i like when my friends and i have spirited debates…
…and then you go to state web sites to settle it, and things almost get MORE confusing.
there’s a great article i found on it, and basically i’m right, but a real asshole could make it “a thing”. the argument stemmed over emotional service animals, and thanks to the ADA’s privacy concerns, the abuse of such things. despite my friend’s arguments to the contrary, REAL service animals, i.e. the ones that remind people to take meds, or lead the blind, or pull a wheel chair, have actual training and certification. EMOTIONAL service animals are certified through a website that basically just prints a card and gives you a certificate. pay them and you can register your childhood teddy bear as an emotional service animal and take him everywhere you go.
ain’t that sweet?
if you want to question an animal being in, say, a tattoo shop, you can only ask two questions without breaking the law: “is this a service animal?” and “what work or task has the animal been trained to perform?”. the problem, should you be curious as to why you’ve been seeing people’s pets in the oddest places lately, is money. first off, there is no shortage of shady therapists that will happily certify that without your leopard gecko you might go off the reservation and not be able to function in line at starbucks…and once sigmund fraud gives his bought and paid for nod there is no shortage of companies that will sell you a “SERVICE ANIMAL” harness and i.d. card. to slap on the slimy fucker. and on the grander scale of things, there is no shortage of war profiteers keeping the skirmish in the middle east going to line their fat pockets sending more of america’s young off in the name of “defending our freedom” when all their really doing is losing limbs and their minds in order for haliburton et al to make even more trillions of dollars. and the PTSD that comes from such shit apparently now means i get to watch your chihuahua take a shit in old navy so you can cope with day to day life…
so like my athletic former boss who had a handicap permit because of “back spasms” that didn’t exist, or the guy in line with forty-seven items in the express lane, now thanks to mentally issued vets my buddy can take his dog to trudy’s with us. on the upside, the dog is well behaved and i like him. but is it actually LEGAL? not really – the only government entities that officially recognize emotional service animals are HUD (i.e. if you have a german shepard as an emotional service animal, but he’s larger than the “dog limit” at an apartment complex, they can’t deny you) and, surprisingly the TSA (who won’t let me take 4.5oz of soap on a plane, but i could take budnik?!?). everywhere else it’s kind of a gray area – there are stiff fines for people who abuse the service animal loophole, but good luck proving they fucking did it…i can see a hundred different ways even i could argue this shit in court and get dismissed and i’m not a lawyer nor do i play one on tv.
recently a petition was submitted to the DOJ, signed by almost 30,000 people to regulate service animals and require and almost “DMV Style” certification and licensing. the DOJ responded in the negative, stating the current law was adequate. basically, they don’t wanna spend the money to create a whole new governmental division just so your dog doesn’t bite somebody on a patio – they’ll just let you pay for the lawsuit should it happen.
more than fair.
i’ll be curious to see how far this goes. the lady that wrote the new yorker article went all about NYC and boston with a pig, snake, alpaca, and turtle and with a slightly doctored letter and card from one of the sheisty-ass websites all went well – in this case ignorance of the law by restaurants and like helps out the people pushing the envelope. i tried to deny a guy at the shop once but was told by my bosses to let it slide, mainly because he & his wife have the same cards and vests for their two chihuahuas so they can travel with them as emotional support animals.
and there we go…