Going into a store today we see many pets and beloved caretakers of our hearts with four legs around the store. However, many have not been trained as 'service animals'. There is a specific certification for the service animals which are allowed inside the different venues.
The rights of a people with a certified service animal are being abused. And as such the Americans with Disabilities Act is being rewritten or added to so the animals allowed inside stores, restaurants and so forth will be certified. In many ways this can be held side-by-side with the parking placard for disabled parking. These laws were revisited in 2010 www.ada.gov/service_animals and it appears will be looked into again, due to the misuse.
Now due to complaints and misuse there will be new laws and standards to provide for this use. Certainly, there is a right for those having a certified animal to move through their life with the independence provided by having that animal. However, the cost of a certified service animal is far more expensive than most can afford, and the medical insurance is not going to pay for it.
We need to begin looking at our disabled in a new light. We all know it is far less expensive to have a person remain in their own home and live independently than to be placed in a nursing facility. Perhaps we need to put some thought into less expensive ways to certified animals and just as with the registration for rabies inoculation, there is a less expensive tag for service animals.
**quick note regarding my last article of 5/2/2014 titled ‘Safe Places for Children’. There was an error in the location of http://www.animalcenter.org it should have read Rancho Santa Fe, CA. I apologize for the error and encourage anyone thinking about summer activities for children or for the Parks and Recreation Departments of local governments to see the benefits of this program.