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As things but I’m not a person with a disability. And I don’t require I haven’t specially trained my dogs to help me , so really what this comes down to is the difference between where the Americans with Disabilities Act would refer to as a psychiatric service animal versus an emotional support animal so the emotional support animal is just an animal that provides by its presence that level of comfort and perhaps safety for somebody for strange service dog the dog might be trained to somehow interrupt an anxiety attack . So let me distract you over here , I can see that you’re starting to have an anxiety attack and I’m going to distract you from that or trained where someone maybe paranoid about going into their house trained to go into the house search through the house and come out and tell the person by setting or some other behavior that the house is safe for them to enter . So those are specially trained dogs that help people with PTSD or anxiety but there they do something more than just provide a level of comfort , which I’m sure they also provide .
We’re talking about this idea of emotional support animals today and when we come back , we’re going to get to your calls your emails and your questions. Because this is sort of a confusing gray area in many ways we’ve been talking about how housing is one specific area where emotional support animals are allowed , but you know , other types of public accommodations are not . And we’ve got some questions coming in about that . We’d love to hear your questions or your experiences . Maybe you , you have some experience with this issue from one side or another our number is 806 3-9 2 2-1 one that’s 1-806 3-9 2 2-1 one or post your thoughts on the Vermont addition page at V-P R..
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I’m Jane Lindholm and this is from Aunt addition today we’re learning more about emotional support animals and how schools and businesses are grappling with rules around where , when and how animals should be allowed in public spaces to assist people who say they need them to function in a healthy way. You can call 63922 with your 2 2-1 one . You’ve got to get the end of the number . I suppose that’s 1-806 3-9 2-2 1-1 with your questions or if you’d like to share an experience or you can post your comments on the VP our Facebook page . We’re talking today with Diane Alan Wood , who’s vice president for student life at St Michael’s College in Colchester and Karen Richards , executive director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission , we did reach out as well to dart meth and you’ve yeah I’m about this cause St Mark’s . We don’t want to pick on St makes this is a situation that’s happening on campuses all around the country . Dartmouth told us Ward knew Meyer who’s director of student accessibility services said there’s been an increase with ESA’s undergarments campus . In addition , Ward says . I’ve also read on that list serves about this as a national trend and UBM has seen numbers grow from 5 emotional support animals in 2013 , 2014 to peak of 47 in the 2016-2017 school year . And they say they have 30 approved right now but they anticipate that that probably go into their mid ’40s by the end of the semester because as Don Alan Wood told us some of these requests are still in the pipeline or or happen and later in the term Mary Jean in battle says I’m supportive of ESA’s and ADA service animals as someone with bad allergies to almost all animals I’m waiting for the day when I’m really adversely affected though and Katie emailed in to say . I recently had an experience where someone had a dog in a supermarket where I was shopping the Dark was a bouncing puppy who was sniffing and Barking . I understand that not all disabilities are visible and I don’t know if this animal had any official capacity to be in the store . But I feel there should be a balance between people accessing public spaces with dogs and the need for sanitary considerations keeping dogs away from food at the grocery store . Similarly , Charles wrote to say this to me has become my my rights versus yours issue on one side are people who feel they need the support of an animal to go into public places , even those that are traditionally a no animal area like restaurants or grocery stores . On the other side are people who get anxious uncomfortable and fearful around animals this latter group has typically been silent but have their rights to shop and dine without undue anxiety been considered . I don’t think they have been so Karen Richards , just to reiterate , in terms of a restaurant or a grocery store , or as Don Helen Wood was telling us earlier a classroom . There are no legal protections that al that required that business or or space to accommodate an emotional support animals right I mean legally and emotional support animal isn’t automatically granted access to a grocery store .
That is correct. If it’s not specially trained .
Right so Thomas in Derby , who works in the food industry says what’s the law for bringing emotional support animals into a restaurant. There isn’t one , but it’s not an automatic allow .
Right. So the question really would be , whether it is a train service animal or it is just an emotional support animal if it’s just an emotional support in a mall . The restaurant or at the grocery store would be within their rights to exclude it from the premises .
Let’s go to Geoff calling in from Stow IGF.
It’s got a. Good morning , how are you . Good things I’m calling I’m calling in reference to hi Karen .
I have. I have actually worked with Karen before she helped me on cases . I just wanted to clarify something animals . Well , it’s an emotional support animal a service animal 2 different to the 2 different items . Okay . A service animal you cannot legally exclude anywhere that the general public . So if I’m going to a restaurant , if I’m going food shopping . It doesn’t matter if the health department says no dogs allowed because the service animal exempt that particular whether are to state or it county health department were ever .
2 regular the general public is allowed , they’d have to allow service animal and and if you whine and say that you’re animal to serve as animal and it’s not , you can be charged with a federal crime. Most of all , I would know that .
And Jeff about its service animal you’re speaking to personal experience here.
I do. Yes , yes and I gone to the Human Rights Commission , 2 different times but to discrimination where they demanded see my paperwork .
So do you have this question of emotional support animals as someone who uses a service animal has a service animal. How do you see the question of an increasing use and and categorization of emotional support animals .
Well , the only thing I’m very. The only thing I’m click the clear that the was totally clear on is a service center .
No , I mean how do you feel about it that even more and more people are saying I have an emotional support animal. I would like an accommodation does that feel okay , do you .
I’d hate to make a judgment call there because it might have it may very well be a service animal that may just be using the wrong phrase.
Yeah , well I will show you sharing your perspective and your thoughts with us today and and your perspective. As someone who uses a service animal and making sure that it’s very clear that a service animal does have accommodations in public spaces that are different from an emotional support animal Chris is on the line with us from Rutland . Hi , Chris . What are you calling in today about .
No , I’ve been thinking about getting a service animal , but I don’t like get the dog. I don’t want to get it unless there can absolutely be a service animal 9 yesterday and I I have schizophrenia and with that comes the same degree of paranoia , so don’t always feel safe . So my house worried about being attacked random nearly every if I had a dog that was specifically trained defending someone attacking would that , would that count as a service animal .
Chris. Thanks for your call Karen Richards . I think your best positioned to answer that .
Sure. The answer is having a dog that is trained to attack people or to protect you is not considered under the ADA to be a service animal it would need to be trained to somehow assist you with symptoms severe disability not too not as protection that is not a recognizable service animal under the AD .
But you did mention earlier , Karen , for example , somebody who does experienced paranoia that it was a really fast.