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So called “Service Dogs” on board ships

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1 minute ago, taxmantoo said:

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

 

We'll soon be discussing chair dogs as opposed chair hogs

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I think there was probably a direct correlation between the very high number of cruise days of the guest the OP was referring to, and their ability to get Seattle's approval to bring 2 untrained "comfort dogs" on the world cruise.   I would be willing to bet they also were not in the cheapest inside cabin.   Let's face it, money talks and Seattle listens.  

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31 minutes ago, 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

Thanks for the information.  Did not know that.  Was speaking of military service dogs and assumed the ADA had something similar.  And if not why not?  It seems without clear guidance, regulations and certification, rampant abuse of the term "service animal" will remain unchecked.  If I were an agency or a professional conducting these valuable animal training programs I would certainly welcome an accreditation and official recognition of my program.  Does the ADA not want scrutiny? "Privately trained so no paperwork exists". You can't cut hair these days without a license, but you can train and sell "service dogs" to vulnerable people without any over sight?   It's a service dog just cuz I say its a service dog?  Sounds like the ADA needs to run a tighter ship (for the good of the disabled.)  All of us are either disabled now or will be disabled in the future (unless we get run over by a bus and die first.)  I want to know the ADA has their act together.

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As a dog owner all my life and a former "puppy walker" for Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, I fully support allowing properly trained and certified service dogs on cruise ships. 

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36 minutes ago, Scrapnana said:

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.

Don't forget Dexter, the emotional support peacock. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42880690

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17 minutes ago, Double D Cruisers said:

Thanks for the information.  Did not know that.  Was speaking of military service dogs and assumed the ADA had something similar.  And if not why not?  It seems without clear guidance, regulations and certification, rampant abuse of the term "service animal" will remain unchecked.  If I were an agency or a professional conducting these valuable animal training programs I would certainly welcome an accreditation and official recognition of my program.  Does the ADA not want scrutiny? "Privately trained so no paperwork exists". You can't cut hair these days without a license, but you can train and sell "service dogs" to vulnerable people without any over sight?   It's a service dog just cuz I say its a service dog?  Sounds like the ADA needs to run a tighter ship (for the good of the disabled.)  All of us are either disabled now or will be disabled in the future (unless we get run over by a bus and die first.)  I want to know the ADA has their act together.

The ADA, like all government agencies, strive to be 100% politically correct, in order to not offend the guy with his "Emotional Support" Boa Constrictor.   If you question his disability, and what this 12 ft long Boa does for him, you are infringing on his personal space and making him uncomfortable.   There would be 10 lawyers salivating to file his lawsuit.

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3 minutes ago, TAD2005 said:

The ADA, like all government agencies, strive to be 100% politically correct, in order to not offend the guy with his "Emotional Support" Boa Constrictor.   If you question his disability, and what this 12 ft long Boa does for him, you are infringing on his personal space and making him uncomfortable.   There would be 10 lawyers salivating to file his lawsuit.

The ADA is not a government agency, it is a law. It is enforced by a number of government agencies, including the Justice Department.

 

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3 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

The ADA is not a government agency, it is a law. It is enforced by a number of government agencies, including the Justice Department.

 

I agree, but the law was written in a way to not offend anyone, and now we have to live with Emotional Support chickens, goats, snakes, miniature horses, peacocks, pot belly pigs, etc on cruise ships and planes.

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Again because I am part of a certified service animal team, I will try to answer a few questions.

 The reason that there is not a national certification process is cost and access.  There are many places where there are no certified dogs or trainers. (ADINA certification is the legitimate credential)

The government (Medicare, Medicaid) does not pay for or train these animals. No commercial insurance policies cover service dogs either. (there are some grants etc.)

By requiring specific licensing the Federal Government would have to run and establish these programs and provide access to everyone who qualifies. The cost to train is 10k-12k

There is not a federal definition of a wheelchair.  There are thousands of different models/types. There are many different skills that are necessary for service animals and ideally, they are trained from puppyhood for a specific type of patient. (blind, hearing loss, seizure, PTSD etc.)

My working animal was specifically bred and trained for pediatric use. She was exposed to an environment which included the sights and sounds of hospitals from the age of 6 weeks. She will lay calmly in a bed next to a 4-year-old connected to many tubes and machines with perfect stillness until released. You cannot even imagine the calming effect a soft little dog can give a scared child who is in pain. 

She will never step foot on a cruiseship, but if she did I can assure you that she would not EVER adversely affect your experience. Please do not judge the acceptance of a true service animal on the "faux" versions you have been subjected to onboard.

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Posted (edited)

The difference between an emotional support dog and a service dog is that the latter compensates for a disability.   A seeing eye dog is the owner's eye's;  a seizure dog or diabetes dog senses the condition in their owner--alerting seizures or hypoglycemia.   All are life threatening situations.   Comfort dogs and therapy dogs do NOT compensate for a disability by making the person fully functional.   They 'may' facilitate good feelings which is all fine and dandy.......but the owner's life  will not be in jeopardy without them.   

 

There is no reason that HAL cannot state that any dog or animal allowed on the ship is subject to removal (at the next port) if they interfere with other passengers by way of disorderly conduct (out of control behavior), noise (barking, whining) or failure to demonstrate 'work behavior' while on the ship in the presence of their owner.    For people who need service animals..........these things would disqualify the dog from being placed as their partner..........think about this.

 

Too many people have abused the process with their pets under the guise of comfort dogs...........it's not too late to step up and protect those who need the services of legitimate service dogs and send those not wanting to leave their pets off at the next port of call.

 

Dundeene..........thanks for the work you do in the hospitals.     There again, I doubt any of the problem dogs on cruise ships have ever  provided a safe respite to those facing serious health issues!

 

    

Edited by thyme2go
change words

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1 hour ago, Scrapnana said:

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.

 

I shudder for the dogs there.  They are so restricted.  I would NEVER take my dogs on Cunard or any ship.  It’s not a place for them and full caveat - they are NOT service dogs.  They wouldn’t pee/poop in improper places nor howl, but they are not service dogs and don’t belong on a ship.

 

I think they are much happier at their home away from home where they get two walks a day and get to see the horses (They both love horses) and walk with them.

 

1 hour ago, Scrapnana said:

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.

 

Sadly, there are places on line where you can buy fake service dog certificates and coats.  

 

Just off the Prinsendam and apparently as an officer told me a “supposed” service dog got on for the segment before us.  It created total havoc.  It was no service dog.

 

Let’s be clear - service dogs are trained to deal with all kinds of situations.  Even for them a ship might be tough.  For our normal dogs, it would be so constraining and so tough.  People need to start to think about their animals and not themselves.

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22 minutes ago, thyme2go said:

or failure to demonstrate 'work behavior' while on the ship in the presence of their owner. 

I like this wording.  Works for me.

 

We had 3 service dogs (I'm assuming service dogs, but could have been otherwise) on one of our cruises.  One of them definitely needed additional training, as she peed and pooped in at least 2 different locations onboard during the cruise.

 

In cases like that, if putting them off the ship isn't do-able, confinement to stateroom until end of cruise works.  With the stipulation that the owner cannot leave the dog alone in the room.

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37 minutes ago, TAD2005 said:

I agree, but the law was written in a way to not offend anyone, and now we have to live with Emotional Support chickens, goats, snakes, miniature horses, peacocks, pot belly pigs, etc on cruise ships and planes.

 

   Actually, you don't.  The FAQ's on HAL's website include this:

 

"Holland America Line only permits service animals on board, defined as those animals that are individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. We do not permit our guests to bring pets, therapy/companion animals, and other animals that do not meet the definition of service animals. If you have any questions about whether the animal you wish to bring on board is, in fact, a service animal, you may contact our Access & Compliance Department."

 

Similar language was included in the documentation included with our boarding pass for a cruise on Prinsendam in January.  How HAL goes about enforcing this rule is another question, however, and what a fellow passenger can do to get it enforced is as well.  At a minimum, it seems to me a visit to guest relations would be the first step.

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5 minutes ago, Shmoo here said:

I like this wording.  Works for me.

 

In cases like that, if putting them off the ship isn't do-able, confinement to stateroom until end of cruise works.  With the stipulation that the owner cannot leave the dog alone in the room.

As long as you are not in the room next door. What if the neighbor is allergic, what if they neighbor is scared of dogs and therefor has their own emotional issues to protect another’s. No animals onboard, none.   Sorry to not bend to the modern obsession with animals but I do not want animals in confined spaces.

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Just now, Mary229 said:

As long as you are not in the room next door. What if the neighbor is allergic, what if they neighbor is scared of dogs and therefor has their own emotional issues to protect another’s. No animals onboard, none.   Sorry to not bend to the modern obsession with animals but I do not want animals in confined spaces.

I agree.  If it's not feasible to confine the offending dog, then it must be removed from the ship.

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There were two small pups on our recent Zuiderdam cruise to the Panama Canal. Both belonged to the magician and (spoiler alert) were part of his act. Apparently he could be seen walking them on the third deck, where a patch of grass had been set out for them to use. 

 

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Posted (edited)

...on the particular Prinsendam Cruise I referred to in the OP.....there were Crew members......dining staff who were in fact scared of large dogs......therefor the passenger and her four legged friend were moved from table to table

Edited by kura
Predictive text!

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1 minute ago, kura said:

...on the particular Prinsendam Cruise I referred to in the OP.....there were Cruise members......dining staff who were in fact scared of large dogs......therefor the passenger and her four legged friend were moved from table to table

Having jogged for years experience has taught me any dog can be unpredictable especially in an odd circumstance like aboard a cruise ship. At home I can climb a fence or up a tree but where does one run on a ship.  I don’t blame the crew for being afraid of dogs.  

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52 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

The ADA is not a government agency, it is a law. It is enforced by a number of government agencies, including the Justice Department.

 

 

Thank you for clarifying this. It is the Americans with Disabilities Act. its aim is to provide equal access to "goods and services" and we see it around us all the time in ramps, wheelchair lifts, curb cuts, accessible public bathrooms, braille labels in elevators, "doorbell" lights in hotel rooms, etc. It also covers the service animal issue.

 

I just looked online and found several sites where you can "register" your service dog. You get a certificate, ID for the dog, vest for the dog. No letter from your doctor or vet needed. Just tell the website what your dog does--from what I call "real medical assistance" like detecting seizures or diabetic issues to "comfort." And send $25. 

 

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42 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

I shudder for the dogs there.  They are so restricted.  I would NEVER take my dogs on Cunard or any ship.  It’s not a place for them and full caveat - they are NOT service dogs.  They wouldn’t pee/poop in improper places nor howl, but they are not service dogs and don’t belong on a ship.

 

I think they are much happier at their home away from home where they get two walks a day and get to see the horses (They both love horses) and walk with them.

 

 

Sadly, there are places on line where you can buy fake service dog certificates and coats.  

 

Just off the Prinsendam and apparently as an officer told me a “supposed” service dog got on for the segment before us.  It created total havoc.  It was no service dog.

 

Let’s be clear - service dogs are trained to deal with all kinds of situations.  Even for them a ship might be tough.  For our normal dogs, it would be so constraining and so tough.  People need to start to think about their animals and not themselves.

 

Most of the people who take their dogs on transatlantics on QM2 are relocating. The kennels are not used on a cruise, only crossings.  I would much prefer to have my pet in a kennel on QM2 than in an airplane hold. The kennel has an exercise area, so the dogs are not in a cage all the time. 

 

You're right that people do need to think about their animals in terms of what's good for the animal. A dog is not a person. It does not need to go on vacation with the owner. Our dogs were always VERY excited to go to "doggie camp" when we went on vacation. And they were better off there than cooped up in a car for a long drive and then in a hotel room.

 

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6 hours ago, kura said:

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. 

 

😂 I am sorry I think this has to be the funniest thing I have seen on CC. Is it appropriate, no, funny YES! 

 

I always joke around about bringing my dog as a "comfort dog". If she got loose, the first place I would for her is at the Buffet and if she isn't there she would be in the pool! But don't worry, she won't be cruising any time soon. 

 

Again, I am sorry, but I really am Laughing Out Loud at this one! 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, TAD2005 said:

The ADA, like all government agencies, strive to be 100% politically correct, in order to not offend the guy with his "Emotional Support" Boa Constrictor.   If you question his disability, and what this 12 ft long Boa does for him, you are infringing on his personal space and making him uncomfortable.   There would be 10 lawyers salivating to file his lawsuit.

 

You mean I can't bring my emotional support boa, Squeeze? So unfair! All he wants to do is hug.

 

Seriously, though, there was a similar issue with apparently untrained dogs on the recent Prinsendam TA. One was on a balcony near mine and there was quite a lot of barking. Since I know Kazu got on in Lisbon when I got off, I imagine that is what is being referred. too. Apparently as well, one of the performers brought dogs as well. (on re-reading earlier posts, I believe I was told by another passenger it was the magician. I did not see that show and feel that HA could have done without it)

Edited by Wehwalt

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If you read the ADA rules .... they do cover instances when a dog which is presented as a service dog may be removed..... those include aggressive behavior and other infractions. The dog also has to be clean (brushed, bathed, etc) I work in dog training and have helped with the initial training of several service dogs who then went on to perform very specific tasks like detection of seizures before they occur. Many of the dogs I trained did not attain the service dog designation even though they were great on the down, sit, stay, eliminate routines.  Cruise lines can not ask you what your disability is.... but they can ask what the dog has been trained to do. I think most are just afraid to ask.

 

I have seen plenty of fake service dogs.... including one on a plane flight that insisted on seating in my window seat (I got the stewardess to move me.... and I love dogs but....!!!

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5 hours ago, TAD2005 said:

I think there was probably a direct correlation between the very high number of cruise days of the guest the OP was referring to, and their ability to get Seattle's approval to bring 2 untrained "comfort dogs" on the world cruise.   I would be willing to bet they also were not in the cheapest inside cabin.   Let's face it, money talks and Seattle listens.  

You'd lose that bet 🙂 I'm on the WC and the 2 dogs and their owners are in an inside cabin. I don't know how many cruise days they have or if they are 4 or 5 star Mariners.

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