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Pets vs Service animals


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#21 Guest_Gracious Traveler_*

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 11:02 AM

This has all been very interesting, and I'm glad I brought it up.  So in the interest of enlightenment for all of us "Am-trekkers", here is a direct quote from the American with Disabilities Act Title !!; Section II:

"A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability .... Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy doges are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA"

 

So I have copies of the Act and all Amtrak published rules in my briefcase for my nest Amtrak trips.  So take note, Amtrak.  And sorry for all og=f the expensive sites that charge for (phoney) documents that claim to get you on planes.  Note that these sites make no claim to boarding a train with the false documents.

 

And sorry, Lady, if you just "never go anywhere without 'Pookie', you'll just stay at home with Pookie.  

 

Oh, I am a passionate dog- lover.  Have been all of my life.  Real dogs; not stuffed animals!

 

Thanks again for this forum, everyone.  Happy and inspired travels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#22 Guest_Gracious Traveler_*

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 11:11 AM

Addendum:

 

Besides the well-known "seeing eye dogs", there are service dogs for the deaf; certain types of autism or PTSD wherein certain repetitive actions, lights, sounds, etc. that cause psychiatric responses; as well as dogs that are trained to assist their owner experiencing seizures.  All of these are diagnosed disabilities.

 

These dogs are incredible.  



#23 BCL

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 12:28 PM

So I have copies of the Act and all Amtrak published rules in my briefcase for my nest Amtrak trips.  So take note, Amtrak.  And sorry for all og=f the expensive sites that charge for (phoney) documents that claim to get you on planes.  Note that these sites make no claim to boarding a train with the false documents.

 

I'm not sure the way you're going about this is going to get you a whole lot of sympathy on board a train.  I understand that people worried about being denied service or amenities may have a legitimate reason to know and cite the rules.  However, being upset that others are given some leeway may not be a great way to go about one's travels.

 

We discuss perceived abuses of service animal rules because it's fun to joke about it.  However, it doesn't become fun if a heated argument ensues, someone else gets put off the train, or an employee gets reprimanded.  It's certainly not going to be very comfortable if you run into an Amtrak employee who responds to a passenger quoting chapter and verse of service manuals with "Who are you to tell me how to do my job?"  They have a hard enough time dealing with everyday situations.

 

Even if every case where there's abuse of the system was eliminated, that leaves plenty of other cases where it's a legitimate working animal allowed under the rules.  You cite prohibitions against police dogs being outside of a carrying case, but don't note that Amtrak PD dogs are specifically allowed, and that Amtrak PD has the discretion to approve outside agencies' police/SAR animals to be on a train outside of a case and beyond the 20 lbs limit.



#24 Hal

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:01 PM

 
So I have copies of the Act and all Amtrak published rules in my briefcase for my nest Amtrak trips.  So take note, Amtrak.  And sorry for all og=f the expensive sites that charge for (phoney) documents that claim to get you on planes.  Note that these sites make no claim to boarding a train with the false documents.
 
And sorry, Lady, if you just "never go anywhere without 'Pookie', you'll just stay at home with Pookie.  
 
 


Unless you are an Amtrak employee you don't have Amtrak's published rules in your briefcase. Whatever was published here is several years old. It may or may not have changed.

#25 BCL

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:30 PM

 

 
So I have copies of the Act and all Amtrak published rules in my briefcase for my nest Amtrak trips.  So take note, Amtrak.  And sorry for all og=f the expensive sites that charge for (phoney) documents that claim to get you on planes.  Note that these sites make no claim to boarding a train with the false documents.
 
And sorry, Lady, if you just "never go anywhere without 'Pookie', you'll just stay at home with Pookie.  
 
 


Unless you are an Amtrak employee you don't have Amtrak's published rules in your briefcase. Whatever was published here is several years old. It may or may not have changed.

 

I certainly get why the OP is upset, but I don't get the attitude about somehow being the enforcer and laying down the hammer.

 

There's a whole bunch of stuff where Amtrak employees have a certain level of discretion to do their jobs.  Putting off a passenger is possibly the most difficult thing they might do.  I'm sure they detest the paperwork, calling for law enforcement to meet the passenger, and confronting the passenger.  Sometimes is just not worth it.



#26 Lonestar648

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:34 PM

The media will always be bias against Amtrak, so management doesn't want a confrontation over a grey area pertaining to pets that goes viral, even if in the long run Amtrak is in the right.  From a PR stand point Amtrak management will look the other way until it becomes a safety use.


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#27 me_little_me

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 03:02 PM

The best solution, IMHO, is for the feds to contract with the ASPCA who would certify training facilities. Only those facilities would be able to issue a dated (expiration date) tag (to be attached to the animal) in one color for service animals and another for comfort animals. The ASPCA would be required to annually check the facilities. Thus, places that allow service (or service plus comfort) animals would not have to question the owner but would be allowed to verify the tag. The tag should have picture of animal, description and barcode. No info as to disability need be on the tag.



#28 PVD

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:59 PM

Under the current law an individual or family can train a dog to perform a specific task, in which case it would qualify. If we can add something that covers that situation, it would certainly be a step in the right direction. It might be more than one agency needed to cover the whole country, and different types of service, but it is a start of a worthwhile dialog.



#29 FormerOBS

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:22 PM

Several years ago somebody brought a "comfort animal" into the diner and insisted on keeping the dog in his lap during the meal. We insisted that the dog had to be kept below the level of the table top because there were other passengers sharing the table. The dining car was entirely full, and we did not have the option of moving anybody to another seat. The dog's owner complained, and Management decided we had handled it wrong. Interestingly, they never said what we should have done instead, and never showed us a definitive rule to guide our actions in the future. Go figure.

 

True service animals are well trained and well behaved wherever they are. Pets are entirely different, and home-trained "service animals" are unpredictable. I loved the real service animals I encountered, but I know of situations where untrained animals created messes, were disruptive, behaved poorly, barked, and even bit passengers and employees. 

 

By the way, I'm a dog owner. He's my good friend, but I don't pretend he's a service animal.

 

Tom 


Edited by FormerOBS, 03 March 2017 - 08:29 PM.


#30 PVD

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 08:41 AM

The law and the company rules are clear that a comfort animal has no place in the diner. It is unfortunate that management has been spayed or neutered instead of the dog. If they won't back up the people on the front lines when they need support, they are useless. Comfort animals are not permitted on Amtrak unless traveling as pets, in which case they need to be in a carrier, and never in a food service area.


Edited by PVD, 04 March 2017 - 08:43 AM.


#31 Guest_Gracious Traveler_*

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 10:24 AM

Thank you, Tom.  You understand and are clear in your thoughts.

 

I also am a long-time dog owner-lover.  Not at or indeed eating from dinner plates at table.

 

Also, I would like to be absolutely clear that I am not one of the high dudgeon complainers that some here are speaking of.  I am often thanked by staff at the end of our trip for being so pleasant and nice.  I carry that compliment with pride.  I wear a jacket at dinner because I was taught to do so, and because I respect the staff who works very hard to make things right for the passengers.



#32 amamba

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 12:59 AM

The best solution, IMHO, is for the feds to contract with the ASPCA who would certify training facilities. Only those facilities would be able to issue a dated (expiration date) tag (to be attached to the animal) in one color for service animals and another for comfort animals. The ASPCA would be required to annually check the facilities. Thus, places that allow service (or service plus comfort) animals would not have to question the owner but would be allowed to verify the tag. The tag should have picture of animal, description and barcode. No info as to disability need be on the tag.

thats not really what the aspca does, and how would that be funded?

#33 Ryan

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 07:04 AM

Tom, you left out the most important detail of the story, how well did the dog tip after the meal? :ph34r: :D
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#34 FormerOBS

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 10:12 AM

Ryan,

 

The dog didn't tip, but I don't hold it against him because he didn't have opposable thumbs. 

 

The owner, on the other hand ........................

 

Tom

 

P.S. Actually, the dog was a cute little guy. I have no bad feelings towards him.  :giggle:


Edited by FormerOBS, 05 March 2017 - 10:13 AM.


#35 me_little_me

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 04:37 PM

 

The best solution, IMHO, is for the feds to contract with the ASPCA who would certify training facilities. Only those facilities would be able to issue a dated (expiration date) tag (to be attached to the animal) in one color for service animals and another for comfort animals. The ASPCA would be required to annually check the facilities. Thus, places that allow service (or service plus comfort) animals would not have to question the owner but would be allowed to verify the tag. The tag should have picture of animal, description and barcode. No info as to disability need be on the tag.

thats not really what the aspca does, and how would that be funded?

 

"the feds to contract with the ASPCA".



#36 BCL

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 04:52 PM


"the feds to contract with the ASPCA".

They don't do that and I doubt they want to. They did contract with NYC to investigate animal abuse cases but lost that contract.  That's actually their mission - to prevent animal abuse.  They don't work through the entire gamut of animal facility inspection, and I doubt they want to.

The department that has the most experience with animals is the USDA. They're actually responsible for inspecting zoos, circuses, etc.

Edited by BCL, 12 March 2017 - 02:47 PM.


#37 amamba

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 11:50 AM

 

The best solution, IMHO, is for the feds to contract with the ASPCA who would certify training facilities. Only those facilities would be able to issue a dated (expiration date) tag (to be attached to the animal) in one color for service animals and another for comfort animals. The ASPCA would be required to annually check the facilities. Thus, places that allow service (or service plus comfort) animals would not have to question the owner but would be allowed to verify the tag. The tag should have picture of animal, description and barcode. No info as to disability need be on the tag.

thats not really what the aspca does, and how would that be funded?
 
"the feds to contract with the ASPCA".
Regardless, that's not what the ASPCA does nor is it really in the scope of their mission.

#38 Lonestar648

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:39 PM

Right now this is not on anyone's agenda in Washington, even if it was, could easily be knocked down to a decision by each each state.  Bottom line, until the abuse becomes a major news story, it will be long time before something is even considered.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
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#39 KmH

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:18 AM

http://www.aspca.org/about-us


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