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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Ax01's Avatar
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    Exclamation HR take on snakes as a service and emotional support animal

    This article was published like 2 days ago: http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2017/0...ictor-work-day

    The writer, who have backgrounds in Human Resources, give their take on service animals and emotional support animal. It seems that she was prompted to write this article after having encountered an erratic supermarket employee with a boa on a shopping trip.

    They give their take on service animals - essentially saying snakes are not service animals b/c they do not provide assistance to a person due to a their disability.

    And they go on analyzing if a snake can be an emotional support animal in the workplace. i take it as boiling down to:
    -- No b/c it may cause a disruption or threat to others;
    -- Even if a snake is recommended as an emotional support animal by a doctor, it is still only a recommendation. the employer or HR must determine themselves if they can accommodate the snake and if it's necessary for worker to have to perform their job.

    so we've seen threads pop up now and then here on the forum about snakes as emotional support animals whether in public, the workplace or home. (maybe planes?) i hope folks find this article interesting and IMO I don't think it is anti-snake. Abuse of service and emotional support animal happens. I think this article is helpful in laying out the challenges and legal threshold it would take for someone to have a snake as an legit emotional support animal.
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  3. #2
    BPnet Senior Member artgecko's Avatar
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    I have a friend that trains service dogs for people in wheelchairs and hearing dogs as well (she works for a non-profit in TX). She and other trainers hate abuse of ESA dogs and are constantly posting information like this...especially regarding the role and legal rights to have an ESA vs. a service dog vs. a therapy dog.

    In a recent piece she posted, it pretty much laid out that ESA, if your doctor allows for one, are only legally allowed to be required at your place of residence...not out in public. i.e. if you legally have an ESA your apartment complex may be required to let you have it, but stores, restaurants, etc. are not required to do so. Only service dogs that provide a physical service are legally required to be allowed to public places, businesses, etc.

    She has also posted a lot of references to shady operations that make their money by certifying ESAs... either trainers or psychiatrists. Many of these don't even make the applicant meet the requirements, it's just "pay to play". In her opinion, these scams and also people that try to take their ESA or therapy dog (or other animal) to places in public jeopardize how the public sees service dogs.. Making businesses more skeptical of allowing people with service animals, etc. She also noted that if you do qualify for an ESA (or any service dog) that you must be extremely careful selecting who to go through and that some of these shady operations don't even supply proper training or are outright shams (so basically check certification and references thoroughly).

    There was even some talk about a national certification / registration process so that a business could request you show them proof of your dog being a registered service dog (not necessarily the disability you have, but some kind of license proving the dog is legit).

    I know that there are people that legitimately need ESAs, but I also think a lot of people use this as a way to have a pet in a place that otherwise does not allow animals. IMO, we should be careful about this as it may get the rights of those who need one taken away due to abuse. I'm not saying anyone *here* does this, but I've been on a couple groups where someone outright said "my apartment doesn't allow pets so I'm going to get my shrink to say I need an ESA so I can have a rat / dog / etc.".
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  5. #3
    bcr229's Avatar
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    I bet constrictor snakes would make awesome ESA's because they give great hugs...

    FWIW I hate the abuse of the system as well.

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  7. #4
    Registered User OTorresUSMC's Avatar
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    Re: HR take on snakes as a service and emotional support animal

    Quote Originally Posted by Ax01 View Post
    This article was published like 2 days ago: http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2017/0...ictor-work-day

    The writer, who have backgrounds in Human Resources, give their take on service animals and emotional support animal. It seems that she was prompted to write this article after having encountered an erratic supermarket employee with a boa on a shopping trip.

    They give their take on service animals - essentially saying snakes are not service animals b/c they do not provide assistance to a person due to a their disability.

    And they go on analyzing if a snake can be an emotional support animal in the workplace. i take it as boiling down to:
    -- No b/c it may cause a disruption or threat to others;
    -- Even if a snake is recommended as an emotional support animal by a doctor, it is still only a recommendation. the employer or HR must determine themselves if they can accommodate the snake and if it's necessary for worker to have to perform their job.

    so we've seen threads pop up now and then here on the forum about snakes as emotional support animals whether in public, the workplace or home. (maybe planes?) i hope folks find this article interesting and IMO I don't think it is anti-snake. Abuse of service and emotional support animal happens. I think this article is helpful in laying out the challenges and legal threshold it would take for someone to have a snake as an legit emotional support animal.
    If a runt chiuaua that does nothing but yip and back can be a support animal, I've seen it, I see no reason a snake couldn't. These are differnt than service dogs. Service dogs generally physically perform some action to assist the owner with something they cannot do for themselves ie: a seeing eye dog, or dogs that detect seizures. This whole new thing with therapy animals is more about the companionship and generally involves people suffering from anxiety or depression. Now to me in situations like that I think the type of animal is going to depend on the person. Obviously of you're scared of or hate dogs then a dog wouldn't be a good therapy animal. I have seen this done with rabbits, cats, and dogs. So if a person is a snake lover and said snake helps them cope or feel happier then why not. Disclaimer I did not read the article but I gathered from your post it was arguing against snakes in that role. Well as a "service"animal yes clearly snakes can't really do much but from the therapy or emotional side of it I say why not? Who is HR to dictate what type of animal is going to make a person feel content.
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  9. #5
    Registered User SPIDERBALL's Avatar
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    Re: HR take on snakes as a service and emotional support animal

    Quote Originally Posted by OTorresUSMC View Post
    If a runt chiuaua that does nothing but yip and back can be a support animal, I've seen it, I see no reason a snake couldn't. These are differnt than service dogs. Service dogs generally physically perform some action to assist the owner with something they cannot do for themselves ie: a seeing eye dog, or dogs that detect seizures. This whole new thing with therapy animals is more about the companionship and generally involves people suffering from anxiety or depression. Now to me in situations like that I think the type of animal is going to depend on the person. Obviously of you're scared of or hate dogs then a dog wouldn't be a good therapy animal. I have seen this done with rabbits, cats, and dogs. So if a person is a snake lover and said snake helps them cope or feel happier then why not. Disclaimer I did not read the article but I gathered from your post it was arguing against snakes in that role. Well as a "service"animal yes clearly snakes can't really do much but from the therapy or emotional side of it I say why not? Who is HR to dictate what type of animal is going to make a person feel content.
    My snake is my seeing eye snake. I just wish it would stop leading me into its hide. I keep hitting my head.

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  11. #6
    Registered User OTorresUSMC's Avatar
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    Re: HR take on snakes as a service and emotional support animal

    Quote Originally Posted by SPIDERBALL View Post
    My snake is my seeing eye snake. I just wish it would stop leading me into its hide. I keep hitting my head.
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  12. #7
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Re: HR take on snakes as a service and emotional support animal

    Quote Originally Posted by OTorresUSMC View Post
    Who is HR to dictate what type of animal is going to make a person feel content.
    From an HR/corporate/business owner point of view there is a big difference in the accommodations that must be made for an employee or customer with a service animal versus an emotional support animal.

  13. #8
    Registered User OTorresUSMC's Avatar
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    Re: HR take on snakes as a service and emotional support animal

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    From an HR/corporate/business owner point of view there is a big difference in the accommodations that must be made for an employee or customer with a service animal versus an emotional support animal.
    I get that it's just the thought of them saying well you can have a dog or cat or rabbit or peacock but not a snake. Now if they say only service animals not therapy animals that's something else entirely
    Last edited by OTorresUSMC; 08-25-2017 at 09:57 PM.
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  14. #9
    Registered User New Member
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    Re: HR take on snakes as a service and emotional support animal

    actually my alpha ball is registered with the National Service Animal Registry as my Emotional Support Animal because i suffer from severe PTSD and Anxiety Adjustment Disorder.... i actually contacted the NSAR before i even thought about getting her registered with them as my ESA.... they told me that as long as i can control her in public which i do by keeping her in a backpack and i have her ESA ID Cards in clear view for anyone to see that i cannot be denied going into any public place with her because i have to have her with me to keep me calm..... the only thing that i am now working on is getting a letter of perscription from my psychiatrist to complete the all the paperwork that i need to have because he has even said that i needed an ESA.... even before i got her registered with the NSAR, i was taking her with me into public places but no one was any wiser knowing that i had her with me unless the backpack made movements on its own


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  16. #10
    Registered User the_rotten1's Avatar
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    I can't speak for other states, but here in CA there's also a pretty strict line between service animals and ESAs. Service animals perform a service that the owner needs, so they're allowed in public. ESAs perform no service and are not allowed in public places. Housing has to make accomodations for them, but that's about it.

    I know people who have service animals and people who have ESAs. Personally, I have neither. I have seen some people with ESAs try to get the same accommodations that service animals get though, and it offends me on behalf of my friends who actually need service animals to get by.

    Snakes can't be trained the way dogs or horses can, so they'll probably never be service animals. I think anyone who needs a snake for emotional support should be able to have one in their home, but as far as bringing them out in public... I think that is, and always should be, more of a privilege than a right. I wish the world were less afraid of snakes, but I also respect that some people just don't want to be around them.

    tl;dr It's my right to keep my snakes. It's other people's right to not be exposed to them, if that's what they want.

    @arianauchiha2017 Are you sure that what you're doing is legal where you live? Because you may have been scammed. There is no official registery for service animals or ESAs, but there are a lot of fake registries that send you certificates for money. If I were you I'd check the laws in your area before attempting to take your snake out in public. Most likely no one will make a big deal of it, but it may not be something you have a legal right to do.
    Last edited by the_rotten1; 08-26-2017 at 04:14 AM. Reason: correct spelling/typos
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