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  #1  
Old 07/26/09, 07:14 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: southeast US
Posts: 70
Service dogs in church

I have a young friend and neighbor who suffers from multiple medical problems and is on disability. One of his medical problems is that he suffers from seizures and for the past few months he has had a trained, certified service dog which "alerts" him when a seizure is imminent. The dog is also trained to awaken him if his Cpap machine malfunctions while he is sleeping, and to pick things up from the floor that have been dropped or fallen. I have watched this dog work and he is amazing.

This young friend had not attended church for quite some time - a year perhaps - and decided he needed to go back to church.

Maybe I'm misinformed, but I thought service dogs were allowed anywhere. I know this dog is allowed into our local stores and restaurants with no problem. Is there a rule somewhere about churches??

Anyway, my friend was stunned and left before services began.

Someone on HT uses part of a poem in their signature line that I want to borrow here:

Oh, shame on the mothers of mortals who did not stop to teach
Of the love that lies in dear dumb eyes - the love that has no speech.
For the same Hand made the animals that fashioned man and king.
And the God of the whole gave a spark of soul to each furred and feathered thing.

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  #2  
Old 07/26/09, 07:24 PM
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What happened?
Why exactly did he leave before services?
You didn't tell us that part.

We really can't comment or answer questions without proper info.
We can only speculate.

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Last edited by chickenista; 07/26/09 at 07:29 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07/26/09, 07:26 PM
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Service Dogs ARE allowed in churches. He could sue, but would he REALLY want to be in a church like that anyway?

Mon

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  #4  
Old 07/26/09, 07:27 PM
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If he was treated badly at church because of his dog then, if I were him, I'd be seeking a more tolerate, more loving church.

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  #5  
Old 07/26/09, 07:27 PM
 
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I was wondering what happened too. ??

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  #6  
Old 07/26/09, 07:29 PM
 
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How truly sad...sounds like that church does not know God also made dogs....

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  #7  
Old 07/26/09, 07:35 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I don't know what happened either, but completely agree that service dogs should be allowed in church. We used to attend a small church in Phoenix along with a woman who attended every Sunday with her service dog.

If every parishioner had behaved as nicely in church as that dog, we would have had one heck of an amazing congregation!

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  #8  
Old 07/26/09, 07:49 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: southeast US
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I tried to edit to add why he left but somehow it didn't work. He went in the church with his dog by his side and wearing his work vest and ID. One of the church deacons came back and told him the dog was not allowed to be in the church.

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  #9  
Old 07/26/09, 07:54 PM
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I'd bet that deacon is misinformed. He needs to go talk to the priest, preacher or whoever. Working dogs are allowed anywhere. I use to work for a lawyer who was blind and if we went to a restaurant, store or anywhere that someone tried to keep her dog out, she set them straight.

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  #10  
Old 07/26/09, 08:05 PM
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Oh that deacon is in BIG trouble!!!
He needs to let the minister know even if he plans to not attend again.
The minister would want to kow so that he can be sure that the doors of his church are open to all in the future.
The deacon was mistaken. I am sure he meant no true harm, but was just ignorant of the facts of the matter.
If you want, I would politely call for him. Not to be nasty, but just to inform.
I am a preacher's kid, you know.

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  #11  
Old 07/26/09, 08:07 PM
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I agree with Chickenista.... have someone call the head minister of the church and tell him what happened, and let him know that not only did your friend feel very unwelcome, they are in violation of the law.

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  #12  
Old 07/26/09, 08:10 PM
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You wouldn't even have to go that far. The minute you mention that someone was turned away and why, the minister will take it from there.
He knows the law.
And he knows that disabled and the ill need the church as much or more than healthy folks.
There will be a meeting where he nicely informs the elders and deacons etc.. and a notice in the bulletin next Sunday.

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  #13  
Old 07/26/09, 08:37 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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service dogs in church

Oh, my friend himself was not turned away - just informed that the dog could not remain in the church. But I can imagine how it made him feel. He is a very on-confrontational type person. He did try to tell the deacon that the dog was a certified service animal but I don't think the man really cared. Either that, or he is quite ignorant to the law. I thought everyone was aware that service dogs are welcomed everywhere.

When he told me about it this afternoon, my heart just ached for him. He and that dog are so totally bonded and he is so dependent on the dog. I told him some of the same things many of you are posting, but I think he is hesitant to make an issue of it. Never mind - the church WILL hear about it.

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  #14  
Old 07/26/09, 08:38 PM
 
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Location: southeast US
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that should read non-confrontational - my keys keep hitting or missing the wrong keys this evening.

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  #15  
Old 07/26/09, 08:46 PM
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every church i have been to allowed service dogs , but some peopl ehave a very hard time understanding anything but seeing eye dogs , the seaizure dogs are relitivly new and it often does not appear that the dog is nessacary IE the person can see so what do thay need dogs for is the uninformed thinking

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  #16  
Old 07/26/09, 08:50 PM
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i am sorry your friend had such a horrible experience - there are churches that let pocket/purse dogs attend service as long as they are restrained, after all - dogs are members of the family and we are all God's creatures.

if he was in my neck of the world- I'd proudly invite him to attend service with our family. the church would be glad to have another warm body at the service --- we are a shrinking congregation.

maybe he needs to meet with the head of the church and explain what his service dog does for him and then let the church inform the congregation of their new visitor so he will get the proper welcome

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  #17  
Old 07/26/09, 08:53 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: southeast US
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Thank you, Greencountrypete. That's a bit like jumping all over someone because they park in a handicapped parking space and aren't in a wheel chair. Some people are just too, too quick to judge. However, one would think that good church people would be more tolerant and kind.

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  #18  
Old 07/26/09, 08:53 PM
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Don't jump down the deacon's throat just yet. Get all the facts.

Under Federal law 'Service Dogs' must be allowed in all PUBLIC building. Not PRIVATE. To my knowledge churches fall under private.

List of service dogs laws by state
http://www.servicedogssavelives.org/statelaws.html

"service dogs are not welcome in all houses of worship, and federal law does not guarantee access to churches, mosques, and temples, even for service dogs,"
from: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/arti...pitals/?page=2

"Though service animals of all kinds can legally accompany their disabled handler almost anywhere the handler goes, they can be excluded from areas where their presence would constitute either a fundamental alteration of goods and services available for all or a direct threat to safety. Examples where a service animal might be excluded include:

-Sterile rooms, such as operating rooms, some areas of emergency rooms/departments, some ICU rooms, some ambulances, some delivery rooms (on a case-by-case basis)
-Clean rooms where microchips are manufactured
-Places where food is prepared (though they cannot generally be excluded from dining areas where food is present) (by order of most health departments)
-Open air zoological exhibits, such as open air aviaries (at the zoo's discretion)
-Churches (at the church's discretion)
-Native American Tribal Council Chambers (at the council's discretion)
-Federal Courts (at the judge's discretion)
-Private clubs (at the club's discretion)
-Private homes (at the home owner's discretion) "
from: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_there_a...re_not_allowed

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  #19  
Old 07/26/09, 08:55 PM
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I bet the minister has NO! idea this happened. Because, to turn away a service dog *IS* to turn your friend away.

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  #20  
Old 07/26/09, 09:11 PM
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Had to be a misunderstanding.

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  #21  
Old 07/26/09, 09:15 PM
 
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How in the world can a church be called private when they are running $10,000.00 ads saying every body come on over Bet if that dog had a big bill fold he would been their mascot the very next Sunday

Old story goes folks worked hard an built a Hugh church biggest an best miles around .Opening day they invited the Mayor ,Judge and every big shot for miles around .The only one not invited was Jesus Christ .Shucks we sometimes even wait till after church to be a hypocrite

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  #22  
Old 07/26/09, 09:54 PM
 
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service dogs in church

Amen, Brother Jim. I'm not much of a church goer myself, preferring to worship my Maker in the quietness of my woods, or sittin' on my back doorsteps at dawn. It's things like this incident with my friend that makes me shy away from from so-called organized religion. And I never, ever, turn away ANY dog from my "church" - why, even the cats are allowed to attend.

Yes, I visited the site suggested above and find that service dogs do NOT have to be allowed in churches, but may be allowed at the church's discretion. So I guess my friend's civil liberties or whatever were not violated.

Too sad that church finds it unnecessary to live by the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is the premise of most any religion. WWJD?

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  #23  
Old 07/26/09, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeterhawk View Post
Too sad that church finds it unnecessary to live by the Golden Rule.

Oh ... they are living by the Golden Rule alright ... He with the gold, makes the rules. I wish there was a god that would punish people, TODAY, in public and for all to see.


This is assuming the incident was not a misunderstanding.
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  #24  
Old 07/26/09, 10:00 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: southeast US
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service dogs in church

Amen, Brother Jim. I'm not much of a church goer myself, preferring to worship my Maker in the quietness of my woods, or sittin' on my back doorsteps at dawn. It's things like this incident with my friend that makes me shy away from from so-called organized religion. And I never, ever, turn away ANY dog from my "church" - why, even the cats are allowed to attend.

Yes, I visited the site suggested above and find that service dogs do NOT have to be allowed in churches, but may be allowed at the church's discretion. So I guess my friend's civil liberties or whatever were not violated.

Too sad that church finds it unnecessary to live by the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is the premise of most any religion. WWJD?

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  #25  
Old 07/26/09, 10:14 PM
 
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Excuse me, but, no the churches don't HAVE to but all of them around here do. We have this type of dog at our church, when his mistress has a seizure you know it! Yahoo barks until we are able to get her out. We go on with services.

Simply because someone is misinformed doesn't mean the faith is closed minded and horrible. Talk about a jump to judgement. Sheesh. It means he/they need education. Period.

Your friend needs to call the church and talk to the pastor.

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  #26  
Old 07/26/09, 11:03 PM
 
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Location: Illinois
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Hey, guys....service dogs don't have to be allowed into churches. They also don't have to be allowed into any place that's not open to the public.

My kids both have service dogs. We called before taking them to church to make sure that it was OK. It is just fine at our church.
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  #27  
Old 07/26/09, 11:24 PM
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If he is non-confrontational I would just find a different church....maybe even calling before going to make sure his dog is welcome too.

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  #28  
Old 07/26/09, 11:27 PM
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well one deacon doesnt run the church, check with the minister..and if not, just tell them fine he will take his dog and find a church that will allow him....
It is very sad though, the entire thought, if he lived in my town, we would more than welcome him and his dog..
~C~

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  #29  
Old 07/26/09, 11:43 PM
 
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Anyone looked up office of Deacon ??? Are they picked by how many Sundays they stay awake in these private churches ??? Inquiring Sinner wants to know

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  #30  
Old 07/27/09, 01:39 AM
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Skeeterhawk,I'm so sorry your friend had that happen to him. I wonder if the deacon is simply a dog-hater? I really hope he gets the situation resolved. Some people just do not understand what exactly a service dog IS, as they are not educated about them,hate dogs,etc.
I have a 2 year old w/ cerebral palsy,& have a dog that seems to have all the makings of a wonderful service dog (except that he is an incurable chicken killer!!) and we are thinking of looking into the program,& training the dog as a service dog for our son. Thanks for the reminder that not everyone is on board w/ all the new alternative help available for the disabled. These people have a hard enough road as it is, it's a shame when narrow-minded people make their road even more difficult. Please let us know the outcome!

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