Culture Dish

As part of my ongoing follow up to my recent New York Times Magazine story about the use of non-canine service animals and the DOJ’s efforts to ban them:  I’ve been saying for a few weeks that the currently proposed species ban might not become law if it wasn’t approved before Bush left office.  And, well, it turns out that the sweeping DOJ changes to the Americans With Disabilities Act were the only regulations under review by the OMB that weren’t approved before Obama was inaugurated as president today …

What this means for the Americans With Disabilities Act and the proposed species ban isn’t clear.  With the Obama administration will come a new head of the DOJ and everything else.  Whether the new administration will reject these Bush administration regulations and come up with ADA changes of its own is an open question at this point.  But as it stands, the species ban was not given final approval before today, and therefore isn’t in effect yet … so for the time being, monkeys, miniature horses, parrots, ducks and everything else can legally qualify as service animals.

Comments

  1. #1 Coturnix
    January 20, 2009

    Good news for now. I guess you’ll keep an eye on this issue in the future and sound the rallying cry if you need thousands of blog-readers for start calling various phone numbers ;-)

  2. #2 Arikia
    January 22, 2009

    I wonder if Seed would let me have an assistance parrot at work… I’m don’t have a disability, but what about *enhancement* animals, that would increase your productivity by providing you with amusing antics all day, thereby increasing pleasurable neurotransmitter release and making work more enjoyable (than it already is ;) )? I’m so pitching this.

  3. #3 Doreen Owens
    January 23, 2009

    I have had a capuchin monkey certified to be my hearing service animals for several years.She was not trained by Helping Hands .I know several other people with cripling diseases that have also trained their own monkeys and have them certified.People are capable of training their own animals.I don’t see anything wrong with exotic service animals used exclusively for home use.There has never been one document case of a person owning a monkey contacting a disease from their monkey. All monkey owners would be dead if that were true. my monkey sleeps next to me to hear sounds for me at night and kisses me.I am free of any disease.monkeys have been service animals since the 1800’s.I have annual blood work ,TB test and rabies vacinations to ensure my capuchin monkey is proven to be safe among people.Service monkeys are not to entertain people and are not considered pets .They are not for strangers to touch. My capuchin has never attacked anyone in the 12 years I have owned her.I believe there is a chance any animal can bite or scratch if provoked.Dogs carry diseases and have been known to maul little children, why are they the only animal being considered a service animal. The disabled struggle enough the way it is. These animals provide service so we can live a more independent life.here are those of us with disablities to get the $30,000 for a service dog? It doesn’t seem like our government care abou us only about money.

  4. #4 Doreen Owens
    January 23, 2009

    Dear Arikia, it is people like you who have ruined it for those of us who actually need our service animal to help us live an independent life.How dare you insult those with disbilities with your sarcastic comment. God forbid you should ever lose the use of you legs, eyes,or hearing and had no one to help you.You think there would be all kind of organizations out there for us but there is not.These animals do a real service for us and provide an uncondtional love that is hard to find in humans.If you need something to enhance your success at work go to a seminar or get more eduacation. The disabled don’t have that option.

  5. #5 Kat
    January 28, 2009

    capuchin monkeys are used by helping hands because there aren’t many diseases that can be transmitted between either. While other species of monkeys can carry, contract, and transmit diseases. Plus not so many with monkeys are as thorough as you with health checks. I think the monkey that has fueled excluding monkeys is the one that has been widely covered named richard. He is an emotional support monkey not a service animal and his human was treating him like a child, allowing him to eat at the table in a restaurant. No service animal should be eating in a restaurant let alone off the table.

    Now as for monkeys as service animals. Helping Hands places them as home service animals. Therefore monkeys are not affected by the ADA which refers to public access outside the home. The monkeys fall under the fair housing act. So even if this passes monkeys will still be allowed to assist their humans at home.

    As for dogs mauling little children, how many legitimate service dogs have you known that have mauled people. That is like comparing how many monkey bites per year comparing the number to that amount of monkeys there are. Service dogs are the least likely to bite or maul little children. All my service dogs have been highly tolerant of children allowing them to crawl all over them, pull their ears, and even try to poke their eyes out (ppl please watch your children in public). What would happen if a child were to reach out from behind and touch your monkey or even grab them?

    Monkeys do bite. I knew someone who fostered for helping hands and she and other reported that the monkeys do bite which is why their teeth are pulled before placement. Also most people do not have the experience or knowledge to properly train a monkey. Monkeys are still wild animals even when raised in captivity. They are not domesticated unlike cats, dogs, and many farm animals. Any wild animal when not trained or handled right can be dangerous raised in captivity or not. Still wild animal are just that wild, even trained wild animals can be unpredictable at time. Ask the trainer who was mauled by a trained bear raised in captivity and all the others who though a pet large feline like a lion or tiger was a good idea. BTW right now as the regulations stand a person could bring a large wild predator or any wild animal for that matter into stores stating it is a service animal. I don’t think I’d like to run across a service skunk especially not in a plane. This is an example of how crazy it has gotten. People are claiming lizards and snakes as service animals when the definition states they much be trained.

    I think if they are to allow other species, they should be certified meaning given a test to prove they are safe in public along with behaving properly and can demonstate that they are trained to mitigate the disability. This will keep the untrained and dangerous wild animals out.

    What is the difference between dogs and other species? Dogs are hard wired to rely on people and look to them for guidance. There was a study shown on tv where they were using apes and found that they didn’t pick up on gestures from people and one of the researchers stated their dog could probably do that. Sure enough the dog was able to follow gestures to go directly to the cup with the food treat under it (both smelled like treats). They have done it with a puppy. They they brought it another step and told a dog to leave a treat on the floor while the human looked straight ahead. The human then closed her eyes. While the eyes were open, the dog did not go for the treat but when they closed the dog took the treat. This showed that dogs do something that very few species do, look at and interpret our faces. They then took and dog and a wolf and a crate with meat inside. They put a rope on the meat and let each pull it out via the rope, both were able. Then they secured the rope. The wolf tried to get it and when it couldn’t started trying even harder despite not succeeding while the dog tried to figure it out and when it was unable to looked to the human for help. This is why dogs are so well suited for service animals than any other breed. They look to people for guidance and rely on us, generally speaking domestic dogs cannot live without people while cats usually are able to survive on their own. Dogs have been living with and working for people for thousands of years. They are truely domesticated. They understand human behavior.

    for an article google: dogs and apes
    The second article I found and read was: Digg – Dogs Can Read Human Facial Expressions – Wolves and Apes Cannot

  6. #6 Kat
    January 28, 2009

    Please excuse my typing, word, and grammatic mistakes, it was late when I typed it and didn’t proof read.

  7. #7 Chris Spencer
    January 29, 2009

    Doreen,

    WELL SAID! Thank you.

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