Service Dog Card/Identification

As a Disabled person you DO NOT NEED to proviode any Identifaction to any one under the ADA law.

IF you are asked to provise Identifaction or a certificate to prove you are with a Service Dog provide the following cardsw:

American with Disabilities Act

If you are an employee or owner of any business open to the public including but not limited to restaurants, hotels, taxis, shuttles, stores, medical facilities, theaters, parks, health clubs or zoos & you are being given this card, you have probably violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) & the civil rights of the card holder. Both individual violators & business can be required to pay monetary damages & penalties.

    For more information about the rights of persons with

       disabilities & their service animals, please contact:

United States Department of Justice      1-800-514-0301

What is a Service Animal?

A service animal is any animal individually trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. Tasks include but are not limited to guiding the blind, assisting the deaf, pulling a wheelchair, picking up items, alerting to seizures, providing balance, bringing medication & carrying emergency information. A service animal is not a pet.

     •     A person with a disability may not be asked for special certification, ID cards for the animal or asked about his/her disability.

     •     A person with a disability may not be charged additional fees to be accompanied by a service animal.

     •     A person accompanied by a service animal must be admitted & may not be isolated, segregated or treated less favorably than others patrons.

This one (orange)is for the person that doesn't know what a service dog is & what they are allowed to ask for

This one (green) is for an establishment that has just denied you access

The episode below caused me to seek a better way to represent us as a team. I now carry this card. It has reduced the confrontations drastically.

Galveston Texas Nightmare

The following occurred on August 26, 2009 at approximately 3:00 PM:

I had been staying in Galveston in our 5th wheel, and working at 2401 Market St. (a property we own and are renovating), since May 2009. On several occasions I had stopped in at the Press Box Sports Bar located at 24th and Post office (1 block from where I was working), with my general contractors for lunch. The first time I went there, I was immediately stopped by the waitress and told, “dogs were not allowed”. I explained that Koko was a service dog and provided her with a card explaining American Disability Act (ADA). She spoke with the manager in charge and returned to thank me and allowed us to be seated and served. We had no problem for the next several visits.On August 26 at approx 3 pm I again went to the Press Box with the intention of having a beer with Dave H. my Public Adjuster and to view pictures on my Mac Laptop of our property damages in Galveston (caused by IKE). When we entered, the manager said that the kitchen was closed. I replied that that was okay since we just wanted a beer & a place to talk. The place was empty except for 3 men sitting at the bar. I chose the tables in the corner (under the TV) so I could put my dog out of the way.

Just as I started to do so the owner approached me and asked me to leave because of the dog, I explained about Koko being a service dog and he told me the Health Department did not allow it. I again explained that the Health Dept did allow it due to the American Disability Act. I gave him an ADA card but he insisted I leave or he would call the Health Dept. I told him to go ahead and call them because I had a right to be there. The manager told him I had been there in the past with the dog and she had had no problems with us. He didn’t want to hear it. I sat down with Dave and opened up my laptop. Dave tried to get a beer but had been refused service by the manager because the owner had told her not to serve us. We decided since our meeting wouldn’t take too long to continue our business. Shortly thereafter 2 police officers showed up. The female officer approached me and asked me to step outside with my dog. I refused to go outside and asked her why she was asking me to go outside.  She said because I was causing a disturbance and needed to leave. I told the officers I was sitting quietly in the corner and there was no disturbance. I was told that the dog being there was the disturbance. When I asked them had they spoken to the people at the bar to ask whether that was the case, they said that the owner had called and said that I had a dog there and that constituted causing a disturbance. I explained according to the ADA I had a right to be there with my dog and presented the policeman with the ADA card. He looked at the card and told me that any one could print those up and how did they know that I wasn’t some homeless person off the street with a dog. (OK I need to stop here and interject: I’m sitting there with a open Mac laptop computer, my dog is a groomed 2 yr old Blue Standard Poodle, with a orange vest that says Service Dog, with a patch that says DO NOT Pet I’m Working, the CGC badges, and the PSDA badges.) I told them that I was NOT a homeless person. Then they accused me of stealing the dog. Again I explained that that was not the case. Then they told me that if I did not leave they would arrest me. I said, “Go ahead”. The next reply was they would call the Sergeant/Health Dept. I said go ahead. The male officer left. The female officer approached me and rehashed the various issues; homeless, theft, service dog, etc. I got up and told her normally I would not demonstrate what my dog does for me but I want them to understand that this was a service dog and she belonged to me. I called KoKo from under the table and gave her several commands including, come, sit, wait, pick that up, and give it to me. The female officer said, “Anyone can train a dog to do that.” She again stated that I must have stolen the dog. This was becoming frustrating! I finally thought of my cards and presented her with my personal card and asked her if she could get on the Internet. She said she could. She took the card and left. Shortly thereafter the other officer returned with another policeman. Now I was being asked why I had come in there. Was it to cause a problem so I could sue the establishment? Or sue the city? I repeated that all I wanted to do was have a beer and a short meeting. Then I was asked what does the dog do for me. Here we go again!  I explained, she sometimes has to opens door, picks things up, and helped me get up by bracing. I was then asked what drugs I was on and I said none. I was asked if drinking impaired me, I said, no that my back problem would not be impairment by alcohol. When asked if I needed her right now to open doors for me. I said no, just sometimes. I told them they were welcome to call my doctor. They said no, but since I did not need her to open doors now that she did not need to be there. I told them, yes she did, because of the other things she does for me! Through out this ordeal my dog lay quietly under the table, where I had told her to stay. Between their accusations and me saying okay go ahead and arrest me. I started stressing but still maintained my composer. I tried to give my personal card to the officer and he said he didn’t need another card. The policemen then said all they wanted was for me to prove ownership of the dog and that I had wasted 20 minutes of their time. I told him the card I gave to the female officer should have proved that. I then told by the officer, “We won’t stoop to your level by arresting you and will allow you to stay, this time, but I’m certain we’ll meet again here in Galveston”. I replied, “ I’m certain you will.” They all left. I asked the manager if I could get a draft beer and she said she still had not been told that it was all right to serve us. Dave said, “I can’t believe they did that to you. I almost knocked your keys off the table to show them what Koko does for you.” Dave has been with me on other occasions and knows how Koko helps me.  Dave and I finished our meeting and left. The three officers and the owner were still standing outside talking, with 2 police cars blocking the corner entrance, with lights flashing.  I crossed the street, I got in my car and left. Because I had forgotten to get the badge # or names of the officers, I circled the block and returned to get the information only to find all were gone. I went back to our 5th wheel. I called my husband and told him what had just happened. I finally started calming down from the stress and when I finally got calmer, I fell asleep & slept almost 12 hours (I normally sleep only 4 to 6 hrs). I was surprised at this new reaction to trauma/stress! Normally this type of incident would have brought on an optical migraine. I considered myself luck it hadn’t, however this was something new I needed to be aware could happen.

The next day I went to City Hall on 25th St. (which is where I thought the police dept was located) to get a copy of the police report. I ran into Ms. Lupe Ochoa who works in the water department and knows us. I told her what had happened That’s when I found out that the owner of the Press Box was a retired Deputy Sheriff named Rudy Betancourt and that he was well known amongst the Galveston law enforcement community. I then went to the Mayors office at that location and was told to register my complaint with the Police department, which was at a different location.

I proceeded to the police station on 65th St. there I inquired about getting a copy of the report of my ordeal yesterday. The lady checked for me and said there had been no report only an incident filed stating the police officers had responded to a “Disturbance”. I got a copy of it which now provided me with their badge #’s. I was then directed to another office to file a complaint. There I spoke to Mrs. Laura Beebe, Administrative Assistant Patrol Division. She asked if I wanted to file a formal complaint against the officers, I said, no, but I wanted to make the city aware of a training problem regarding handicapped people without visible disabilities and having public access with a service dog. I went into great detail about what happened. I told her that I understood that the officers were only doing their jobs, but better educational training was needed. I made her aware that I was going out of town until November 5th and when I returned, I would be returning to that establishment.  She assured me she would handle this with the right people and I believed her. I then drove home.

I have outlined, to the best of my ability, what happened to KoKo & me.