On December 22, 2019, DV Radio graciously invited Veronica and Brad Morris back for a live show about AKC’s “Service Dog Pass” program. Below you’ll find DV Radio’s YouTube recording of the show, DV Radio’s audio recording, and a transcript that our wonderful volunteers spent many hours producing.
More info and the audio recording are on the DV Radio page linked below.
The transcript below is thanks to the hard work of the following volunteers: M. Christine Wildman, Veronica Morris, Avery Brown, Lauren Boutros, Jim Wildman, Sarah Sexton and Debut, Karen Stein, and Ariana Lewkowitz-Shpuntoff.[Music]
DVradio: Please remember the views and opinions expressed by this show or any other show on DV Radio and it’s guests are strictly the views of said individuals and do not reflect those of the DV Radio staff nor the staff of Dysfunctional Veterans.
From issues plaguing the veteran community this is where we discuss topics such as the VA, social stigmas, issues from our veteran community around the world and here at home. Join the host from DV Radio shows, outside guests and much more. Ask your questions during the show and we’ll answer them.
This is Round Table Discussions[music ends]
What is up everybody? This is Round Table Discussions here on DV Radio.net WDVR. I’m Bo from Barracks talk and a lot of other places here on DV Radio.
Uh, tonight, just so everyone is reminded about Round Table Discussions before we go into tonight’s topic, Round Table Discussions is a video and Audio show, however, the video, and only the live audio feed is being streamed tonight. The video portion will be available in a few weeks after the holidays via DV Radio’s You Tube. Uh, we will introduce everyone and uh, the way this show will work, I am the moderator, which means I will be the one to direct the questions, and if we must, I will stop people short so we can move on to get in as much as possible tonight. If we’re unable to finish these, uh, questions and discussions, we will have either an after thoughts round table discussions. This will continue next week at our guests’ schedules.
But, uh, without further ado, we’re going to go on to tonight’s topic. Uh, we do have PTSDog Joaquin Juatai, Nia from Psychiatric Service Dog 411, Brad and Dr. Veronica Morris from Psychiatric Service Dog Partners and Scav, of the Scav and Scout Chronicles.
Um, tonight’s round table discussions is about the American, The American Kennel Club sent out in an email, uh, to AKC certified evaluators announcing it’s partnership with the American Service Dog Access Coalition, Uh, that, uh and Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans to create a service dog registry called The Service Dog Pass. This announcement met with consternation from me and the Service Dog handling community in cooperation with the Service Dog Show we air at DV Radio. Wanted to bring several people, ie: the people I just introduced to you, accessibility issues service dog handlers to discuss the service dog pass. And why it is not, uh, only a poorly thought out idea, but could ultimately be detrimental to disabled people as a whole.
Uh, again, we’ve got Joaquin Juatai, Nia, uh, Scav, and Brad and Dr. Veronica Morris. How’s everyone doing this evening?[multiple voices – doing great thank you]
DVradio: Good, good. Now, it’s gonna look weird for the ones that are looking at their zoom right now, but the way it is for me, top left is Joaquin Juatai, then to the right is Veronica Morris and Brad, and bottom left is Scav, and to his right is Nia, so that’s how I’m going to be doing this order tonight. So, please, don’t get, uh, you know, brain farted during that moment.
So, if you want, we’ll go ahead and jump right into this and, uh, JJ, I’ll start with you, like I said.
Has the American Kennel Club or as we’ll refer to them, as the AKC, ever done anything like this before where they claim to have some insight into the service dog world? And with that, in your opinion, what is really driving this push for a service dog registry?
Joaquin: So to my knowledge, although there are many AKC trainers who also, uh, do, and what I mean by AKC trainer is there are many trainers who train, uh, train to the standards of the AKC’s, uh, Canine Good Citizenship, Advanced Good Citizenship, Urban Citizenship tests.[dogs bark]
Uh, and uh, there are many people involved with organizations who use those behavioral tests as benchmarks for the training levels of the dogs. And that’s great, there’s nothing wrong with that. Uh, it’s great that they have some behavioral standards that they expect. The problem is that the AKC has never quote unquote certified a service dog. Um, and there’s a couple of reasons for that. One of which is that although you can train standard, uh, just, general obedience behaviors, how to behave out in public, task wise, it’s, there’s, it’s almost impossible to make a standard, because each dog needs to be individually trained for each individual with a disability. You match one dog to one person and that dog’s tasking is specific to that person.[dog’s barking]
So, how do you get a standard there? Or how does a standard come about when no two disabled individuals are the same?[dog barks]
If the tasks the dog is going to perform to assist a disabled handlers not the same? Um,[dog barks]
That being said, uh, there, there, there’s some fairly obvious to me motives behind this. The primary one being[dogs barking]
monetization of disability, quite frankly. It is a, it is a very calculated business move to make money off of disabled people. The problem is, most disabled people live on a fixed income, because they are disabled. So, where’s all this money gonna come from, for disabled people to be able to participate in this program. Because somebody’s going to have to pay the evaluators. Um I see this as a very um, uh, um, mercenary move on the, on the part of the AKC.
DVradio: I get that, 100 %. Veronica and Brad, do you want to uh, uh, give your opinion and uh, about what’s really driving this push for this uh, serve, uh service dog registry?
Veronica: Sure. I’d like to answer your, uh, question about has AKC done this before. And the answer is yes, actually. Last year, in 2018, um, AKC renamed their urban, their Canine Good Citizen Urban test, a Public Access Test. Um, and we mounted a, uh, signature campaign and got over 2000 signatures for people who did not want AKC to rebrand their test to Public Access Test.
For those who don’t know, Public Access Test is a term of art in the service dog community. It’s a test that demonstrates a level of behavior, um, that, uh, a fully trained service dog might be able to, uh, to meet. Um, and so, AKC’s offering this Canine Good Citizen U, U, Urban, or now, Public Access Test, to, um, all types of pet dogs. Um, and so, the service dog community was very against this, but, um, and our organization specifically exchanged several emails with AKC about it. Um, and they did not seem interested in learning about disability rights, or, uh, Service Dog culture, or anything like that. Um, do you want to add something to that, Brad?
Brad: Right, well last month, for instance, we, we were in DC. We had a meeting with US Department of Transportation. And, when we got there, after a full day, days train ride, we got to the hotel, and we had a very serious access challenge, because this was a pet friendly hotel and they didn’t really understand how they were supposed to treat the service dog users. And, it, it took a long time, and we have, we now have to file a complaint with the Department of Justice because of that confusion.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because AKC’s intention in changing their name with the AKC U, to add public access test to it, is they wanted to make it easier for people with pets to be able to signal to hotels and to other businesses that, that might be pet friendly, that their pet was ok, because it passed an AKC test saying that that dog had manners. So, from my perspective, that just adds a whole new layer of confusion to things. And when we tried to tell AKC, “look, we’ve got thousands of service dog users who are saying just use another term! Do your test, but use another term.” They said, “oh no, we’re working with other service dog users,” and by that, they meant a few select people, with a certain perspective disregarding disability rights.
And, and, they basically said “Screw you. We’re gonna do what we wanna do.” And we know we are not the only user group that wrote into them, because we have a coalition of user groups and we saw the other letters that were going in. So, it seems like, I, I’m not, I don’t have in my mind that we are going to, uh, change what, what AKC is going to do. Because they seem determined to do whatever is going to be in their, I’ll say financial interest. But whatever it is, the only thing that I, I’m looking for us to do now is to put pressure on them if they’re going to do the wrong thing, and make it uncomfortable if they’re going to continue to choose to participate in this pattern of disrupting the lives of people with disabilities without regard for what we have to say about how it affects us.
DVradio: Right. Scav, your thoughts and opinions?
Scav: Well, when… It’s been four years ago, somewhere around there. There’s courses over in Ohio, one kennel club they offer pretty much for the dog and pony shows. But you’re forced to go through the AKC CGC test before they even let you graduate. And it’s for all dogs. So they had no idea back then what a service dog was. It’s just they were in it for the money for obedience, they’re in it for the money for pets, and they found another money train. And like Joaquin said, they don’t know what my task requirements are, they don’t know what his task requirements are, so this is interesting.
DVradio: I got you, 100%. Nia, your thoughts and opinions?
Nia: Oh gosh, where do I even start? I kinda want to piggy back a little on what Brad was saying, to add to his commentary. We all know that HUD just kicked the registry question over to the FTC, who’s investigating the misleading consumer practices of those registries. And what AKC is to me, it is the mother of all of them. The name recognition, the trust that people have in that organization, creates a sense of trust and comfort. And they’re taking advantage of that and then misleading consumers. And not only are they doing that, but they’re wrapping up something that’s actually encouraging fraud by pet owners to have public access certified dogs by an organization that has worldwide name recognition and lobbying powers. To me it’s the height of misleading a consumer. While actually exacerbating a very real problem that the disabled handler community has. And so that’s my bone to pick with AKC. It’s very irresponsible and they don’t care. And I think our community needs to be aware how that works and how it affects them right down to their day to day. Because my neighbor can go take her dog and get the certification and have a “public access…” I mean it’s just… it muddies the waters even more. And registries don’t solve the problem. So if you’re going to put your weight behind something, solve a problem with it instead of actually making it worse and becoming the [unintelligible] version of the problem. Those are my thoughts on that.
Joaquin: If I could add, Nia made an important point. That the AKC throwing their name power in muddies the waters. The law does not require, not does the law recognize registrations or certifications. There’s a reason for that. By throwing their hat in the ring, their lobbying power behind it, what the push seems to be is to remove the rights from disabled handlers because right now as the law stands, the ADA is not a law about service dogs. Service dogs are included in the law. The ADA is a law guaranteeing the right of equal access for all disabled people regardless of the kinds of equipment they use to assist them with their disability. I’m not saying a service dog is equipment– I’m saying it is legally considered a durable medical equipment under the ADA for the purposes of equality of access. Now we’re throwing in confusion and muddying the waters and introducing barriers. Especially when people say, for example, checking into a hotel, had this happen on multiple occasions, “The last service dog handler that came in had a registration card.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that. Or “The last service dog that came in…” And I just look at the person that’s checking me in and I say, “That probably wasn’t a service dog.” Because the law does not recognize or require these registries. Now you put the AKC’s name behind it, that has legal lobbying power. There’s money involved. A lot of money. And this could lead to the stripping of rights for disabled people simply because, quite frankly, we don’t have enough money to fight it.
DVradio: I just want to say you’re exactly right, JJ. You and Nia did bring up that the ADA is a disabilities act. I’m disabled. I have a power chair and a wheelchair, so as I typically say it… You’ve got a power chair, a wheelchair, a cane, a walker, or anything like that, “Are you registered?” “No, I’m not.” Because you’re telling me I can’t go into a public place without having a license for my wheelchair. Absolutely retarded, I don’t care what anybody says. It’s not as ridiculous as earlier this year they passed a law recently in some counties and sates where you have to have a license to ride a bicycle. If that’s not the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is. But if you don’t mind we’ll go on to this next thing, We’ll start with Veronica and Brad this time. Any unintended consequences of service dog ID programs? I’ve got a lead on with that. How do you think people who support these ideas imagine the whole system will work?
Brad: It’s probably good to start with that, how people will imagine this to work, because for me it’s… People often come up with this thinking that it’s a kind of panacea, that it will solve all the problems. Because they see… OK problem, there’s fraud and they don’t see that there’s ignorance. And so they think “So how do we solve fraud?” and they make sure that everyone has the right certification because that’ll solve the problem. And in our heads that sounds really good. “Like a license”, you know, you’re registration, and you’re good to go and it works perfectly. So they think that on the one hand, everyone that has a service dog, and is disabled to go along with that, will be able to get certified no problem, and they’ll show their ID everywhere they go, and everything will be fine, and no one will be bothered by that, no one will ever lose their ID, everything will be great. And on the other hand, everyone who doesn’t have a disability and a service dog will not be able to get this thing, and it won’t be falsifiable, and all the store employees will be perfectly educated on this, even though they haven’t been educated on the existing law. Now that presupposes a heck of a lot that we find doesn’t actually happen in practice.
So when we’re talking about the ADA, like Joaquin was saying, it’s an access law. It’s point is not to punish people with disabilities and make things hard for them. It’s point is to grant access to people with disabilities. So that is always priority one. When you’re looking at some kind of program to attack fraudsters, and eliminate some sort of problem- or perceived problem- you need to never forget priority one. And what we’re doing with some of these programs is we’re giving up disability access to go after fraud and ignorance, because you often have to make this choice. So the choice in my head is, you can prioritize civil rights and a love of people with disabilities, if you will, or you can decide that your hate of wrongdoers and ignorance should drive how we shape our society. So I think that a big part of the problem is that the people who…[Dogs barking and playing]
… Exactly! That’s the reaction! They see a problem. They hate the evildoers, because it must be black or white, good or evil, and so they come up with this solution that has no background in disability rights. And it sounds good because they’re just not aware. And I’m trying to be charitable because I’ve had a lot of good friends that I’ve been able to educate about this, who they just weren’t aware of the problems that come along with this. And other people have mentioned these problems and if anyone else would…
Veronica: I would like to say one of the problems. I’m going to leave all the other problems for everyone else. I’m going to give a personal example. When you have… When you’re able to flash some sort of ID or certification or something like that, businesses think that they have to allow you. They cease looking at the behavior of the dog. So I used to live in California. California has a very stupid thing called the service dog ID tag that varies from county to county, and it’s just a horrible system. But the point is that some counties give out a tag that the dog can wear that says that it’s a service dog. So I was in a store with my first service dog Sabrina, and there was another dog in the store. And it was barking at other patrons in the store, and when it saw my service dog Sabrina, it tried to attack her. Luckily it was on a leash; not all of these dogs that I have encounters with are on leash. But this one was on a leash. So since the dog was barking at everyone and trying to attack my service dog, I told the manager of the store “look, you know the ADA says that you can ask these questions of the handler. And then even if this handler answers these questions appropriately, if the dog is attacking people, disrupting, destructive – stuff like that – you can legally kick them out.”
So the manager said, “oh thank you so much. Thank you so much”. By the way, before I went to the manager, the owner of this dog admitted that she was not disabled in any way. So the manager went over and talked to the person, she admitted to the manager she was not disabled in any way. Her dog was barking at and trying to go after the manager, but she showed the manager the ID tag from the state of California saying that her dog was a service dog. So the manager came back over to me and said, “There’s nothing I can do. The dog has an ID tag from the state saying it’s a service dog.” And I said “but she doesn’t have a disability.” He said “I know, she told me that.” And I said “but the dog attacked my service dog and is barking at all the other people in the store.” And he said “yeah, but she has the ID tag so, you know, I have to allow her.” And he wouldn’t kick her out.
And that’s just one of the problems that these types of IDs or registries or certifications that people show in order to gain access, cause. That the businesses suddenly think it’s a free pass for bad behavior and they don’t think they can do anything to take advantage of the business’ right – and the public’s right of safety – to have a misbehaving dog removed.
DVradio: You’re exactly right. Before I go to Scav – we live in a world in society where someone can put a suit, tie, and get out a microphone and camera whether they’re in press or not and you will talk to them. I don’t care who you are; you’re gonna talk to them, you’re going to trust them because they’re that imagery of “okay, this is someone I can trust.” Same thing with these registrations in my personal opinion. Scav, again, I’m gonna reiterate what this question is: are there any unintended consequences of service dog ID programs? And along with that, how do you think people who support these ideas imagine the whole system will work?
Scav: Oh yeah, we run into it daily. You can just do a google search and – hell, even on facebook you can see all the fake registries that are out there. They want you to get online and pay $79 and they’ll send you your free card and your free pretty much mickey mouse club pass and kit and you can take Fluffy wherever. It’s an issue. I’ve been to the stores where little dogs are being carried. Sometimes it’s legit; sometimes it’s a diabetic service dog and whatnot, and the people actually know what they’re doing. Other times, they’re riding around on shopping carts or pissing all over the aisles. The biggest fear we have is our dogs getting attacked. They take Scout out or they take Skeeter out because they got the fake registry or they’re certified at a hotel or grocery store and the managers, they see these cards. It comes down to education.
DVradio: Well, really quick Scav – you and I were talking with Oink on chat on DVradio.net/chat talking about the Canine Good Citizen test that was ‘sold’ to you guys. What is that and how would this registry pertain to something like that?
Scav: The CGC. Yeah, the AKC owns that pretty much, and you have to pass it at the end of obedience training. If you go out to your obedience- your puppy kindergartens and all that other stuff – you get a letter saying you passed it. You get your certificates and you turn it in to your homeowner’s insurance is how they sold it to us. You take the test, turn it in to your homeowner’s insurance and they lower your homeowner’s insurance by a certain percent.
DVradio: [crosstalk] now just to clarify for everybody what this is. It’s something that basically says: your dog, which is an animal, no matter whether it’s domesticated or not – an animal will not attack someone else. Is that basically what-
Scav: Correct. It’s proving to everybody and your homeowner’s insurance that your dog is not going to attack because it’s passed this test and it’s now a good dog. So if somebody comes knocking on your door, this dog’s not gonna attack you is how they sold it to me and everybody else in his class. But, you know, if you come and knock on my door right now, every one of these dogs is gonna go nuts. None of them are gonna attack you, they’re just gonna go completely apeshit. But I don’t know, they tell you what you want to hear. It’s a good sales pitch. And that’s why I’m afraid with them backing these registries, is they’re gonna give us a good sales pitch and it’s gonna be just like this Canine Good Citizen test. Anybody’s gonna be able to do it.
DVradio: Right. Nia, same question for you: are there any unintended consequences of the service dog ID programs and how do you think people who support these ideas imagine how the whole system will work?
Nia: The registries and the people who believe in them are doing what I call “whacking at leaves“ problem solving. So when you have a problem when we have cancer, we go to the source of that cancer and we cut it out or nuke it or we chemo it, right? We don’t just take the tumor that’s growing in one area, we’re gonna go and get it all out. So registries whack at leaves. Scav is – what he just explained is one of the unintended consequences of a registry. And by misleading people into thinking that because an animal passed a certain skill set at a particular moment, giving the false impression to people that that will protect them and will mean something. It increases the probability that that dog will not be a problem, it’s not a guarantee. And people get a false sense of security from that.
The other thing too is, how people imagine this will work is that they’re going to get these certfications and that everything’s going to be OK, and that the problems are going to be solved or diminished. The thing is that even the people selling these registries and these certificates aren’t doing the one thing that guarantees that people will perform better or be more responsible or aware of what is going on, and that is real accurate education. The reason people don’t know what’s going on and organizations get behind this type of stuff is because they don’t have a good understanding about what our problems are as disabled handlers. The cost of this and the standards of this Service Dog Pass, and just from what I’ve studied from it, the law says a task trained animal. It does not say the dog must know three tasks, right? So that’s one way, it’s adding burdens. Now if I just needed one task, and I know many handlers that literally have one real task that they need, so now I’ve got to train it two more because I want… because of this “tasks”. The cost? Limited income. So it’s not solving problems, it’s actually creating more. And it’s not going to diminish, really, the frequency of problems, as Veronica said. It’s a false sense that these IDs make people imperviable or absolves them from having to follow certain rules. They’re allowed to continue to misbehave. A test does not guarantee good behavior. All the Pass does is give people a false sense of security for a problem that they’re actually making worse. So those are some of the things that I feel about that.
Brad: There’s something I’d like to add if I can, about my experience, um, with stories I’ve heard from others and my own personal experience with the execution of these kinds of programs, the AKC programs. So, the overarching theme of why people with disability rights backgrounds get angry at this kind of thing is we’re talking about the, the validation from a third party, an outside person, of you, and your ability to gain public access, just like anyone without a disability has. And when, whenever you subject people with disabilities to these kinds of tests that aren’t available to everyone, and are, aren’t worked out well with their practical execution, then what you’re doing is you’re setting up significant barriers, um, to their access.
So, on, on one side of things, you’ve got, uh, the stigma, especially when it comes to mental illness, You’ve got a lot of stigma out there, and when it comes to disability in general, you’ve got stigma and misunderstanding about how things are supposed to work, so we’re asking people who may have varying degrees of education about that and varying stereotypes and prejudice to evaluate people and for instance, um, I’ve heard of pe…of service dog programs that will take someone, an outsider, through the training process, to certify them, um, but then if their dog can’t, uh, say, pick up some keys because its mouth is oddly shaped, and that person has zero need for that dog to be able to pick up keys, they won’t pass that person’s evaluation because that is not in line with their program, so there’s some odd ideas out there that are exclusionary for some people with disabilities in addition to the prejudice, um, but on the other hand, I’ve been involved in some tests that were overly inclusive.
So, because I use a power wheelchair, the people of our local dog training club love to use me in tests because, oh, well if the dog can be around a guy that used to have a big beard, and wears a hat and is in a power wheelchair, then we know that the dog is going to be safe and is going to pass this test. Well, I’ve been in tests where the dog could not be around me without growling and I thought for sure, hey, usually they pass just about everyone, but I thought for sure this one time, clearly, you don’t want to pass this dog as being safe in public. But guess what? They passed the dog anyway.
So, you’re relying on the evaluators, that, some of whom are willing to pass everyone, some of whom are willing to have overly high standards, and these are evaluators that are going to be far away from people in, in rural locations, and th…This is going to cost money, cost people money to travel to, to pay for the test. So the practical execution, all, the, the devil is definitely in the details, um, if you can’t see it in the foreground for disability rights, then you can definitely see it when you start to think about the details.
Dvradio: Yeah – eh, before I go to this next one, it seems to me [voices in the background] like this whole … What’s that, S…
Scav: …has a question….[People talking over each other…]
Veronica: Yeah I have….
DVradio: Yeah, I know, I know, I know…but what I was going to say is what I think bothers me most about this whole ID registry thing is, it seems like it’s coming from people who sit behind the desk all day or are in a nice cozy office, and have no clue A. what disabilities any of us have and B how a service dog actually works. They’re just going by what they have perceived in their mind what they’ve seen on television, movies, stuff like that. I might be wrong, I don’t see me being wrong ‘cause I’ve seen all this BS for the last few years, but, uh, that’s my opinion. Uh, JJ, this same question is to you.
Joaquin: Right, so, here’s the problem. The, the focus of this whole push for registries, uhm, comes very specifically from the Association for Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans and the Service Dog Access Coalition. Uhm, These people are pushing this and they have, they have a very specific intention in mind and that is to get a law passed called the PAWS act that requires the VA to pay for 400 service dogs for the period of five years at a price tag of 10 million dollars and all those dogs are coming from uh members of the Association for Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans.
So bottom line, like I said before, the, the main focus behind this is money, it’s monetizing disability, and, uh, one of the, the tenets of the PAWS act, is there has to be a national standard and I’m doing air quotes for those listening, there has to be a national standard of training. Uh, here’s the, Here’s the problem, and everybody’s touched on this, depending on what your disability is depends on what your dog’s trained to do to assist with your disability, and no two of us look the same, although we may have very similar tasks, our symptomatology is all unique. Our, what we train our dog to do is unique to our symptomatology, our personal symptomatology, and the law actually says that a service dog is a dog that is trained, individually trained, to perform work or tasks for its disabled handler. One dog, one handler, specific tasking to that handler. The dog is not cookie cutter trained, there’s not a list of acceptable tasks, and that’s all that is acceptable, because what works for me may not work for Veronica, may not work for Scav, may not work for Nia.
Perfect example. Scav’s dog scout is for hearing alert. Although I do have hearing problems, that are deemed acceptable by the Department of Veterans Affairs, I don’t have hearing loss near to the degree that Scav does. I don’t need Skeeter to alert me when I don’t hear something because I can hear it. So, Scout’s dog is trained in completely different tasks than I am, and if there’s some artificially implied, imposed standard from an organization that all these dogs have to be trained to then it’s no longer individual. And uh, and again, as Brad said, all the sudden we’re not worrying about disability and disabled people’s needs, or our rights, we’re worried about looking good, and making money while we do it.
And that’s really what’s behind this, but even moreso, what’s driving, I think, kind of the hysterical response is that everybody is focused on the wrong thing. Everybody is looking at the flashy news stories about the, uh, the you know, quote unquote, the service dog that bit a stewardess on an airplane, and, and, you know, the quote unquote, the service dog that attacked yada, yada, yada, and, and, fake service dog, fake service dog, fake service dog. Everybody’s focused on what sells stories. You know what? If it bleeds, it leads.
And nobody’s remembering the ADA is not a law about dogs. The ADA includes the use of service dogs for disabled people in order to gain equal access. And everybody is focused on what’s flashy and sells headlines and nobody’s focused on the actual need of the actual disabled people who use service dogs, and are not who are causing trouble. But who’s going to end up paying, be…, because the ultimate goal of this, there’s one direction this is going. People are pushing to have to require, to change the ADA and require for registration for Service Dogs. People want to take away our rights. OK?
And I use this parallel a lot. Look at how that has worked with the second amendment. An amendment to the constitution states that the right to keep and bear arms, is, shall not be infringed upon, and yet you have places in this country where now, the neighbor can call and say they’re worried about you and they think you have guns, and the police can come kick in your door, and, and, and infringe upon your rights. And this all came about per, over a period of time, over, over, a little more than a hundred years, of compromises and reasonable, you know, reasonable, uh, uh, changes and compromises. And it took, slowly eroded the right of the American citizen to keep and bear arms as it was written in the constitution.
Well, we’re looking at the exact parallel for service dogs. Once we start taking away the right, because we have to compromise because of this fake service dog problem, right? Then all of the sudden, the people who actually need service dogs, who use them, and who rely on them for their lives, such as those of us on this panel today, we’re the ones who suffer the consequences. But we’re not the people who are causing the problems. It’s people who are either poorly educated or uneducated or know just enough to know that they can bully their way through by screaming “discrimination” and [stammers] threatening to sue. And it’s gotten to the point where businesses, um, corporations have instated policies that essentially tie their own hands because they’re–because it’s less expensive for them to allow people to misrepresent their dogs as service dogs than it is to be responsible, ask the people with dogs that are obviously not well trained to remove their animals, and then if those people actually sue, then deal with those consequences.
It’s cheaper to endanger disabled people than to uphold their own rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. And the ADA gives businesses the right to ask that misbehaved dogs be removed. One thing I’d like to add, um, that is-is another, uh, misconception, is, you know, a public access test that–this all centers around-you take your dog and you get it tested, is only good for the day the dog passes the test because they are living beings. And no matter how–wha–Skeeter’s incredibly well-trained! I trust him with my life literally. But I also know that if somebody kicks him, he’s gonna rip their fucking leg off. The ADA actually has that in there that the dog needs to be (clears throat) uh, you know, quiet, unobtrusive, and non-aggressive unless provoked. Somebody kicking my dog is provocation. I fully expect him to defend himself while at the same time, I know I’ll be defending him. So we’re both gonna get in trouble. But at the end of the day, assault my service dog and you’re assaulting me, okay?
The law is written with the understanding, the implicit–it is not explicit, it’s not spelled out– the implicit understanding that dogs are living beings, and that they are going to have bad days and that they are going to respond when they are provoked just like a person. And the unrealistic expectation of robotic behavior that has been sold to the media by these organizations that are pushing for this, is–is perpetuating this whole, kind of, this magical mythology, this mythos, that service dogs are these robotically wonderful animals that won’t ever do anything they’re not supposed to. And the reality of holding a leash day in and day out is it’s a living being and how you–the person holding the leash–handle your dog determines how your dog behaves in public. And if you’re having a bad day and your dog sees it, your dog could be a dog and take advantage of that and misbehave. If your dog’s having a bad day, and you holding the leash don’t see it, and correct them or remove them from the situation, okay, under the ADA, the handler is responsible and the business has the right, if the handler, as the law says, is not taking immediate active–immediate effective action to correct that, okay, the business has the right to say, “please remove your dog, it’s, uh, not under your control”.
And every responsible handler who understands the law and understands their rights is gonna go, you’re absolutely right, I apologize, be absolutely mortified and turn tail and get themselves and their dog out of there. Service dog handlers are not asking for anything special. We’re not asking for–to be treated special, just equal. And it’s the same–look, grocery stores, if you’ve got a child screeching through the whole store, I’ve seen managers ask, “hey, you guys are having a really bad day and it’s causing a lot of problems. Would you mind coming back a little later?” And–and a reasonable parent who’s just, you know, at their wit’s end, is like, “yeah, this isn’t working.” and they turn around and leave! That’s called being a–you know, a responsible adult. It’s the same thing with your dog. Your dog, I’m sorry, but 99.9% of the service dogs that are actually service dogs that I’ve seen behave better than kids by far.[panel giggling]
DVRadio: You know, you hit the nail on the head there, JJ. You said it, responsibility–
Joaquin: So much better behaved than your child!
Joaquin: And yet I’m treated like the freak while your kid is screeching and throwing items off the shelves at people.
Joaquin: You know? [stammers] and again, we’re not looking for special treatment. We just want equal treatment. We just want the opportunity to be allowed to try and live our lives the same as everybody else.
Joaquin: and we require a dog to assist us with that. So how does, you know, if–if you don’t have to have a permit for your kid, why do I have to have a permit for my dog?[chuckles]
DVRadio: Right. Exactly. We have to take a quick break for Live 365 but before we do, I’ll ask everybody this question that way they can think about it during the break and we’ll come back and we’ll start with Scav: What makes the AKC’s service dog pass program the ultimate and most dangerous registry? Please think about that, on the other side of the break we will discuss that, we will start with Scav. You are on www.dvradio.net this is the roundtable discussions taking place on the service dog show here tonight. We’ll be back right after this.
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DVRadio: And welcome back to the roundtable discussions here on www.DVRadio.net I’m the moderator of roundtable discussions. We have PTSDog Joaquin Juatai, Veronica Morris and Brad, we have Scav, and we have Nia. Before we went to break I asked everyone, What makes the AKC’s (American Kennel Club) service dog pass program the ultimate and most dangerous registry? I said we’d start with Scav; Scav, what makes it the most dangerous registry?
Scav: I’m gonna say the name. You got a frontman like that,uh, they–they’re a powerhouse in the show dog world. So, you know, just like any other organization out there, you got somebody with the power and the organization that they do, and uh you have them leading the fight, we got them in, right in the middle of it, that’s, that’s dangerous for us.
DVRadio: Understandable. Nia? Oh, you’re muted, hold on. There you go.
Nia: um, the name being the number one. It’s a worldwide organization with–for–not just–I mean, it’s all of us. How many of us refer to AKC for every little thing, uh, dog-world-related, um, it’s trusted. What’s particularly dangerous about them is that they also have the government relations department dedicated to lobbying for their interests and the interests of the dog world, and service dogs are in that–in their sphere. So, I–and–I don’t know if Veronica runs across them in the DOT interactions that she has, but I’m gonna take a wild guess and say they’re probably at that table too, lobbying specifically, actually, for airlines and the hospitality industry to use their service dog pass, um, as a standard and a requirement. So that–that’s very dangerous.
Nia: Um, that lobbying power. And we, we don’t, as a service dog community that’s not program-related, there aren’t a lot of voices out there, um, against these Goliaths. So, uh, we need more of those and we need to support the ones that do.
DVRadio: uh, JJ–
Nia: it’s definitely the Goliath. [laughs]
DVRadio: [chuckles] Right. JJ, same to you, the service dog pass program: why is it the ultimate and most dangerous registry?
Joaquin: obviously the cache, uh, included, uh, in the name, “AKC American Kennel Club”. They’re–they are worldwide. They’re recognized um, they have a large organization. They have a large budget. Um, and quite frankly, [stammers] I hate to sound cynical, but at the end of the day what this might come down to is who is able to spend more money? And [dogs barking] the AKC’s gonna beat the disabled handlers hands down every day of the week. We just don’t have the money. We are, by definition, dis–we live on, uh, fixed incomes. We don’t have the ability to spend the cash that the AKC can, and so I foresee, should this be pursued without legislative assistance on the part–on the side of disability rights, should this be pursued, then they’ll roll over us like a steamroller.
And like I said earlier, the whole focus– everybody’s focused on the wrong thing. Everybody’s focused on the dog, and nobody remembers that it’s about the disabled handler, person. It’s about the person. And so what we’re facing right now is taking the action based on people’s fears and trying to control what scares them at the cost of the increase in ability that the use of a service dog offers to their disabled handlers. The cachet behind the name is absolutely dangerous. The money that accompanies that cachet. This is, this may come down to a very ugly fight. And when it comes down to it, quite frankly, and again, I hate sounding this cynical, but money talks in Washington DC, the guys with the money are the ones who get the policies.
Joaquin: It’s gonna hurt us.
DVRadio: Veronica and Brad we’ve heard the name we’ve heard the money. What do you guys makes the service dog pass program, again, the ultimate and most dangerous registry
Veronica: Two things for me. One is that it’s pet dog organization, and going along with that they no background in disability rights. All they know is pet dogs. They don’t know anything about disability rights, they don’t know about how our dogs help us. They don’t seem to understand the laws and a little extra thing in there– a lot of people think AKC testing is the only thing they can do in terms of testing their dogs, you know in behavior along the progression from service dog in training to service dog. But, for example, our organization has a service dog in training manners evaluation that you can take instead of sending AKC money for their CGC testing.
Brad: Yeah, we don’t make money off of that.
Veronica: Yeah, so, so there are other options. You don’t have to pay AKC money to get evaluations for how your dog’s training is going.
Brad: And I want to add that we… I’m a little afraid about how this conversation is going, because while big organizations with $90 million, and name recognition can have a big impact. I’m worried about the other part of the group that’s behind this because it’s more behind the scenes, we’re talking about big money in Washington. I’m worried, a bit more about the people who had their, their tentacles into Washington, because we actually met with one of the leaders behind the group of the Association for Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans about four years ago when he was a congressional staffer I’m not going to name names I don’t, I’m not trying to call someone out, but I want to give you a little perspective on it.
So you’ve got people, more than one, who are with these service dog programs, who have been congressional staffers which means that they know about the levers of government to pull they know how to where to put their bills in to get laws passed and things like that. Now it’s really hard to get a law passed. But as a quick intro, a lot of people don’t realize this, the Americans with Disabilities Act is an act, it’s not a regulation. It doesn’t talk about service dogs at all the stuff that all the specifics are in the regulations that come from an agency like, Department of Justice or Department of Transportation. So, that means that what, what’s primary is the act of Congress.
So, if you wanted to force the Department of Justice to violate human rights and get and re, rewrite something about service dogs, the most powerful way you can do that is you can get an act of Congress passed saying that they have to change something having to do with the ADA, and it can start to mention service dogs and registries and what have you. So, I’m worried that those people who are trying to pass like the PAWS Act that they are going to do more and more and that they’re going to lay the groundwork for undermining disability rights.
When we met with them, we tried hard to explain to them that there’s another perspective, that they’re coming into it, not knowing anything about disability rights and we said this in a friendly way, we said, “Look, we totally understand, we are angry too that people are faking service dogs, but also there are people who are ignorant and need education, maybe part of the problem is not that there aren’t good laws in place, but that you need to educate people about the laws in place or it doesn’t matter what the laws are. So, if you just introduce more and more things that are harder and harder on people with disabilities hoping this will solve the problem, then what you’re going to end up with is more confusion and more burdens for the people who are trying to do the right thing and more money in the pockets of the big corporations that we’re being forced to go through to try to do the right thing.”
So, in answer to the question about what word, why is it the biggest threat. I think behind the scenes is those people who have a lot of power in DC to maybe pull those levers and get laws passed that we have very little power to lobby against, we’re going to do our best to keep fighting against it, but I think that what this is going to take from our part is not to go hide in the corner and think you can’t do anything because they have money, and they know people. We do have power. And what we have tried to do recently is start an education campaign, where we are going to take all the grassroots political pressure that we can exert and just educate the heck out of people, and teach people that this is the wrong thing to do and the people who try to do this thing are doing the wrong thing and we need to tell them. So what we have under our site at us psych dot dog slash AKC pass that’s psych.dog/akcpass
Veronica: P A S S
Brad: Yeah, not pat like public access test for pass like service dog pass. We have a graphic that you can share to help educate people on social media, and we have all these steps that tell you what you can easily do from your own home to exert this pressure this power that you do have to help change things, because if we do that, especially if we get to people first we are going to frame how they think about this issue before AKC has the chance and the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans has the chance to frame the issue in their own terms and get people’s knee jerk reactions to go along with them.
Joaquin: Right. I’d like tag onto that. Well I couldn’t, I couldn’t agree with you more Brad there are people involved in the association whose ultimate goal, and we, you know, we alluded to this last time we talked, Assistance Dog International tried this number of years ago and have been successful on the state level. Assistance Dogs International managed to change legal language in a lot of states laws to say assistance dogs, instead of service dogs, that, that, that, that introduced confusion. That was beneficial to ADI because it opened up the doors for the inclusion possibly of emotional support animals in public access type situations because because of the confusion about the wording.
ADI also managed to get their foot in the door with the Department of Veterans Affairs via Secretary Shinseki, I believe, who was given an ADI organization trained service dog. And along with the, the, the gift of the dog convinced that, oh hey, this is the way to go. This is if the, if the VA is going to provide service to veterans, they got to come from these guys. And they got their foot in the door, and it became policy in the Federal record, which is the nuts and bolts of this the actual action of the law. The Association of Service Providers for Military Veterans is trying to replace ADI in that position of this is who the VA will pay to give you a dog.
I’m torn about that because ADI is not an American organization, it is a foreign entity. And as far as I’m concerned, they have no business—a foreign countries organization should have no business being a part of US Veterans Affairs Department policy, which, if they were going to say dogs have to have certain qualifications in order for us to pay for it, they should have used an American standard. They should have used the AKC from the very get go. However, the, the whole, the whole concept of well, this is how, if you qualify because your dog came from this organization, then we’re going to provide benefits for you, meaning health insurance and equipment for your dog, the, you know, the whole concept ignores the fact that veterans, disabled veterans, are citizens of the United States, and we have the same rights protected by the ADA as any other American citizen. And it completely ignores it and says well you have those rights but we’re only going to pay you and help you with exercising your right if you jump through our hoops.
And the Association of Service Providers for Military Veterans is trying to replace ADI as that organization. So, in one way, that’s good because at least they’re replacing it with an American standard and an American organization, but same time all you’re doing is trading one bad situation for another. And that’s, that’s a problem because you’re still putting this cap and limiting veterans and limiting the access they should have to benefits.
That being said, the other part of that equation is, I don’t them want the VA to be involved in my service dog in any way shape or form. It’s hard enough to get the health care that I do get. I don’t want, I don’t want their, their filthy gubernatorial frickin bureaucratic fingers involved in my dog. He shouldn’t have a, the only involvement they should have is “Is your dog behaving? Go about your day. Have a good day,” you know “Is that a service dog? What tasks is it trained perform?” Just like the law allows. That should be the only involvement they have.
So on the one hand kicking ADI out of VA is a great idea. On the other hand, it’s going to end up costing veterans. And once they get their, their, it’s a when these people are working with wedges once they get the wedge in the VA, then they’re going to aim that wedge of the Department of Justice and the ADA. And the first step, the VA is the second largest budget in the US government. It is the largest bureaucracy. And once they get that wedge in the VA they can say well we have x, you know, billion number of dollars saying our organization is, is the way to go. You know the VA says we’re the way to go.
So Department of Justice, we should change the ADA, because look, we have this backing. You know we have, here’s the evidence that what we say works, because the VA is paying us not ADI. This this is, again, I hate you know it sounds like I should put on my tinfoil hat, but there is a cabal, and it’s aimed, it’s aimed at disabled rights, and it’s a wrong thing. Disabled people are going to suffer because it’s a knee jerk reaction. They’re focused on the emotional lead, which is fake service dogs, and they’re not focused on the rights of the disabled. And this is, this is absolutely terrifying and you’re right I don’t mean to sound like well we can’t do anything. I will look I’m only six and a half hour drive from Washington DC, but I have to get my truck at four in the morning, to be in a hearing by by noon. I will do it every single time I have to, but that costs us, that’s going to be hard, it is going to be a battle. And I think we have to be very realistic that should things progress the way they’re going, we do have a fight, we have a very big fight. And it’s going to be difficult and, you know, for lack of any other better terminology we best gird our loins because we’re going to war.
Once this starts, once this ball starts rolling, and you know what, disabled people and specifically disabled service dog handlers are a very minor minority. We’re one of the smallest of the minorities. We will get steamrolled if we’re not aware that that’s exactly what they’re trying to do with us. We will absolutely get steamrolled, we need to be on top of that we need to be ready, and the work that you guys are doing I can’t commend enough with Department of Transportation. And honestly this this whole service dog pass concept, couldn’t have come at a worse time as you guys seem to be finally turning a corner, making some progress with Department of Transportation and the ACAA, and all of a sudden, here comes the AKC throwing in this flaming spinner, you know, curveball. “Oh hey what hey we got a solution for everybody.” And no, this is a solution for AKC organizations to make lots of money. But this doesn’t solve a damn thing for the actual person with the leash in their hand, who needs that dog beside them. This is, this is, this is scary. There is a cabal and and and their whole goal is to take away our rights, so that they can make a profit.
DV Radio: If you’re just tuning in live, this is DVRadio.net, we’re a roundtable discussion in place of the Service Dog Show tonight. We’re talking about the American Kennel Club and the ID/registry and all that BS. We’ve got a short question that Brad sort of touched on a little bit in his thoughts last because it is a little bit drawn out. Nia, we’ll start with you. How could the fake service dog problem be addressed that would NOT infringe on the rights of disabled people?
Nia: I’m sorry can you repeat that again?
DV Radio: Yeah, not a problem, How could the fake service dog problem be addressed that would NOT infringe on the rights of those disabled people?
Nia: Education. I think the practical solutions that get to the real root of the problem so that we can get a real chance at influencing people to interact better with each other. Because this problem is very multi-faceted. And all stakeholders should be aware of not just how the interaction should be, but also understand in depth, the needs of the disabled, why things are the way that they are. So for me I think of things like in my state for example, as a landlord, every lease that I sign has to include education about a couple of things, some city codes, one is bedbugs. It’s a requirement. I have to educate that person. So I think of things, I think we should focus on laws that require every commercial real estate transaction, every lease that’s signed, every doctor that writes a letter, be required to provide education with that transaction.
And educate stake holders on how to properly interact and deal with that. People want registries because they think it’s going to eliminate the problem of bad dogs in public. Well there’s bad service dogs in public too. And the businesses that are out there are uncomfortable with how to properly do interactions with us. And people are afraid to interact with us as well sometimes. 75 -85% of those situations that I personally have run into and worked with in the last 3 and a half years has been under informed, misinformed, or completely uninformed stakeholders in the transaction. Educate and not regulate. Make it a requirement that people understand, like Brad said earlier, we need people to understand how these laws work and how to use them and how to be practical with the day to day structure. So that’s how I see the most effective way. And if you doubt it, smoking rates have gone down due to education campaigns. I’m an 80s child, we grew up with MADD, SAD, every AD to combat drunk driving, those numbers did go down. The War on Drugs, the most effective approach on the War on Drugs was always the education part. The other parts, the border crossing stuff that they did was less effective. Education works. It’s slower, but it works. And if we can be focused on that I think we would have a lot better results. And a lot happier relationships with people
DV Radio: Right, JJ, same to you, How could the fake service dog problem be addressed that would NOT infringe on the rights of disabled people?
Joaquin: Education. Education. Education. The most powerful tool we have is accurate education. Nia, you know I foresee crowds of service dog handlers on the Capitol steps shouting “educate don’t legislate” I love it, Nia. I think you just gave us our rallying cry, “educate don’t legislate”
Nia: I usually say “educate don’t regulate” but yeah that works too. [laughter]
Joaquin: Legislate, regulate, either way, yeah, regulate.
Nia: [laughing] Yeah.
Joaquin: But educate, educate, educate.
Joaquin: The bottom line is misinformation, disinformation, intentional disinformation, and lack of information. And the only way you can combat all three of those is accurate education. It’s the whole reason the PTSDog exists. My life mission became, after I started training and handling my dog, I recognized that people just didn’t understand anything about service dogs, they didn’t know, businesses didn’t know they had rights, handlers, other handlers, veterans with service dogs from these great organizations didn’t have a clue about the law, didn’t understand that, that they have rights and that when people said, “Well, you can’t bring that dog in here” that they had [loud dog sniffing sounds] not only rights, but recourse. They know. [deep woofing] The whole reason I wrote a book about PTSD service dogs is [loud dog growl talking] I kept running into veterans who had absolutely no reference and didn’t even know where to start to look. They didn’t understand the law and…
I am not opposed to the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military [deep dog woof and panting] Veterans setting a standard of training that they expect their member organizations to provide… as long as what they’re doing is regulating their member organizations, not their clientele. If you wanna say, “We want to make sure that dogs that come from our organizations do x, y, and z”, and you’re providing the money to make sure they have that training make whatever rules you want, that… But, when you start imposing your rules, your organizational rules on individuals and that imposition interferes in their needs, and in their rights, we have a problem. And they’ve gone, and that’s, that’s where I have, that’s where my biggest disappointment is, and my biggest concern is. Look, make all the rules you want for your member organizations. “Look, if you’re going to train service dogs and call yourself a part of us you have to do x, y, and z,” that’s perfectly fine, but when you start imposing artificial requirements on disabled handlers you’ve crossed the line and you’re [cough] no longer serving that client, you’re trying to control them. And that’s where this is headed, is that we’re going to have to ask permission to be treated equally.
I want to touch on one phrase [deep woof] from the email [deep woo, woo, woof] that really [deep woo. Woo] put me over [deep woo] the edge as far as how frustrated I am with this. The AKC’s emails explained that this Service Dog PASS was going to enable “access providers” to better do their job. Who’s job is it exactly to make sure that they provide access to disabled people. The entire implication of that idea is that disabled people aren’t equal and we have to bend over backwards and do something special for them. NONE of us that I, as far as I know, the disabled people who I’m in communication with, we’re not asking for special, special treatment or special, special access. We’re just asking for the opportunity of equal access, so exactly who is the disabled concierge, you know, whose job is to provide, is to ensure obsequiously that they provide this access for these disabled people like we’re walking around with gold gilding on our bodies or something.
This is an insulting idea. I don’t want some special treatment. I just want to be able to go about my life in whatever, you know, capacity I’m able to do so, to the best of my ability, using the equipment necessary for me to do so. Mine happens to be a service dog. It could as easily, it could just as easily be a prosthetic, or a chair, or a cane, or hearing aides. Nobody needs to bend over backwards to provide me with access. The, the whole conceptualization behind the idea is it literally relegates disabled people to a secondary position as citizens.
DVradio: Really quick, JJ, before I let Nia chime in a little bit, I know a lot of people aren’t going to agree with this and I really don’t care because they’re not in most of our positions. but you and I’ve talked about this offline about, a, how they want to regulate reg-registries and all this bullshit. I, but I think you said it best that day me and you were talking. This is a reiteration of civil rights. It really is when you get down to the brass tacks. They’re treating us as lower class citizens at the end of the day and basically saying you’re gonna do what we say, like it or not, we don’t care, uh, what you need, what your needs, uh, are at the end of the day so screw you, you gotta listen to us because w, we, we got the ball in our court. Aa, like I said, a lot of people won’t like that, and they’ll disagree with me ‘cause they’re not in our ah, position, but that’s my thoughts on that.
Joaquin: The term, the term you’re looking for is ableism. And it’s three letters, just take the first three letters of racism and replace race with able-ism. It’s the exact same bigotry. It is literally the exact same bigotry.
DVradio: And I don’t say that lightly at all. I don’t want anyone to say, take my word, and say “Hey he’s comparing the rights of disabled people to black folk and hispanics,” I’m not doing that at all.
Joaquin: … Traying to control disabled handlers in the very same way. You can only ride in the back of the bus because of the color of your skin or because you have a wheelchair or you have a service dog. It’s the same thing. It’s over ability rather than color, but there’s no difference in the idea behind it.
DVradio: Really quick, Nia, you had something to say before I go on to Veronica and Brad with this same question?
Nia: I just wanted to, you know, while we’re having this discussion, people think that registries are this, uh, magic solution. There’s a couple things that people need to keep in mind about them as well. They are voluntary, right, so unless everybody does it, it’s going to do nothing. And we live in such a policing culture that people feel like they need to regulate what we’re doing because they think we’re the problem. And, so, if people, the stakeholders, the public gatekeepers, the managers at the stores, they’re creating registries to solve a problem because one stakeholder is not doing their part in this world, right. The number one complaint is the public issues, with out of control dogs or non-compliant teams. Well, there’s a remedy for it. We need to focus on making sure that the people who have those remedies know how to use it. And know how to use it confidently, because we don’t need registries to regulate non-compliant teams when the public access stakeholders are doing their part in removing them. And that’s one of the bigger issues I think that we face that people think registries will solve, and they won’t.
But I will tell you what they do, and what people don’t think about, is it puts us in danger. My personal experience with being asked about a registry involves a four hour standing wait in a hotel lobby talking to the hotel’s lawyers, and it almost put me in the hospital. Because they wanted a registry. So we’ve got to keep this in mind as we’re having these discussions, is policing the disabled people is not going to help, it’s going to hurt. And people that do need the help are not comfortable doing it, and we need to learn from that. So, education, education, education. It’s always the best solution I think.
DVradio: Brad and Veronica, how could the fake service dog problem be addressed that would not infringe on the rights of disabled people?
Veronica: Well, I’m going to have a kind of controversial answer to that… And that is stop talking about the FAKE, and I’m using air quotes, “FAKE” service dog problem. Because most of the time that I go out, that I see poorly behaved dogs, they’re not “fake” service dogs. They’re someone with a disability whose dog is having a bad day. Or someone who doesn’t understand the level of training that you need to happen. There aren’t all these millions of people out there saying, “I’m going to…” There are some. But most of them are not out there saying, “I’m going to put one over on everyone and call my dog a fake service dog.”
Also it’s extremely ableist. And I’m so glad you brought that word up. It’s extremely ableist to be out there crying “fake service dog” all the time. It puts people with disabilities on the, the, spotlight. We are now all the sudden being looked as if we are fakers by default. And we have to prove that we’re legitimate people with disabilities. Instead of being accepted as people with disabilities just like any other person that wants to go to a store. People assume, “Oh you must be one of those fakers out there.”
So I think we should stop talking about the “fake” service dog problem. And we should talk about what it actually is– a problem of disruptive or destructive dogs which may or may not be actually trained to assist someone with their disability, they may or may not be having a bad day, they may or may not be perfectly trained. But what we need to do is stop all these news articles and blaming peoples’ ideas, and making people think that they want to do this. We need to accept the fact that there are many more legitimate service dogs out there that may be having a bad day, or the owners may not understand the community standards of training as opposed to what the ADA minimally requires which is just not being disruptive or destructive. So I’ll turn it over to Brad.
Brad: Alright and I’m happy to jump on the education band wagon. You know, that’s one of the primary things that PSDP does. Um, but I want to give an example of something that will help us take this in another direction. So, I’ll start off with the bad and then I’ll try to transition into the good direction. While I have a couple of friends at CCI, a very large well-known service dog program, they have put things out there that like petitions for people to sign, which is then followed up by a fundraiser of course, gotta make money. And their petitions say, “fake service dogs are everywhere.” And, this is part of the problem. I had to write in a response to that with an article called “There are no fake vests” ’cause they were trying to prohibit the online sale of service dog paraphernalia, which isn’t good for any of us. But, what the issue is that we have a lot of people who are running these programs who don’t have the disability rights background. They don’t know about the human rights issue, that we’ve been talking about, because we thought about them more. And they are, I’m just going to say, indoctrinating the people who follow them: the general public, and the people who get dogs from their programs, and they give them these views that are devoid of civil rights. And, that’s the bad.
What I want to say is the good, because, there is a positive spin on this. We’ve been working to form coalitions. And this is slow work over many years, but we’ve been working to develop relationships with people in these organizations and with other user groups like especially with people who get guide dogs from programs. Um, so that we for both they’re members, the people who use guide dogs, a kind of service dogs, and for the people who work for these programs get to know other’s perspectives and stop pushing that kind of view that turns the public into the disability police that puts everyone under the spotlight. So the key word here, the word of the day kids, is solidarity.
We want to work to increase solidarity because its so easy for us to get pissed off at everyone, and say “these people are the problem, and this person, and this person, this program, and this program…They’re doing the wrong thing.” We don’t want to do that. We think that the best way forward is to gather as much power around ourselves. Not just ourselves, but al-everyone here, everyone listening. The whole community. Gather power by bringing people along for the ride- Telling them a story, saying how this impacts you and why you want them to change the way they are doing, just giving them a nudge at a time. Because the more we scream at people and divide the community because someone isn’t familiar because they haven’t gone through the same stuff that we have, the more you’re going to create these schisms that make it easier for a large corporation to divide us and conquer us.
So, what I want to encourage everyone to do is say “yeah, I’m pissed off. But the face I’m going to present to these people who are pissing me off is: hey friend, I think we can do better, here’s why, here’s what I think we can do so that we’re not punishing people with disabilities who don’t deserve to be published.-deserved to be punished.”
So, I hope that solidarity message will get through because I’ll be straight forward with you, it’s not because it’s not fun for me to hate on people, hey that’s fun too. . . but, because this is a long term strategy. If we’re going to do good in the world, we need to get everyone on board we can. We need to get all the power we can, and maybe not everyone is going to agree with all the fine points, but if we can get some, most of the people to agree with the big points, then we are going to have that power. We’re going to get 2,000 people to sign our petition, and we’re going to be able to go to agencies like DOT, or legislators and say: “look, we got thousands of people behind us who are actually impacted by this, and if you pass this law, we’re going to have all these stories that say: so and so passed this law, that hurt people with disabilities, even though we warned them not to, even though we told them we have thousands of people telling them they shouldn’t have done that.”
So let’s work together!
DVradio: I think we just found our Mr. Rogers, for all of this everybody.[laughter]
Scav, uh, your thoughts about how could uh the “fake” service dog problem be addressed, that would not infringe on the rights of disabled people. And as most of everybody else had said that no dog is fake, uh when it comes to service dog, because they didn’t ask for it. We’ve had JJ, yourself, Nia, yager foundation, and almost everybody that’s been on uh has said that there is no fake service dog. So, how could that problem be addressed in your thoughts, uh Scav?
Scav: Yeah. I’m gonna go right along with them on the education. And uh, the younger the better. Um…. luckily I had young ones, uh a daughter, when Scout came on board, and by going back and forth to school, uh those kids went home and told them, their parents, all about Scout, and from there they actually educated their parents about service dogs, the ADA, and that kind of spread forth. So, that little community up there, got an education, a little bit better than the general public. But, [sighs] the whole “fake” thing, it, it’s, it’s not going to go away. It’s like handicapped parking.[dog barks]
How many times have you gone somewhere and seen uh, uh, a car that’s staged in the disabled spot that does not have a disabled sticker or placard? People are going to do what they are going to do. Whether it’s a registered dog or or non-registered dog, they are going to do what they want to do. It’s human nature to lie, cheat and steal. If they can get away with something, on on the back of a handicapped person, they are going to get away with it.
DVradio: 100 percent. Um, I want to go over to this next question. It’s, It’s more than I, I had planned on asking in one question. But, if you’ll, if you’ll stick with me, uh, I’ll ask the first part of it, and then once you give me your thoughts on it, uh, we’ll go onto the second for each one of you obviously. Uh, so, try not to make it too much of a novel with your answers [chuckles] if you don’t mind.
But, if this passes, are parents and guardians of autistic [dog barks] and special needs people, going to be required [dog growls] to go through the same kind of testing, as say my dog, uh, for example, to prove they are functioning at the behavioral standards required and not “faking” it.
Now, before you guys answer, I want to make sure that everybody that’s listening understands that we’re not against any persons with autism or special needs, that have a reason to have a service dog. So I want to get that clear right away.
Uh, JJ we’ll start with you.
Joaquin: Ok, so this question, this question is a little tricky. Um, essentially, what this question is, is “ok, so you’re going to test my service dog. Are you going to test people who are caregivers? Um, you know, what standard are they being held to. You’re testing me, and my service dog, are you testing an autistic child’s parents to make sure they understand how to handle their child’s disability appropriately?” Um, and that’s a, you know what, a good point is, is, no, the dog is not a person. We get that. But, who, where, where does this end? I think is the question. Where is this going to end?
First, we take on the service dog handlers, okay, but that’s what opens the door because we’re regulating them. Okay, so yeah, who is regulating the parents of autistic people, or you know, children with multiple sclerosis, or some of these horrible diseases. Whose making sure they’re doing their job right? Maybe we should start trying to control THEM! And uh it this is a slippery slope. I go back to the illustration of the second amendment. It’s a slippery slope. Once you start nipping away at rights, you start taking bigger bites, and bigger bites. And all of the sudden it gets to the point where no, you don’t have rights. You don’t have any rights. The government is going to regulate everything you do.
This is a slippery slope. Um, and uh, I, I, you know, uh, I ca… say this repeatedly, I absolutely refuse to endorse, support, any, uh, any movement that removes rights from disabled people. We had to fight to guarantee to get the law passed that protects those rights. The law does not grant us those rights, it protects our rights. And there was a fight to get that done, and it started with the civil rights movement. Heck, it started before then! Um, and people died to guarantee civil rights, and the ADA is part of that civil rights movement. Um, so when we start taking those rights away, and limiting them and regulating them, this is a slippery slope and it goes in one direction. And we’ve seen it in other countries, in the past, and it didn’t go well for disabled people. At all!
DVRadio: Okay, with that, JJ before we move on to everybody else. Why are physically disabled handlers the only ones being singled out and can the energy of the organization, better focus rather than taking all the rights, taking the rights of disabled people away,
Joaquin: Physically disabled handlers are not the only ones being singled out. More so I think psychiatric disabilities are the ones who’ve been singled out. “You don’t look disabled” is a phrase that we hear. “Why… You don’t look disabled, why do you have a dog?” Okay. And it goes back again to mentality. We, I absolutely absolutely agree with you, Veronica, this phrase fake service dog has got to disappear from the American vernacular. It is wrong. There’s no such thing as a fake dog. No dog wakes up in the morning and thinks “I’m gonna put my vest on and go to the grocery store and bark at everyone” The dog is not the problem.
We’re focused on the wrong thing, this is, this is absolutely a smoke and mirrors game being played by a group of people want to gain control. And they’re controlling the narrative by broadcasting this fake service dog concept. And the last time I checked, unless its a cat with fucking ears strapped to it, and a tail, you know, on a funky tail, there’s no such thing as a fake dog. It’s a dog. The dog is not the problem. We’re looking at the dog and we’re missing the person.
The issue resides in the person holding the leash, and that he she was either lack of knowledge, incomplete knowledge, or enough knowledge to be able to push themselves fraudulently. Education, of all parties of all stakeholders as Nia says. Education to the person holding the leash, education of the doorkeeper, the gatekeeper, education on corporate level, education…
There’s one person at the PAWS Act, that is one sentence. And when you read it and it says that the VA is going to provide service dogs for people with PTSD, that’s the sentence. There’s literally a version of the PAWS act in the committee right now, in this Veterans Affairs Committee, and one just says the VA is going to provide the service dogs for PTSD. Well when you go in and read the Federal Register and the VA regulations, VA regulations already say that. The VA is taking it upon themselves to make a decision on how they’re going to do that, which is in most cases not doing that. But it’s actually already in the Federal Register it’s already part of the policy the VA is just chosen not to follow their own rules.
When you think about the fact that it’s already almost the exact wording is already in the federal record, then you look at the fact that a congressman from Minnesota, I may be wrong, put in a bill and he said what he put in the bill, “I’m tired of this. While everybody’s distracted by all this other stuff going on in the in the house. I’m going to push this bill through.” And he didn’t take the time to do a little bit of research or have one of his people do some research and figure out that almost word for word what he’s trying to pass a bill called PAWS act already exists in the Federal Register as part of the official policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs. There’s a disconnect. There’s a, there is a huge disconnect between all the stakeholders, and the only way to solve that disconnect to resolve the confusion is education. If we don’t get everybody involved accurately, nobody’s going to gain anything.
DVRadio: 100%. Veronica, Brad same questions over to you.
Veronica: I’m going to answer both parts in the same answer if that’s okay?
DVRadio: That’s perfectly fine, do it how you’re more comfortable with.
Veronica: Okay, so, I think as to the first part, parents and guardians of people with autism need to be, go through testing to say that they can handle their children just like we can handle our dog. It reminds me of the ugly laws. If you aren’t familiar with ugly laws, these were laws that were in act, not too long ago before the ADA that said things like people with disabilities can’t go out in public, because they’re too disruptive, they’re too ugly, they you know they’re not fit for being in public.
Veronica: And I just don’t think that’s right at all. I think that we should not be focusing on differences. I think we should be focusing on what makes us human. And we should be focusing on how we can all participate in society equally. So a person… Let’s say… I have some friends with autism stim a lot– you know, like, do repetitive motions or rock back and forth– to help themselves manage the stimulus of the outside world. If someone needs to do that to be in the grocery store? Fine! I don’t care. It’s not a big deal.
And then as to the second part, I think it should have been psychiatrically disabled handlers, not physically disabled handlers, that are singled out. I have actually read a lot of the paperwork from a certain organization. Well, I’ll just go ahead and say it– ADI. And they really do single out people with psychiatric disabilities. If you’re a member organization of ADI, and you want to provide, let’s say for example PTSD dogs or any type of psychiatric service dog, the person getting the dog has to go through an evaluation to make sure that they’re not going to have anger management problems. They don’t require that for any other type of disability for a person getting a service dog. They’re stigmatizing people with mental illness, saying that we are unfit in some way, we’re inherently not good, not able to take care of dogs, it’s really bad. And as to what the organization should be focused on rather than taking away the rights of disabled people, it’s very simple. Education. And I’m not going to harp on that anymore because this show is very long, Everyone else is very right to focus on education, education, education, not regulation.
DVRadio: Right, and we will finish up with Scav. And then we will go into final statements. Scav really quick the same question over to you.
Veronica: Oh wait, Brad wanted to say something.
DVRadio: I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Brad: Well sometimes she speaks for me but not always.
Brad: Yes. So a lot of people don’t realize that when there is a behavioral problem, like some, someone is… And people with autism aren’t just children by the way a lot of people have that as the idea and they grow up and they are adults. So, let’s imagine that someone an adult person with autism is running around hitting people. Okay, there’s a remedy for that that has nothing to do with disability. It’s the same thing that you would do if someone else, without autism, were running around, hitting people. Now there are issues with calling cops and crisis intervention training all that but let’s not get into that, you know, we have laws in place to protect people.
And I want to point out some of the other history just really fast, about requiring people to use paperwork to travel. You know, we’re talking about a country, USA, where we are supposed to have certain rights like freedom of movement. Now, there was a time in our history, where people who weren’t considered full people were required to carry around paper- paperwork to legitimize themselves and be able to travel. And you know I don’t want to get into the details, this is going to be pretty controversial, but there’s also, I don’t use this lightly. Let’s talk about Hitler and Germany, and arm bands and stars, forcing people to carry paperwork to travel, because they were considered less than human.
And I bring that example up not to inflame passions because whenever someone mentions Hitler, oh they must be going to extremes. A lot of people forget that some of the first people that Hitler went after were people with disabilities, because they were considered unfit to be in society, they weren’t part of the eugenics program, and it’s just like the ugly laws and the stigma in the US that ran all the way up until the ADA and some are still on the books today and haven’t been stricken in localities. So, when we’re talking about taking making sure that people have their disability rights and their freedom of movement and treating people equally as far as access goes, this is not something that’s old. This is a fight that’s not old and that we’re still fighting today, and if we don’t keep up that fight, we don’t live in some utopia. Rights can and will be rolled back. So that’s why I encourage people to go, participate with organizations, share social media graphics like we’ve been talking about that we put out there. And this, there has to be an actual way that you educate and you be a part of the fight. We can’t just say yeah education that’s great. We need to do something so please do something.
DVRadio: Yes, yes. Scav, your thoughts on the same questions.
Scav: Okay, back in the late 1800s early 1900s people would have been locked up for, in insane asylums for that kind of stuff. The ugly laws. If you cheated on your husband or wife, you could have been locked up for that kind of stuff. So you know, maybe us, this this big, disabled people with service dogs would’ve been locked up because we’re not full people like Brad and Veronica were talking about.
We’ve been fighting and fighting and fighting. It’s come to that point where if we don’t keep fighting, we’re giving up its going to reverse itself. So, it’s kind of insane. That’s why I brought up the insane asylums. We don’t have insane asylums anymore because we’ve become more civilized we don’t throw, you know, the the people with autism or the people that have cheated on their husbands or wives, or the people with service dogs in the insane asylums anymore. But maybe these people coming up with these stupid ass laws need to be thrown in these insane asylums. It, it just baffles my mind that, [sigh] why are they doing this, ya know. Why do we keep coming up with these damn registries? Eh, it, all ya gotta do is look at history.
Scav: Every time we register something, somebody else is either wiped off the face of the earth, or gets hurt.
Eh, the second part of your question, I’ve got two handicaps that you can’t see. So, when somebody looks at me, and I don’t answer their questions, and they’re, ya know, like, “hey, why do you have that dog? There’s nothing physically wrong with you.” and I don’t answer ‘em. We’ve gone over this on my page, and I’ve talked to a couple people about it, um, it gets me into some extreme conversations out there. Usually some name callings or whatever because number one, I can’t hear them talking to me, eh, number two, ya know, the PTSD thing.
Scav: So, I don’t know what they want! Ya know, I don’t have to lose a leg or be put in a wheel chair, or what not. We’ve got these dogs for our needs. I don’t know what I’d do without Scout. Because, well, hell, last week, he saved me from getting hit by another car. Ya know, I don’t, I don’t hear these things. So, you don’t have to be physically deformed to, to need assistance.
DVradio: Right. Before we go on to Nia with this, and then like I said…go on to final thoughts, I think a big misconception where most of the misconceptions come from, in my opinion, over the years, is not just these organizations that are popping up. But entertainment, movies, TV, media. You don’t see a lot of people with PTSD and hearing loss and stuff like that, with service dogs. Most of them have a physical handicap and that’s what you see and that’s what we misconcept as hey, that’s the only way someone must be disabled because they’re physically disabled.
Uh, Nia, yourself.
Nia: So for the first question, um, if this passes our parents and guardians are of sick… Ya know, I think when you start trying to tell other people how to manage their very personal and very unique needs, you’re always gonna be, uh, doing a disservice. And the longer that I’ve been disabled and the longer I work as an advocate for our community, I realize that there are no absolutes, and that we need to look for, like Veronica said, the more commonalities between all of the organizations. ‘Cause, I do believe that when try and do these things, that they have good intentions. But we all know what good intentions are paved with, right?
Um, so, I think that people, and we keep repeating it, is having a better understanding, of dis, of the disability paradigm, the disability groups needs. And Psychiatric, the Psychiatric Service Dog community is extremely unique within the bigger community, right? Because a lot of these rules, who are the people that um, the, the greater majority’s gonna be the invisible disability community that’s targeted by the little interference that is allowable by ADA and FHA for example, right? Um, so I think, eh, what can organizations do or should focus on is building systems to support the laws that are already there. We already have our protections. Um, they’re already there. Remedies already exist.
We need a better supportive structure, these people’s focus should be focused on, you know, um, organizations and coalitions that do support that gatekeeper, that do support that landlord, that do support that doctor. Because those stakeholders working together knowledgeably, are where we will benefit the disabled community the most. So, especially psychiatric where it’s invisible. We gotta get letters, our dogs are treated different at the airlines, our dogs are, um, we’re looked at differently, we’re stigmatized differently. So, that’s what I think our focus should be, is the system itself, changing its viewpoint, getting a better understanding of what we need and how to get better solutions to accomplish it. And Brad and Veronica’s work is a great example of that, ya know, how that can happen.
DVradio: Right. Uh, we are about ten minutes from 10 PM eastern standard time, uh,
DVradio: Let’s go over some final thoughts from each and every one of you. JJ, staring with you, brother
Joquin: Um, first of all I’d like to thank everybody who joined the panel, uh, I really appreciate you taking the time, and going long. Uh, this is a difficult subject. This is a frustrating subject for those of us who are the ones with the leash in our hands. Um, and I think it’s important as a community that we take the time to have discussions like this, because uh, a lot of the times, uh, we do bury our heads in the sand. It’s easier not to think about it and just ignore it, because it’s taxing, ya know, it’s wearing. With, with psychiatric disabilities, with PTSD, depression, anxiety, it can be very hard to deal with and communicate about these kinds of things. So I’d really like to thank you very much for joining us and, uh, helping to kinda air this out a bit.
Um, I think it’s important and especially appreciate Veronica and Brad, your, uh, historical perspectives. Um, a lot of stuff, ya know, a lot of the history, um, I’m still investigating. Still learning. Um, to be honest, I had never heard of ugly laws but now that you’ve said it out loud it makes sense and I’m going oh yeah, you know what, you’re right. Uh, I think, uh, specifically laws that are still on the book. If you really want to get upset, read Pennsylvania’s white cane laws [laughter] It’s, I mean, ya know, there are still laws on the books that are, for lack of any better terminology, ass fucking backwards.
And, um, we, we can only tackle so many of these at once, and honestly, most of those were put into place out of a lack of understanding, um, on the part of the people who made the laws. Um, don’t give up the fight. Don’t stop educating. But, you know what? If you’re not able to educate, at least make fr, make friendships and alliances with people who do have that ability. And people who you can pick up the phone and message, or text, or call and say I need, I need your help. Um, because there are those of us out, out here who do have the ability and who spend a lot of time doing everything we can to advocate and to educate. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Please.
DVradio: Yes, yes. Most definitely. Veronica, Brad, final thoughts,
Brad: Sure, so, I, while, so, I want to encourage people to, um, of course, try to keep up with this stuff. I, ya know, you can do that partly through finding sites like Psychiatric Service Dog Partners on facebook and twitter. Also, I redirect you to psych.dog. That’s P S Y C H dot DOG slash AKCpass P A S S . And that will help to direct you to some of the easy things you can do.
And, and I don’t, I don’t wanna put the message out there that, if you have a disability you have to take on the world and do everything. Everyone needs to find their niche. But that’s why we try to make it so that if you’re up for doing something, we give you a selection and you can pick what best suits you, and then you can feel good that you did something in the fight. Because doing something is a heck of a lot better than doing nothing, so I hope you’ll join us.
Veronica: And I would just like to say, I guess in conclusion, that I uh, hope that everyone has learned some of the reasons, um, who were thinking maybe this sounded good, that the AKC service dog pass sounded good, or anything like that. Hopefully learned some of the reasons why, um, it isn’t the solution that people think it is. Um, I think that it’s important to learn about ableism, um, and understand how requiring documentation and identification for people with disabilities to go about their daily lives is wrong. It’s ableist, its against civil rights, which disability rights is civil rights. Um, the ADA is civil rights law. Um, there’s actually, if you’re interested, there’s a movie that details some of the people that helped get the ADA started. What’s it called?
Brad: The sound of something…I wasn’t able to find it in time, sorry!
Veronica: Anyway, there’s a movie out there that you can look up that details some of the history of ADA law, um, that is very good to watch. And finally, I would like to encourage people to stop with “fake” in quotes service dog stuff. Um, you know, I think we should look to, um, each other, as equals, maybe some dogs are having a bad day, but, um, you know, I think that, you know, we need stop trying to accuse everyone of having a fake service dog, the media needs to stop accusing everyone of having a fake service dog, and we need to just be accepting and educate people about the laws.
Veronica: It’s called the music within, the movie is called “The Music Within”.
DVradio: Awesome, I’ll try to put a link to that in the description on the podcast, and when we get the video out. Scav, I know it’s, I know it’s way past your bedtime. Your final thoughts on everything we spoke about tonight.
Scav: [deep breath] Yeah. Um, I just wanted to sss, ya know…you’re an Army guy, and we need all our brothers and sisters to stand with us and take this one out, um. The more we have out there with us, side by side, the bigger the fight can get. Ya know? And, this is going to be a big fight. Because, me, myself, I can’t do it. JJ, by himself can’t do it. But, two of us, ya know, that, that’s a little bit better. You add Veronica and Brad, that’s even better. You add Nia, and it just goes from there. So, it’s the bigger the network gets the more people we can get reached the better we can educate. So, hopefully everybody spreads the word, you know, that, and, maybe we even get inside the AKC’s head, ya know, and let them know we’re not going to take this one laying down.
DVradio: Right. 110% And Nia, your final thoughts about this round table discussion?
Nia: Um, my final thoughts and commentary is gonna be to all service dog handlers, whether it’s guide dog, mobility, psychia… it doesn’t matter. If you rely on an animal as your medical equipment, um, check out ADA network websites. Learn about what your rights are and how these laws are meant to be used on your behalf. Because our community does need to kind of rally around and get together. We may not totally agree on every single detail, but we all agree that we don’t want our protections to be, uh, burdened in any further and to improve people’s outlooks about animals as medical equipment. So understand your own rights, and we need to help other people understand them as well, and their part in it.
Because if everybody, um, if you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle, you’re not going to see that picture, and we have a lot of missing piece, uh, puzzle pieces, with very critical stakeholders, which when I say critical stakeholders, for as a handler, that’s going to be my landlords, my doctors, uh, my, uh, restaurant owners, my, you know, those are all stakeholders that really need to have much better tools, much better support, and that begins with educating ourselves and those around us.
And to just, uh, stress, you don’t have to be a voice. ‘Cause not all of us can be voices. But share, write letters, connect with the people that are putting those tools together to make it really easy to participate. Because we do need more people to gather around and turn that voice into a shout. And that requires all of us coming together, whether you’re DV, whether you’re Psych, whether you’re guide, we all need to hold hands on this one, cause it is important. So, thank you, and thank you for having us, by the way.
DVradio: Thank you all for coming on, uh, really quick, um, Scav mentioned this is a network of people and that’s what DV Radio is, a network. We want to bring everybody together, and actually do something. Uh, the best way to spread the message is to share. Share this show when it comes out on podcast. Share anything that’s out there. Share the graphics that, uh, PSDP has down in the description down below and on their website. Anything you see that pertains to this or anything else, share it. Educate. That’s the best way to help, uh, combat, for lack of a better term, any of this. Honestly.
Um, I don’t know what else to say because everybody has covered it. Thank you all for joining us tonight here on Round Table Discussions. I know it was short notice because I thought of it at the last minute during a show a couple weeks ago because of JJ’s ass, so you can thank him! And our two hour late night show on Saturday night, it was his fault. Blame JJ, it’s his fault.
Joaquin: … have to get some of that, too!
DVradio: [laughter] Right? She encouraged, She encouraged, yes she did. Uh, but, uh, this has been the Round Table Discussions here. Really quick we had Joaquin Juatai, Veronica Morris and Brad, also Scav and Nia here with us this evening. Thank you all for joining us. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please, do not hesitate to email us, contact any of us at any given time. If you contact us at the radio, we’ll get it to the proper people and they’ll answer you back.
For everyone here, I’m Bo. Thank you for joining us again here on DV Radio.net. WDVR and don’t forget to leave your thoughts on this round table discussions down below in the comments section.[music]
If you have any ideas for an upcoming round table discussions, let us know. Thank you for joining us for Round Table Discussions about the American Kennel Club and ID registration.