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Interesting Development Re Service Dogs

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I was perusing a private forum on another platform when I came upon a post from a woman, currently on a Princess ship with some sort of emotional support/service animal.  From previous posts, she claims to have some disability.  An elderly man, 90s according to her, accosted her about having the dog.  I guess he was surprised by its presence and may not have handled it well.  My filters may be gone if I get to reach that age.  LOL 

 

According to her post, she escalated the confrontation and the dog got involved. She then threatened to turn her dog loose on anyone at any time (present or future cruises) who dared question her right to have a dog on the ship.  It appears there may have been drinking involved as it was after the Captains Circle Party. From the scene she claims to have made, security has likely dealt with the situation.  I took a screenshot of the interchange before it was taken down but will not post it here. Not sure if I should send it to Princess or even how to.  It might just be a drunken post.

 

Guess Princess is going to have to address proper use of emotional support/service animals if other passengers are going to be threatened by the owner.  If I was on that particular ship and saw the post.  I'd take it right down to security.   

 

 

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4 minutes ago, CZEE said:

I was perusing a private forum on another platform when I came upon a post from a woman, currently on a Princess ship with some sort of emotional support/service animal.  From previous posts, she claims to have some disability.  An elderly man, 90s according to her, accosted her about having the dog.  I guess he was surprised by its presence and may not have handled it well.  My filters may be gone if I get to reach that age.  LOL 

 

According to her post, she escalated the confrontation and the dog got involved. She then threatened to turn her dog loose on anyone at any time (present or future cruises) who dared question her right to have a dog on the ship.  It appears there may have been drinking involved as it was after the Captains Circle Party. From the scene she claims to have made, security has likely dealt with the situation.  I took a screenshot of the interchange before it was taken down but will not post it here. Not sure if I should send it to Princess or even how to.  It might just be a drunken post.

 

Guess Princess is going to have to address proper use of emotional support/service animals if other passengers are going to be threatened by the owner.  If I was on that particular ship and saw the post.  I'd take it right down to security.   

 

 

First thing to do is understand the difference between a "service animal" and a "support animal".  A service animal is a highly trained animal (akin to a seeing-eye dog) and has standing under the ADA.  A support animal is typically a pet with a diploma-mill $45 certificate downloaded from the internet and therefore lacks standing under the ADA.

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1 minute ago, Haboob said:

First thing to do is understand the difference between a "service animal" and a "support animal".  A service animal is a highly trained animal (akin to a seeing-eye dog) and has standing under the ADA.  A support animal is typically a pet with a diploma-mill $45 certificate downloaded from the internet and therefore lacks standing under the ADA.

That is very interesting .We did not know the difference . We do not need any service animal at this time ;but ,it is a thing to keep in mind should  the need arise

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There are a lot of hoops someone must go through to board a Princess ship with a service dog. The passenger must provide certification, documentation, etc. that verifies it. Arrangements must be made to where the dog may “do it’s business” well out of the way of passengers. 
 

Service dogs do not have to be wearing a vest although most owners do have them wear one. As said, they are highly trained and if you see them in public with their owner, they are working and shouldn’t be petted. Not because they’re dangerous but because they’re working. 
 

A person’s disability is not always obvious. They’re not just for the blind or visually impaired. Service dogs are trained to detect nuts, whether their owner is having a seizure or a host of other invisible issues. 
 

Do not confuse a service dog with a comfort dog. Very, very different. 
 

The above described confrontation is awful for a number of reasons. We really don’t have the facts. Someone with a service dog would never, ever threaten to have their dog turn on someone. On the other hand, if you see a service dog on the ship, do not approach without the owners knowledge or permission. As said above, they are working. They are not pets. 

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Passage contract allows service animals, but not emotional support animals. Of course, fake documentation indicating you have a service animal is also available on the Internet

 

No pets or other animals are allowed on the ship at any time except for certain necessary service animals of a Guest with a disability, which require written notification to the Carrier at the time of booking Your Cruise and Carrier's written approval. You agree to accept responsibility, reimburse and/or indemnify Carrier for any loss, damage or expense whatsoever related to the presence of any service animal brought on the Cruise. You further agree to determine and meet any documentary or other requirements related to the animal.

 

And in the FAQ on the Princess web site:

 

Emotional support animals are not recognized by the Department of Justice and therefore are not permitted on Princess ships or in our lodges.

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5 hours ago, Pam in CA said:

There are a lot of hoops someone must go through to board a Princess ship with a service dog. The passenger must provide certification, documentation, etc. that verifies it.

If you mean documentation of vaccinations, you are correct.  However, there is no certification or documentation that can be requested to ensure the dog is a "service animal".  That is not allowed, nor is certification required, under the ADA.

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Entities such as Princess, per the ADA, may ask legally only 2 questions ...

 

You have a disability that requires a service animal?

 

What specific task has that animal been trained (key word) to perform for you?

 

Sadly, because of ignorance of the law or fear of litigation or media shaming, entities are reluctant to press the issue. 

Edited by pms4104

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In the U.S., and for entities held to U.S. laws, only two laws protect emotional support animals ... the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 and the Federal Fair Housing Act.

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Hi

 

i’m on that cruise and did wonder why the dog was onboard, never seen one before. Its a beautiful dog, very alert, obviously well trained but not the petting type! Apparently had a little accident by the pool the other day, which someone was obviously a bit irritated about. I love dogs, not sure i’d be keen on having too many around though.

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1 hour ago, lolabarola said:

Hi

 

i’m on that cruise and did wonder why the dog was onboard, never seen one before. Its a beautiful dog, very alert, obviously well trained but not the petting type! Apparently had a little accident by the pool the other day, which someone was obviously a bit irritated about. I love dogs, not sure i’d be keen on having too many around though.

If it was "obviously not the petting type" and had an accident, it is not a service animal, and should not be onboard.

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

If you mean documentation of vaccinations, you are correct.  However, there is no certification or documentation that can be requested to ensure the dog is a "service animal".  That is not allowed, nor is certification required, under the ADA.

I cruised frequently with my Mom who had a Seeing Eye dog from the original/oldest Guide Dog training school (Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ). We were very open about everything when we cruised. I always provided Princess (and other lines) with a letter from the doctor saying she was visually impaired and used a Seeing Eye dog. I provided Princess the dog's paperwork from the Seeing Eye indicated that she had successfully completed training (their training is very extensive). I provided a copy of the ID card with pictures of both. We had to get an International Health Certificate from the vet (with some vaccine info) and had to get it signed off on by the USDA. I provided all of her vaccine information. We always went above and beyond what was required as we had nothing to hide. She was a real Service dog and we had no problems letting others know my Mom was visually impaired.

 

The hoops come when it comes to vaccinations and ports. Some ports require extra testing of blood (RFTIT/titer test) that must be sent to Kansas State weeks in advance. Some islands would not accept a 3 year rabies shot (only the 1 year). Some ports require permits (some applied for in advance and cost money, some costs waived due to being Service dogs)  and some ports won't let you go to certain ports if you had recently visited other ports first. Some islands simply would not let the dog off the ship due to quarantine regulations.  It is a juggling act in certain areas such as the Caribbean. I remember in the Caymen Islands, we had an Agriculture person come onboard and inspect our dog before we could go ashore. I also think it was Grand Cayment that would not let us get off if we went to Jamaica first or something like that. I would make packets with all of this information for each port as when the ship docks, they have to declare that there is a dog onboard and the ship provides their officials with her information.

 

Real Service dogs are very well trained. I will also add that there were times when my Mom would stay in the cabin for the afternoon and I would take the dog for a walk on the ship or in some ports such as Alaska, I would take her for a walk in port as she wouldn't get as much exercise as she would at home. When I had her with me, she never had her harness with her as she wasn't working. I can tell you that her dogs and the Security people always had a hidden agreement that the dog would be the first one off the ship as she was always searching for grass. Princess was always amazing to work with with my Mom and her Seeing Eye dog.

 

We cruised very early on (late 90's) when we were one of the few who cruised with a Service Dog. I remember on the Grand Princess once, someone from the Purser's desk said "when we were told we had a dog, we knew it would be you guys". We were even written up in Cruise Travel magazine as it was pretty rare back then.

Edited by Coral

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Big difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal.  

 

I think the emotional support animal issue is way out of control.  I would love to take my dogs with me wherever I go, but I am not going to take them somewhere it might infringe on someone else. 

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1 hour ago, kywildcatfanone said:

Big difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal.  

 

I think the emotional support animal issue is way out of control.  I would love to take my dogs with me wherever I go, but I am not going to take them somewhere it might infringe on someone else. 

 

Agree....it is really ridiculous how many people abuse the system for those who are truly in need of help from a trained service animal....I am glad to see the airlines are starting to set more restrictions on these these "fake emotional support animals" and it is interesting you do not really see emotional support animals in Europe because is is basically an American thing because of the ADA.....we have friends who have had their pets certified with the "phony online certificates" just so they can fly their animal for free.  Unbelievable!!

Edited by PrincessLuver

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3 minutes ago, PrincessLuver said:

 

Agree....it is really ridiculous how some people abuse the system for those who are truly in need of help from a service animal....I am glad to see the airlines are starting to set more restrictions on these these "fake animals" and it is interesting you do not really see emotional support animals in Europe because is is basically an American thing because of the ADA.....

Q3. Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?

A. No.  These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person.  Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.  However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places.  You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws.

 

https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html 

 

 

Edited by Coral

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Did you all see the poor gentleman who was attacked on an airplane by a comfort dog the poor man was by the window, no place to go dog attacked and ripped the side of his face up!

😞

 

Edited by Reader0108598

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saw a Shih Tzu on a cruise a few years ago ... we had one (RIP Checkers) ... and had no idea why that was allowed, until I looked it up when we got home ...

 

Diabetic Alert Dogs
Shih Tzu can be trained to alert their handlers when there is a change in blood sugar levels. This way, the person knows to check his or her blood sugar immediately and take the appropriate actions. If their owners require medical attention, the dogs can alert others in the household or seek out nearby help.

  • Seizure Alert Dogs
    There is some debate on this particular category of service dogs. Their job is to alert their owners to an oncoming seizure. Many doctors say it is not possible for a dog to be trained to sense an upcoming seizure. However, many dog experts and trainers say it is absolutely possible. In fact, there are cases of dogs being able to detect imminent seizures naturally, without any training. For now, if you train your Shih Tzu to alert you of an oncoming seizure, then it would be recognized as a service dog by the ADA.

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5 minutes ago, Reader0108598 said:

Did you all see the poor gentleman who was attacked on an airplane by a comfort dog the poor man was by the window, no place to go dog attacked and ripped the side of his face up!

😞

 

Go to "Delta passenger mauled by emotional support dog files lawsuit"! scroll to the bottom of the page you can see what the dog did to this poor man!

 

Edited by Reader0108598

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35 minutes ago, Coral said:
Q3. Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?

A. No.  These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person.  Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.  However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places.  You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws.

 

https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html 

 

 

 

But read down further to Questions 7 and 8. (Question 7 was already reported here in post #7).  While we can debate all we want about the differences between service dogs and support dogs (the publication seems to limit its discussion to dogs), if the person in possession of the dog lies, there is little that can be done.

 

Q7. What questions can a covered entity's employees ask to determine if a dog is a service animal?

A. In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person's disability.  (Emphasis added)

 

Q8. Do service animals have to wear a vest or patch or special harness identifying them as service animals?

A. No. The ADA does not require service animals to wear a vest, ID tag, or specific harness.

 

So it would go like this:

Q:  Is that a service dog?

A: Yes.

Q:  What tasks does the dog perform.

A:  It detects physical changes to my body that require immediate medical attention.

 

End of discussion.  There is no ability to follow up with: "Prove it", or "What type of physical changes to your body?"  So if the person lies, that is the end of the story.

 

Edited by JimmyVWine

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My 2 cents, flame if you must:

When did common sense become a thing of the past.  An animal trained to detect a seizure, seeing eye dog and alike are providing a "SERVICE" to the owner.  A service dog allows many individuals the freedom to do things and go places that otherwise they may not be able to do.

An "emotional" animal provides no service, is there for the comfort of the owner and nothing else.  This animal should not be allowed aboard a ship, plane, train or any other public transportation.  They are not trained and are many times not well behaved.  If a person is not able to travel, shop or go to a public restaurant, without their animal, they probably shouldn't be traveling without being accompanied by a "trained human".  

Having experienced a number of cruises where people brought their "emotional pet" onboard, seeing them walk the buffet line petting the dog over top the food and touching the utensils, I find it a failure of the cruise line to allow this.  If it is so important to the cruise line to not upset these individuals then assign a crew member to the individual to get their food, drinks or other needs, clean up after the animal etc.  Otherwise, go by the ADA standard:  Certified/Documented Service Animals ONLY! 

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18 minutes ago, whitecap said:

An "emotional" animal provides no service, is there for the comfort of the owner and nothing else.

 

I'm not ready to concede that "emotional support" and "comfort" are "nothing" or "not a service".  Mental health is a huge, developing field and we are only now just getting our heads around it. (Pun intended).  There are millions of people who go to therapists to talk about issues and they receive little more than emotional support.  But to suggest that the support they receive is "nothing" and that the therapist provides "no service" does an injustice to the entire field of mental health.  The old way of "Buck it up, buttercup" is a failing strategy.  I don't know if you are employed, but if you are, and you obtain health benefits from your employer, I'll bet that mental health and emotional support are real things that are now covered in some respects.  I can walk down one flight of stairs at my place of business and go into a clinic that provides massage therapy, mental health counseling, ergonomic advice, and all sorts of stuff that was unheard of 10 years ago.  

 

So now let's tie that in to cruising.  Ships are crowded.  Crowds cause anxiety in some.  When anxious, people find comfort in emotional support.  It s irrational to think that people should travel with their therapist.  Emotional support animals are proven to ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and focus people who do need grounding.  The benefits are real, and not imagined.  So it stands to reason that people who get anxious in crowded environments would benefit from whatever coping strategies that help them, provided that the coping strategy is not disruptive.  For example, if someone says that their anxiety dissipates when they sit in the corner and light fires, well, I'm sorry, but that isn't going to work on a ship.  But holding a dog?  Why not?  Who cares?  The issue here is how does the cruise line differentiate between an actual emotional support dog that provides a real, tangible service, and a pet who gets on board because the person lies?  I don't think the issue is whether, as you phrased it, "Does an emotional animal provide a service?"  We are way past that in terms of proof.  The answer is an unqualified "yes".

Edited by JimmyVWine

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43 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:

 

But read down further to Questions 7 and 8. (Question 7 was already reported here in post #7).  While we can debate all we want about the differences between service dogs and support dogs (the publication seems to limit its discussion to dogs), if the person in possession of the dog lies, there is little that can be done.

 

Believe me - I understand the laws. I had to deal with it for 20 years having a Service dog in my family.

 

I can tell you that we were very open and never lied (we never had to). I understand #7 and that is what was requested by Princess. We answered "to Guide my Mom as she was visually imparied". In reference to #8, she wore her harness when she worked. There are times when a harness is not necessary (diabetic dogs).

 

We ran into a lot of illegal questions and I was forward and pointed the law out and even suggested hotels and stores call law enforcement as they did not understand the law itself.

 

I can't control when people lie. I can tell you that life is better with ADA (and Canada's version) in a lot of ways outside of service dogs (there are more elevators in buildings, more ramps, etc..). I can tell you that the Supreme Court has ruled and Service Dogs are allowed on ships that dock in a US port. We had a true Service dog. We were completely upfront about it in every way, beyond what the law required.

 

As someone who cruised extensively with a Seeing Eye dog - I thought my post could add some light into what we had to do. Most on this thread have not had that experience or have not had a Service dog.

Edited by Coral

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38 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:

 

I'm not ready to concede that "emotional support" and "comfort" are "nothing" or "not a service".  Mental health is a huge, developing field and we are only now just getting our heads around it. (Pun intended).  There are millions of people who go to therapists to talk about issues and they receive little more than emotional support.  But to suggest that the support they receive is "nothing" and that the therapist provides "no service" does an injustice to the entire field of mental health.  The old way of "Buck it up, buttercup" is a failing strategy.  I don't know if you are employed, but if you are, and you obtain health benefits from your employer, I'll bet that mental health and emotional support are real things that are now covered in some respects.  I can walk down one flight of stairs at my place of business and go into a clinic that provides massage therapy, mental health counseling, ergonomic advice, and all sorts of stuff that was unheard of 10 years ago.  

 

So now let's tie that in to cruising.  Ships are crowded.  Crowds cause anxiety in some.  When anxious, people find comfort in emotional support.  It s irrational to think that people should travel with their therapist.  Emotional support animals are proven to ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and focus people who do need grounding.  The benefits are real, and not imagined.  So it stands to reason that people who get anxious in crowded environments would benefit from whatever coping strategies that help them, provided that the coping strategy is not disruptive.  For example, if someone says that their anxiety dissipates when they sit in the corner and light fires, well, I'm sorry, but that isn't going to work on a ship.  But holding a dog?  Why not?  Who cares?  The issue here is how does the cruise line differentiate between an actual emotional support dog that provides a real, tangible service, and a pet who gets on board because the person lies?  I don't think the issue is whether, as you phrased it, "Does an emotional animal provide a service?"  We are way past that in terms of proof.  The answer is an unqualified "yes".

If a person has anxiety being in the crowds, may be cruising is not for them. 

I LOVE my doggo, but would never think of bringing him to the buffet or anywhere he can cause real inconvenience to people with allergies or dog fears. I am severely allergic to cats for example and would not be able to be in next door cabin to passengers with a cat.

Honestly, every pet is an emotional support animal for their owners. Should we all be able to bring the menagerie onboard?

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1 hour ago, Reader0108598 said:

Go to "Delta passenger mauled by emotional support dog files lawsuit"! scroll to the bottom of the page you can see what the dog did to this poor man!

 

 

This is one of the reasons why the airlines are really starting to tighten up on many of these "fake animals" because kids, passengers and flight staff have been attacked and seriously hurt.  

 

I have seen plenty of well trained service animals, such as seeing eye dogs, that are truly marvelous in how they behave and work with their owner and I have no problem with them.  

 

But the people pushing their "fake service animals" around in doll buggies on cruise ships and airplanes are something I find bordering on illegal and a threat to others.

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Recently on the Grand Princess and witnessed a very small dog in the owner's lap, being feed from a table in the International Cafe.  Very supportive of persons and support animals that are truly needed, but this example was truly inappropriate  

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20 minutes ago, nattie said:

If a person has anxiety being in the crowds, may be cruising is not for them. 

And if a person is visually impaired, maybe they shouldn't go to the Louvre.  And yet.....

 

20 minutes ago, nattie said:

Honestly, every pet is an emotional support animal for their owners. Should we all be able to bring the menagerie onboard?

I think that this minimizes (and perhaps even evaporates) the difference between a pet that is a companion versus an animal that is actually used to reduce anxiety in the clinical sense.  It is certainly a sliding scale, but we have to realize that at one end of that scale is clinical anxiety.

See comments in red.

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