Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
kura

So called “Service Dogs” on board ships

Recommended Posts

“Service Dogs” on board ships....should they be allowed?

I don’t often make comments on here, but I have been following John and Dianne’s Lucky Number 7 thread from the Amsterdam World Cruise with discussions about so called “Service Dogs” that are currently on board the World Cruise and decided to start a separate thread to see if other people also have an objection to these animals on board.

Obviously they are approved by someone in an office who has no idea that they are not properly trained.

 

I do love dogs.....love our two “Granddogs” ....but not on ships! I have no objection to a properly trained Service Dog that is on a harness, but have no time for these people who seem to be able to bring on their pets by calling them Comfort Dogs. 

 

The following is a quote from John and Dianne’s latest thread....

  • This morning in the gym, there wasn’t just exercising going on.  A group of people, including the wife of one of the ship’s top officers, had an angry discussion going on about the dogs on board.  I think I may have mentioned them before.  A couple boarded the ship somewhere in Europe and, with HAL’s permission, brought aboard two “comfort dogs.”  Apparently the husband had had heart surgery recently and felt he needed the comfort of his two dogs.  Unfortunately, these are NOT service dogs, which I realized when one “escaped” their cabin one morning and ran helter-skelter down the hallway.  Apparently the situation has become worse rather than better.  During one show in the Queen’s Lounge, one of the dogs began to bark and then to howl, continuing until removed from the room.  Also, one pooped in the elevator and another peed on the carpet somewhere on the ship.  In addition, the couple brought their dogs to The Pinnacle for dinner and a conflict broke out with other diners which required that security be called.  We don't know the outcome of that situation.  Of course the person who approved this doesn’t have to deal with the consequences, but both passengers and especially crew do, and officers and crew at the very highest levels are really fed up with the whole thing.  I realize that some people really do need their (well-trained) service dogs wherever they go, but noisy, badly-trained ankle biter dogs are certainly not a good idea.  I know that it’s possible to find “service dog” certificates online, but I think the situation should require a letter from a vet certifying that the dog is actually a trained service dog as well as a letter from a physician explaining why the person needs such a dog.  That would not violate the ADA, but it would keep situations like this from arising.  Enough said.

 

I have experienced first hand one of these dogs last year on the Prinsendam in Europe and Holy Land and decided to now share some of the stories from that cruise.

A lady from New York had a “Service dog “. ...an Australian Sheepdog that is not bred to be a Service dog, but to round up and chase sheep!! This dog was totally out of control. It was apparently to protect her Personal Space! .....but invaded the space of many other passengers and crew!

 

The first we were aware of it, my husband said there was a strange noise that sounded like a dog barking when he was on the balcony.

This dog was seen by us and other passengers and crew.....

......bounding up the stairs on the ship on a very long lead

......off the lead in the Crows Nest, licking the tables and eating any dropped nuts off the floor and tables

......Off the lead on the back pool deck looking to be patted and jumping up on people

......pooping on the deck....instead of in his tray

.......according to the Dining Room Manager it jumped up on waiters, and the lady was ordering the best steak off the menu and feeding it under the table....the Dining Manager said he objected to the dog being given the HAL dining china to eat off and he found it a plastic dish. There were many confrontations apparently in the dining room and the lady was moved from several tables when people objected!

.......On an excursion the dog was in the front seat, with paws up on the partition over the driver and drooling on to the driver.

...... other passengers were asked by the lady if they would hold the lead while she went into some of the churches etc in Israel where dogs were not allowed.

......the lady was seen ashore on a few occasions without the dog in ports where it was not allowed (she was travelling with a friend so assumed the friend looked after it)

...the worst for me was while on an excursion, whilst climbing some stairs, this lady and her “Service Dog” raced passed me ......the dog went one side of me and the lady the other the dogs lead caugh my legs and I fell heavily on a landing on the stairs.

This dog was NOT a service dog and should never have been allowed! I made this quite clear in our cruise evaluation also.

 

Apart from the above, it is not fair to the dog to be confined like this

I hope I never encounter these so called Service Dogs on a ship again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. True Service Dogs are well-behaved and welcome everywhere. Imposters should NOT be welcomed anywhere in public. IMO.

 

Same things happen on land. "Service Dogs" not on leashes in stores. "Service Dogs" sitting in child area of shopping carts.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps a dog should be charged a cruise fee and gratuity just as children and babies are.  They should also come with a certification from a vet that they have had all of their shots, are treated for fleas, and are trained as a service dog.   There should be an understanding that dogs are not allowed in the Dining Room or Lido for sanitary reasons.  

 

There was a rather large dog on our Northern Europe cruise a few years ago.  He was very well behaved (may have been certified) but he was not totally comfy with the toileting arrangements.  Several  sea days  in a row with no “poop” and we passengers were anxious as to whether he would be able to “poop” when he finally got off the ship!  He did and we were all relieved!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dogs do not belong on any cruise ship, especially for so called 'comfort' reasons, the only exception is for seeing eye dogs, of course...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Sir PMP said:

Dogs do not belong on any cruise ship, especially for so called 'comfort' reasons, the only exception is for seeing eye dogs, of course...

Seeing eye dogs aren’t the only genuine service dos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There exists a big difference between 'service dogs,' i.e. seeing eye dogs and those trained for other services, and so-called "comfort animals" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that "emotional support dogs" are not service dogs.  They have no special ability.  They have not had the months/years of training and evaluation by professional trainers that a true "service animal" has. Seeing eye dogs, military sentry dogs and police dogs are true service animals.   The typical owner of an emotional support dog has not been to a simple obedience class let alone the months of training with their dog that a blind person has had.  Travelors should make a choice.  Do I stay home with my beloved animal or do I take a cruise. Life is full of choices.  Its not cruel or unusual punishment to ask them to make that choice.  Your so called "emotional wellbeing" does not give you the right to deprive the rest of the passengers and crew of theirs. If you need emotional support bring a 2 legged friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sir PMP,

 

So a service dog that detects epileptic seizures should not be allowed? Sorry I must disagree!!! Would you deny a person with a cane? A person needing oxygen? A wheel chair?

 

I do TOTALLY agree with dogs that are passed off as service dogs. But as a grandparent of a service dog I know the necessity. 

 

And consequently I also know how I feel  about the impostures! And BTW ESA ( emotional support animals) are NOT service animals nor are therapy animals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, GUT2407 said:

Seeing eye dogs aren’t the only genuine service dos.

 Absolutely true. Apparently someone hasn't heard of dogs that pull wheel chairs, otherwise help with mobility (like picking up items when a person has limited strength, flexibility or use of hands and arms, hearing dogs, diabetes and seizure dogs and a number of other possible uses.

 

That doesn't erase the fact that there are a number of fake "service" dogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many states have made it illegal to mis-represent a service animal. Congrats and thank you to them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am an early childhood center director and own a service dog. (pediatric panic attack, ptsd and anxiety)

You see her photo as a puppy to the left. 

It took 2 years for her to get her certification. In order to pass the test, she had to go into public (restaurants, stores, parks) and remain at stay/down without me until recalled for 20 minutes. This included being passed by people, wheelchairs, strollers, vacuums, bikes, children etc.

She is welcome in hospitals, hospice, etc and would never relieve herself when not approved. 

The dogs you are describing should never be called service dogs.

There are people who are able to thrive and function only with the assistance of their service dogs because of a variety of medical conditions.

Unfortunately, I have seen many instances of doctors who are family, friends etc. who will write the necessary letters for people to be allowed "service animals" simply because they want to bring pets along. There are many fake certification sites on the web.

By ADA standards if the dog is not housebroken, or not under the control of the handler/owner they no longer meet the standards and should be expelled from any place where only service dogs are allowed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had occasion to sail with a couple who had a ratty little poodle with them - a yappy little thing that seemed to snarl at whomever was closest to it.  It went everywhere with them - most often in their arms, sitting on their laps in the dining room, and on shore excursions when the husband carried it in a backpack.

 

We were walking back to the ship when I caught up with the woman, whose husband was about a quarter of a block ahead of her with the dog sleeping in the backpack.  Walking directly beside her, I asked if she could tell me what service the dog did for her.  Without looking at me, she said "I'm deaf."  I was astonished, as I had not faced her so she could read my lips, yet she was answering my question without hesitation.  I then said "Well if your dog is ahead of you in the backpack, how does he hear for you?"  She said "I can feel his vibes."   What a scam.

 

I don't begrudge anyone who truly needs a service animal, and I only hope one day I will not require one, but to bring along a pet and pass it off as a service animal is just wrong.

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to see the fake service animals. The real ones do an important job. They are trained extensively and behave well. They do not run around and bark or jump up on people, and they're never on a long lead. When you see badly behaved "service dogs" the owners just want to take their pets along on a trip. These liars are doing a disservice to the real deal, because people become suspicious that service dogs are pets that shouldn't be traveling. 

 

Because privacy laws prohibit asking about the owner's need for the dog, it's difficult for  cruiselines and airlines to separate the true service dogs from the fakes.The "comfort animal" is the biggest scam. Every cat or dog I ever had was a comfort animal. A bad day is always made better when I can hug my cat. But I hardly think that qualifies it as a service animal.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any dog specifically trained and certified by a recognized authority can be a service dog. Anyone owning such a dog (helps with mobility issues, seizure warning detection, alerts to danger) is aware of this and has the necessary paperwork and license that comes with such an animal.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also should have stated in my original post, that passengers bringing theses so called “Service dogs” on board just because they don’t want to leave their pet at home could make it very difficult in the future for people who genuinely need a proper service dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Double D Cruisers said:

I agree that "emotional support dogs" are not service dogs.  They have no special ability.  They have not had the months/years of training and evaluation by professional trainers that a true "service animal" has. Seeing eye dogs, military sentry dogs and police dogs are true service animals.   The typical owner of an emotional support dog has not been to a simple obedience class let alone the months of training with their dog that a blind person has had.  Travelors should make a choice.  Do I stay home with my beloved animal or do I take a cruise. Life is full of choices.  Its not cruel or unusual punishment to ask them to make that choice.  Your so called "emotional wellbeing" does not give you the right to deprive the rest of the passengers and crew of theirs. If you need emotional support bring a 2 legged friend.

100% with you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Double D Cruisers said:

Any dog specifically trained and certified by a recognized authority can be a service dog. Anyone owning such a dog (helps with mobility issues, seizure warning detection, alerts to danger) is aware of this and has the necessary paperwork and license that comes with such an animal.  

The ADA (speaking of American law here; I don't know other countries' laws) does not provide for paperwork or licensing of a service dog, not does it permit an establishment to request any sort of license or paperwork. A service dog may be privately trained, so no "paperwork" may exist. An establishment may ask whether the dog is required due to a disability and what type of work or task the dog has been trained to do. The establishment may not ask about the disability or require a demonstration of the dog's training.

 

https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A former neighbour had an emotional support dog.  To get into no-pet rental housing, she spent about $100 to get it a vest and certificate on the internet.  The dog was completely out of control, barely trained, barked constantly, and ran over little kids in the playground.  Everyone knew it was a scam and a hazard, but there was nothing that could be done.  The landlord didn't need the lawsuit that would surely have followed an eviction, nor did he need all the bad PR this woman would have generated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last time we were at the airport I was astonished at the amount of dogs in there. Most of them had generic red vests on that read "Service Animal". I guess it's a thing now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, kevingastreich said:

The last time we were at the airport I was astonished at the amount of dogs in there. Most of them had generic red vests on that read "Service Animal". I guess it's a thing now.

 

See my post above yours.  For about $100, your pet can also be a "service animal".... 😉

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Underwatr said:

The ADA (speaking of American law here; I don't know other countries' laws) does not provide for paperwork or licensing of a service dog, not does it permit an establishment to request any sort of license or paperwork. A service dog may be privately trained, so no "paperwork" may exist. An establishment may ask whether the dog is required due to a disability and what type of work or task the dog has been trained to do. The establishment may not ask about the disability or require a demonstration of the dog's training.

 

https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

Here is the quote I referred to earlier, very basic stuff. . . .

  • A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.

In the instances described earlier the animals do not have to be allowed based on the above requirement. A service dog MUST be under control and housebroken, Period!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

No. No to dogs or any other service animals.   I think the Queen Mary allows dogs but they are managed in kennels by QMII kennel master. There is a cruise for everyone, after all. 

 

 Cruise ships aren’t governed by US ADA regulations. 

Edited by Mary229

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Until there is some governing body certifying animals as support/service ones, I am afraid we will continue to travel with ducks, turkeys, pigs, etc. as well as dogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Mary229 said:

No. No to dogs or any other service animals.   I think the Queen Mary allows dogs but they are managed in kennels by QEII kennel master. There is a cruise for everyone, after all. 

 

 Cruise ships aren’t governed by US ADA regulations. 

QM2 does allow a certain number of dogs (pets) on their transatlantic crossings.  The owners pay a high cost for this and the kennels are often booked out a year or more in advance.  The dogs are not allowed in other places on the ship - only in the kennel area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this a further sign that HAL is really "going to the dogs" ??? :classic_biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...