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So called “Service Dogs” on board ships

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5 hours ago, dundeene said:

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.

Thank you soooo much!!! I commend you on your service with such wonderful animals! They are a treasure and can calm and be such more supportive than a human can be in many ways. I have seen it first hand, and my grand puppy is one!!!!

Thank you for a wonderful write up!

Denise😊

And please don’t be subjective to me, I’m not saying my Paisley would step onto a cruise ship at all, but I have witnessed 

her emotions of calmness to those less fortunate! Such a blessing to see.

She is a true service animal to Radys Children’s Cancer research Hospital in San Diego! 

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It's maddening that people abuse the system with "comfort animals" that haven't been trained to even minimal pet standards never mind actual service animal training.

 

It's not always obvious what a trained service dog does and the unlikeliest people can have them. Max Domi is a Type 1 diabetic who plays hockey for the NHL Montreal Canadiens. His service dog Orion has been trained to alert when he smells low blood sugar.

 

There really are hearing service dogs. Service dogs are also trained to assist with mobility issues and seizure disorders.  Hearing service dogs are trained to alert when they hear specific sounds. Baby crying, door bell, smoke alarm, that type of sounds. Each dog is trained for a small number of specific sounds requested by the person the dog is going to.

 

 

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Over the years we have seen quite a few service dogs on HAL ships.  Many were seeing eye dogs.  One dog and his owner we saw twice on cruises -- the man was a diabetic.  We were awakened one night when we heard people running to a cabin.  The man had gone into a diabetic coma and the dog alerted the man's wife who called for help.  The man was alright in the end.  We never heard the dog bark or anything.

 

We had a bad situation on a cruise a number of years ago with a "service" dog -- which he wasn't.  Owner was in a wheel chair -- allowed him to eat at the table.  He was dirty -- fur matted.  She never wore shoes and her feet were dirty.

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2 hours ago, Underwatr said:

Note that the ADA does exclusively define a service animal as a dog. 

 

The US Supreme Court has determined that the ADA applies to foreign-flag cruise ships serving US ports - at least in theory, and arguably as it applies to service animals. 

https://www.irmi.com/articles/expert-commentary/ada-applies-to-foreign-flag-cruise-ships-in-theory

While this article has some back and forth about how far the justices felt the ADA was to apply to foreign flag cruise ships, a brief scan does not indicate a mention of what is in most surveys of the decision, that the ADA does not apply to foreign flag cruise ships where it impinges on the ship's "internal policies and practices".

 

I am a full advocate for true service animals, for all types of service and disabilities, but I also hold with the legal application that "emotional support animals" do not get the same protections, and should not be allowed on ships.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, until CLIA comes out with an "animal guest code of conduct" as most lines have for their human guests, the abuse and the unruly pets will continue to be allowed on ships, since "the guest is always right".

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7 hours ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Thank you soooo much!!! I commend you on your service with such wonderful animals! They are a treasure and can calm and be such more supportive than a human can be in many ways. I have seen it first hand, and my grand puppy is one!!!!

Thank you for a wonderful write up!

Denise😊

And please don’t be subjective to me, I’m not saying my Paisley would step onto a cruise ship at all, but I have witnessed 

her emotions of calmness to those less fortunate! Such a blessing to see.

She is a true service animal to Radys Children’s Cancer research Hospital in San Diego! 

My dog is a nationally certified service dog.  She is trained to alert nurses and caregivers for panic and anxiety attack as well as brain seizure. She is also a hospital dog:)

She also assists small children coming from the foster system who have been traumatized by abuse safely transfer to care centers and foster families. 

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Are the cruise lines creating a liability risk for themselves in case one of these untrained  "service" dogs should bite another passenger?

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4 minutes ago, dundeene said:

My dog is a nationally certified service dog.  She is trained to alert nurses and caregivers for panic and anxiety attack as well as brain seizure. She is also a hospital dog:)

She also assists small children coming from the foster system who have been traumatized by abuse safely transfer to care centers and foster families. 

 

I agree with the majority of posts so far - service dogs on the ship are fine (and necessary) IF they are properly trained/certified.  Others are not!

 

My friend has a certified service dog and they volunteer at local schools, hospitals, etc.  and provides a great service to people in difficult times.  He and his dog had to undergo alot of training, but he said it is worth it and is a MUST in order to be a certified service dog.   

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1 hour ago, Walfam said:

Are the cruise lines creating a liability risk for themselves in case one of these untrained  "service" dogs should bite another passenger?

Yep.

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My husband is on his 3rd service dog. He is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. Our last service dog went on 10 cruises, most of them on HAL. Our dog never misbehaved, never relieved himself anywhere but the potty box. He never ran around off leash, ate from a table, jumped on anyone/furniture or jumped in the pool. That is unacceptable.  An emotional support dog is not allowed ANY public access. The only thing they are allowed is entry to housing that does not allow dogs and planes which are now cracking down on them. But as we all know they are showing up everywhere. Mostly because shop owners, restaurants and unfortunately cruise ships are afraid of lawsuits. 

 

There is NO certification for a service dog. We have an ID from our organization but technically its just for show in case we are asked about the dog. Assistance dogs international is a great organization but does not legally certify a service dog. You can buy a service dog vest and a certificate that says your dog is certified but it means nothing. .

 

I'll be happy to answer any other questions. 

 

Cindy

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

 

I agree with the majority of posts so far - service dogs on the ship are fine (and necessary) IF they are properly trained/certified.  Others are not!

 

My friend has a certified service dog and they volunteer at local schools, hospitals, etc.  and provides a great service to people in difficult times.  He and his dog had to undergo alot of training, but he said it is worth it and is a MUST in order to be a certified service dog.   

 

What you are describing is terrific and makes a valuable contribution to society, but it is actually not a service dog. This is a therapy dog, sometimes called a facility dog. https://dogsforbetterlives.org/facility-dogs/. I think it’s wonderful to have these trained dogs for school, nursing home, court room, or hospital visits, and I respect people who participate as trainers or volunteer dog handlers. However these animals are not service dogs, and they do not have public access beyond their specified visit locations. They cannot enter stores & restaurants and accompany their partner on cruise ships, for example, any more than emotional support dogs can.

 

Service dogs are by ADA/Justice Dept. definition individually trained to do work or perform TASKS for people with disabilities..., such as guide dogs to lead blind people, hearing dogs trained to alert deaf people to specific sounds, or mobility assistance dogs that open drawers, pick up dropped items, etc. for a person in a wheelchair. There are other types as well.

 

I have a hearing dog trained by Dogs for the Deaf who performs tasks at home or on trips - such as the time on Celebrity when she awakened & alerted  me at 2 a.m., after my husband accidentally locked himself out of our stateroom. She led me to the door and performed a “sit at sound,” so I could know where the sound was coming from. A “door knock” alert is one of many tasks she is trained to perform for me. I hope this example explains the ADA/Justice Deot. concept of doing work or performing tasks.

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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This is such a sad topic.  These poor "comfort creatures" are just following their human's lead.  Imagine how the poor dogs feel having to "comfort" such ill mannered beings.  It's no wonder these "type" of individuals have the voiceless around them. The lack of courtesy and care by these deceptive "humans" make it harder for those people that truly require the assistance of a service dog.  The cruise industry should address this....

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3 hours ago, rangeley said:

My husband is on his 3rd service dog. He is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. Our last service dog went on 10 cruises, most of them on HAL. Our dog never misbehaved, never relieved himself anywhere but the potty box. He never ran around off leash, ate from a table, jumped on anyone/furniture or jumped in the pool. That is unacceptable.  An emotional support dog is not allowed ANY public access. The only thing they are allowed is entry to housing that does not allow dogs and planes which are now cracking down on them. But as we all know they are showing up everywhere. Mostly because shop owners, restaurants and unfortunately cruise ships are afraid of lawsuits. 

 

There is NO certification for a service dog. We have an ID from our organization but technically its just for show in case we are asked about the dog. Assistance dogs international is a great organization but does not legally certify a service dog. You can buy a service dog vest and a certificate that says your dog is certified but it means nothing. .

 

I'll be happy to answer any other questions. 

 

Cindy

 

Bold is mine. That's the giveaway. The service dog is "on the job" and stays by the person he/she is trained to serve. The dog knows this is serious business and does not run around or misbehave. When a service dog is running around or jumping on people, you know it isn't really a service dog. Sadly, the liars with the fake service animals are probably the kind to sue if the cruise line questions them.

 

 

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3 hours ago, rangeley said:

There is NO certification for a service dog. We have an ID from our organization but technically its just for show in case we are asked about the dog.

That may be true in the US, but in Canada, certification varies from province to province. For example, British Columbia’s Guide Dog and Service Dog Act and regulation govern how guide and service dogs and their handlers are certified. This is a sample of the certificates issued under the Act:

 

 

gdsd-card-front.png

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19 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

That may be true in the US, but in Canada, certification varies from province to province. For example, British Columbia’s Guide Dog and Service Dog Act and regulation govern how guide and service dogs and their handlers are certified. This is a sample of the certificates issued under the Act:

 

 

gdsd-card-front.png

I wish they would have some law here for certification. 

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There are Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs and Therapy Dogs.  Only Service Dogs are not considered pets and only Service Dogs are protected by the Americans with Disability Act according to the Justice Department.  Only Service Dogs have protection under law to go wherever the owner goes and do whatever the owner is able to do.  The problems is there are dozens of places on the internet selling "fake" certificates,  proclaiming your dog to be whatever you want it to be.  Yet there is NO official licensing authority that credentials programs or individuals who actually provide the legitimate extensive training of Service Dogs.  The DOJ says only dogs can be service animals and they must be specifically trained to help a specific person with a specific disability.  Some confusion comes when certain classes of Service Dogs (one trained to aid someone with PTSD for example) is confused with an emotional support animal.  One has been specifically trained to help one person and the other has not. Therapy animals are pets with an ability or training to provide comfort to people in general.  For example sick children in the hospital.  These dogs/animals may be permitted by a particular hospital or other facility to comfort patients but they have no added rights under the ADA to go on planes, in restaurants or on cruise ships.  Emotional support pets have no specific training but can provide emotional support to their owner.  These owners and their animals have no rights at all under the ADA. These are considered normal pets owned by normal people according to the Justice Department. Until a national credentialing process is developed with a nationally recognized certifying authority issuing a government approved Service Dog License I can see this problem continuing to upset the general population.  As usual a few people think they have the right to game the system at everyone else's expense.  Reminds me of those who swipe their parent's and grandparent's handicapped parking placard so they don't have to walk a few more steps. 

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19 hours ago, 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.  

19 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

 

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.

How would a dog confined to a neighboring cabin affect allergies or scare someone in a totally different cabin?

Smoo’s context is the dog and the owner are in the cabin.....

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5 minutes ago, TiogaCruiser said:

How would a dog confined to a neighboring cabin affect allergies or scare someone in a totally different cabin?

Smoo’s context is the dog and the owner are in the cabin.....

 Dog fur doesn’t stay put and a problematic dog’s noise is going to be heard through the walls.  Cruise ships aren’t like hotels where you can easily move to another room or even to another hotel.  I tend to take very long cruises and the thought of hearing a whining dog for 30 days makes me shudder

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22 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

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

 I agree 100 per cent.  "Comfort dogs" are an excuse to bring the pet on a cruise.  There is such a thing as comfort dogs but this counds like the family pet and not the trained comfort dog.  Some people teat the dog like a family child.

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36 minutes ago, Double D Cruisers said:

There are Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs and Therapy Dogs.  Only Service Dogs are not considered pets and only Service Dogs are protected by the Americans with Disability Act according to the Justice Department.  Only Service Dogs have protection under law to go wherever the owner goes and do whatever the owner is able to do.  The problems is there are dozens of places on the internet selling "fake" certificates,  proclaiming your dog to be whatever you want it to be.  Yet there is NO official licensing authority that credentials programs or individuals who actually provide the legitimate extensive training of Service Dogs.  The DOJ says only dogs can be service animals and they must be specifically trained to help a specific person with a specific disability.  Some confusion comes when certain classes of Service Dogs (one trained to aid someone with PTSD for example) is confused with an emotional support animal.  One has been specifically trained to help one person and the other has not. Therapy animals are pets with an ability or training to provide comfort to people in general.  For example sick children in the hospital.  These dogs/animals may be permitted by a particular hospital or other facility to comfort patients but they have no added rights under the ADA to go on planes, in restaurants or on cruise ships.  Emotional support pets have no specific training but can provide emotional support to their owner.  These owners and their animals have no rights at all under the ADA. These are considered normal pets owned by normal people according to the Justice Department. Until a national credentialing process is developed with a nationally recognized certifying authority issuing a government approved Service Dog License I can see this problem continuing to upset the general population.  As usual a few people think they have the right to game the system at everyone else's expense.  Reminds me of those who swipe their parent's and grandparent's handicapped parking placard so they don't have to walk a few more steps. 

 

(bold is mine) Or the people who used to post here bragging about how they got a big cabin at small-cabin prices by pretending to need a HA cabin. 

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4 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

(bold is mine) Or the people who used to post here bragging about how they got a big cabin at small-cabin prices by pretending to need a HA cabin. 

 Doing that is not too honest. Points out the bad in Situation Ethics.

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5 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

(bold is mine) Or the people who used to post here bragging about how they got a big cabin at small-cabin prices by pretending to need a HA cabin. 

Cheaters gonna cheat.  Sad to think some people eagerly seek out the role of "perpetual victim." That way any perceived injustice will give them the excuse to lie, cheat or demand something they have not earned or do not qualify for.  This "entitlement" psychosis rarely existed in our parents/grandparents days.  It is rampant today.  

 

"Hard times create strong people.  Strong people create easy times.  Easy times create weak people. Weak people create hard times."

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I understand service dogs but people do take advantage of loose interpretations of the rules.  On one cruise a woman brought her cat along as a comfort animal.  I finally came to the opinion that it was to garner attention from fellow passengers.   

 

To take it to the extreme - call HAL and tell them that you want to bring your comfort python along on the cruise.  Wonder what they would say ?

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15 minutes ago, Double D Cruisers said:

Cheaters gonna cheat.  Sad to think some people eagerly seek out the role of "perpetual victim." That way any perceived injustice will give them the excuse to lie, cheat or demand something they have not earned or do not qualify for.  This "entitlement" psychosis rarely existed in our parents/grandparents days.  It is rampant today.  

 

"Hard times create strong people.  Strong people create easy times.  Easy times create weak people. Weak people create hard times."

You can say that again.

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