Letters to the Editor

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FIREWORKS: Noise can hurt service dogs

Letter by Cheryl D. Kopec, Tacoma on Jan. 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm with 11 Comments »
January 3, 2012 12:07 pm

I wish those who delight in setting off illegal fireworks within the city limits would spare a thought for the disabled among us who have service dogs.

If a service dog is traumatized, it can take a long time to rehabilitate it, during which time the disabled person is effectively immobilized. It is akin to removing the wheels from someone’s wheelchair.

Do people really have nothing more meaningful to do to mark the beginning of a new year than to set off explosives and traumatize their neighbors?

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. oh lord, you’ve set off the “personal rights” alarm, Cheryl.

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    I’m wondering why someone would NOT train a service animal to get used to loud noise. In light of millions of hunting dogs, and pets that are taken to a shooting range, your statement is one of ignorance of the owner/trainer, not the person celebrating a traditional holiday.

  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    Failure to plan on your part does not constitute a problem on my part.

  4. surething says:

    Ridiculous. Loud noises occur everywhere, often. I have never seen anyone with a service animal stranded downtown after a car backfire, honking horns, sirens, thunder etc.

  5. beerBoy says:

    Do people really have nothing more meaningful to do to mark the beginning of a new year than to set off explosives and traumatize their neighbors?

    Gee…..is that some sort of anti-Chinese racist remark? (just kidding around – please don’t take this seriously)

  6. Pacman33 says:

    Do people really have nothing more meaningful to do to mark the beginning of a new year than to sit around wallowing in their own contempt?
    So grumpy they’re able to invent scenarios with the purpose of chastising those who would engage in an action, detested by it’s pretentious author.

  7. itwasntmethistime says:

    I wish people with service animals would have the compassion to realize that some people are severley allergic or terrified of dogs. My neighbor had to leave the bank the other day because someone brought a service dog in and her allergy is that bad. What about her disability and her right to enter a public building without risking her life?

  8. beerBoy says:

    itwasn’tmethistime – what is even more amazing is the number of people who think it is just fine to bring their regular dog (not service dog) into public buildings. The worst case I witnessed was a laundromat where someone put their mini-dog in one of those mesh carts – and then the little vermin peed all over the cart, through the mesh and onto the floor.

    And then there are those folks who think that, just because they are on a heavily used trail instead of a sidewalk, the huge piles of dog feces their little cutie leaves on the trail are fine and dandy. And…..when their little darling who has run several hundred yards ahead of them….the other hikers don’t mind that their precious lunges at them because “don’t worry, she won’t bite”.

  9. ReadNLearn says:

    It’s not necessarily the fireworks that cause the animals harm, it’s the owner acting silly about how the fireworks might affect the animal that cause the problem. Hunting dogs, and lots of animals have adapted to noises and they don’t bother them…but they don’t have nutters getting anxious around them.

    “Service Animal” has become a meaningless term, worthy of few considerations.

    It went from these great helper dogs for the blind (now sight impaired individuals) to being for any fad. They have yip yip ‘service dogs’ who can detect a person is in ketosis. They have service animals who keep people from gambling urges. Yip yip dogs who have the essential task of helping some odd individual who isn’t developmentally disabled go shopping. They have service animals who are there to help make sure someone doesn’t overspend while shopping.

    I don’t want animals, service type or other, in grocery stores.

  10. LuckyCharm says:

    @RNL: Hunting dogs have a completely different role than service dogs. Besides, folks who cannot tolerate loud, explosive noises would not be able to regularly accustom their SD to them, would they? Or would you require them to, similar to requiring someone in a wheelchair to repeatedly relive the event that cost them their legs?

    Also, do you begrudge blind people the right to shop in supermarkets just like everyone else? (“I don’t want animals, service type or other, in grocery stores.”) Should disabled people be relegated to institutions now, out of sight and out of mind?

    @beerBoy: There are state penalties for faking a service dog. Service dogs are defined by the ADA, and every state lists penalties for impersonating a disabled person in various ways.

    @wasntme: Businesses are required, under the ADA, to reasonably accommodate all patrons even if they have conflicting disabilities. If your neighbor’s allergy is truly disabling, he or she should have informed bank employees so they could take appropriate action. I should say, though, that somebody with such a severe allergy to a well-groomed, healthy animal in the same room must have bad reactions to many people within the course of the day, since so many people have animals at home, and they inevitably carry some of the dander with them. Your neighbor should talk to a doctor about allergy medications.

    @Pac: I won’t dignify your comment with a direct response, but only say that I delight in the knowledge that someday, somebody will react as dismissively and derisively toward you in a time of need as you do toward the disabled of our society. And I really, really hope it’ll be me, frankly. Delicious….

    @surething: Dogs are smarter than you. They can definitely distinguish between many types of noises. A car backfiring would not put a good dog out of commission for the night like a continuous backdrop of explosions of varying intensities and distance, along with all the light flashes. Do you not believe that a dog knows the difference between a car backfire and an explosive device?

    @Blaine: So you believe all disabled people should be prepared to leave the country during any holidays when fireworks are usually set off, right? Would you say the same thing to a disabled veteran in a wheelchair who couldn’t get up on a curb that had no ramp? “Failure to plan on your part does not constitute a problem on my part.” Never mind, I’m sure you would.

    The sad part about all of this is that I’ll bet 90% of everybody pooh-poohing the issue voted for Bu$h and wish we were still in Iraq, yet delight in belittling the troops once they return. And this is the face of Tacoma we show to the rest of the world. Is it any wonder nobody really wants to come do business and make their homes here?

  11. tacomasocrates says:

    working sight dogs need to be accommodated but phony baloney illness should not be tolerated.incoherent rumblings on bush and Iraq aside .

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