What's the legal difference between an emotional support dog and a service dog under the ADA? Two things: the dog must be public access ready and it must be TRAINED to do some service specific to its handler's disability. Training your dog to do something specific to your disability is the easy part.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Maeve and I were trying to get back to our campsite today when I was violently reminded of how the Fair Housing Act's recognition of emotional support animals can save lives. In honor of suicide prevention week, I ask that you read the following:
In the late fall and early winter of 2009, I was living on Cape Cod temporarily while I waited months for a bank to decide whether my full-price, no-conditions offer on a short sale was acceptable (don't get me started on the insanity of the banks during the housing collapse). My lease in CT had ended and a friend had a summer house that would otherwise be empty for most of the off-season. He lent his house to me until I could close on my house.
Strike One: In early September, I had received a very generous offer from a breeder in Texas to donate a 9-month-old standard poodle to be trained as my service dog. I had asked the breeder to give me a little time as I was in the process of buying a house and currently was living in no-pets housing. By the end of October (when my lease was up), the breeder was getting antsy. Unfortunately, the house on the Cape was not a good place for me to have a dog either. The breeder let me know she couldn't hold the dog any longer.