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View Full Version : Psychological Service Dogs Allowed in the GSMNP



Gambit McCrae
10-03-2013, 09:09
I have read under the nps.com that Service dogs are allowed in the national park trails with a permit. Does anyone know if this policy covers all service dogs? Seizure awareness, anxiety, medicine reminder etc? And Does anyone know what credentials the NPS requires for qualifications as a service dog?

I met a guy in the smokies with his dog that said his dog was registered as a service dog for anxiety relief to warn him of upcoming panick attacks. Thus is why I am inquiring.

Stir Fry
10-03-2013, 09:18
I do not think ti matters as long as it deamed a service dog.

Rasty
10-03-2013, 09:39
There was a thread last week about this. Comfort dogs as these are classified are not allowed per NPS rules.

slbirdnerd
10-03-2013, 09:49
Of course, if you go right now no one is there to apprehend you now, are they? ;)

max patch
10-03-2013, 09:53
"Service dogs" are one of biggest scams going on right now. Many people with real service dogs are concerned about the people gaming the system.

Starchild
10-03-2013, 10:08
IIRC There are two categories of service dogs, one falls under the ADA the other does not, only the ones under ADA are permitted.

HooKooDooKu
10-03-2013, 13:49
IIRC There are two categories of service dogs, one falls under the ADA the other does not, only the ones under ADA are permitted.
Bingo! The GSMNP is only allowing pets into the back country when the ADA requires that they let them.

I'm no lawyer, but I would say that the jist of the ADA requirements is that the animal perform a "service" (i.e. task).

So in general (and this was discussed in that other thread) an animal that provides "Emotional Support" does not meet the ADA requirement and is not allowed.

Alligator
10-03-2013, 14:38
If the dog is an ADA certified service dog, under the law it can go wherever the public is allowed to go. Also, per ada.gov,Staff may ask two 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 cannot ask about the personís disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

Lone Wolf
10-03-2013, 15:42
service dogs and therapy dogs are different

evansprater
10-05-2013, 08:53
Service dogs and therapy dogs are different, however you can claim that your dog helps you with panic attacks and this falls under a service, rather than therapy. Just registered my little bugger (I do have diagnosed anxiety and OCD, though) for free here https://www.usservicedogregistry.org/shop.php, all the papers are $50 but no one can tell you you can't take them anywhere and you are not required to divulge specifics about your disability.

Odd Man Out
10-05-2013, 11:05
I found this document from the ada.gov website. It is consistent with much of what was said above.
For a government document, it was surprisingly easy to read, informative, and useful.

http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

WingedMonkey
10-05-2013, 12:17
Service dogs and therapy dogs are different, however you can claim that your dog helps you with panic attacks and this falls under a service, rather than therapy. Just registered my little bugger (I do have diagnosed anxiety and OCD, though) for free here https://www.usservicedogregistry.org/shop.php, all the papers are $50 but no one can tell you you can't take them anywhere and you are not required to divulge specifics about your disability.

Are you saying that you require, and take your dog to work with you in the restaurant you work in?

BobTheBuilder
10-05-2013, 12:33
Service dogs and therapy dogs are different, however you can claim that your dog helps you with panic attacks and this falls under a service, rather than therapy. Just registered my little bugger (I do have diagnosed anxiety and OCD, though) for free here https://www.usservicedogregistry.org/shop.php, all the papers are $50 but no one can tell you you can't take them anywhere and you are not required to divulge specifics about your disability. Shame on you. Service dogs are not only trained to perform specific tasks, they are carefully selected and trained for years to behave properly in public. Your selfish, narcissistic, and immature gimmick to get your dog admitted for your convenience is going to cause untold hardship for people with a real disability. Just like the jerks who scammed Disney World by putting healthy kids in wheelchairs so they could go to the front of the line. Grow up.

max patch
10-05-2013, 12:35
Service dogs and therapy dogs are different, however you can claim that your dog helps you with panic attacks and this falls under a service, rather than therapy. Just registered my little bugger (I do have diagnosed anxiety and OCD, though) for free here https://www.usservicedogregistry.org/shop.php, all the papers are $50 but no one can tell you you can't take them anywhere and you are not required to divulge specifics about your disability.

Thats just a scam website selling fake papers used to intimidate businnesses to allow their dog entry where they would not otherwise be allowed (restaurants, hotel rooms, etc). Google says:

“It took me under two minutes to register my fake dog to a fictitious, nonexistent person,” said Friedman, a personal injury specialist with Friedman Law Offices in Los Angeles. To demonstrate how easily service dog scams are carried out, Friedman created a phony pooch, registered it, and shortly after that he received ID cards and a service dog certificate. “[It’s] all from a website that ‘sounds’ like a government entity called usservicedogregistry.org.”

U.S. Service Dog Registry is among many organizations selling service animal supplies and certificates to the public, effectively blurring the line between legitimate service animals with their disabled owners and people eager to exploit unsuspecting businesses into allowing their pets to follow them anywhere.

Lone Wolf
10-05-2013, 12:37
NO dogs, service or otherwise are allowed at The Place hostel. churches are exempt from ADA laws

max patch
10-05-2013, 12:39
Shame on you. Service dogs are not only trained to perform specific tasks, they are carefully selected and trained for years to behave properly in public. Your selfish, narcissistic, and immature gimmick to get your dog admitted for your convenience is going to cause untold hardship for people with a real disability. Just like the jerks who scammed Disney World by putting healthy kids in wheelchairs so they could go to the front of the line. Grow up.

Heard on Clark Howard last week that Disney World changed their policy because of the abuse of the system. People in wheelchairs now have to use the fast pass line rather than going to the front of the line. Legitimate handicapped people are the losers here.

max patch
10-05-2013, 12:55
Shame on you. Service dogs are not only trained to perform specific tasks, they are carefully selected and trained for years to behave properly in public. Your selfish, narcissistic, and immature gimmick to get your dog admitted for your convenience is going to cause untold hardship for people with a real disability. Just like the jerks who scammed Disney World by putting healthy kids in wheelchairs so they could go to the front of the line. Grow up.

I think this is way too harsh. I have a kid about the same age of evan, and I'm assuming that this "registration" was not done with malicious intent, rather, just the inexperience of being a young adult.

Rasty
10-05-2013, 13:14
Are you saying that you require, and take your dog to work with you in the restaurant you work in?

Even assistance dogs cannot legally go in the kitchen areas. Only police dogs are allowed.

ChinMusic
10-05-2013, 13:22
Shame on you. Service dogs are not only trained to perform specific tasks, they are carefully selected and trained for years to behave properly in public. Your selfish, narcissistic, and immature gimmick to get your dog admitted for your convenience is going to cause untold hardship for people with a real disability. Just like the jerks who scammed Disney World by putting healthy kids in wheelchairs so they could go to the front of the line. Grow up.
this............

Odd Man Out
10-05-2013, 13:41
NO dogs, service or otherwise are allowed at The Place hostel. churches are exempt from ADA laws

But reasonable accommodation of disabled people is required, even at exempt institutions, if they receive financial assistance from any Federal program (a church gets a Federal grant to support a food bank, e.g.). Also, the ADA applies to employees of other exempt institutions if they have more than 15 employees.

Slo-go'en
10-05-2013, 16:37
I'm pretty sure the ban on dogs in the back country of GSMNP is all inclusive. Protecting the wildlife of the park trumps any rights service dog owners have. Dogs are allowed in a couple specific areas in the park and you have to be content with that. Since the NPS web sites are down due to the shut down (how stupid it that?) I can't conferm that at the moment, but the last time I looked I could not find any reference to exempting service dogs. It just says all dogs are banned.

Pedaling Fool
10-05-2013, 17:28
I'm pretty sure the ban on dogs in the back country of GSMNP is all inclusive. Protecting the wildlife of the park trumps any rights service dog owners have. Dogs are allowed in a couple specific areas in the park and you have to be content with that. Since the NPS web sites are down due to the shut down (how stupid it that?) I can't conferm that at the moment, but the last time I looked I could not find any reference to exempting service dogs. It just says all dogs are banned.Didn't Bill Irwin hike thru GSMNP with his service dog?



BTW, there are three typs of dogs, but Service dogs are the only ones allowed in areas normally restricted to pets. The three types: Service dogs, Therapy Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs.

http://pleasedontpetme.com/differences.php



With respect to Psychological Service Dogs http://www.servicedogcentral.org/content/node/77


P.S. I do think a lot of people are gaming the system and they can get away with it because of political correctness and ignorance.

Excerpt:

"It is not enough to have a mental illness to qualify as a person with a disability under the ADA. According to the NIMH, 26.2% of adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental illness in any given year, but only 6% are severely mentally ill. So more than three quarters of those with a diagnosed mental illness are not disabled by that illness and would not qualify to use a service animal even if they would benefit from one.

Psychiatric Service Dogs are like any other service animal. They are individually trained in obedience, performing tasks, and working in distracting public environments to mitigate their partner's psychiatric disability. Their function is not to provide emotional support, but to perform tasks which enable their partner to function in ordinary ways the non-disabled take for granted.

A task is a trained behavior that mitigates a person's disability by doing something the partner cannot do for themselves, but must be able to do in order to live. Even if you could benefit from a trained behavior, if you could do it for yourself, then it would not qualify as a task for your specific disability. A wheelchair might be a help to a person experiencing stiffness from arthritis, but if they are capable of walking on their own, then a wheelchair isn't really needed. Similarly, a dog trained to remind a handler to take medication, though helpful, would not truly be needed if the person was able to remind themselves to take their medication in ordinary ways, such as using an alarm.

Though we present a list of sample tasks to illustrate the many things psychiatric service dogs might do, we caution that you should not use this list to decide what tasks to train a service dog for yourself. A trained behavior that is a task for one person, may not be a task for another person. Since each person is an individual, and each experiences their disability uniquely, each service dog must be individually trained to meet their handler's specific needs.

Guide a disoriented handler... Example: A person wanders away from familiar surroundings during a dissociative episode. When she becomes aware again, she realizes she is lost and still disoriented from the episode. She cannot think clearly about how to retrace her steps. Her dog is trained to backtrack, following their own scent trail back to where they were when the episode started. Alternatively, the dog might be trained to guide the handler to specific trained locations by command, such as "home."

Find a person or place... Example: A person becomes separated from his family in a crowd. As the crowd closes in around him, he experiences a panic attack and difficulty breathing. He cannot call out to his family. He gives his dog a signal to locate his family who will help him, or to locate an exit where he can escape the crowd and get fresh air.
Room search... Example: A person with severe hypervigilence due to PTSD finds she is unable to enter her own home. Her symptom causes her to believe there is an intruder in her home who will attack her if she enters. Her dog is trained to perform a systematic search of any room or building and bark on finding someone. When her dog finishes the search pattern and returns, she knows it really is safe to enter and that the presumed intruder was just a symptom. The same task can be used at her office, at hotel rooms, at friends' homes or any other area that is supposed to be vacant.

Signal for certain sounds... Example: A person heavily sedated, in a flashback, or in a psychotic episode fails to respond to a smoke alarm. His dog is trained to persistently and very firmly signal him until he responds. Alternately, the dog may be trained to take hold of his handler's arm or sleeve in his mouth and lead him outside.

Interrupt and redirect... Example: A person with OCD subconsciously picks at the skin on her arm. She has done this with such persistence that she has scaring. Her dog is trained to recognize picking skin as a cue to bring her a dog brush. Because she is not picking intentionally, the interruption of the dog will stop her from picking. Handing her the brush is a reminder to her that grooming the dog is a non-harmful alternative behavior for her OCD symptom.

Balance assistance... Example: A person overwhelmed with anxiety has taken a strong prescribed tranquilizer. While the tranquilizer reduces his anxiety, allowing him to breathe more efficiently and to think a little more clearly, it has also impaired his ability to walk without assistance. His dog is trained to walk close at his side so he can rest his hand on the dog's harness to help him keep his balance as he moves to a safe place to finish recovering from his attack.

Bring help... Example: A person with PTSD becomes stuck in a flashback that an intruder is searching for her. She managed to call 911 for assistance when she first perceived the problem but is now hiding in her closet to avoid detection by the perceived intruder. When EMS arrives, they call out for her, but she does not answer because she believes they are going to hurt her. The 911 operator informs the responders that there is a service dog present and what command to give him to lead them to his owner. With the dog's assistance in locating her, EMS is able to reach her and assist her to the hospital.

Bring medication in an emergency... Example: A person with an anxiety disability experiences severe gastric distress when overstressed. The resulting nausea causes him to become disoriented and dizzy. He falls to the ground and cannot rise. His dog is trained to retrieve his anti-nausea medication and bring it to him.

Clearing the airway... Example: A person with nausea due to a change in medication has been vomiting uncontrollably and has become dehydrated. She has collapsed on the floor, unable to move or to think clearly. She is at risk of choking on her vomit or becoming even further dehydrated. Her dog is trained to clear the vomit from her airway and to bring her a bottle of water.

Identify hallucinations... Example: A person who experiences hallucinations sees a person who should not be in the room with him. Is this a hallucination he can safely ignore, or is it an intruder? His dog is trained to go and greet any person his handler points at, on command. The man points at the intruder and instructs the dog to "go say hi." The dog moves in the direction indicated, but can find no person to greet, so he returns to his handler. The handler now knows the person he sees is a hallucination and calls his doctor for help instead of calling the police for an intruder."

sliderule
10-05-2013, 17:31
I suggest replacing your service dog with a miniature horse. Horses are already permitted on many GRSM trails. Plus, you might even get it to carry your pack.

Starchild
10-05-2013, 17:57
Service dogs and therapy dogs are different, however you can claim that your dog helps you with panic attacks and this falls under a service, rather than therapy. Just registered my little bugger (I do have diagnosed anxiety and OCD, though) for free here https://www.usservicedogregistry.org/shop.php, all the papers are $50 but no one can tell you you can't take them anywhere and you are not required to divulge specifics about your disability.

It sounds like a 'Psychological Service' dog and not covered, as it is not a service but a therapy. I think you are reading things into the rules you would like to see that rangers won't but perhaps I am mistaken.

rickb
10-05-2013, 18:22
It sounds like a 'Psychological Service' dog and not covered, as it is not a service but a therapy. I think you are reading things into the rules you would like to see that rangers won't but perhaps I am mistaken.

Here is a link about a local business that did not allow a veteran who had service dog helpingwith his PTSD into his restaurant.

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/worcester-area/10011524788179/war-veteran-and-service-dog-kicked-out-of-restaurant/

You would not believe the s-storm that followed.

SawnieRobertson
10-06-2013, 09:10
Here is a link about a local business that did not allow a veteran who had service dog helpingwith his PTSD into his restaurant.

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/worcester-area/10011524788179/war-veteran-and-service-dog-kicked-out-of-restaurant/

You would not believe the s-storm that followed.

This goes back to the blockheaded view that some take to make themselves feel superior but in their spouting off reveal themselves to be small-minded people who are too lazy to educate themselves with the facts. They are able somehow to muster up the empathy to accept guide dogs for the blind or even the deaf but cannot grasp the work of psychiatric service dogs. Why the person needs that dog by his or her side is not anyone else's business.

atmilkman
10-06-2013, 10:58
How about cats. Are you allowed to bring a cat into the park?

Wise Old Owl
10-06-2013, 13:16
only if it doesn't chase shelter mice..

HooKooDooKu
10-06-2013, 14:12
I'm pretty sure the ban on dogs in the back country of GSMNP is all inclusive. Protecting the wildlife of the park trumps any rights service dog owners have.
While I might wish that true, the previous discussion on this issue pointed out that this is NOT the case. We found documents (likely not visible at the moment with the government shutdown) that basically requires park rangers to conform to the ADA.

What I understand (i.e. not doc1uments to back this up), this doesn't mean you can just take a dog in the back country and simply say it is a service animal. Before you can take your service animal in the backcountry, you obtain a permit from the park rangers. They might not be able to ask what your disability is, but they can ask what SERVICE your animal provides to verify that it conforms to the requirements of the ADA. (Just because you call it a service animal doesn't mean it conforms to the ADA)

BobTheBuilder
10-10-2013, 14:08
Fairly well-written story on the problems caused by people falsely claiming their pet dogs are service animals:

http://news.yahoo.com/impostor-animals-posing-growing-problem-063137069.html

Turns out it is a federal offense.

CarlZ993
10-10-2013, 19:14
only if it doesn't chase shelter mice..
More humor is needed in this thread. Good job!

ams212001
10-10-2013, 19:26
I suggest replacing your service dog with a miniature horse. Horses are already permitted on many GRSM trails. Plus, you might even get it to carry your pack.

This......is an awesome idea.

Wise Old Owl
10-10-2013, 22:45
More humor is needed in this thread. Good job!


I was cautious and waiting for a personal "at-a-bird"