Public Access Alert
This information is being provided to our teams as a means of education regarding the issues of public access challenge. The situation described below was not the average challenge, and there were some excellent questions raised. After careful consideration of this, the Board and Administration felt that these questions were too important for our teams and thus we are sharing this information. We wish to be clear that this is an educational case study, and the take home points are as follows:
- Download a copy of all AZ Laws that pertain to SDs and carry them with you
- Understand how the law applies, when uncertain, do not make assumptions- ask for help
- Make responsible team decisions- above all, at no time should a handler take an action that would place their SD / SDIT in any jeopardy
- In cases where you feel that your rights / the law has been violated, request a manager
- If the manager either refuses to speak with you or fails to correct the situation, call the non-emergency police number and request that an officer respond; though they may not be able to force a business to permit access to your team, they can generate a police report that will be important in any subsequent complaints that you may file.
On Monday, March 30th, we received a communication from one of our lead instructors, the wife of a military veteran. She is currently training a SD. The communication we received was as follows:
- tie up the dog outside of the park in an unsecured area (to a tree or bench) and leave her dog there while she went inside to enjoy the park
- confine her dog in one of their buses and leave it unattended
- Is Bearizona in violation of the law for failing to provide adequate facilities for the confinement of service dogs under ARS 11-1024?
- How does the law view the “reasonable accommodation” plan that the park has in place, in terms of Animal Cruelty Law?
We are currently awaiting a call back and will provide further education to our readers once a clear legal answer has been received.
Keeping Your SD Well-Nourished
In the wake of continued pet food recalls, this month we review some basic information that every handler should know about proper nutrition of their SD. We begin with the caution that a package label that reads “Made in the U.S.A.” does not guarantee that the ingredients are from the U.S.A. It simply means that the product was assembled here, and provides no assurance that tainted ingredients from other countries are not present.
Nutrition labels– knowing what the label is telling you is important. Some basic rules on label requirements are as follows:
95% rule– If the product has a name such as Poultry for Dogs, or Beef for Dogs then it must contain at least 95% of the product named.
25% rule– products with names such as Beef Dinner, or Salmon Dinner must contain less than 95% but at least 25% of the product named.
3% rule– those foods with names that contain the word “with”, such as “beef dinner with cheese” must contain at least 3% of ingredient ingredient listed.
Flavor rule– under this rule the product merely has to be present enough to be detectable.
Other label claims – claims that a feed is “premium”, “super premium”, “gourmet” and such are marketing strategies and should not influence your choice of feed in any way.
Be aware of pet food recalls as they occur. Sign up to receive email alerts about recalls. It is better to prevent a problem in the first place. We also suggest that you stay aware of which brands are prone to recalls, and which are not. This will help to guide your decision making process when selecting a safe and nutritious feed for your SD.
Treats are extras, and not a part of the daily nutrition plan. Remember that treats add extra calories. Too many treats can result in an overweight dog who will be at an increased risk for health problems.
Calculate your dogs daily caloric requirement at rest, known as the rough energy requirement (RER). You can use the calculator on our website to determine how many calories per day your dog needs to maintain their body weight, at rest. The key words here are at rest. This amount will need to be adjusted based on your dogs need. If your dog is overweight they will require fewer calories. If they are underweight, or if circumstances warrant it, they may require more. Some examples of situations that require adjustment are:
- Puppies from birth to 4 months: 3x RER
- Puppies from 4 months to 1 year: 2x RER
- Active working dogs: 2-5x RER (depending on type of work and activity level)
- Pregnant dogs: days 1-42 days gestation ~ 1.8x RER;days 43-63 days gestation ~ 2x RER
- Lactating female: 4-8x RER
Body Condition Score (BCS)– know your dogs BCS. Knowing this number will help you understand whether or not your dogs diet needs to be adjusted.
Remember to always speak with your Veterinarian when making dietary adjustments for your dog.
Both classes participated in field trips this past month, including a memorable trip to visit the AZ House of Representatives at the invitation of Rep. Heather Carter. We are so appreciative of the time that several members of the House took to personally meet and greet our teams, including Representatives Kate Brophy McGee, Charlene Fernandez, Richard Andrade and Ceci Velasquez. Also stopping to visit with our students was Sen. Lupe Contreras.
Both classes were also in attendance at the Armed Forces Support Group of Sun City Grand Golf Tournament. Each year, a portion of the proceeds from this event are donated to support the FSDS mission of providing service dogs to military veterans in need.
Estrella Mountain Campus – the EM class has been working on refining for the CGC and PAT Test. Some of the big focuses have been ignoring other dogs, leash manners, and settling quickly when arriving at a new place. They are also working on problem solving. The students studied airline travel this past month and enjoyed packing a mock travel bag for an imaginary trip to New York with their service dog. The class discussed the rules of the airport and metal detectors.
Paradise Valley Campus– this past month the final pairings were made between recipients and dogs. Recipients took their first field trip to a local store along with their student mentors, and did an outstanding job, with the dogs exhibiting may automatic behaviors. We would like to commend students Jaymie Cardin for her outstanding performance as a team player this past month, and Laura Sullivan for her efforts to promote positive thinking and behavior in the classroom.
Outreach Program News
We are pleased to announce that effective June 1st, 2015 all Outreach Teams will be able to enjoy the same benefits of online comprehensive education as those recipients who are awarded their dogs through our in-house training program. This represents a dramatic improvement in our program. All new applicants, and applicants for re-certification will be required to the SD 101: Orientation Course. We remind teams that this is a one-time requirement and will not have to be repeated, either with the current dog or a successor dog in the future.
Our sincere thanks to these wonderful people for their recent generous donations to support our program:
- David and Brenda Golden $120
- Leolinda J Bowers PLLC $65
- R & G BBQ Concepts $250
- May Alering $50
- Laurie Hall $100
- Eileen Joy $110
- Security Title / Laura Wood $250
- Linda Lee Lindsay $254
Mark the date on your calendars…Saturday, May 16th is our annual graduation. Each year, we seek sponsors to help us provide tickets to our deserving recipients and students. The vast majority of our recipients are wounded military veterans and first responders, and these individuals have risked their lives for the sake of all of us. Many of our students are under-served, and despite limited financial means they and their families have provided food and other needed items for these dogs throughout the training process, so that someone else may benefit. Your tax deductible contribution of $500 will sponsor a table of 10. Please help us to provide tickets in recognition of those who have risked their lives to serve our country and community, as well as those exceptional students who have devoted the past two years of their lives to help change the lives of others.
March was a busy month for our teams. Students participated in community leadership experiences including the annual golf tournament for the Armed Forces Support Group in Sun City Grand, Buckeye Days and a visit to the AZ House of Representatives. Students from both campuses work cooperatively to educate the community on service dog training and disability issues.