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Service dogs help people with disabilities navigate the world confidently and comfortably. Indeed, having a service dog may help them gain independence and confidence. It is important to remember that not all disabilities are visible. Although someone may not appear disabled, a service animal may still provide a necessary service. Recently, Jessica Robinson shared an experience where she was asked to remove her service dog, Holly, from a doctor’s appointment. In the video, the staff calls Holly an emotional Support animal, rather than a service animal.
hi guys I needed to repost due to safty reasons so i will he taking the other videos down. Just recently I’ve started taking Holly with me to my doctor appointments. I find these appointments to be very stressful for me so I bring her along. Essentially she goes everywhere with me but every outing is scary for me. Service dog handlers have a constant fear that we will be denied access or even worse, someone will bring in their fake “service dogs” into public just because they don’t want to leave their dog at home. Which usually ends up in dog attacks which then often we are forced to retire our dogs early because they become reactive and unable to work. Just this past monday I experienced one of these encounters. I knew this was going to happen because the same situation happened in the building a month prior to this incident. I was going into one of my monthly check ups located in Fremont Michigan. And as I was patiently waiting to be called back a woman walked up to me to state that pets were not allowed in the building. I nodded my head and said “yes but Holly is a service dog.” She then tried to tell me she had personally worked with the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) and that they stated that the only dogs allowed are dogs under professional training and are certified through the state. When I tried to correct her she then blew me off and stated that service dogs are only for the blind and deaf. I then told her that not all disabilities are visible and that the ADA states that under the state of Michigan there are no legal registrations or certifications all the dog needs is to be tasked, trained and house broken. She shut me down and told me not to bring her. Let me remind you this incident right here was a month ago. I went back again and the lady showed up and asked me to remove my dogs and that all of our appointments would have to be virtual because of my dog. In doing this I ended up going into an episode. Holly alerted me several times trying to get me to get on the floor so she could do her job. I refused to do so because I knew any minute someone would walk out and call me back. Holly then vocalized her concern in a low growl trying to get a doctor’s attention that I was having an episode. In doing so the lady came out and told me that Holly needed to be removed for being uncontrolled and her growl was threatening. She continued to fight me so I decided to just put Holly in the car, finish my appointment and then leave. Later Monday night I posted the video on tiktok and it went viral. I did this because I feel as a handler I have the right to advocate and educate about the ADA laws and the rights we have as service dog handlers and our medical equipment. I also shared this post on facebook then got backlashed by the company of the building stating all true facts about the service dog laws that they refused to do before. I am not shocked that my video went viral. One of the biggest stereotypes right now are people with their disabilities and how they are different from the world. I am one of those stereotypes and it’s very sad that people will put a title on others like that#deniedaccess #dontfuckwiththeservicedogteams #dontfuckwithmydog #mydogistaskedtrained
Jessica trained Holly as a service animal after she was diagnosed with PTSD, a panic disorder, asthma, and heart issues in 2020. Holly helps to alert Jessica when her heart rate is high or she is having an asthma attack. In the video, a staff member at the doctor’s office can be heard asking Jessica to remove Holly, as the office has a no pets policy. There appears to be a lack of clarity regarding the circumstances under which a dog is considered a service dog. In the video, a staff member incorrectly identifies the types of services that service animals provide under the ADA. According to Jessica, she eventually put Holly in the car so that she could continue her appointment.
A spokesperson from the unidentified doctor’s office has stated that staff denied Holly entry because she has previously growled at other clients and children in the office. In the video, Holly can be heard growling softly to alert Jessica to an impending episode. It is unclear if the staff understand the service that Holly is trained to provide. The office says that they welcome service animals but feel that, due to Holly’s growling, she poses a potential threat to others in the vicinity.
Ultimately, service dogs are an important part of daily life for many people with disabilities. Jessica posted the TikTok video to draw awareness to the situation that she and others face when in public with service animals. It is important to remember not to try to pet or otherwise disrupt a service animal while they are working.
We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shopping. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!
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