Homeless Woman claims that Rat Terrier Puppy is a guide dog
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A homeless woman has complained that her tiny, 7 month-old Rat Terrier puppy is a guide animal! The woman claims to have self-trained the alleged guide animal, and she also has never been declared blind:
Despite her keeping a job, and the fact that the dog has no harness or formal training, this woman is adamant that the apartment complex has violated the federal ADA law:
"People need to be made aware that service animals are not pets," Quinn said.
Because fully trained service dogs can cost thousands of dollars, Quinn decided to teach the terrier herself. As a result, it has no formal training certificate. Also, since her eyesight deteriorated from glaucoma two years ago, Quinn has not been certified legally blind, which she claims to be.
In a follow-up article, the blind community expressed concern about such a small, owner-trained guide animal:
She said the dog understands commands and keeps her from bumping into obstacles but The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier has received criticism from people who say it is impossible for such a small breed to be trained as a guide dog.
"Even the worst school in the country wouldn't train a terrier," said Carla Ruschival, a board member for the American Council for the Blind.
Despite concerns that the woman has just recently been declared legally bond and has never used or trained a guide animal, the bulk of the concerns are about the tiny size of the Rat Terrier:
"I can't say that this dog isn't helping her in some way," said Karen Ann Young, a Seeing Eye dog user in Amsterdam, N.Y. "The fear for me for her would be using this type of a dog in traffic situations … which could really be dangerous."
Quinn said her dog can't push and pull her entire body, but it's trained to lean against her ankle when it wants her to step back.
"I understand the concern with traffic," she said, "but we have our way."
In this related article, we see more concerns about the using a Terrier as a Guide dog:
Jenine Stanley, who maintains the Web site for Guide Dog Users, said Quinn may not have made all the right choices, but her claims may be perfectly legitimate. Stanley also doesn't rule out the possibility of a rat terrier serving some function. But she said the breed is neither the safest nor easiest option available.
In the final chapter is this story, we see that the woman found an apartment manager to accept her:
The lack of credentials prompted some in the blind community to react
with anger to her story. Many e-mailed the Courier accusing Quinn of
faking a disability in order to abuse the system. Others said a rat terrier
cannot perform the tasks required of a guide dog.
Michael Hingson, national public affairs and donor relations director of
Guide Dogs for the Blind, said it's hard to imagine a rat terrier properly
serving as a guide dog. That debate, though, distracts from a more
important issue of whether Quinn was discriminated against.
"The real story is can this person deny her right to an apartment,"
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