The Original Service
Animal Rights Advocacy Group
goal at D.I.A.L. S.T.A.R.T., Inc. is to educate and inform
the public about service animal rights in a positive
way. I encourage
you to print out the pages regarding legal and civil rights
and other issues and to hand them out to people who
may not know what
service animals do, who and how they help and what everyone’s
rights are, “ says founder Fayr Barkley.
do not advocate or condone violence, vandalism or other
angry and negative methods of getting our message out
to the public. We understand that people have a genuine
interest in what service/therapy and companion animals
are and what they do. The public—business owners
and employers—also want to know what their rights
are under the law. We at D.I.A.L. S.T.A.R.T., Inc.
hope to address questions and concerns through our
website pages and bring about acceptance and understanding
to the disabled/elderly and the general public.”
appreciate your questions, comments and suggestions.
Your donations are vital and allow us to continue to
provide pro bono services to disabled adults, children
and the elderly".
get phone call and email inquiries a lot from people who are not
disabled, but want to know about Service Animal Etiquette. Here are
some general guidelines:
don’t ask what the animal does for us or what is “wrong” with
us medically that requires us to have a working/service animal. First
of all, it is against the Americans with Disabilities Act to ask
what our disability is and how our animal serves us. (See page: Disabled
Persons Civil Rights). Secondly, it is impolite. Our medical condition
and history is something we don’t feel comfortable discussing
with people we don’t know. Remember, a person can be legally
disabled and not look disabled. There are visible and non visible
disabilities. (See page: About Us.)
are no formal etiquette rules when it comes to working animals
being in restaurants. Not all disabled people are aware that
having their service cat eat in public can cause discomfort in
people who are not accustomed to seeing it. Most of us try to
be as discreet and as non disruptive as possible. We advocate
that animals be fed and watered prior to leaving home; however,
we realize that animals may need food or water when they are
out and it is our responsibility to take care of the animals
who care for us.
try to understand that perhaps part of someone’s disability
can also include inappropriate behavior and the offending person
may be oblivious to it. However, it is not okay for anyone’s
animal to be out of control or obviously disruptive. Business
owners have rights, too. If someone’s working animal
is barking, acting out, running about, please let the owner
or manager know. (See more information on the Q and A on the
Disabled Persons Civil Rights page.) You may also want to consider
saying, ”I see you have your working animal with you.
That’s great! I am wondering if you wouldn’t mind…”
animals are “working animals,” which means that
they have a job to do. Please don’t walk up and distract
them, talk baby talk to them, or start petting them without
asking first. Some animals have been trained to be handled
only by their owners. Always ask permission first.
animals come in all sizes. You may be accustomed to seeing
German Shepherds and large dogs, but smaller dogs such as Yorkshire
Terriers are especially good for elderly people who can’t
handle a larger breed dog or people who live in small apartments.
animals are not “accessories.” We love our companions
and they help us live a more fulfilling life. Yes, some times
we do dress them. Smaller animals are very susceptible to climate
changes and boots protect their feet from hot asphalt; sweaters
keep them warm on cool days.
animals can range from dogs, cats, rabbits, miniature horses,
rats, hamsters, snakes, birds, monkeys, and so on. They can
learn to predict heart attacks, seizures, panic attacks, act
as “hearing” and “alert” animals, lower
blood pressure, decrease depression and anxiety, increase longevity
and provide a host of other medical necessities without the
use of prescription pills.
therapy and companion animals allow the disabled and elderly
to live more fulfilling lives. In many cases, they are the
vital link to our being able to leave our homes, fly in airplanes,
maintain our lives at home alone, and give purpose to living.
invite you to share and embrace our love for our remarkable
and special animal friends.