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 Post subject: Service dogs and people with allergies
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:01 pm 
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I'm having a problem with the new director at our senior center. The woman is now insisting that I provide 24-hours notice if I intend to bring Tasha with me on the van which is considered public transportation. Her concern is that someone onboard may be allergic or fearful of dogs. In the 4 years I have been relying on this service to get to medical appointments I have never traveled without Tasha (1) or Tasha 2.0. By having me contact the center 24-hours prior while no one else has to be treating me differently and thereby discriminating against me for having a dog.

She has admitted that no one has every complained or even advised her office of allergies. This is a “what if” situation. According to ADA and Mass Office on Disability, the allergies would have to reach the level of a disability and that is extremely rare. There is no reason for my having to call in. Even if Tasha were to remain home I would be carrying dog and cat dander on me, as will everyone else who own or lives with pets. If she is to take the “what if” position, why allow seniors bring groceries onboard, food allergies can be deadly. We are currently allowed to bring food onboard and eat as we please, including peanuts.

I don’t know anyone who has allergies to dogs; I have heard that people with allergies can live with dogs and cats, that there are meds or shots to take care of their symptoms. Is this true? Can someone actually die from being on the same bus as a dog, how about from the dander that I have on me? Would the PWA be in distress if they were to sit next to another passenger who owns a cat or dog? I’m trying to figure out just how serious this issue can be so that I can come up with a solution. Any ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: Service dogs and people with allergies
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Is Tasha a service dog? Is she is you are covered by law.

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Mom to dear Holly AKA Holly Caramel Candy 10/99-02/13 who went to meet Monchi, Sasha 1 and 2, in the Rainbow Bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: Service dogs and people with allergies
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Yes, Tasha is a service dog, I know she is protected under the ADA but so would someone who's allergy to dogs would rise to the level of disability, however I've been told this is extremely rare. I just want to understand what someone who is allergic to dogs would do in a situation where we both must travel together, no more than 1/2 hour. Can someone with an allergy to dogs actually die in a short amount of time for being exposed to Tasha?

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Tasha's Dads - Gordon & Gary

Tasha 2.0 - American Cocker Spaniel - Chocolate
Ariel - Cat
Kito & Merlin - Africian Red Belly Parrots

Tasha, American Cocker Spaniel - Buff -


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 Post subject: Re: Service dogs and people with allergies
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Gordon, Check out the following link specifically the bottom of page 11 and especially the top of page 12. They have no legal right to ask you to call ahead. I would contact that person's supervisor and advise them what they are telling you to do and it is against the law because they are discriminating against you.

http://www.transitaccessproject.org/Int ... sguide.pdf

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Sasha~Chocolate Sable~1/30/2010


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 Post subject: Re: Service dogs and people with allergies
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:27 pm 
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I work with developmentally disabled adults in New York. I also am on the committee for the county's Paratransit system. They can not require you to do additional things such as that. If there is someone with medical needs due to allergies they need to provide appropriate transportation for them (i.e. special van with filtered air, etc.) . Their responsibility is to provide transportation AS NEEDED for the health of their users. By the way....someone being afraid of dogs can be accommodated out of kindness but it is NOT required by a transport program. Being " scared" is not a disability under the ADA unless it is truly a psychiatric issue and documented as such by a psychiatrist.

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 Post subject: Re: Service dogs and people with allergies
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:36 pm 
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I have always worked out any difficulties that I have with people, neither Tasha nor I want to be a bother to anyone. On a good note, the Director was afraid that I was going to sue the town after she sent me an email so she copied her email to the town's attorney. He called me, he knows Tasha, first thing he did was to apologize for all of this. The town will be taking over the senior ride, along with two other paratransit ride programs in town. Right now if one cant's take you round trip you have to call one of the other. By combining the three van services the town can better share these services. We talked more about this; he agrees with me that my appointment should be confirmed with no threat of canceling. He agrees that once the appointment is made they can then inform all others that a dog will be onboard.

As we chatted I mentioned that many surrounding towns have paratransit vans, these are all financed by the commonwealth as part of the ADA transit program, he thought my idea that we should work together to create a larger network so that we have more options for medical treatments, shopping, etc. After his call I received another call from our Town Manager, he asked me to head up a new town committee on transportation. With my 40 years in travel I have lots of experience with transportation and with my multiple disabilities I can ensure that our town can assist all of our residents. I said ok. :Clap

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Tasha's Dads - Gordon & Gary

Tasha 2.0 - American Cocker Spaniel - Chocolate
Ariel - Cat
Kito & Merlin - Africian Red Belly Parrots

Tasha, American Cocker Spaniel - Buff -


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 Post subject: Re: Service dogs and people with allergies
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:14 pm 
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I'm glad you worked things out. I also live in Mass and travel a great deal although mostly by plane. If someone claims to be allergic to Star (she is a service dog) I have the priority and people just get moved elsewhere on the plane. However, I've had plenty of people sit next to us who are normally allergic to dogs but they are not to Star. I believe cockers have hair, not fur and that makes a big difference.

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Sky, my tender baby boy 11-16-2007 to 8-26-2008

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