What Do You Think?: Service Animals - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 07-30-2011, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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What Do You Think?: Service Animals

So another thread made me think of this, but didn't want to hijack.

We have a cat at the clinic who is someones "companion animal" and it apparently has papers as being her service animal. Seen the same with a rat. Obviously animals are great for those with anxiety or depression, but seeing them being called service animals is fairly new.

So I was wondering what do you think about these new 'service' animals which don't actually perform any tasks other than comforting you when you are upset?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-30-2011, 11:16 PM
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I think if it works for that person, then that's awesome. The people who need help with stressful/anxiety inducing situations (ex. Flying) can have an alternative to taking medication. I once heard from a flight attendant that some airlines will allow you to take your pet outside of the carrier during flight, if you have documentation that the pet helps to reduce anxiety.

Everything won't work for everyone of course, but the more options people have the better. Animals, medication, hypnosis etc. can help some people integrate "normally" into society, and allow them to live their life to the fullest.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-30-2011, 11:31 PM
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I have severe anxiety. When I'm in a heavily populated place (ie Atlantic City), I'm constantly looking around for any "strange" man. Fear of abduction, rape, torture, etc. I do want some sort of personal protection, and I think a dog would be great. A controlled dog. I used to be reckless, and I've made some bad decisions, which makes me fearful of 'what's out there'. I'd like a dog to 'take care of me'. Unfortunately, you can't take your dog everywhere. So, yes I would look into a getting some sort of service documentation, saying my dog helps me get through the day.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 02:13 AM
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I completely agree with service animals. I have extreme social anxiety and I can't even begin to tell you how much my animals help me. Granted, they can't come everywhere with me, but simply KNOWING they're at home when I get there is a big help.

I used to take my hedgehog, Hemi, to visit the elderly at nursing homes. For a creature covered in teeny little needles, she was the gentlest thing. She loved meeting all the seniors and they loved watching her waddle around the floor and being able to say they held a real, live hedgehog. She was so good.

Now, I take my rescue dog, Sonya, to nursing homes. My mom used to work there and it's a common sight to see her with her black lab and me with my Rhodesian Ridgeback X Pitbull wandering down the halls, peeking in and visiting with residents. Both dogs have a very different "style"... Taz stays back for a bit to assess, while Sonya basically crawls into bed with the person. She'll lay her sweet head on the side of their bed, and just implore them with her eyes to 'please, please love me'. Most people cannot resist her yellow eyes. I think they do a lot of good for the residents - it's very relaxing and mentally healthy to be able to stroke a dog.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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So do you guys think they should be given special privilages like service dogsd? (Let into apartments, on planes, at the office...?)
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 07:35 PM
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I think so.
I also think they need to go through a series of tests, and then have certification to present when entering a building.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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By tests do you mean a CGC? What if it's a cat or a rodent or something?
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 08:12 PM
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I think they need more than just a CGC test, I think that the person should be evaluated and then an appropriate animal that has been trained by a nationally certified center to help with the specific problem should be matched with the person. I personally think a lot of people are being dishonest about their problems just so they can break the rules and have a dog,cat,parakeet, goldfish or whatever. I have personally seen this happen with people who live in apartments with a one dog limit but they just HAVE to have two dogs and they claim that they have a disorder and NEED to have the extra pet, then someone types up a document saying so and so has anxiety and needs to be able to take their rat into restaurants in order to live a fulfilling life blah blah blah. I do however think that properly trained dogs can be of immense help to people who are truly in need of assistance.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoosterDo View Post
I think they need more than just a CGC test, I think that the person should be evaluated and then an appropriate animal that has been trained by a nationally certified center to help with the specific problem should be matched with the person. I personally think a lot of people are being dishonest about their problems just so they can break the rules and have a dog,cat,parakeet, goldfish or whatever. I have personally seen this happen with people who live in apartments with a one dog limit but they just HAVE to have two dogs and they claim that they have a disorder and NEED to have the extra pet, then someone types up a document saying so and so has anxiety and needs to be able to take their rat into restaurants in order to live a fulfilling life blah blah blah. I do however think that properly trained dogs can be of immense help to people who are truly in need of assistance.
This was going to be my reply. LOL.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-01-2011, 01:09 AM
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Well ilovephillip great minds think alike, guess what? I also love and breed goats!!
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