Verse of the Day

Thursday, December 22, 2011

local town ignores ADA!!

The ADA made recent revisions, some VERY specific regarding service animals. The town of Aurelia IA has attempted 'trumping' the ADA by using a breed ban ordinance to force Jim Sak, a disabled man, to remove his service dog from his home AND the town!! This is absolutely outrageous!! PLEASE voice your protest!

Here's a document from the ADA regarding Service Animals:

You can find contacts for the town of Aurelia IA here:

********** what i wrote to the town of Aurelia IA *********

ATTN: Mayor & City Council Members, Aurelia IA

I'm writing to you because of an outrage that has happened. Per this article,, I learned that you have forced Jim Sak to remove his service dog from his home and out of your town.

This is against the ADA, Ameican Disability Act (Federal Law which overrides your 2008 city ordinance!). Strongly suggest you contact the Department of Justice, to get your facts straight. Because the LAW is firmly on Jim Sak's side.

one of the changes, made July 23, 2010 and effective March 15, 2011, says Service animals are exempt from breed bans as well as size & weight limitations.

"Conversely, if an individual uses a breed of dog that is perceived to be aggressive because of breed reputation, stereotype, or the history or experience the observer may have with other dogs, but the dog is under the control of the individual with a disability and does not exhibit aggressive behavior, the public accommodation cannot exclude the individual or the animal from the place of public accommodation. The animal can only be removed if it engages in the behaviors mentioned in § 36.302(c) (as revised in the final rule) or if the presence of the animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the goods, services, facilities, and activities of the place of public accommodation."

"The Department does not believe that it is either appropriate or consistent with the ADA to defer to local laws that prohibit certain breeds of dogs based on local concerns that these breeds may have a history of unprovoked aggression or attacks. Such deference would have the effect of limiting the rights of persons with disabilities under the ADA who use certain service animals based on where they live rather than on whether the use of a particular animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Breed restrictions differ significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have no breed restrictions. Others have restrictions that, while well-meaning, have the unintended effect of screening out the very breeds of dogs that have successfully served as service animals for decades without a history of the type of unprovoked aggression or attacks that would pose a direct threat, e.g., German Shepherds. Other jurisdictions prohibit animals over a certain weight, thereby restricting breeds without invoking an express breed ban. In addition, deference to breed restrictions contained in local laws would have the unacceptable consequence of restricting travel by an individual with a disability who uses a breed that is acceptable and poses no safety hazards in the individual´s home jurisdiction but is nonetheless banned by other jurisdictions. Public accommodations have the ability to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a particular service animal can be excluded based on that particular animal´s actual behavior or history--not based on fears or generalizations about how an animal or breed might behave. This ability to exclude an animal whose behavior or history evidences a direct threat is sufficient to protect health and safety."

If Jim Sak is disabled and Snicker's is his service dog, the breed is irrelevant. The owner/handler has certain responsibilities (ie keeping service dog under control, on restraint in public, etc) and if those have been followed, you cannot legally stop him from entering any area/building that is normally open to the public. You certainly cannot order him to remove his service dog from his home OR the town!!

Very Sincerely,

owner/handler of service dog "in training"

Isaiah 40:31

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