Friday, February 25, 2011

News: Updat CCI Dog Elon- Appeal Denied

Appeal denied, service dog will not be returned to Utah man

Published: Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 4:16 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who had his companion dog taken away will not be getting him back any time soon.
Dr. Gael Yonnet’s service dog Elon was taken away a month ago by Canine Companions for Independence — the organization that partnered him with the yellow Labrador retriever.
At the time, the organization said Yonnet’s lifestyle and job were endangering the dog because he didn't keep Elon on a leash, especially on trips to the mountains. Read More

Thursday, February 24, 2011

News: Leapin' Lizards! Service Animals Are Multiplying Like Doggone Rabbits Skippy the Iguana Keeps His Owner Calm, But Therapy Dog Maxx Is an Impostor

Rhonda Kimmel's 11-year-old West Highland terrier, Maxx, goes with her everywhere—to the mall, restaurants and even to the bank.
Cosmie Silfa relies on an unusual companion to help him stay clean and sober: Skippy, a four-year-old iguana. But changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act could decertify Skippy as an official service animal. WSJ's Clare Major reports.

What gives Maxx entree to places normally off-limits to canines and other animals is the embroidered, purple vest he sports. It says: "Therapy Dog Maxx."
Maxx is a lot of things, including well-behaved, and he is a faithful companion. What he is not, however, is a therapy dog or a service dog, and Ms. Kimmel is not disabled. Read More

Other SDAWL Articles on fake Service dogs/ fraud:

News: Update on CCI Dog Elon

A reader forwarded this to me:

CCI Canine Companions for Independence

girl with a dog Canine Companions for Independence asked for the return of a dog that we had placed with an individual who graduated from our Team Training program. A difficult step made after over a year of many conversations with the graduate. We would like to update you on the current status related to this situation.
Canine Companions for Independence recently asked for the return of a dog because we believed that the dog’s safety was in jeopardy. We took this difficult step as a last resort after many attempts at resolving the dog management issues with the graduate.
As a practice, we work with a graduate when we are concerned about the dog or the team’s safety. We made repeated efforts for the past year to address the safety concerns of the dog being off lead in unenclosed and urban environments as well as concerns about the graduate’s decreasing ability to control the dog.
Canine Companions has placed over 3600 assistance dogs. In 36 years and 3600 dogs we have had to ask for a handful to be returned when we think the health and safety of the dog is in jeopardy. That’s fewer than 1 in 500 ever asked to return their Canine Companions dog; we make every effort to work with the graduate to make a successful placement and stand by our record of service with our graduate teams.
After our prolonged and unsuccessful attempts to resolve the safety issues, the graduate took it upon himself to use a shock collar on the dog and this precipitated our action to intervene. Canine Companions has a policy prohibiting shock collars on all Canine Companions dogs. Due to these factors and other evidence, we asked the graduate to return the dog. The dog is not in a cage and has been cared for in a loving home since his return.
Importance of Good Dog Management:
An important skill and asset for a successful assistance dog team is the graduate’s ability to manage the dog. Canine Companions trains graduates to be good dog handlers, to manage the dog on and off leash in life situations. The emphasis is having the dog under control. Regretfully, the graduate and others are portraying this solely as an on-lead vs. off-lead issue; that is inaccurate. The graduate’s decreasing ability to control the dog has put the dog’s safety at risk.
As Canine Companions puppy raisers and graduates know, it is important to have a well-managed dog and the leash alone is not the reason the dog is well managed. It is the handler/graduate being in control of the dog in all settings and being aware of potential risks confronting the dog. There are situations where a dog could be off leash, under control and safe. Here, the graduate was unable to control the dog and resorted to an electronic collar rather than working with Canine Companions to address the control issue appropriately.
Canine Companions Complaint Process:
Canine Companions is known for clear communication and the ability to have difficult but respectful conversations with our graduates and volunteers. In this case, the graduate seemed unwilling to work cooperatively with Canine Companions before Canine Companions recovered its dog. Since asking the graduate to return the dog, Canine Companions has continued to seek to work with the graduate to resolve the safety concerns:

  • Since the day the dog was returned and the days after, Canine Companions has offered to the graduate the opportunity for continuing conversations. Regretfully, this is not what the graduate has been saying publicly.
  • Canine Companions invited the graduate to use Canine Companions’ complaint process to resolve his complaint; he accepted our invitation by recently submitting an appeal to Canine Companions’ CEO.
The decision to seek the return of Canine Companions’ dog was a difficult one. Canine Companions’ guidelines and practices reflect our 36 years of experience training and placing assistance dogs successfully. We know that there are many viewpoints being shared. Canine Companions has never shied away from honest differences of opinions. It is our expectation that Canine Companions supporters that engage in discussions around this issue do so in a respectful and professional manner.
We appreciate the encouraging emails and messages being sent. We thank you for your confidence and support of Canine Companions and the people we serve.

Copyright © 2011 Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mailing Address:
Canine Companions for Independence
2965 Dutton Ave
PO Box 446
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0446

Contact Name: Canine Companions for Independence
Telephone Number: (707) 577-1700

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

News: Today- California Department of Consumer Affairs Offers Webcast, Panel About ADA Service Animals

California Department of Consumer Affairs Offers Webcast, Panel
About ADA Service Animals

Written by  Dan Oney   
February 22, 2011 
The State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind will host a
conference Wednesday, February 23, in Sacramento to discuss
impending changes to the legal definition of service animals in
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The new rules, which become law on March 15, will affect users of
service animals, as well as the hospitality industry, retailers
and other businesses that accommodate the public.

"We've had a number of inquiries on this issue," said Eric Holm,
President of the Board. "We know there's some confusion in the
business community and among service dog users about the new
rules, so we've invited representatives from the U. S. Department
of Justice and the advocacy group Disability Rights California to
discuss the changes and answer questions."

Key portions of the law to be discussed include the following:

.Only dogs are recognized as service animals, and only dogs that
have been trained to perform specific tasks that mitigate the
effect of a disability can be a service animal;
.Dogs whose sole function is to provide emotional support are
excluded from the definition of service animal;
.There are no limits on breeds of dogs;
.Businesses are generally required to accommodate trained
miniature horses as service animals.
State service animal access laws will also be explained.

The seminar is set to begin at 9 AM at the Department of Consumer
Affairs Headquarters in Sacramento. For those wishing to
participate but are out of town, the seminar will also be webcast
at the DCA's website.

The webcast is scheduled to begin at 8:45AM pst and can be found
Approximately 15 minutes prior to the event, the audio and/or
video Webcast links will be added, providing a direct audio/video

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Review: Modern Dog Magazine-Food Allergies 101

Modern Dog Magazine has a great article this month of food allergies in dogs... what causes allergies, preventing allergies, spotting them, and what to do when your dogs is miserable with allergies. My first service dog Bastien was allergic to wheat, something I discovered through trial and error when he was young. Poor thing was itchy, developed hot spots with anything more than just small dog size treat with wheat in it. Read  Food Allergies 101

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Service Dogs in College Residence Halls or Domitories

This article comes from a question from a reader. Service dogs are meant  to allow for greater independence; college being the first time a lot of young adult with disabilities are away from home and familiar  supports is a common time for people to want a service dog. Preparing for, caring for, and living with service dog in a dorm/residence hall situation is no easy task; while some of the considerations may be the same as for any multiple dwelling scenario (i.e. apartments, condominiums, hotels) this living situation also holds some particular challenges and considerations.
Similarities to an apartment/condo:
  • You are requesting a reasonable accommodation and therefore may be asked to go through a specific process where in you provide documentation that a service dog is needed to mitigate your  disability allowing you equal access to the facilities and services of the dwelling. sometimes this can be a headache and some what complicated so give yourself plenty of time to complete the process.
  • You may be require to show proof that your service dog is in compliance with local animal control regulations for example licensed and vaccinated.
  • You may need to sign that you have read, understand, and agree to comply with pet policies regarding maintaining control of you dog (keeping them on leash), where your animal may eliminate and clean up responsibilities, your responsibility for any damage to the property or other people caused by your dog, you will not knowing harbor a dangerous animal (an animal with a bite history is considered dangerous in most places).
  • Violating the pet policies can be grounds for eviction
 Differences From an Apartment/Condo: 
  • There are many spaces that are shared such as bathrooms and lounges that may present special challenges as far whether your dog is on duty, off duty, or some middle ground.
  • You are living with people who for the most are out on their own for the first time and sometimes setting boundaries and rules can be a challenge, especially when all you want to do is to fit in.
  • You are living under the campus animal policies 24/7 and violating them may be grounds for eviction even if you feel like you are "at home" and should be able to  do what you would "at home" because you are on campus property 
  • The sometimes erratic schedules and behavior of college students could hard for a service dog to adjust to

Thursday, February 10, 2011

News: Salmon Poisoning on the Rise

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The salmon run is taking place right now, but if you're planning on casting your line, you may want to think twice about bringing your favorite four-legged friend with you.
Dogs all across the county have been falling ill from eating fish.
Raw salmon and other ocean going fish can carry a parasite called Rickettsia, more commonly known as 'Salmon Poisoning.'
The parasite can seriously harm, or even kill dogs.
A few days after dogs eat raw salmon, they can start to act lethargic. They will probably continue to drink fluids, but they won't eat.
They will also likely vomit, have diarrhea and run a high fever.
If your dog is showing similar symptoms, officials urge you to bring them to a veterinary clinic. Read more

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

News: Pa. committee clears bill for service dog protection

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Dog owners could face civil and criminal penalties if their pets kill or maim a service animal under legislation approved Tuesday by the state House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 165 allows for fines of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to two years, and would require those convicted to pay veterinary or replacement costs. Read More

Friday, February 4, 2011

News:Heartworm preventive efficacy study results revealed at NAVC

One preventive found to be 100 percent effective against Dirofilaria immitis strain.

Historically, heartworm disease has been effectively prevented in dogs by using available preventives. However, recent research indicates that some field isolates and laboratory strains of Dirofilaria immitis may not be fully susceptible to preventive medications.1-3 The number of heartworm positive dogs has increased in certain areas of the central United States, namely the Mississippi Valley and Delta regions, despite compliant use of preventives. And other variables, such as testing strategy changes and increased mosquito vectors, have been ruled out as potential explanations. The concern is that a subpopulation of heartworms in these areas has developed resistance to heartworm preventive medications. Read More

Thursday, February 3, 2011

News: CCI Takes Service Dog After Numerous Safety Violations

Video Courtesy of

Man's companion dog taken away over danger dispute
February 2nd, 2011 @ 10:22pm
SALT LAKE CITY -- A snowboarding accident changed his life nearly five years ago. But thanks to a service dog, Dr. Gael Yonnet got his life back.
Then last week everything changed. That's when the organization that partnered him with Elon, a yellow Labrador retriever, took the dog back, saying Yonnet's lifestyle and job were endangering the animal. Read More
Statement from Canine Companions for Independence

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sit ‘n Stay Global Releases Pet Safety Protocols for Service Animals and Cabin Pets on Planes

Sit 'n Stay Global has developed safety protocols that extend the usual safety procedures for humans to Service Animals and Cabin Pets traveling on board commercial flights. Now Service Animals will be as safe as their human companions.
The new online publication teaches you how to travel safely with your pet in the cabin, what equipment will help and how to find the equipment, all in one place.  With today’s busy and crowded flights, it is unlikely that the airline will offer much help, so it becomes the responsibility of the pet’s companion to have an emergency plan for Fido.  Read more from Press release
Read the Safety guidelines
  1. What do partners who are experience travelers think of these suggestions?
  2. How might you disability or dogs training help or prevent you from following these?
Tomorrow I will post my thought on these having flown dozens of times with my service dogs. Email me your thoughts at or post a comment below for a chance to have you experiences included in the article!

The Hartz Mountain Corporation Recalls Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall. Read more
Essential Details:
  • 8-oz bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs
  • Lot code BZ0969101E
  • UPC number 32700-11519
Contact Hartz at 1-800-275-1414 at any time with any questions they may have and for information on how to obtain reimbursement for purchased product.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Note: Seattle Commision for People with Disabilities Links to SDAWL!

I was so proud to discover today that the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities chose Service Dogs: A Way of Life as a link under their Assistance Dog Information Section! SDAWL is currently the only link in the section that focuses on the handler perspective.