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  1. #1

    Service Dog

    How many people Multiple Sclerosis have service dogs?

  2. #2
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    We don't have a service dog, but we have taught our lab (which we had prior to David developing MS) to help David do alot of different things. There is a guy here locally with MS that does have a lab that was trained as a service dog.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by MSWIFE1 View Post
    We don't have a service dog, but we have taught our lab (which we had prior to David developing MS) to help David do alot of different things. There is a guy here locally with MS that does have a lab that was trained as a service dog.
    If your lab has a single behaviour that your husband can count on to mitigate his disability, that's a service dog. Outside training is not needed. "Certifications" tend to be scams as often as not. Costs associated with a service dog can also be deducted from your taxes, it's worth considering.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenJen View Post
    If your lab has a single behaviour that your husband can count on to mitigate his disability, that's a service dog. Outside training is not needed. "Certifications" tend to be scams as often as not. Costs associated with a service dog can also be deducted from your taxes, it's worth considering.
    There's no need to "certify" a service dog as long as they can do THREE tasks to help you.

    I got my first guide dog from a school in the US, I've been blind and had Cerebral Palsy since birth. She was trained by a school to guide me, but after I got TM she started guiding me while I used my wheelchair. She worked for nine years and is enjoying her retirement now.

    I started training my next guide/service dog before she retired because I couldn't find a school that would train a guide dog to guide me while NOT using a power wheelchair. Unfortunately she developed Canine Epilepsy and can't be trusted to work anymore outside because of the medication. She is enjoying an early retirement with my retired guide dog.

    I am currently working with another dog I trained. He is doing great! I got him in the UK. My boyfriend and I rescued him and his brother. My boyfriend is a professional dog trainer and gave me advice on training, but I trained Duke myself.


  5. #5
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    JenJen - are you saying that I can deduct dog food, vet bills, etc. because our dog that we had prior to David getting sick can turn lights on, shut doors, and a few other things to help David? If so this is great. I never really considered her a service dog because I assumed you had to have the certifications.

  6. #6
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    Yes. As long as you consider her a service dog, she is one. I was just looking into this myself. And therefore tax deductible!

    Irs.gov Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses

    Guide Dog or Other Service Animal
    You can include in medical expenses the costs of buying,
    training, and maintaining a guide dog or other service
    animal to assist a visually-impaired or hearing-impaired
    penses. person, or a person with other physical disabilities.
    (highting mine)

    And from http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

    : The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animalindividually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
    Worst case scenario, and they question it, you can have her show off what she does for David. My problem is that I really haven;t trained her to do much that is necessary.
    Last edited by sjean423; 03-05-2010 at 10:53 PM.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MSWIFE1 View Post
    JenJen - are you saying that I can deduct dog food, vet bills, etc. because our dog that we had prior to David getting sick can turn lights on, shut doors, and a few other things to help David? If so this is great. I never really considered her a service dog because I assumed you had to have the certifications.

    Sjean nailed it. You have a bona fide service dog on your hands and your husband is entitled to full access with the dog. You should read the federal statutes and your state laws to understand your rights to use the animal in public.

    Pearl can go with me pretty much EVERYWHERE but the O.R. and the zoo... There are times when I leave her home for her own well being (tiny cramped meeting spaces where I KNOW idiots are going to trip or kick her).

    Pearl is NEVER vested --- it's not required by federal law, nor do I ever present any papers when asked. I simply hand over copies of the statutes if needed. I have rarely ever been challenged. Mostly it's because she's not on a leash.

    Now, all this said, you ARE responsible for making sure that your service animal is a good citizen out in public.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSWIFE1 View Post
    JenJen - are you saying that I can deduct dog food, vet bills, etc. because our dog that we had prior to David getting sick can turn lights on, shut doors, and a few other things to help David? If so this is great. I never really considered her a service dog because I assumed you had to have the certifications.
    you can train your own dog, and then have it tested to certify. it must wear a service dog vest and be able to do a certain number of tasks that aid the disabled owner in day to day tasks. there are different levels of certification also, and different types of service dogs are required to do different tasks. the dog learns more as he realises the needs of the person and the list of tasks the gets larger as the relationship evolves. you can google to find out what is available in your state as far as places that test service dogs for certification.

  9. #9
    Jody, you've been mis-informed.

    You CAN train your own service dog. There is ABSOLUTELY NO testing required and you cannot be forced to do so. "Certification" is dubious and can NEVER be legally used to deny access. Actually, I would urge you NOT to go for any of the certification programs. Some are good, many are not; NONE are necessary.

    While many service animals wear a vest or scarf to designate their status; it is NOT required and your service animal can not be barred from entry because it's not marked.

    There are NO required tasks for any service animal and there is not a required number of tasks in order to be a "true" service animal. There is an association for people who train service dogs, their recommendation is that your animal be able to perform a minimum of two tasks.

    To be a service animal you need two things:
    1. a person with a disability
    2 the animal must mitigate that person's disability in some way.

    The animal also needs to be suitably trained and socialized so that it will not cause a public health hazard.





    Quote Originally Posted by jody View Post
    you can train your own dog, and then have it tested to certify. it must wear a service dog vest and be able to do a certain number of tasks that aid the disabled owner in day to day tasks. there are different levels of certification also, and different types of service dogs are required to do different tasks. the dog learns more as he realises the needs of the person and the list of tasks the gets larger as the relationship evolves. you can google to find out what is available in your state as far as places that test service dogs for certification.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenJen View Post
    Jody, you've been mis-informed.

    You CAN train your own service dog. There is ABSOLUTELY NO testing required and you cannot be forced to do so. "Certification" is dubious and can NEVER be legally used to deny access. .
    Jen is right, see what I bolded in red in my post #5 above, straight from here

    http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

    I started doing some more research o it the other day.

    Right now I figure it is stretching it to consider my Lab a service dog, as the only thing I have gotten her to do consistently is pick up her own toys when they are in my path. And cleaning food spills on the floors. I never followed through with more, although we were training her to bring my chair to me, if I were not in it. Mostly, my kids lost interest and since I didn;t really NEED anything from her, it kinda fell through the cracks. The kids were easier to train, LOL. Now that the kids are all in college and/or moved out, I wish we had done more "get me the ....". Which of course, is harder to train her to do, now that they aren;t here to help. LOL. She is 10 now, so I am thinking about getting another dog and training her.

    Jen .... I was thinking more along the lines of trying to train a 2-3 y/o rescue dog, then a puppy, simply because I am not sure about training a puppy these days, w/o help during the day.

    Do you think this would be a problem?
    Last edited by sjean423; 03-05-2010 at 04:20 PM.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

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