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  #1  
Old 26 February 2007, 04:31 AM
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Squishy0405 Squishy0405 is offline
 
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Icon13 Wal-Mart denied access to guide dog

***This is going around on myspace...of course I didn't go to the site b/c of what I know about internet petitions...Has anyone heard of the story? Not sure if this belongs here or Critter Co.***

PLEASE copy and paste the link below to go sign the petition. A service dog and her owner were denied access to a WALMART because the dog was an American Pit Bull Terrier. There is an option at the bottom to upload a picture to show you're a real person. Please do so and sign ASAP!

Thanks!


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takea...8?z00m=9414889

ETA: I went to the site but it's time for bed so no digging around for me

Last edited by Squishy0405; 26 February 2007 at 04:32 AM. Reason: I went to the site...
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  #2  
Old 26 February 2007, 04:56 AM
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Morrigan Morrigan is offline
 
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Here's some links about the story:

http://www.snowballschance.org/forum...ead.php?t=2697
http://forum.dog.com/asp/tm.asp?m=269576

And one from a news site (well, it gives the link to the news article at least):

http://disability-marketing.com/news...r-service.php4

Morrigan
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  #3  
Old 26 February 2007, 05:05 AM
Nana M Nana M is offline
 
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I didn't see anything about the dog being a pit bull. In fact, it doesn't name the breed at all, just says that the staff 'mistook it for just a puppy'. It sounds like someone wants to make pit bulls an issue again.
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  #4  
Old 26 February 2007, 05:09 AM
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Morrigan Morrigan is offline
 
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"The Customer Service Manager approached us and asked us to leave because “there are children in the store and we can't have a vicious breed in here.” "

And

" I first confirmed his position that he wanted us to go because of our Service Dog's breed and he said and elaborated his prejudice opinions, stating they were an 'unstable and vicious' breed and banned from different cities. He said he was aware of the Service Dogs and their rights, but he had never seen a Pitbull Service Dog in his 20 years."

Morrigan
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  #5  
Old 26 February 2007, 07:02 AM
Lady Neeva
 
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Not saying I agree with the banning of service dogs, but to be fair it doesn't sound like the manager *knew* he was barring access to a service animal.

Between the age of the dog, the breed of the dog, and the apparent lack of physical disabilities presented... I probably would also have come to the conclusion that it was someone trying to get away with something so to speak.

But then, our local walmart has been having a MAJOR problem lately with people trying to bring small dogs (chihuahuas, miniature poodles, and the like) into the store. Most of the time they are puppies, and almost invariably the person will claim they're a service animal.

And it's not that they particularly object to the dog per se -- the problem is that the dog usually ends up going to the bathroom in the store and the owners just LEAVE it there. The mess not the dog.

So it's possible that it really was the case of a manager who's been "burned" one too many times jumping to conclusions that proved to be in error.
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  #6  
Old 26 February 2007, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
Here's some links about the story:

http://www.snowballschance.org/forum...ead.php?t=2697
http://forum.dog.com/asp/tm.asp?m=269576

And one from a news site (well, it gives the link to the news article at least):

http://disability-marketing.com/news...r-service.php4

Morrigan
The link on the third page above doesn't work, and when I searched for "service dog", the story wasn't there. AAMOF, the SMG page is the only one that has the article. If there is a news website with the same text, Google isn't finding it.

This is odd:
This page says the incident took place in Albany, NY, and was result of employees mistaking it for a non service animal.
Quote:
She says, “We were told our dogs were not working, they were not seeing eye dogs, so they were not considered service dogs, and they refused to allow them to be in.”
No mention of breed.


However, this one puts it in Huntington Beach, CA, and cites breed as the cause.
Quote:
I first confirmed his position that he wanted us to go because of our Service Dog's breed and he said and elaborated his prejudice opinions, stating they were an 'unstable and vicious' breed and banned from different cities. He said he was aware of the Service Dogs and their rights, but he had never seen a Pitbull Service Dog in his 20 years.
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  #7  
Old 26 February 2007, 07:21 AM
Nana M Nana M is offline
 
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Ah, found it. I didn't check the links in the links.

Odd that this information doesn't appear in the news stories.
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  #8  
Old 26 February 2007, 03:00 PM
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MegansMom MegansMom is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
Here's some links about the story:

http://www.snowballschance.org/forum...ead.php?t=2697
http://forum.dog.com/asp/tm.asp?m=269576

And one from a news site (well, it gives the link to the news article at least):

http://disability-marketing.com/news...r-service.php4

Morrigan
These appear to be two separate incidents. The first, in the snowballschance.org and forum.dog.com links, is in Huntington Beach CA on February 8th (Thurs). This was breed specific. The owner of the pit bull dog is named Pettrow. The second, in the disability-marketing.com link, is from Albany NY "over the weekend" and cites the age of the dog as the reason for denial. The owner, in that case, was named Schilling. I guess it's an on-going problem with WalMart.
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  #9  
Old 26 February 2007, 03:31 PM
KathyB
 
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Chloe the Pit Bull. This is the web site about the dog in question & includes information about the incident.
Quote:
Two Walmart managers requested myself and my Service Dog to leave because of her breed stating there were children in the store and she is an unstable and vicious breed - They continued to asked us to leave EVEN AFTER being informed of our Service Dog legal rights and what they were asking was illegal!! Walmart employees were brief in a meeting afterwards by their management reinforcing their position - when we came back two days later (as we shared we would on the phone) several employees talked with us and with a full range of feedback including , i.e., 'did you break her from her craziness? you know, the craziness on killing people?'
The owner has formally complained to WalMArt, as well as gotten local media outlets to cover the story. The petition was initiated by the owner
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  #10  
Old 26 February 2007, 03:57 PM
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Sorry it just reminds me of an old joke:

A man walks into a pub with a Chihuahua on a lead. He sits down at the bar and orders a drink.

"I'm sorry" says the barman, "but we don't allow dogs in here."

"You don't understand" the man says, hoping to pull a fast one. I'm blind, and this is my guide dog."

"Nice try." the barman replies "but that's no guide dog, it's a Chihuahua."

The man adopts a puzzled frown, then leans down and gently feels the dog for several seconds. Then he exclaims "My god! I can't believe they gave me a Chihuahua."
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  #11  
Old 26 February 2007, 04:14 PM
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This source says that the dog is a psychiatric service dog. I had never heard of such a concept, but here's the Wiki article about it.

My first thought is that this seriously weakens the idea of service animals. I can see why a blind person would benefit from having a guide dog. But if a psychiatric service dog's main job is to remind you to take your meds, why does it need to go into Wal-Mart in the first place? There are lots of therapeutic programs for providing pets to the elderly, to convicts, to kids with various problems - should they be considered service animals and allowed into places that normally ban them?

My initial impression is that the psychiatric service dogs aren't providing an immediate service that's needed at the place of business, and that "service animal" seems to have grown into a too-broad category.

Additionally, since the owner's complaint describes the dog as a "service dog in training," and I don't see a mention of the owner having any sort of disability* it's not clear to me that Walmart is in the wrong regardless - if the dog isn't yet being used as a service dog, then surely no one's rights under the ADA are being violated?

* Though the hideous layout of said owner's website is hardly aiding its comprehensibility
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  #12  
Old 26 February 2007, 04:29 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler in Black View Post
There are lots of therapeutic programs for providing pets to the elderly, to convicts, to kids with various problems - should they be considered service animals and allowed into places that normally ban them?
Absolutly. And the service dog may very well provide enough stability for the owner to perform "normal" tasks. At my worst, I could absolutly have used a service license for the Jake Dog to avoid the panic attacks and paranoia that come along with being in crowded public places (and Wal-Mart was always one of the worst triggers.)


With the new meds and a human companion who's trained in therepy, I can make it now. But alone, on my old meds? It would have been impossible.

I understand the argument that some people are allergic to dogs. Noted. However, other people are allergic to perfume, and I don't see wal-mart banning all perfume-wearers. So long as the dog has completed certification of some sort (or has documents stating that it is in prep for that), I don't see the issue.
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  #13  
Old 26 February 2007, 05:00 PM
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Luka_the_Pooka Luka_the_Pooka is offline
 
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Tsk, Tsk

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyB View Post
Chloe the Pit Bull. This is the web site about the dog in question & includes information about the incident. The owner has formally complained to WalMArt, as well as gotten local media outlets to cover the story. The petition was initiated by the owner
Awww, Chole is a cutie! If she was wearing the "service dog" vest, then I don't see how they could refuse to allow her to remain in the store. They don't just give those vests away, right?

And Walmart can be a very panic-inducing place - I've had a couple of panic attacks there, due to rude, noisy crowds and feelings of being trapped and suffocated. Had one at Costco too. Maybe I should get a dog like this to help me with crowds!
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  #14  
Old 26 February 2007, 05:05 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luka_the_Pooka View Post
And Walmart can be a very panic-inducing place - I've had a couple of panic attacks there, due to rude, noisy crowds and feelings of being trapped and suffocated.
I've had exactly one panic attack in my life, and it happened at Wal-Mart. I hate hate hate that place.
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  #15  
Old 26 February 2007, 05:05 PM
Traveler in Black
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luka_the_Pooka View Post
If she was wearing the "service dog" vest, then I don't see how they could refuse to allow her to remain in the store. They don't just give those vests away, right?
Apparently you can buy them online without verification.
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  #16  
Old 26 February 2007, 06:32 PM
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Banrion Banrion is offline
 
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Part of the problem is that per the ADA a business cannot require you to show proof of certification for your service animal. Businesses are suppossed to take everyone at their word. And denying a service animal access to a public place is grounds to file suit. I personally think that there needs to be a change and that ALL service animals should be certified and licenses and have to have proof of such.
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/svcanimb.htm

Quote:
Businesses may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards for the animal or ask about the person's disability.
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  #17  
Old 26 February 2007, 08:23 PM
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Regarding animals that are in training, I believe in most states they are also allowed in any place that a fully certified animal is allowed. The reason for this is because, as part of their training, the animal needs to be acclimated to public places and taught how to act in such situations. My mom trains dogs as service animals for people in wheelchairs and the dogs need to know how to act appropriately around lots of people. She takes her puppies to the movies, to the grocery store, to restaurants, and any other place they may need to go when they are accompanying a disabled person. They usually wear a little jacket that identifies them as service dogs in training and she has not ever had a problem that I am aware of.
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  #18  
Old 02 March 2007, 09:18 PM
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Le Chevalier Blanc Le Chevalier Blanc is offline
 
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Ponder Googled for "service dog vest"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler in Black View Post
Apparently you can buy them online without verification.
Found one here as the first hit on Google...

http://www.sitstay.com/store/clothin...FRZsWAodawaZpA

In addition, there's a link to this page:

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

that gives a quick overview of the rules. Of interest to this discussion are (emphasis is mine):

- A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the animal is out of control and the animal's owner does not take effective action to control it (for example, a dog that barks repeatedly during a movie) or (2) the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

- Allergies and fear of animals are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service animals.

I'd expect the lawsuit could revolve around those two concepts....

-Le Chevalier Blanc
"Chivalry is not dead... it's just paralyzed from the neck up."
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  #19  
Old 03 March 2007, 02:51 AM
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People bring dogs, generally small dogs, into Home Depot all the time. Never was an issue because we didn't carry food. Though, now that we've begun carrying candy and snacks, it could be. One dog, Buddy, is a regular. Everyone knows and pets him. He's on lead that usually isn't held by his owner and he never wanders off, always staying within 4-5 feet of his owner.

I did stop a couple that came in with a young newfie once. They said it was a service animal in training, but they'd left his vest in the car. I told them if they didn't wander far, they were looking at patio furniture near the entrance, it would be ok, but they really needed to put his vest on him to bring him in the store. I explained to them that some people are afraid of dogs and big dogs are all the more intimidating, but, if they see a service dog vest, at least they know the dog is well-trained and under control, hence less apt to be afraid. It was a really beautiful dog but I wondered how much thought went into selecting that breed. They're wonderful dogs and they do aid humans in many different aspects, but a huge dog to go into public places with someone? I don't think so...
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  #20  
Old 09 March 2007, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagurit View Post

I did stop a couple that came in with a young newfie once. They said it was a service animal in training, but they'd left his vest in the car. I told them if they didn't wander far, they were looking at patio furniture near the entrance, it would be ok, but they really needed to put his vest on him to bring him in the store. I explained to them that some people are afraid of dogs and big dogs are all the more intimidating, but, if they see a service dog vest, at least they know the dog is well-trained and under control, hence less apt to be afraid. It was a really beautiful dog but I wondered how much thought went into selecting that breed. They're wonderful dogs and they do aid humans in many different aspects, but a huge dog to go into public places with someone? I don't think so...
I was at a dog show a few weeks ago, and I have learned that large dogs, like Newfies and Mastiffs, are often used for balance assistance. I also personally think the idea of a psychiatric service dog is a good one, myself.

Sister "whatever that's worth" Ray
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