Thursday, March 19, 2009

News: Marshall University Cracking Down on Animals on Campus

Today I read an article Professor fights proposed ban on indoor animals and was once again struck by several things:
1. People's taking a change in policy as a personal affront to their pet. While this professor's dog may have never been a problem, it is easier for the administration to say no animals other than service animals.
2. If the campus does allow animals who will be in charge of ensuring all pet animals on campus are well behaved, properly controlled at all times, healthy, and clean?
3. Who does a person with a legitimate service animal go to if/when someone's pet is keeping the person from being able to work with their service dog? People say all the time "Oh Fluffy just wants to play." Well that's all well and good except your dog running up to my dog just made it impossible for us to work.
4. Who gets in trouble if one person's pet takes offense to an other's and fights, growls, bites? What if someone's pet injures or causes a service animal to be afraid to work near them?
I understand this professor just wants to be in the take your pet to work phenomenon, but is is clear he has not stopped to think what would happen if someone with a pet not as well behaved or monitored as his seems to be was indoors on Campus. The Service Dog community has work for nearly 100 years in this country to build the public trust that service dogs are well trained, non-aggressive, and safe to accompany their people in public. Even so, because people continue to take under-trained and ill-behaved animals places where they should not be, legitimate people with disabilities partnered with service dogs must endured constant challenges and confrontations when simply trying to grocery shop, go out to eat, get to work, or enjoy a show.

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