009, 11:51 PM

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You can't necessarily crate a service animal. If you need them, you need them. If you're at a buffet and need the service animal to guide you, and they're in a crate, then what? Possible solutions are encouraging short haired breeds of animals that do not shed much.

Although this may be controversial, you could also keep a section reserved for people without service animals that don't want to eat near animals. This would be similar to smoking and non-smoking sections. Another good reason to do this is animal allergies.
You could take them out of that, of course. But what about a ferret or a monkey? Do you really need them with you while serving yourself at a buffet? I wouldn't want someone touching a serving utensil without washing his/her hands after touching a monkey.

That would not be practical. I live in a small town and I've personally never seen a service animal in my life. It would be too much to require a section of a restaurant for people who don't wish to eat near animals.


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Re: Service Animals - March 23rd 2009, 12:39 AM

If the animal can behave itself and it's not going to damage anything, then I don't see why not. I don't think a horse should be allowed because of the size and potential to injure someone. Even a miniature horse hurts when it steps on you.
   
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Re: Service Animals - March 25th 2009, 09:39 AM

Horses can actually be better alternatives to dogs for assistant animals. They are just as easily trainable, have less of an instinct to play, and have about triple the lifespan of a dog, making them more affordable in the long term.


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Re: Service Animals - March 25th 2009, 11:46 AM

Dogs for sure, and possibly the only ones. If I had to expand, I would include the pygmy horses, too. But not monkeys.


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