Calorie Counter

You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Emotional Support Dog at the Gym

2456789

Replies

  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,962Member Member Posts: 2,962Member Member
    They do have a legal obligation to back up their claim. That said, the gym also has a strong incentive not to force them to back up the claim because that can easily be viewed as discrimination and a litigious person can get an almost guaranteed win under ADA law in most places.

    The people who abuse the service animal programs really ruin it for those that actually have need of a support animal.

    Depends on where you are, I guess. In my state, you can't challenge them and only ask very specific questions to confirm.

    I've never seen that in law. I have seen that most hr policies are designed that way to avoid potential lawsuits.

    All law that I've seen indicates that service animal handlers are required by law to carry the cert and the prescription at all times for proof. I know when I had mine registered that's how it was presented to me and my subsequent reading of the laws that we are bound by in my locality does not preclude anyone asking. That has always been the policy everywhere that I've worked though... only to ask if it was a service dog or other specific questions.

    Law in what country? Can you provide any links that state this? I ask because I've never heard of that being true in the US.
  • BecomingBaneBecomingBane Posts: 3,648Member Member Posts: 3,648Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    They do have a legal obligation to back up their claim. That said, the gym also has a strong incentive not to force them to back up the claim because that can easily be viewed as discrimination and a litigious person can get an almost guaranteed win under ADA law in most places.

    The people who abuse the service animal programs really ruin it for those that actually have need of a support animal.

    Depends on where you are, I guess. In my state, you can't challenge them and only ask very specific questions to confirm.

    I've never seen that in law. I have seen that most hr policies are designed that way to avoid potential lawsuits.

    All law that I've seen indicates that service animal handlers are required by law to carry the cert and the prescription at all times for proof. I know when I had mine registered that's how it was presented to me and my subsequent reading of the laws that we are bound by in my locality does not preclude anyone asking. That has always been the policy everywhere that I've worked though... only to ask if it was a service dog or other specific questions.

    Law in what country? Can you provide any links that state this? I ask because I've never heard of that being true in the US.

    All airlines and housing have legal rights to ask for all documentation. This is the same in all states.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,962Member Member Posts: 2,962Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    They do have a legal obligation to back up their claim. That said, the gym also has a strong incentive not to force them to back up the claim because that can easily be viewed as discrimination and a litigious person can get an almost guaranteed win under ADA law in most places.

    The people who abuse the service animal programs really ruin it for those that actually have need of a support animal.

    Depends on where you are, I guess. In my state, you can't challenge them and only ask very specific questions to confirm.

    I've never seen that in law. I have seen that most hr policies are designed that way to avoid potential lawsuits.

    All law that I've seen indicates that service animal handlers are required by law to carry the cert and the prescription at all times for proof. I know when I had mine registered that's how it was presented to me and my subsequent reading of the laws that we are bound by in my locality does not preclude anyone asking. That has always been the policy everywhere that I've worked though... only to ask if it was a service dog or other specific questions.

    Law in what country? Can you provide any links that state this? I ask because I've never heard of that being true in the US.

    All airlines and housing have legal rights to ask for all documentation. This is the same in all states.

    Airlines and housing specifically get to play by different rules so that doesn't really apply to the certification and prescription bit (never mind that there isn't a governmentally recognized certifying body - at least not with regards to things outside of animals on planes or in housing situations).

    From the first document I linked to earlier today:
    Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

    This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.

    Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.

    Given that the situation at the gym isn't on a plane (a gym on a plane - that's an idea...) nor is it related to housing, it's a bit of a moot point.

    That is true, but if you didn't notice, the conversation that we were having deviated from the OP somewhat. Thanks for pointing that out. I never would have noticed otherwise. :neutral:

    *ETA more sarcasm since it doesn't come across well enough in a re-reading.

    The thread has deviated slightly but there's continual circling around (it's like a plane in a holding pattern). Even with that, most people aren't on planes for the bulk of their waking hours. The housing stuff is a bit different and dealing with fair housing is probably a mess.

    As an aside, the wife of a very good friend of mine has an emotional support dog (who really fits more in line with a service animal - given she works for the federal government, that's probably what they actually classify her as when talking with most people) who is still in training to help manage PTSD related symptoms. That dog might be the best behaved dog, when she's working, I've ever seen and that's despite still being a puppy. They work with a trainer once or twice a week and even the trainer is impressed, enough so that she asked for the breeder's name.

    I think the problem that the ADA has with regards to service animals is how to deal with the lack of certification and documentation requirements. It's, necessarily, too easy to claim that a dog is a service animal. I say "necessarily" because I think putting even more boundaries in front of people who need service dogs isn't equitable, given the amount of resources that would take. I also suspect that fewer people would get approved for service dogs than need them if we compare the potential application process to trying to get on disability.

    On the other hand, I agree with everyone that there are way too many people who are claiming that their dogs are service animals and whose dogs clearly are not that (I know I agree in some respects with everyone, who would have thought ;) ). That, of course, also makes it harder for everyone else who uses a service dog for reasons that aren't obvious to the general public - so say, someone is using a service animal to detect seizures or for balance.

    edited for typos and to fix some ambiguity
    edited August 9
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,003Member Member Posts: 7,003Member Member
    There used to be a guy at my gym that brought a dog. Not sure what purpose the dog served (emotional support or other service or working dog). The guy was in the military, and the dog was SUPER well-behaved. Obviously, it was well-trained and a non-issue. The owner obviously took the dog's safety pretty seriously, b/c a loose dog in a gym could easily get injured.

    I think the owner of OP's dog is the real problem...NOT the dog.

    This is a good point. Perhaps the dog owner in OP's anecdote needs to be reported for violating whatever laws the locality has against dangerous neglect of an animal.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,962Member Member Posts: 2,962Member Member
    They do have a legal obligation to back up their claim. That said, the gym also has a strong incentive not to force them to back up the claim because that can easily be viewed as discrimination and a litigious person can get an almost guaranteed win under ADA law in most places.

    The people who abuse the service animal programs really ruin it for those that actually have need of a support animal.

    The ADA doesn't cover emotional support animals. It requires reasonable accommodation for specific conditions (which this situation doesn't appear to cover), no one would think creating a hazard is reasonable.

    How do you figure this is an almost guaranteed win?

    I suspect it's only really a win if someone says the dog is a service dog (as opposed to a support animal), can prove that it's been trained by someone (themselves included) to do a task related to the disability at hand, and can make a case that the dog was safe to the public. Being off leash is fine if a leash (or other tethering device) would inhibit the dog's work and/or the user's disability prevents them from using a leash or harness and the dog is controllable " through voice, signal, or other effective controls."
  • lorrpblorrpb Posts: 10,643Member Member Posts: 10,643Member Member
    The gym probably has a written complaint form. The girl would’ve given it to you to complete if you’d said you wanted to file a complaint.

    The patron is clearly acting in a rude, unsafe, and inappropriate way re their dog.
Sign In or Register to comment.