Ontario Service Dog Laws Help

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Ontario Service Dog Laws Help

This is a discussion on Ontario Service Dog Laws Help within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; I'll give a little background info first. I'm 22 and have had severe anxiety for many years. The worst being my Social anxiety disorder and ...

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:58 PM
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Ontario Service Dog Laws Help

I'll give a little background info first. I'm 22 and have had severe anxiety for many years. The worst being my Social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. I also have fairly severe Fibromyalgia. Right now, I am unable to leave my house without one of my parents or my dog. My dog keeps my general anxiety level down and will also lay on me when I have a panic attack. The pressure calms me down and stops me from fainting. At the moment she is just a pet.

She naturally helps me in quite a few ways, although I could use her trained for one or two more things. When we go in public she stays near me and will lie down or stand in a certain place to block people coming into my personal space which can cause an attack. We have toyed with the idea of me having a service dog for years, but recently I had a horrible experience that made me see I need this.

My mom was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, and my dad had taken a sleeping pill so I was left to go alone with her. At the hospital I was forced to be away from her for over 2 hours. This means I was a sobbing mess in a full panic attack and was barely able to not faint. Had I been able to have Molly with me I would have been ok.

Molly is about to turn 2 and has an amazing temperament. She is a lab x Bernese Mountain Dog and listens very well, loves people and is generally calm. I have mostly trained her myself except for a puppy class. Money is the biggest issue, as my parents are struggling to support me while I fight to get on disability. We do know a trainer who is amazing and has worked with us with our limited funds before.

Right now I am very confused as to what I need to do to try and get Molly to be a service dog. I seem to be getting a lot of conflicting information, and I was hoping for some help in learning what I need to know about Service dogs in Ontario. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:20 PM
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I don't know the laws in Canada, but I want to introduce myself anyway. I am a service dog user. My service dog is my German Shepherd, Nero. He alerts and responds to neurological misfirings, and he does some mobility work, too.

As I said, I don't know Canadian laws, only US, but I am a member of a group of service dog users and I will do my best to figure out these answers for you.

Welcome to the board, and good luck.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:34 PM
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I've found some links to you with the help of a group I'm on:

Canada | Service Dog Central

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:01 AM
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Thanks so much. I've read those laws, but they can be difficult to understand. From all my research it's my understanding that if she's trained to do something to help me and I have my doctor write a letter stating I have a condition that benefits from the use of a service dog, then she's a service dog. It just doesn't seem like that's enough.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:52 AM
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That's what I gather, too, but apparently you will also need a card.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:12 PM
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A card? I'm sorry, can you elaborate?
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:28 PM
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I asked a few questions on a service dog only forum, and was told that service dogs are divided into different classes (I'm assuming like guide, mobility, etc), and you have to hold a card, like a driver's license, that holds that "class". I hope that explains it further, because it's a little confusing to me.

The same person who told me that also told me to let you know that laws change from province to province, so check before you travel.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:32 PM
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If you contact St. John Ambulance they might be able to help/guide you as to how to proceed. They'd also know who you might contact in order to get your dog certified. I think the Lions Club is big with service dogs too, but I think they mostly help with funding.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:34 PM
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Assistance Dogs - Service Dogs - Canada's Guide to Dogs

There's a list of organizations in Canada.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:32 AM
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Thanks Fearghas.
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