Theresa_J's blog

Service Dog Questions

I have received several questions this week that I would like to pass on the answers given by the Department of Justice which is the federal agency governing Title II and Title III of the ADA. (Remember the ADA is not the only federal law addressing the topic of Service Dogs.)

Questions & Primary Answers are from
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section
Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA
July 20, 2015

What is a service animal?
A. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.

** "Under the ADA" this definition is dealing with service animals being taken out into the community in those locations mentioned under Title II and Title III of the ADA. (As handlers, we must be aware that flying on a commercial airline or renting an apartment or home are under the rulings of other federal agencies and laws.

** "individually trained" means that the task or work must be trained and not something the dog does naturally.

** "The task(s) performed" is important to consider. A deaf person can not claim that their dog picking up dropped items is a task as bending over and picking something up is not related to their disability of record.


Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?
A. No. These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person. Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places. You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws.

** Emotional Support Animals in some housing can be any pet (such as a dog, a cat or bird) and under the same classification as a Service Dog.
Regulatory Agency -- Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Federal Law -- Fair Housing Act (FHA)

** Emotional Support Animal can be a pet including a dog (not a Service Dog) allowed on a commercial flight just as a trained Service Dog.
Regulatory Agency -- U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
Federal Law -- The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)


If someone's dog calms them when having an anxiety attack, does this qualify it as a service animal?
A. It depends. The ADA makes a distinction between psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals. If the dog has been trained to sense that an anxiety attack is about to happen and take a specific action to help avoid the attack or lessen its impact, that would qualify as a service animal. However, if the dog's mere presence provides comfort, that would not be considered a service animal under the ADA.


Does the ADA require service animals to be professionally trained?
A. No. People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.


What questions can a covered entity's employees ask to determine if a dog is a service animal?
A. In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person's disability.


Do service animals have to wear a vest or patch or special harness identifying them as service animals?
A. No. The ADA does not require service animals to wear a vest, ID tag, or specific harness.


Can people bring more than one service animal into a public place?
A. Generally, yes. Some people with disabilities may use more than one service animal to perform different tasks. For example, a person who has a visual disability and a seizure disorder may use one service animal to assist with way-finding and another that is trained as a seizure alert dog. Other people may need two service animals for the same task, such as a person who needs two dogs to assist him or her with stability when walking. Staff may ask the two permissible questions (See Question 7) about each of the dogs. If both dogs can be accommodated, both should be allowed in. In some circumstances, however, it may not be possible to accommodate more than one service animal. For example, in a crowded small restaurant, only one dog may be able to fit under the table. The only other place for the second dog would be in the aisle, which would block the space between tables. In this case, staff may request that one of the dogs be left outside.


Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as service animals?
A. No. Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, as a condition for entry.

There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.


Can service animals be any breed of dog?
A. Yes. The ADA does not restrict the type of dog breeds that can be service animals.


What happens if a person thinks a covered entity's staff has discriminated against him or her?
A. Individuals who believe that they have been illegally denied access or service because they use service animals may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. Individuals also have the right to file a private lawsuit in Federal court charging the entity with discrimination under the ADA.

For more information about the ADA
ADA INFORMATION LINE 800-514-0301 (Voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY)

Winged Garden Visitors Activity (Community Activities)

A new activity that we will be involved in for the 2016-2017 school year will be at Ochwilla Elementary School on the west side Of Putnam County on Hgwy 21 North. We will be cleaning and preparing an old garden section to put in a new Butterfly Garden for the teachers and students to enjoy. A section of the garden will consist of only native plants which we think will lead to some interesting topics of study for the teachers to add in their classrooms. The coordinator for this activity is Tandra Eames, Pre-K teacher at Ochwilla.

Long Delay

After a very long delay, we are going to once more try to reactivate our AS2000 website. During this time we have remained active on Face Book and working on various Projects and Activities in the community. It will take awhile to get all parts up and active again, but in the meantime we do have a lot of info posted from the past.

TYLER MUTO’s General Dogmanship & Problem Solving

I am very much looking forward to Tyler Muto returning to Gainesville in April. The seminar will again be hosted by Dream Dogz Training Center located at 3909 NW 97th Blvd.

I attended his 2 day seminar last August and came away with so many new ideas to use with training of my upcoming German Shepherd puppy. As at the last seminar I will be attending without a dog but with a notebook and pen to take notes.

Tyler is a much lauded trainer from New York who travels around the U.S. His seminars are well attended by professional trainers from around the country who fly or drive in to learn from him.

Class size is limited.
Working Spots ($400.) – all are filled.
Spectator Spots ($300.) - several are still open.

Starting Back

After being inactive for far too long AS2000 is coming back. It will take awhile to update all areas.

In the meantime don't forget to visit our Humane Animal Education & Services - HAES Facebook Page

Info on HAES:

Information and news about the animals in Putnam and Alachua Counties (FL).
A Division of Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Visit our website at

Putnam and Alachua Counties (FL)
Humane Animal Education & Services - a Division of Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Animal Services 2000 is a community service website of HAES.
Though we center on info updates in our local two counties the info on training, care, and assist all animals can be applied to animal life everywhere. From time to time we repost pictures and info from other locations for the same reason - to share with our local friends.

Future Goals:
Help establish safe locations for pets of abused owner victims to allow these owner victims to enter into safe shelters.

General Information on HAES:
Promotes the humane treatment of all animals (companion, working, equines, livestock, and wildlife) through education.
Promotes rescuing and adopting pets by highlighting available animals from local sources.
Promotes the buying of animals from reputable and humane breeders.
Promotes the safety of area animals during and after emergencies - from family to county disasters.
To the best of our ability we will assist where possible in legal emergency protective care.


Volunteer Staff of Humane Animal Education & Services Inc.
Kristina Adams, Theresa A. Jennings, Victoria Warfel

Volunteer Members of the Humane Animal Education & Services Inc. Advisory Committee:
Karen Hall, Larry Eames, Tandra Eames

Kristina Adams, Chairman
Vice-President of Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Coordinator of Karl's Kids Food & Product Disbursement
Putnam County Emergency Animal Support Coordinator

Theresa A. Jennings, Executive Director
President and Executive Director of Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Assistance Dog Advocacy Project (ADAP), Executive Director and Advocate
Putnam County Emergency Animal Support Team Member
Putnam County Pet-Friendly Evacuation Shelter Coordinator
Past Board of Directors Member of the Humane Society of Northeast FL, Inc.
Canine Good Citizen (AKC) Evaluator
Member and Forum Moderator of Service Dog Central
Forum Moderator of
Face Book Admin of the following Groups: Service Dog Teams, Assistance (Service) Dog Candidates and In-Training Dogs, Humane Animal Education & Services - HAES

Victoria Warfel, Vice Chairman
Board of Directors, Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Founder and owner of Dream Dogz Training Center
The Dream Team, Gainesville's All-Star Performance Dog Team, Founder and Team Leader
Canine Good Citizen (AKC) Evaluator
International Association of Canine Professionals, Member
Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI), Member
Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), Full Member

Karen Hall, Advisory Committee Lead
Board of Directors, Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Equine Director of Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Putnam County Emergency Animal Support Team
Horse’s Voices – Animal Communication & Wholistic Balancing FB Page

Larry Eames, Advisory Committee
Board of Directors, Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Putnam County Emergency Animal Support Team

Tandra Eames, Advisory Committee
Board of Directors, Karl's Kids Program, Inc.
Putnam County Emergency Animal Support Team

Another 2-Day Training Seminar This Month

Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26, 2014
From 9:00 am until 4:00 pm

Dream Dogz Training Center, 3909 NW 97th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606 presents...

Pack to BasicsTM Advanced Socialization Solutions
with Chad Mackin!

Contact: Victoria Warfel, 352-278-7404,

Fee: $299 per person/dog

*All spaces are on a first-come-first-serve basis, and space is limited.

A system that builds dogs’ social skills to balance their lives...

The key to Pack To Basics is to use the dogs' naturally strong social behavior to reduce stress and fear; build confidence and language skills, allowing for many common behavior problems to slip away. This is an approach like none other! No punishment and no traditional training is needed to radically improve a dog’s behavior in and out of the home.

Dog aggression? Reduced or resolved in a couple of hours in many cases.

Rambunctiousness? Dogs quickly learn to moderate their own behavior.

Excess energy? Drain your dog of the frustration that causes destructive chewing, anxiety and much more.

Pack to Basics is a comprehensive approach to canine socialization, specifically geared towards dogs with known socialization issues. It includes everything from the initial evaluation to pre-training dogs before they can enter the social arena and preparing the questionable dogs to safely enter the socialization classes.

Pack to Basics is an advanced socialization process that focuses on the dogs that are typically excluded from doggie daycares and other socialization venues. Because of this fact, Pack to Basics offers us an opportunity to help dogs that otherwise might not be able to ever run with other dogs.

Our Pack to Basics classes are revolutionary in their approach and in their results. By allowing dogs with difficulties getting along with other dogs to interact with the right kinds of dogs, they learn not merely to control their aggressive behavior, but to actually enjoy getting along with other dogs.

The two day Pack to Basics workshop is a fun and informative workshop designed to enable dog trainers to share the benefits of Pack to Basics socialization with their clients and their dogs.

Pack to Basics is a unique system for socializing dogs who otherwise might not be allowed to socialize in dog parks and doggie daycares because of anti-social tendencies. We have seen amazing results in hundreds of dogs who have been labeled dog aggressive or dangerous by other dog professionals.

Included in your Pack To Basics Workshop:
• The causes of aggression, the number one reason dogs fight, and how to quickly stop a dog fight. • How to recognize true dog aggression versus bad manners and poor social skills.
• How to evaluate dogs, and their owners prior to the class.
• How to prepare dogs and clients who need some work before socializing.
• How to safely run a class, and how to recognize trouble brewing before it becomes trouble. • When to let things go and when to step in, as well as how to safely step in.

We use a combination of videos, live demonstrations, active socialization sessions, and discussion to reach all students. While the workshop is designed for dog professionals, many dog owners have attended these workshops over the years and all have learned a lot and had a great time. Running Pack to Basics classes is the most valuable thing I offer my clients and it allows me to quickly solve problems other trainers take months or even years to solve.

What is Pack to Basics?
Pack to Basics is the best answer to the socialization question. It is more than merely letting the dogs run together. It begins with proper evaluation of the dog, continues through pre-training dogs who aren't ready to socialize off leash, and finally it ends with safely socializing dogs who are ready. Workshop attendees can expect two informative days about dog aggression, canine body language, canine socialization. Each day will include lecture, practical work, and video presentations. Every workshop is different because the dogs at each workshop will be different.

Who should attend P2B workshops?
P2B workshops are open to any adults who want to attend. While the workshops are geared for professionals, there is usually one or more dog owner attending who just wants to understand their dog better. The feedback from them is always positive. The program avoids a lot of jargon and instead relies on plain English to communicate ideas so people of all backgrounds can usually follow. However, the material is best-suited for those with dog experience.

Are you a dog trainer?
Learn how to cure your clients problems quicker than ever before possible in a way that will be fun for your owners and their dogs. Bring clients back over, and over again into your business by offering occasional social classes. Your services will be so unique that you should expect more referral business than ever before.

Own or work at a Doggy Daycare?
Learn how to evaluate dogs to determine who is safe to play and who is not. You’ll immediately benefit as you avoid damage to your clients’ dogs. By offering a solution for problematic dogs, you’ll turn unacceptable dogs into your customers...and those people will bring their friends. Also, bring your key staff members. Help them learn dog handling and dog safety rules for dogs at play. Keep your staff and your investment safer.

Are you a pet sitter or dog walker?
Know what to look for when socializing dogs together in your environment or theirs. Make progress with dog behaviors that the average sitter or walker will never understand. You’ll become the “go to” professional in your location.

Can I bring a dog?
Please do! While the workshop could be done without any dogs (we have enough videos to make up the difference) there is a real benefit to having dogs there for practical demonstrations and practice. Any kind of dog will be useful. Some dogs are not suitable for socialization sessions, but they are valuable for the workshop nonetheless because their evaluations are the most important. However, all dogs should be crate trained, attendees will need to provide their own crate.

Can I see video of what this all looks like?
You can see a video at The focus of the video is a dog named Ringo who was in danger of being euthanized by Southeast Texas Lab Rescue because of his aggressive behavior towards other dogs. After a little less than two weeks we shot the video of Ringo running with a group of other dogs in an 2,000 square foot room.

Who is teaching the workshop?
Chad Mackin will be teaching the workshop. Chad has been training dogs professionally since March of 1993. He developed Pack to Basics after being introduced to Large Field Socialization by Dick Russell. Chad immediately recognized the value in what was happening and set about finding a way to make it work in smaller spaces. Chad brought all his years of experience with difficult and aggressive dogs to the problem and over time Chad developed the program presented in workshops today. Chad is a former President of The International Association of Canine Professionals, as well as the current Director of Training for A+ Dog Obedience in Webster, TX. He has presented on Pack To Basics at the IACP Conference in Hutto TX, and at National K-9 school for dog trainers, as well as private facilities across the US and in Canada.
Please see his website for more information: You can also join his on-line community at: and

Will I receive a Certificate of Attendance? A Certificate of Attendance will be provided!

*Host accepts credit card, check, and cash.

Kaleb may be coming soon.

Our new mascot Kaleb will probably be coming from one of two litters. The first litter is due in about one week so we will watching to see if any turn out to be the right puppy for us.

If not we will then wait for the following litter and evaluate those pups.

The waiting can be soooooooooooo long.

Puppy pictures will be later but for now to take a look at the soon-to-be parents.

New Kid In Town

Karl's Kids Program is looking forward to welcoming a new mascot for KsKs and member of the Jenning's family sometime in 2014.

Kaleb will be joining us from the Wildhaus Kennels located in Michigan. The Wildhaus Kennels is a small hobby kennel well known for breeding German Shepherd Dogs from strong, proven European working bloodlines. All of their breeding dogs possess working titles, hip/elbow certifications, and are thoroughly screened and tested for health and temperament.

Wildhaus German Shepherds are currently working and training in schutzhund/IPO, herding, law enforcement, search and rescue, farm work, competitive agility, obedience and tracking, and are serving as loyal family companions and protectors across the country.

More information on Kaleb will be given in 2014.

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