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Thread: AirVenture and dogs....my "pet" peeve.

  1. #1

    AirVenture and dogs....my "pet" peeve.

    In the guidebook available to AirVenture attendees, under the camping section it clearly states that dogs are not allowed on the AirVenture Convention site proper (those areas requiring a wristband to gain entry.) It does allow, with restrictions, for dogs to be present in the campgrounds. On numerous occasions I saw people walking with dogs on the flightline and other areas of the convention site proper. One dog, a large German Shepard wore a vest that was imprinted with "Service Dog in Training." My gripe is; if it's in training does that mean it's not yet a certified service dog? Is the convention site the proper place to train such an animal. I think not. On other occasions I saw dogs with no markings on their collar or vest indicating they were a service dog. Yet another dog, a Black Lab was dragging his leash. He was a great dog, always on heel and always looking ahead and at his master every few seconds. He wasn't a problem, in fact none of them were BUT if I saw five dogs this year then so did thousands of other attendees. That means next year some of those folks will bring their dog and instead of five dogs it will be twenty-five dogs in 2020 and fifty dogs in 2021 unless EAA strictly enforces the no dog policy.
    In every instance where an person had a dog with them they were also accompanied by family or friends. That begs I ask the question whether that "service dog" was a necessity or not.
    I can go with a certified service animal, provided the owner presents proper credentials to EAA prior to entering the convention grounds and the animal has been issued a special access permit to be attached somewhere on the collar, vest or leash visible to the general public. That should satisfy the lawyers.
    As for Comfort animals, one of the more abused terms for a pet, they can stay home or be left in the campgrounds if you ask me.
    Don't even get me started about the guy with a parrot on his shoulder walking around the flightline.
    Some folks may decide to not attend AirVenture if they can no longer bring their pet onto the convention site but I doubt their numbers would even make a blip on EAA's radar. If Security personal are diligent enough to search backpacks and packages brought onto the convention site then they should have no problem spotting a hairy, four legged creature on the end of a leash and turn them around and off the convention site proper.
    And yes, I'm a pet owner myself and love my dog as much as anyone else loves theirs.

  2. #2
    L16 Pilot's Avatar
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    Amen! I get so sick of dog owners thinking they have to bring their mutts to every occasion. If it's a legitimate service dog I can live with that....period.
    If God had intended man to fly He would have given us more money!

  3. #3

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    I'm a dog lover and former owner of dogs but I would never bring one to hot, sweaty, humid, strong sun Oshkosh in July. That's cruel in my opinion.

    Oshkosh has lots of rules to govern the event but the problem is most of them are not enforced by so-called security. Still lots of smokers and vapers on the grounds not using the designated smoking areas.

  4. #4

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    Anybody can go on the internet and buy a "service dog kit" with vest, leash, etc. but meeting the ADA Title III requirements is a little tougher.

  5. #5
    Dogs have sensitive hearing. I can't imagine what they must suffer through when an F-22's afterburner kicks in or a flight of AT-6's go blasting by or a string of pyrotechnics explode. Where's the love then?

  6. #6
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    1. Long time dog owner -- mostly Rottweilers. I train and use them for Search and Rescue. Just got a 5 month old certified Canine Good Citizen. SAR training starts next month and it will be a year before she is ready for any proof testing.

    2. I would never take my dogs to Oshkosh. Even if it were allowed on the airport it is too much stress on the animal. Leaving them in the campsite would, in my opinion, border on animal cruelty -- even in an air conditioned RV. (We do bring our dogs to local community events for exposure and socialization. Small doses, carefully controlled, where my wife and I focus on the dog, not the event.)

    3. Regarding Marty's comment about anyone can buy a service dog vest. True. ADA Title III requirements, however, are not very demanding. The statute says a service animal is, “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” The owner/handler is not required to carry an ID or certificate for the dog and business staff are only allowed to ask two questions: (1) if the animal is required because of a disability; and (2) what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. That is, the dog "must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability." (Personally, I would like the law to change to require certification as a service dog, but those can be faked or bought through "services" offering them, so it wouldn't help much.)

    4. Wisconsin law also says that service dog trainers have the same access rights as disabled persons with service dogs...with one very important exception. The trainer must be able to produce a certification or other credential issued by a school for training service animals that the animal is being trained to be a service animal.

    5. "Comfort" or "Emotional Support" animals have no special access privileges under federal law or Wisconsin law.

    With that out of the way, I absolutely support the use of service dogs for the purposes described in the ADA. I also understand that there are unscrupulous people who abuse the system. In fact, there are web-site registries which advertise getting your pet registered as a service animal so you can take it anywhere. So how do you separate the gold from the dross? The simplest way, which seems to be used at AirVenture, is not to try and depend on the attendees honesty. I believe that is the wrong approach. It leads to abuse of the animal and potential legal action should the dog becomes out of control. Simply asking the two allowed questions at the bag screening station and asking for trainer credentials might be enough. (It would at least be as effective as the bag checks are. ) Airventure rules should prohibit comfort or emotional support animals as inhumane to the animals and potentially dangerous to the ever expanding numbers of people at AirVenture. (Even service animals may be removed from a venue if they become out of control, pose a danger to others or are not "housebroken." The owner/handler is still legally responsible for cleaning up after the dog.)

    There is one exception to not being able to ask about service dog certification. If the owner brings legal action against someone for denial of access, the owner must then show to the court confirmation of his disability and training records that the dog has been trained for the specific assistance requirement of the disability.

    Sorry I took so much space. I am also concerned about it, but it is a little complicated when trying to separate those with legitimate needs from those abusing reasonable accommodations.
    Last edited by Mayhemxpc; 08-03-2019 at 12:11 PM.
    Chris Mayer
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  7. #7

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    I'm pretty certain the tiny dog a lady (I use the term loosely) was dragging through the middle of Boeing Plaza with no attention to the trampling danger to the dog was not a service dog. I really hope the dog survived its time at the convention.

  8. #8

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    Sadly, the ADA, for all the good it has done, has also led to a lot of problems. Anyone can claim that their dog is a service dog, and the business can only ask two questions, about what the dog is trained to do. They cannot question the legitimacy of the service dog or ask for paperwork, and they cannot evict the dog unless it does something inappropriate like get aggressive. So a lot of unscrupulous people take advantage of that and bring their dogs where they don't belong. i saw one guy this year with a tiny Maltese on a harness, and while tiny dogs can be service dogs (for example seizure or diabetic alert dogs), when the dog's idiot owner picked her up by the leash so she was dangling in mid-air, I just said, "That's not a service dog" and walked off. I've seen a lot of dogs at EAA and none of them appeared to be legitimate service dogs, even keeping in mind that not all disabilities are visible. But there's not much EAA can do. As for "emotional support animals"...if you're disabled enough to need an ESA, you're disabled enough to need a service dog.

    I am a veterinarian and I would hesitate to expose any dog, even a service dog, to the noise and crowds of EAA. If someone wanted to bring their service dog, I would recommend some sort of ear protection.

  9. #9
    FlyinAdamBadger's Avatar
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    Here is video that AOPA did on pets at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. Pets are everywhere. https://youtu.be/iqb6AtsmycM

  10. #10
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Well, it didn't say where on the grounds the dogs were. Two of the dogs had service dog markings, but I would certainly ask the two allowed questions about them.
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

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