From the category archives:

Emotional Support Animals

Two wonderful products I stumbled on to.

by Sue on January 12, 2012

Last month my friend’s dog was rushed to the Animal ER due to an overdose of his medication. As it turned out, lack of communication in the household had presented itself and the dog had been medicated by several family members. None told the other that the dog had already received the medication. Yes. I realize with the hustle and bustle of modern day life, people tend not to communicate as they should. In this case the poor dog suffered, but did recover.

Two months ago, a local resident, out walking his dog at night, was struck by a car. The owner did not survive. The dog was knocked out of the way and did survive.

Why as I telling you this?

Boredom, due to these winter months now, sometimes causes me to do searches on the internet for no real reason at all. However these two incidents that I just mentioned spured me to check the world wide web to see if there is something out there that could have prevented these situations. And low and behold I actually found some things that would work. I thought I would share them with you.

Product number 1:

This neat little gadget will keep tabs on the care that your pet has received. Whether it’s feeding, walking, medicating, etc.

As a matter of fact, I am thinking of buying one of these for my friend who’s dog was overdosed.

Product number 2:

This lighted collar and leash idea is amazing. I honestly wish that poor man and his dog could have known about this and was using it. The whole tragic incident might have very well been avoided.

Sussie, Gunny, Rainy and Lucy.


Reminder of the new law changes by ADA as of March 15th, 2011

by Sue on December 28, 2011

I do customer service for Service Dog Tags. Today I spoke with someone who was not aware of the changes in rules about service dogs. The new one that took affect March 15th of this year. The one that includes anxiety and PTSD as a disability and any dog that is used to control that is now a service dog.

I actually kinda felt sorry for this man as he was under the impression that, even though his dog helped him, since he could hold down a job, he was not disabled even though he was formally diagnosed with PTSD. I politely told him that he was wrong.

There are many many disabled people that can hold down a job. The presence of the service dog makes them able to do so. I am one of those. I work full time for Service Dog Tags. However I honestly feel that if I did not have my service dogs (my retired one, my current one, and my one in training) that I probably would not be able to work. Or, even worse, not even be able to function or maybe not even be in existence.

This gentleman that I spoke with had pretty much limited his lifestyle due to the fact that he felt he was not disabled. This was due to misinformation on his part. Since speaking with me he now understands and will probably be doing a few more enjoyable things in his life now that he can take his “service dog” with him.

Please be aware of the new ruling change. Be aware that anxiety and PTSD, correctly diagnosed by someone in the medical field, IS a disability. And any dog that is used to prevent or control the symptoms of such IS a Service Dog according to ADA.

Sussie and the Y Team
(Gunny, Rainy and Lucy)


Pet food delivered right to your door!

by Sue on December 22, 2011

I ran across the slickest site I have ever seen in my life. I saw their advertisement in the Farmer Almanac. And I have learned in the past that I can trust most of the page ads in that book. So I tried it. And by golly it’s fantastic!

I’m talking about a company called PetFlow.

Would you like your pet food delivered right to your door? At about the same price as your local pet store sells it for? (Or in my case it seems to hold true) With little or no shipping charges? Were you can set up a subscription with them to deliver it to your door at a certain time each month? PetFlow can do this!

I am disabled and the biggest problem I have is being able to get into town and bring these big bags of food home for my dog. With PetFlow, I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Rain or shine or snow. No matter what. I know my dogs’ food will come right to my door and the delivery guy will even bring it in for me. What a deal!

I am so happy with this, that I felt it was only right to tell you all here about it. And no, I am not a salesman for them. I just think this is a fantastic service.

You know the old saying that “If something is too good to be true, it probably is?” Well this is NOT one of those times. This seems too good to be true but it IS true.

Check it out!


Sussie, Gunny, Rainy and Lucy.
(Or maybe I should just be saying “Sussie and the Y team” LOL)


We are on Facebook!

by Sue on November 11, 2011

Do you like Service Dogs?

Do you like Emotional Support Animals?

Do you like Facebook?

Then please “Like” us!

Sussie, Gunny, Rainy and Lucy.


Casual Friday at ESA blog

by Sue on October 14, 2011

Here is a little Friday fun. It’s “brag about your ESA” day!

Answer as many of the following questions as you wish.

What breed/type of ESA do you have?

Did you train your ESA? Or was your ESA trained by someone else?

If you did not train your ESA yourself, do you think you could now having worked with yours?

Where did you obtain your ESA?

What is the most amazing thing your ESA has ever done?

Do you allow people to pet your ESA?

Have you ever felt that your ESA gave you a chance to educate the public about ESA’s?

Have you ever had anyone complain about your ESA? How did you handle it?

Anything else you want to say about your ESA, feel free too!

Sussie, Gunny and Rainy.


Emotional Support Roo

by Sue on October 1, 2011

This is a neat article. Neat because in the end, she actually got to keep her Roo.


Emotional support animals offer symptomatic relief of psychiatric disabilities

by Sue on September 12, 2011

Contributed by Christina Fournier, FRN Administrative Coordinator

“A pet is an island of sanity in what appears to be an insane world. Friendship retains its traditional values and securities in one’s relationship with one’s pet. Whether a dog, cat, bird, fish, turtle, or what have you, one can rely upon the fact that one’s pet will always remain a faithful, intimate, non-competitive friend — regardless of the good or ill fortune life brings us.”

-Dr. Boris Levinson, child psychologist

Many of us obtain a calming effect from the presence of animals, whether it is from petting a dog or cat, watching fish swim, or listening to birds sing. Relaxation CDs feature a multitude of animal sounds to assist you in your journey to your tranquil place. Animals can help ease the symptoms for people who live with a variety of mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. Fish, birds, ‘pocket pets,’ rabbits, cats, dogs, and horses have all been employed as emotional support animals.

“Advocates and professionals have long recognized the benefits of assistive animals for people with physical disabilities, including seeing-eye dogs or hearing dogs that are trained to perform simple tasks, such as carrying notes and alerting their owners to oncoming traffic or other environmental hazards. Recent research suggests that people with psychiatric disabilities can benefit significantly from assistive animals, too. Emotional support animals have been proven extremely effective at ameliorating the symptoms of these disabilities, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, by providing therapeutic nurture and support.” Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

There is a strong bond that can occur between people and animals. An animal is nonjudgmental and can provide instant unconditional love and attention. They are trusting and great listeners who can help us feel needed and important. Animal therapy in a mental health setting can help build a rapport between the therapist and the consumer.

Below are a few organizations, including Fellowship Health Resources, that support the use of animals in the management of mental illness:

FHR Cape Cod & Islands region welcomes Binnie and the G Hounds in to their Lagoon Heights location on a monthly basis. Each month Binnie Ravich and her three dogs, a greyhound named Gulliver, and two dachshunds named Gracie and George, visit residents for treats and belly rubs. Staff member Kathy Noonan says “Our consumers love the time they are able to spend with the dogs. Their visits truly brighten everyone’s day.”
FHR Maine spends one day a month making homemade dog treats in their day program. Each resident takes a turn measuring ingredients, mixing and rolling the dough and cutting out the shapes. Staff cooks the treats and, in the afternoon, the program visits the Bangor Humane Society to spend time with the animals waiting for homes. Consumers pet the cats and dogs and enjoy giving the dogs the treats they have made for them.
The Southern Delaware Therapeutic and Recreational Horseback Riding, Inc. mission is to provide equine-assisted therapy promoting the physical, emotional, and educational growth of children and adults with special needs in our community. Therapeutic riding may lead to increased self-esteem, a sense of normalcy, improved self control and increase in interest in social activities.
The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, states that landlords must adapt their “no pet policy” to allow for psychiatric service animals. Individuals who live with an animal are able to receive the therapeutic benefits on an ongoing, continuous basis. The Psychiatric Service Dog Society provides information on the use of service dogs to assist with the management of serious mental health symptoms. According to their web site, service dogs assist in the management of PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, OCD, Schizophrenia, Panic Disorder, Dissociative Identity, Social Phobia, and Agoraphobia. A table is also available, which identifies tasks that the dogs can be trained to do to assist their owners; these tasks include hallucination discernment, tactile stimulation, threat assessment, and alerting to incipient anxiety or panic attack.
The Delta Society offers individuals a multitude of information on service animals. The site give tips on what to consider if you are thinking about getting a service animal and links to other resources on the topic of service animals.


A news blurb about ESA

by Sue on August 26, 2011


Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference…

by Sue on August 10, 2011

Sussie, Gunny and Rainy.

{ 1 comment }

Emotional Support Animals Are Not Fake! They are as real as our emotions.

by Sue on July 22, 2011

Interesting reading…

by Herb M. Milgrim, Esq. on April 12, 2011

I am sure many of you have been reading the recent articles in our newspapers dealing with Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals. Many of these news articles appear to be one sided trying to paint a picture that the majority of claims out there are fraudulent attempts to get by Association Pet Restrictions or restrictions on bringing animals into public venues. They fail to write about the disabled owner that already has been granted a reasonable accommodation from her Association but nevertheless gets screamed at by her neighbors or gets harrasing phone messages telling her that she is not allowed to have a dog. The type of tags and identification discussed in the Sun Sentinel Article help to identify the animal to people who would ordinarily not be aware that the animal qualifies as a reasonable accommodation under Federal Law. Writers like Wayne K. Roustan of the Sun Sentinel or Donna Gehrke-White of the Miami Herald need to take the time to report both sides of the spectrum rather than bowing to pressure from their editors that the stories be shorter.

While there will always be some people who try to abuse any system of rules, the majority of cases I have seen involving emotional support animals are legitimate claims. These animals are truly vital components to the daily lives of people living with disabilities. The problem is that many Association Lawyers have found a way to milk some extra fees from the Associations by unnecessarily attacking and delving into these claims.

Associations have tried contacting Doctors when not authorized to do so. They have asked for certificates to support specialized training when they know or should know that Emotional Support Animals do not need specialized training.

”Emotional support animals by their very nature, and without training, may relieve depression and anxiety, and/or help reduce stress-induced pain in persons with certain medical conditions affected by stress.” See, Overlook Mutual Homes v. Spencer, 2009 WL 3486364 (S.D. Ohio 2009).

They have asked for owners to take out insurance coverage for the animal naming the Association as an additional insured. For the same reason an Association or Landlord cannot charge a “pet deposit” for someone with an emotional support animal, it is equally clear that asking an individual to pay for extra insurance would also be violative.

Many Association Attorneys take the view that unless you are blind or deaf your request for a reasonable accommodation is fraudulent. The fact remains that the ADA states that the term “disability” with respect to an individual, is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual. Major life activities include, but are not limited to:

“…caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.”

In addition, major life activities now include “major bodily functions” such as normal cell growth. This now means that people with cancer qualify under the ADA. Mitigating measures such as medication, assistive technology or behavioral modifications will not be considered. The ADA has chosen to broaden the definition of Major Life Activities for a reason. According to Congress, the purpose in passing the ADA Amendments Act was to provide a clear national mandate for the elimination of discrimination.