Wednesday, February 29, 2012

News: My Master Made Me Do It- Service dog Fraud

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

News: Hero Dog Nomination Open

Press Release:
Win a trip to Hollywood, honor your dog on national TV, and help win $15,000 for a worthy cause

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us, and given us their unconditional love.  Now you can repay the favor, win a trip to Hollywood, and help worthy charities share $50,000 in critically needed funds – just by clicking on and nominating your capital canine in the 2012 “American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™.”

Broadcast nationwide on Hallmark Channel, the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards are produced by Emmy® award winning MRB Productions and seek to identify and recognize America’s Hero Dogs – often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things, whether it’s saving lives, lending a comforting paw when you're sick, or just welcoming you home at the end of a hard day.

Dogs may be nominated in eight categories:   Law Enforcement & Arson Dogs;   Service Dogs;   Therapy Dogs;   Military Dogs;   Guide Dogs;   
Search and Rescue Dogs;   Hearing Dogs;   and Emerging Hero Dogs (the category for pets).

Finalists in each of the eight categories will be selected by the public from the pool of contestants, and flown to Hollywood with two of their human friends to the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California on October 6, 2012.  There they will walk the red carpet, attend the show which will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel, and will be recognized in a video tribute at the black-tie gala where the winning American Hero Dog will be announced.  Each of the eight finalists will win $5,000 for their chosen charity selected from the contest’s list of 45 charity partners. The top winner will win an additional $10,000 for their charity partner.

Americans love a hero, and this year’s inaugural Hero Dog Awards proved that’s true for the four-legged kind as well. Everyone has a hero dog in his or her life, and we want to hear about yours!

“In a very short period of time, the Hero Dog Awards has established itself as the ultimate celebration of dogs and the remarkable things they do to make people’s lives better.  This annual initiative recognizes these tremendous animals through their stories of loyalty, bravery, commitment, and unconditional love,” says Bill Abbott, CEO and President, Crown Media Family Networks.  “As we open nominations for this year, we look forward to hearing and sharing more of these accounts, which are important reminders of how integral the human-dog partnership is to the enrichment of so many lives. I actively encourage dog lovers and everyone who has a four-legged hero to visit and nominate your dog or share in the inspirational stories of others.”

Nominations close on March 26, 2012, and voting by the general public will begin on April 1, 2012.
Finalists in each category will be judged by a blue-ribbon panel consisting of both celebrities and animal experts, to determine the winning American Hero Dog. This year’s judges include Whoopi Goldberg, Candy Spelling, CBS’ Debbye Turner Bell, “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker, actresses Kristin Bauer Van Straten, Megyn Price, Edie McClurg, and Christie Brooke, Prince Lorenzo Borghese and many other notable names.

Complete rules and entry information can be obtained by visiting

About American Humane Association
Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at today.

News: Justice Department settles Veterasn's ESA Discrimination Suit

Justice Department Settles Disability Discrimination Case Involving Disabled Veteran in Utah
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced a $20,000 consent decree that resolves a lawsuit alleging that a Park City, Utah, condominium association and its management company violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to grant a resident’s request for a reasonable accommodation.
The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 21, 2011, in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, alleges that the Fox Point at Redstone Association, Property Management Systems and on-site property manager Derek Peterson refused to grant a reasonable accommodation so that Thomas Burton, a disabled combat veteran of the first Gulf War, could keep a small dog in the condominium he rented to help him cope with the effects of depression and anxiety disorder. The lawsuit further alleges that the defendants refused to waive their pet fees and insurance requirements and issued multiple fines that eventually led to the non-renewal of Burton’s lease. Read More

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fundraising to Support My education as a Dog Trainer

As many of my readers know I am a dog training fanatic, but I would like to be more. I would to have my credentials as a professional dog trainer. There are many steps to do this and many route one may take;however, taking seminars like the upcoming one in Seattle by Dr. Ian Dunbar is an important part of any would be trainer's education. I have save $150 towards the fee to attend, and am hoping my loyal readers can assist in raising the $210 I still need to pay the fee by the end of February. Over the years I have written over 50 posts about training (see owner training and training tools)and how I train various behaviors. If these articles have helped you are someone you know, please consider supporting my continued education with a donation.

The workshop I want to attend will include the following topics:

Dr. Dunbar’s SIRIUS® Dog Training Academy
Thursday (9:30am–5:30pm): Business, Promotion, People-Training & Games
Friday (9:30am–5:30pm): Behavior Counseling
Saturday (9:30am–5:30pm): Adult Dog Classes
Sunday (9:30am–5:30pm): Puppy Classes

Dr. Dunbar taught the world’s very first off-leash puppy socialization and training classes and he has been perfecting the SIRIUS® Puppy & Dog Class syllabuses for 30 years. The Academy will focus on the SIRIUS® way of successfully promoting and running our 30 year-old business and our way of conducting puppy/dog training classes and behavior consultations.

Registrants will receive substantial notes, including a Behavior Problem Solving Matrix, plus the complete SIRIUS Syllabus for Puppy 1, Puppy 2 and Adult 1 classes, week-by-week schedules, plus minute-by-minute class notes.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How a well trained service dog can loose skills fom By My Side Blog

I know not all of my reader have time to go though all the wonderful blogs listed in my Blogroll on the right hand side of my blog, so I want to take the time to point out a particularly good post from Katrin at By My Side

training, guide work and other things

 For example with Tom lately, I hadn't quite realized just how "sometimes" my asking him to reliably clear right side obstacles had become.  Sometimes it was ok for him to brush me up against a bush, sometimes it was not.  This sometimes criteria caused, over a few months, Tom to begin to disregard that right side obstacles needed any clearance at all, an understanding of his that I didn't quite realize until on a walk the other day 4 things in a row he plowed me into, a couple of which hurt!

Read More 

Friday, February 10, 2012

News:m American Bar Association Urges Policies to Accommodate Disabled Persons Using Service Animals

The American Bar Association adopted a resolution in support of policies being developed in support of the accommodation of people with disabilities who utilize services as a reasonable accommodation/ means of mitigating the affects of their disabilities.
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges all federal, state, territorial, and local legislative bodies to repeal or amend all laws or policies inconsistent with the regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act and to implement policies to ensure that persons with disabilities utilizing service animals are provided access to services, programs and activities of public entities and public accommodations in compliance with the regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act in a manner that:
  1. Permits the use of a service animal for individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental impairments;
  2. Provides an individualized determination of whether an animal meets the definition of service animal, recognizing that service animals do a wide range of work or tasks for individuals with disabilities;
  3. Provides for a size, weight and breed-neutral policy, utilizing a case-by-case analysis to determine whether a particular animal can be excluded from a public entity or public accommodation based on the particular’s animal’s actual behavior; and
  4. Encourages the enforcement by the United States Department of Justice and other governmental authorities with responsibility for implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act, in situations where individuals with disabilities utilizing service animals are denied access to services, programs and activities of public entities and public accommodations.
The supporting document for the resolution provides very clear and concise picture of the legalities supporting and defining service dogs as a concept in the United States complete with relevant case law and examples in just 4 pages of text. I highly recommend everyone have this in your files and personal knowledge bank!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

News: Guide Dogs to be given access to St. Peterburg Metro

ST. PETERBURG (SPT) — Visually impaired people will soon be able to enter city metro stations with guide dogs.
A decree on the issue was signed by Stanislav Popov, head of the city’s Transport Committee, but it has not yet been put into effect, Interfax reported last week.
According to the document, visually impaired people will be allowed to bring one guide dog into the metro free of charge. The dog will be required to be wearing a muzzle, a leash and a sign identifying it as a guide dog. The owner must also have a document confirming that the dog has completed a course on guiding its owner in the metro.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Mobility Magazine on Service Animals

The February issue of New Mobility Magazine came out today featuring the topic of flying with a service dog in their Travel Matters column. Over the years New Mobility has featured nearly two dozen articles important to the service dog community including one featuring yours truly and my first service dog, Bastien.  If traveling is a part of your life with a service dog or will be don't miss the Travel section of Service Dogs: A Way of Life!