OT-ADogs Welcome Letter

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Welcome to the Owner-Trained Assistance Dogs list!

Please use this discussion forum to ask questions about Service Dogs. How to act when you see one. How to tell if a dog is a Service (Assistance) Dog. How to deal with access confrontations. Dog care, and any other subject relating to Service (Assistance) Dogs. This includes access issues, care of your service dog, equipment for your dog, etc.

Please observe the following rules:

1) Please sign your posts. First name is fine - as well, as dog's name. Anon posts are not allowed, as we want to know who we are talking to.

2) Flame posts at list members is NOT ACCEPTABLE, PERIOD. For clarification, a flame is an verbal attack on a person or the personality of the person. Discussions on the ISSUES, the substance of what is posted, is fine. AGAIN, NO FLAMES AT, TO, OR ABOUT ANY PERSON OR PERSONALITY.

FLAME posts are very clearly determined by the tone of the post, and the use of *YOU* and direct attacks on the posters personality, linage, and attitude. The final decission regarding whether or not there was a flame is the Moderators' only.

3) It's okay to disagree, but please no personal attacks.

4) No posting of PRIVATE email, unless you have the permission of both parties (sender/receiver).

5) Sending PRIVATE Posts to an individual member of this list about what they have said on the list, and containing inflamatory material; or, posting things about this list either by direct disclosure or indirect insinuation about the list or any of the members of this list is prohibited. Violations well be Moderation or Unsubscribing, Moderators choice.

6) No one liners. Please, if you must say "I agree" or something similar, please send it as private mail to the person you are replying to.

7) No HTML emails. This means that you MUST send plain text emails to the list. Many users do not have the capability to look at HTML emails, and it is all gibberish. Or it causes the member's computer to dial up to the internet, to read it.

8) ALL disagreements will be settled by the list Moderator(s) and/or List Owner, and will include; (1) a simple ADMIN> END THIS THREAD; (2) Moderated Posting; or (3) UNSUBSCRIBED. The decision of which will be solely the choice of the Moderator(s) and/or List Owner.

9) ADMIN: END THIS THREAD does not mean *One Last Comment* nor does it mean change the subject matter and try to slip additional comments in. Both will be dealt with under 4, (2) or (3), Moderator's Choice.

10) There will be NO posting of any Adult Material promoting Websites or **-Lists which provide any warnings or material which is XXX rated in any manner; or, in which material might be un-suitable for anyone under 18.

11) Please use the following TOPICS in the Subject of your emails, so that people may easily filter out emails they want to read. Please use capital letters for the topic words in the subject line, for example: TRAINING: Take it (fetch), CARE: How often to bathe my dog?

Training (any training issues)
Chat (Whatever doesn't fit any other topic)
Care (Care of your A-dog)
Access (Access Issues)
Equipment (Equipment you use on your dog)
Admin (Administrative posts - Moderators only)
ADA (any disability related topic that is NOT service dog related)

11a) If you don't want to read messages about NON-Service Dog issues, use your delete key to delete those messages with the keywords that you have no interest in, for example, ADA and CHAT. Please do not complain ON LIST about messages you consider off-topic. ANY message about disability issues IS on topic.

12) Edit your posts! Please do not leave extra messages at the end of the message you are composing. Edit your posts to show ONLY the message you are replying to.

13) If an ADMIN message is posted, do NOT comment on it ON THE LIST unless invited to do so. The fastest way to get yourself moderated is to question the decisions of the list owner/moderators. You are welcome to ask questions in PRIVATE email, or by sending them to but, NOT in public.

By the NAME of this list (OT-ADOGS) it is dedicated to OWNER TRAINED Assistance DOGS. However, being aware that many program or agency trained/provided service dogs CAN be trained by their owners to perform "additional tasks" as they become needed, or tasks that were NOT included in their Basic service training, open invitation is extended to those with program and agency trained service dogs, as well as "independent or individual" trainers providing for individual family members, neighbors or by specific requests, etc.

PLEASE, keep this list reserved for SERVICE "DOGS" ONLY. There ARE lists out there available for "Service ANIMALS other than DOGS. These lists are more appropriate for information on animals other than DOGS. Issues with the "helping hands monkeys and other monkey service animal providers are NOT appropriate for this list nor are guide mini horses, Alert CATS etc. Please find appropriate lists for these types of animal issues. Or perhaps start one yourself.

The OT-ADOGS list is dedicated to providing the most legally correct information that we have available. It is REQUESTED, that no one post to this list ANY information intended or portrayed as "Legal Information", UNLESS they can substantiate such information with the Federal State or Agency laws or "ACT" that so states this information.

People with disabilities (with or without service dogs) have been granted certain "Rights" to "Reasonable accommodations" be they, the right to free equal access by having ramps or elevators installed in public buildings, to a landlord allowing SERVICE DOGS to accommodate a DISABLED person in a facility carrying a NO PET rule or exemption from a "Pet Deposit".

The common Legal resources utilized here on this list are the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) signed into FEDERAL LAW July of 1990, the Federal Code of Regulations...several volumes concerning discrimination of person's with disabilities, and Access issues of the disabled, and other volumes concerning "Special" enactments by agencies such as the DOT (Department of Transportation) the FAA (Federal Aviation Association) Rail Passenger act, and the various associated volumes of the CFRs Code of Federal Regulations) As well as other laws and Acts concerning cruise ships, state and government run Ferry services, public transportation services (DOT) etc. Several laws from Canada like the PQ (Province of Quebec Chapter 9 Laws for People With Disabilities...which to date is the only province that has any such "Written" law. (The balance of Canada is a REQUEST for Reciprocal access to the Guide dog/white cane laws.)

This is a moderated list.
Because of the nature of this list, in providing CORRECT legally substantiated information ONLY, ALL new members are moderated for one month, at which time, moderation will be removed. Moderated status is dependant on Type of information offered to the list that requires verification (legal advice), the "nature" of the messages posted. (Language, and subject content is subject to review because of the Terms of service with egroups on posting "commercial advertizements, pornographic or offensive material etc...) Please understand we do our BEST to prevent things from slipping un-noticed onto the list, which is also why NO POSTING of attachments or "embedded" material is allowed on this list. These can still be sent in privately addressed personal e-mail, Then the SENDER is responsible for the content of such private e-mail and NOT the OT-Adogs list.

Messages of a "hostile" nature, flaming or personal attacks as well as attacks of this group or certain members of this group ARE NOT TOLERATED. Personal attacks on any person on list or privately (as a result of events on this list) will result in being moderated or unsubscribed..... as decided upon by the moderators and the list owner making the final decision.

The selling or advertising of items is forbidden on this list, with the exception of items for your service dog. Only equipment for your dog may be advertised on this list by members to sell to other members. No other selling is tolerated. You may, however, post links to websites, or phone numbers to companies that sell medical equipment, or other items is allowed. If you break this rule, like all others, you will be moderated or unsubscribed at the discretion of the moderators and list owner.

These are always going to occur among mixed groups of people. It is perfectly fine to have and even SHARE a difference of opinion. This will be done without effect, UNLESS there ensues, a disruption or mass dissent, in the list function. The list moderators and Owner have the right to END THIS THREAD, if it is felt (majority agreement) that the thread is disruptive and NON-productive. This is NOT a personal issue, but it is done to insure that this list remain productive and a positive support for disabled people who have owner trained service DOGS, or are individually training (as allowable by law) a service dog for family member, friend or by personal request.

Life experiences are encouraged to be discussed (Use the CHAT: heading) to enlighten other members, inform others or give examples of what things work or don't work so well. Funny situations, serious situations concerning our service dogs are also allowed as this is sort of a "support group for PEOPLE training service dogs.

Advice on training, training equipment, and techniques is an "independent" preferential subject and not necessarily that of the list in general or the list owner, it is the opinion or advice of the individual that posts it. (Some people support pinch collars, others prefer clicker training and still others use Positive reinforcement/motivation training. Others use a praise/correction training technique. These are the individual preferences.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and on this issue we believe that there is NO right or wrong only differences in preference. But PLEASE, no heated discussions or attacks on proffered training techniques. (What works for ONE does not work for ALL)

This next section deals with topics that we cover frequently. The reason I'm listing them below is that every time a new member signs onto the list, these questions are asked, and I feel it's better to explain them here, instead of on-list. If you have questions, however, please feel free to post them to the list in general. This list will be added to from time to time. Emails will be sent to the list when there's a new addition to this list.


Because of the nature of the list, and the reputation this list has for accurate legal information, new members are moderated for 1 month. Moderated means that while you can post, your messages don't go directly to the OT-Adogs list. They are held for the moderators to look over before sending to everyone on the list. If a message is rejected, the person rejecting the message will tell you why at the top of the rejected message. If you have questions about a rejected message, please send an email to ot-adogs-owner@egroups.com.


1. Where can I get certification or ID for my Service Dog?

In the United States, please be aware that the Americans With Disabilities Act makes it illegal to require certification or documentation (ID) as a condition of access. You do NOT need ID or papers from anyone stating your dog is a service dog to go into public places. If you live outside the United States, you will need to leave a message on the list so we can help you, depending on where you live.

2. I made an ID for my dog. I have shown it to the store owners everywhere I go.

Please don't continue to do this. Showing ID may make it easier for you to enter public places, but the team that follows you that does not have ID, will be hassled and may be denied access for not showing "certification/documentation/ID" that their dog is a service dog. Since we are all ambassadors for the service dog community, when you do something, the public will assume that EVERYONE does the same thing, like showing ID.

Enjoy this list. Learn from it, Contribute to it, Be considerate of others and their rights to having their own opinions. Welcome to OT-Adogs!

Dana Marshall and Dobie Gillis, the Wonder Dog!
List Owner, OT-Adogs

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