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  1. #1

    Default About the recent hiker & dog pics on Baxter Peak:

    I want to clear something up regarding recent (late June 2017) social media posts and photos of a hiker and her dog on Baxter Peak.
    Only service dogs are allowed in the Park, There is no "interview process," no "applying", no "special exception," no "legitimate reason."
    Either the dog is a service animal, or not. Pets are not allowed.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  2. #2
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Wanderwoman_superpup on Instagram?

    Not sure how the rangers could have missed her.

    She a thru hiker?

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    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    I want to clear something up regarding recent (late June 2017) social media posts and photos of a hiker and her dog on Baxter Peak.
    Only service dogs are allowed in the Park, There is no "interview process," no "applying", no "special exception," no "legitimate reason."
    Either the dog is a service animal, or not. Pets are not allowed.
    And under the current state of the law, there's no way that a service animal is qualified or credentialed. Officials cannot demand the papers for a service animal, but by the same token patients have no papers to present for the animal. This avoids obvious potential abuses where people with invisible disabilities are stigmatized, but also opens the door to cases where people present pets as service animals.

    There are no really good answers. We don't want to make those who are genuinely disabled continually have to prove their 'deserving' status, and we don't want to allow fraudulent service animals. The 'in between' solutions simply open the door to abuse from both ends of the spectrum.

    My understanding of the current state of affairs is that officials MAY ask:
    1. Is this a service animal?
    2. What services is the animal trained to perform?

    They may NOT ask:
    1. For any sort of special identification for the animal.
    2. For information about the handler's specific disability.

    They may NOT:
    1. Charge additional fees for the presence of the animal.
    2. Refuse admittance to the handler.
    3. Segregate, isolate, or treat the handler less favourably than other patrons.

    They may NOT demand to remove the animal unless:
    1. the animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it., or
    2. the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others.


    These Federal rules override local health and safety codes for food service establishments - a restaurant cannot exclude a patron based on a local health code that bans animals.

    Discrimination against the disabled is at least as big a problem as service animal fraud, and as I said, there are no good answers that don't involve harassment or active discrimination against disabled persons.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

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    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    I believe superpup is a certified support animal.


    IMG_4306.jpg

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    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    I don't know this young woman or her dog, and I am not questioning the validity of her service dog in any way.

    However, since most people who clicked on this post have some interest in the matter, I would like to take this opportunity to note that it takes about two years of intensive training to develop a service dog, and many are now being effectively used as support animals for returning military members suffering from TBI or PTSD. There is a bill in congress right now to secure additional funding to train service dogs for veterans. It's a big deal, and these dogs are working miracles.

    At the same time, the number of people who buy fake service dog paperwork online is skyrocketing, and every dog who is misrepresented as a service dog creates huge trust and acceptance problems for the dogs that are truly trained for the purpose.

    The point of all of this is simple - if you're a future thru hiker reading this who thinks they have found a clever way to bring your dog on a hike and force restaurants, national parks, and grocery stores to let you bring your dog in, PLEASE do not misrepresent your dog as something it is not. It is an insult to all of the people who spend their lives training these dogs, and to all of the worthy veterans who need them.
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

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    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    This link discusses the bill I mentioned above and has a cute puppy training to be a service dog:

    http://www.wusa9.com/life/animals/se...-law/452546965
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    I want to clear something up regarding recent (late June 2017) social media posts and photos of a hiker and her dog on Baxter Peak.
    Only service dogs are allowed in the Park, There is no "interview process," no "applying", no "special exception," no "legitimate reason."
    Either the dog is a service animal, or not. Pets are not allowed.
    Her name is Alton Dadekian. A friend of a friend of my daughter. On her website she claims that the dog is a "certified therapy and emotional support animal". http://wanderwomansuperpup.com/ On her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/alton.eckel with the Baxter Peak photo a couple of people asked how they let her dog in. She answered " Tenacity and a legitimate reason" It seems many of her posts are kind of "gimmicky" with her and the dog dressed up in some rather unique outfits. A lot of nice photography but .... I have to admit that I've wondered what her story is for awhile now.

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    my unsolicited 2 cents- "emotional support dog" basically is so open ended it makes basically every dog on the planet (that is specifically trained to do something else, like bomb sniffing or something) an emotional support animal. i own a dog. he isnt trained to perform any specific task, he has no skill. why do i have him then? for companionship, amusement, enjoyment.... these things are emotional support.

    if youre going to allow that dogs who provide emotional support are service animals and therefore allowed special privilege, well, then just make it that dogs have to be allowed anywhere there owner deems it necessary to take them and get on with it.

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    correction- that is NOT specifically trained...

  10. #10

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    No 'interview process', no 'tenacity', no 'applying' for 'special exception,' needed for service dogs to enter Baxter.
    Service dogs are allowed. Pets are not.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  11. #11
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    And in 2014 "Mayor" brought his pet into Baxter for his summit and brags about it in his book and on Youtube. It is people like this that need to be schooled, and fined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy of PA View Post
    And in 2014 "Mayor" brought his pet into Baxter for his summit and brags about it in his book and on Youtube. It is people like this that need to be schooled, and fined.
    i suppose this idea isnt limited to thru hikers at all, but the sot of thing you describe, is in my experience, common amongst them. they will willfully violate the rules and then flout it. its because in their heads the rules either shouldnt exist at all or shouldnt apply to them.

    a thru at a shelter a couple years ago in maine was pontificating at length about how he was having a drink on top of katahdin no matter what because you see this is HIS hike, not theirs and therefore they have no business telling him what he cant do.

    true story.

  13. #13
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    No 'interview process', no 'tenacity', no 'applying' for 'special exception,' needed for service dogs to enter Baxter.
    Service dogs are allowed. Pets are not.
    Is a Support Dog the same as a Service Dog, in the eyes of BSP policy?

    My other question is whether or not BSP would allow a certified therapy and emotional support dog if the dog was being accompanied by its handler -- like a trained therapist -- rather than an individual it was assigned to comfort.
    Last edited by rickb; 06-30-2017 at 19:09.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy of PA View Post
    And in 2014 "Mayor" brought his pet into Baxter for his summit and brags about it in his book and on Youtube. It is people like this that need to be schooled, and fined.
    The thing about Mayor is he admits sneaking his dog in, and didn't care at all if his action harmed wildlife or the future of ATers in Baxter. No one could confuse his actions with getting some kind of special permission.

    The thing about the recent postings is people are being confused. I've been contacted by several hikers, mostly asking how to get the same special exception, one calling my published info wrong, and one claiming I was shilling for the overpriced ripoff kennels in Millinocket. I can only imagine the calls BSPHQ is getting.

    Just to be clear: Service dogs are allowed. Pets are not. There is no special exception pet owners can apply for.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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    Registered User KDogg's Avatar
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    There are many people that are using emotional support animals to circumvent legitimate laws protecting the rights of disabled persons. There are many 'organizations' online that only require a short questionnaire and a fee to get issued a 'permit'. The whole reason this scam works is that, as stated above, you aren't permitted to ask a person with an 'ESA' animal relevant questions about the animal or themselves and no proof of any of this required. I don't know the person mentioned in the article but there certainly is a lot of tiptoeing around this issue and I have no doubt that most of the ESA animals out there are completely illegitimate. This needs to be addressed by federal, state and local governments. ESA animals are not service animals and require no special training. Does this seem right to everybody? I'm not saying that there isn't a need out there but, as of now, there is no rules governing ESA which essentially means that you can take your pet with you anywhere you want to go and you must be accommodated.

  16. #16

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    I call BS on this.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  17. #17

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    I have no problem with service animals, but, I have asthma and an allergy to dogs. Your service animal (dog) can trigger my asthma, and then I can't breathe. Can't. Breathe. Not "I sniffle a little." Can't breathe. If you have a problem that is solved by a service animal, I understand and will do my best to put some distance between us, and I hope you'll understand and help. I have had experiences with a few folks with service animals (and I don't think these really were) that see this as an opportunity to take their pet anywhere. The heck with other people.

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    Notice that "Another Kevin" indicated that one of the questions officials are allowed to ask is "what SERVICE does the animal provide".

    Based on topics where this subject has been discussed before, under the rules of the ADA, an emotional support animal is NOT a service animal.

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    I just retired from a position working with people with disabilities. For the record, emotional support animals ARE NOT service animals. There are rules that allow people with emotional support animals limited privileges, but not close to what legitimate services animals get. The rules also vary depending on which federal department has jurisdiction. People with real service animals, not surprisingly, loathe the numerous cheaters. Please understand, though, that many disabilities are not obvious, and the need for service animals is very real for many people. This is a tough issue that will only be settled by a comprehensive certification program with penalties for cheaters. Okay, off the soapbox.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Registered User DownEaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    For the record, emotional support animals ARE NOT service animals.
    The animals may be treated the same, though. If the hiker produces a letter from a licensed mental health professional that prescribes the need for the animal when asked for it, an establishment (including a state park like Baxter) must accommodate the emotional support animal. Unlike with service animals, paperwork is required. For some forms of PTSD (rape survivors, for instance) this may be a faster and cheaper solution than getting a trained service dog.

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