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A non-profit charity dedicated to providing free guides for visually impaired individuals.

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Patricia Cornwell with Trip, one of the horses she donated to the guide Horse Foundation

Patricia Cornwell with Trip

Don and Janet Burleson - Copyright 2000 by Lisa Carpenter

Copyright © 2000 by Lisa Carpenter

Dan with Cuddles - Copyright (c) 2001 by Cathleen MacDonald
Copyright © 2001 by Cathleen MacDonald

Cuddles in Harness - Copyright (c) 2001 by Cathleen MacDonald

Copyright © 2001 by Cathleen MacDonald

Don and Janet with Trip and Ras

Copyright © 2000 by Lisa Carpenter

Cuddles on the first flight of a horse on a commercial flight

Copyright © 2001 by Erik Lesser
The worlds first horse to fly in the passenger cabin

Cuddles guiding Dan Shaw

Copyright © 2001 by Erik Lesser

Cuddles at Lunch

Copyright © 2001 by Erik Lesser

Homeless Woman claims that Rat Terrier Puppy is a guide dog

For the latest in miniature horse headlines visit: http://www.guidehorse.com/law_n_news.htm

http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2005/01/09/news/regional/e52d54f85827eeda86256f

84000157e9.txt

 

A homeless woman has complained that her tiny, 7 month-old Rat Terrier puppy is a guide animal!  The woman claims to have self-trained the alleged guide animal, and she also has never been declared blind:


Because fully trained service dogs can cost thousands of dollars, Quinn decided to teach the terrier herself. As a result, it has no formal training certificate. Also, since her eyesight deteriorated from glaucoma two years ago, Quinn has not been certified legally blind, which she claims to be.

 

Despite her keeping a job, and the fact that the dog has no harness or formal training, this woman is adamant that the apartment complex has violated the federal ADA law:

 

"People need to be made aware that service animals are not pets," Quinn said.

 

Because fully trained service dogs can cost thousands of dollars, Quinn decided to teach the terrier herself. As a result, it has no formal training certificate. Also, since her eyesight deteriorated from glaucoma two years ago, Quinn has not been certified legally blind, which she claims to be.

 

In a follow-up article, the blind community expressed concern about such a small, owner-trained guide animal:

 

http://www.gazetteonline.com/article.aspx?art_id=94639&cat_id=1  

She said the dog understands commands and keeps her from bumping into obstacles but The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier has received criticism from people who say it is impossible for such a small breed to be trained as a guide dog.

"Even the worst school in the country wouldn't train a terrier," said Carla Ruschival, a board member for the American Council for the Blind. 

Despite concerns that the woman has just recently been declared legally bond and has never used or trained a guide animal, the bulk of the concerns are about the tiny size of the Rat Terrier:

"I can't say that this dog isn't helping her in some way," said Karen Ann Young, a Seeing Eye dog user in Amsterdam, N.Y. "The fear for me for her would be using this type of a dog in traffic situations … which could really be dangerous."

Quinn said her dog can't push and pull her entire body, but it's trained to lean against her ankle when it wants her to step back.

"I understand the concern with traffic," she said, "but we have our way."

In this related article, we see more concerns about the using a Terrier as a Guide dog:

 

http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2005/01/11/news/regional/e5f6f6c28ac8225686256f

86004a0f10.txt 

 

Jenine Stanley, who maintains the Web site for Guide Dog Users, said Quinn may not have made all the right choices, but her claims may be perfectly legitimate. Stanley also doesn't rule out the possibility of a rat terrier serving some function. But she said the breed is neither the safest nor easiest option available.

 

In the final chapter is this story, we see that the woman found an apartment manager to accept her:

 

http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2005/01/12/news/regional/dfab2594
e9ed0d1a86256f87004716a7.txt 

 

The lack of credentials prompted some in the blind community to react 
with anger to her story. Many e-mailed the Courier accusing Quinn of 
faking a disability in order to abuse the system. Others said a rat terrier 
cannot perform the tasks required of a guide dog.
 
Michael Hingson, national public affairs and donor relations director of 
Guide Dogs for the Blind, said it's hard to imagine a rat terrier properly 
serving as a guide dog. That debate, though, distracts from a more 
important issue of whether Quinn was discriminated against. 

          "The real story is can this person deny her right to an apartment,"
Hingson said.


Get the Book!

 

Helping Hooves

The Guide Horse Foundation Training Program to Train  Miniature Horses  as Guide Animals for the Blind

Janet Burleson
ISBN
Retail Price $27.95

Order this book now and get 20% off the retail price!

Only $19.95

Order Now!

 

Read the compelling story of the first miniature horse trained to work as a guide horse. Learn the exciting methods used to prepare the tiny horses to perform these amazing services.

 

A portion of the proceeds from sales will benefit the Guide Horse Foundation.

 

 

Quotes:

 

  • Janet Burleson is one of the world's pioneering horse trainers – Practical Horseman Magazine
     

  • Seeing is believing – USA Today
     

  • Janet and Don Burleson are  . . . Angels – People Magazine
     

  • How wonderful that Janet and Don Burleson have initiated this valuable experimental program teaming miniature horses with blind people – Newsweek
     

  • Miniature ponies are leading the way for the blind – ABC News
     

  • Guide Horses  . . . are as small and disciplined as Guide Dogs – TIME Magazine
     

  • Extraordinary ABC 20/20
     

  • It is often the little things that win our hearts and minds – ABC News
     

  • The Burleson’s are . . . using horse sense to Guide Boston Globe
     

  • Twinkie proved that miniature horses could fill the role, and fill it well – VetCentric Magazine
     

  • An Intriguing Program - Discovery Channel

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,2002,2003 by the Guide Horse Foundation Inc. 

Guide Horse ® is a registered trademark of the Guide Horse Foundation Inc.

The Guide Horse Foundation has the utmost respect for The Seeing Eye® and their seventy-two years of outstanding work with assistance animals for the blind. Please note that The Guide Horse Foundation is not affiliated with or sanctioned by the Seeing-Eye® or any of the Guide Dog training organizations. Seeing-Eye® is a registered trademark of the Seeing-Eye, Inc.