Protect legitimate service dogs and owners

Contributed photoSpread the love this Valentine’s Day and adopt the sweetest man you’ll meet. Maxx is a 2.5-year-old American Staffordshire terrier mix who has called the shelter home for the last six months. He is an absolute doll when it comes to people, but needs to be king of the house, with no other pets. Also pictured is his new buddy, CGHS/SPCA Adoption Counselor Liz Valden.

This article addresses an issue of great concern, with a limited timeline for consideration and response.

Many articles have recently addressed the proposed overhaul to the regulations established by the Department of Transportation regarding service animals on domestic flights. The new rule proposal is now open to the public for comment. If information is correct, we have until March to respond.

The change in regulation states (in general) that “passengers with physical or psychological disabilities who want to bring in a dog (only dogs) into the cabin as a service animal must supply a federally approved form attesting that it has been trained to perform tasks that address the disability.” This eliminates the current abuse of untrained animals under the reference of “emotional support” being allowed to fly. This new regulation would not prohibit pets of appropriate size and species currently allowed in required and safe carriers.

This change is very important to protect legitimate service dogs and their owners.

Keep in mind that under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, “only dogs are considered service animals.” They guide the blind, retrieve articles and medicines for quadriplegics and paraplegics, alert to an epileptic seizure or diabetic crisis, etc. Advocates for the rights of the disabled are applauding the proposed change. Many airline passengers and employees have sustained injuries while trying to deal with untrained animals of many species. This proposal is intended to protect our hard-working and valuable service dogs.

We encourage you to support this “article of protection” by submitting your feedback in person online. Go to www.regulations.gov, then click the link to “Traveling by Air with Service Animals Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.” You will have an option to see the proposal by clicking a PDF attachment just down the page, and when you are prepared, there is a button labeled “Comment Now!” You may also go straight to the comment page by entering the following web address directly into your browser https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=DOT-OST-2018-0068-4724

Your responses are urgently requested!

Feel free to call us with any questions at 518-828-6044 or www.cghs.org. Stop down and see us at 111 Humane Society Road, off Route 66 (about a mile south of the intersection with Route 9H) in Hudson. Our hours are 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. every day. The Food Bank is open to any from the public in need of pet food or for those wishing to donate food anytime during business hours. All of our cats and kittens are “Furrever Free” with all expenses paid. Spay/neuter clinics for cats are $76 male or female, including a rabies vaccination and a 5-in-1 feline distemper combination vaccination. Nail clipping services are available 10-11 a.m. every Saturday at the shelter, no appointment necessary, for a donation of $5 for cats and $10 for dogs. Charlene Marchand is the Chairperson of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA Board of Directors. She may be contacted at cghsaaron@gmail.com.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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