Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meet James of Service Dog Certifications

James started Service Dog Certifications to help people understand their rights when it comes to service dogs, emotional support animals, and therapy dogs. James is a dog lover with three rescue pups that he adopted from the shelter. Shelter dogs can make amazing service dogs, and he wants to get the word out about this as well!

1. Why did you decide to name your site "Service Dog Certifications" when the law doesn't actually require that a service animal be certified?

Many people with service dogs are discriminated against and questioned about their disability. We feel that service dog identification cards with pertinent information are necessary for making access easier and protecting the rights and privacy of handlers. We want to help those that want to be free with their service dogs, but do not want to announce their disability to complete strangers. Service dogs id cards are not required, but we feel that we are bringing a needed service to those that do not want to argue with uninformed people.

2. What are some examples of ways that people with service animals have been discriminated against?

Service dogs have the same access rights to public property as humans. Service dogs are allowed to go anywhere their human handler is lawfully allowed to go. Many people are unaware of this law and try to block service dogs from entering public places. There are many disabilities that are not visible to the eye, and those people with "invisible" disabilities should not have to suffer from discrimination.

3. Why do you think there isn't greater awareness of the legal rights around the use of service animals?

This is a question I have been asking myself. Greater awareness for service dogs should be available to the public. We believe that is helping to bring awareness and providing educational information to people in need of service dogs.

4. What are some of the different ways that service animals provide therapy, assistance, and support?

Service dogs can perform many different tasks to assist their handlers. There are service dogs that assist their handlers with tug based tasks, carrying based tasks, medical assistance tasks, and crisis assistance tasks, and dogs who alert handlers about noises, etc. There are a variety of ways that service dogs support their handlers in and out of the home.

5. How are animals trained to provide service, and how can individuals let people know about the training their pet has received?

According to the ADA, service dogs can be trained by dog trainers or by handlers. Handlers can get service dog in training vests from to let people know that their dog is in training. We also provide service dog id cards for those who want to provide information regarding their service dogs and the laws surrounding service dogs in general.

Thanks, James!

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