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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

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Speaks on guide animal rights
 
The Pennsylvania Attorney General office notes that violating guide animal rights is a crime under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and Pennsylvania Crimes code.  This supplements existing Federal Law and could lead to the arrest and   criminal conviction of violators.
 

 
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General has enforcement Responsibilities under laws that protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. This document provides specific information about the requirements for protecting the legal rights of our fellow citizens with disabilities who use service animals.
 
This document was prepared jointly with the U.S. Department of Justice to provide businesses with information about the law and to encourage Voluntary compliance. I hope you will share this information with your membership and/or staff and encourage them to learn about their responsibilities.
 
Mike Fisher
Attorney General
 
Q: What are the laws that apply to my business?
 
A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), privately owned businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA requires these Businesses to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed.
 
Under Pennsylvania law, individuals with disabilities who use guide or support animals or trainers of such animals are entitled to equal opportunity in all aspects of employment, as well as equal access to and treatment in all public accommodations, and any housing accommodation or commercial property without discrimination. Violation of this law may result in an award of damages or other remedies pursuant to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. 43 P.S. § 953.
 
Additionally, under Pennsylvania law, an owner, manager, or employee of a theater, hotel, restaurant or other place of public accommodation may Violate the Pennsylvania Crimes Code if he or she denies access to an individual with a disability who is using a guide, signal, or service dog. 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 7325.
 
Q: What is a service animal?
 
A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually 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.
 
Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the
Individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. "Seeing eye dogs" are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:
 
·        Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.
·        Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.
·        Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.
·        A service animal is not a pet.
 
 
Q: What must I do when an individual with a service animal comes to my business?
 
A: The service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a
disability to all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from other customers.
 
Q: I have always had a clearly posted "no pets" policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow service animals in?
 
A: Yes. A service animal is not a pet. The ADA requires you to modify your "no pets" policy to allow the use of a service animal by a person with a disability. This not mean you must abandon your "no pets" policy altogether but simply that you must make an exception to your general rule for service animals.
 
Under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, you also will need to make an exception for trainers of service animals.
 
Q: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?
 
A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability.
 
However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability.  Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal.  Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.
 
Q: Am I responsible for the animal while the person with a disability is in my business?
 
A: No. The care or supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. You are not required to provide care or food or a special location for the animal.
 
Q: Can I charge maintenance or cleaning fee for customers who bring service animals into my business?
 
A: No. Neither a deposit nor a surcharge may be imposed on an individual with a disability as a condition to allowing a service animal to accompany the individual with a disability, even if deposits are routinely required for pets.
 
However, a public accommodation may charge its customers with disabilities if a service animal causes damage so long as it is the regular practice of the entity to charge non-disabled customers for the same types of damages. For example, a hotel can charge a guest with a disability for the cost of repairing or cleaning furniture damaged by a service animal if it is the hotel's policy to charge when non-disabled guests cause such damage
 
Q: I operate a private taxicab and I don't want animals in my taxi; they smell, shed hair and sometimes have "accidents." Am I violating the ADA if I refuse to pick up someone with a service animal?
 
A: Yes. Taxicab companies may not refuse to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Private taxicab companies are also prohibited from charging higher fares or fees for transporting individuals with disabilities and their service animals than they charge to other persons for the same or equivalent service.
 
In addition, under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, these prohibitions against discriminatory treatment would also apply to protect the trainers of service animals.
 
Q: What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control?
 
A: You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, from your facility when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded. You may not make assumptions, however, about how a particular animal is likely to behave based on your past experience with other animals. Each situation must be considered individually.
 
Although a public accommodation may exclude any service animal that is out of control, it should give the individual with a disability who uses the service animal the option of continuing to enjoy its goods and services without having the service animal on the premises.
 
Q: Can I exclude an animal that doesn't really seem dangerous but is disruptive to my business?
 
A: There may be a few circumstances when a public accommodation is not required to accommodate a service animal - that is, when doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the business. Generally, such disruption is not likely to occur in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities. But when it does, for example, when a dog barks during a movie, the animal can be excluded.
 
Q: My county health department has told me that only a seeing eye or guide dog has to be admitted. If I follow those regulations, am I violating the ADA?
 
A: Yes, if you refuse to admit any other type of service animal on the basis of local health department regulations or other state or local laws. The ADA provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and so it takes priority over the local or state laws or regulations.
 
If you have further questions about service animals or other requirements of the ADA, you may call the U.S. Department of Justice's toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD). In addition, you may call the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General at (717) 787-0822 or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission at (717) 787-4410.




 

 

 

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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.

Now you can read the book that tells the story of the development of the Guide Horse training program! Learn the techniques used to train a reliable, safe service horse.

 

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 $23.99

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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

 

 

About the Author:

Janet Burleson

Don and Janet Burleson - Copyright 2000 by Lisa Carpenter

  Janet Burleson is the pioneering horse trainer that developed the Guide horse training program. As a lifelong horse training enthusiast, Janet Burleson has experimented with hundreds of horse behavior challenges.  With four decades of horse teaching experience, read how she trained Twinkie, the prototype first experimental Guide horse for the blind and Cuddles  the first Guide horse to enter full time service as a guide animal for Dan Shaw.

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.