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Now we have to take service dogs or be deactivated if complaint

10169 Views 209 Replies 40 Participants Last post by  FAC
Settlement today. Is this only blind people or service dogs for any disability?

People buy the service dog vest and patches on eBay so they can take their dog everywhere. People even buy this for pitbulls and are not service dogs. It's against the law to ask for proof or the disibility.

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I read this entire thread and quite astonished at many of the posts. Before I respond further you should know I am both a driver for Lyft and Uber and often a pax; and I require the assistance of a service dog. Yes I drive with my dog. Prior to giving my first ride I informed both Lyft and Uber I drive with service dog. Uber was indifferent, Lyft was very supportive. I don't call the pax first because often I get one ping after another. However when I arrive, I immediately inform the pax I have a service dog and if they have an issue I inform them I will cancel the ride so they don't get charged. Lyft informed me to let them know if I had to cancel due to my service dog and they will remove it from my record. Uber will not.

When I'm a pax she goes with me. Every single time I request a ride, I call the driver first and ask them if I can bring my dog, and give them the option to opt out, I even tell them I'm willing to cancel the request so they don't get dinged. I also don't even mention it's a service dog. I do this because I'm sensitive of others. I realize some people don't like dogs, they are allergic to them, or frightened of them. I don't want to trample on their rights although legally those are not legitimate reasons to refuse someone with a service dog access.

I'm not blind so it's not obvious why I need a service dog. My dog is a little white Westie who doesn't wear a vest because I don't feel the need to advertise I need a service dog. However, she is specially trained to assist me in a medical emergency. We do our best to respect others and only ask in return you respect us.

What I found most upsetting reading your posts, is the judgements of many of you while most of the posts are based on speculation. Which leads me to ask the following

LA Dispatcher, you seem the most judgemental of them all.
I find many people with service dogs as the worst people on this planet. They ruin it for the truly disabled.
LA Dispatcher - how many times have you picked up a pax with a service dog? According to you, if someone has a service dog they are not disabled. Where is your proof?

So anyone can get away with this if they know what to say? Is there a correct answer for #2?
Yes, unfortunately for you the ADA protects people with disabilities and Will have the correct answer for question #2. Based on this statement I suspect you really don't have any specific experience with someone who needs a service dog but without even knowing us we are the worst people in the world.

I dislike phony service dog owners, the dogs have nothing to do with it.
Ever met a phooey service dog owner? What did they do to you to trample over your rights?

I have a bag of dog pampers in my trunk just in case,but let's be clear about something, as Uber has stated many times,we as drivers DO NOT WORK for Uber, we are independent contractors, and as such I am the President and Owner of my company and I am the one that pick the jobs I want to do and not Uber, my car isn't a Taxi, Bus or Limo, it is my car, the one I use to transport my little daughter around as well so if you bring a big ass dog and I think that is too much for my Prius it is my call, my car, my company. You are welcome to send and email complaining to my company [email protected] ;)
Uruber how many service dogs have you picked up? Not all service dogs are 40lbs. Mine is only 17lbs. She is also one of the breeds that are hypoallergenic and don't shed.

Be careful, you might not get a complaint emailed to you, but one filed against you and uber with the ADA. You also might be served a complaint as well. People like me are sick and tired of the judgements and condemnation by people like you. Are you willing to cough up the money for attorney fees?

I do agree that a lot of companion animals out ther arent legit service animals
Calhiker - how do you know this to be true? How often have you personally experienced this? Were you harmed in any way?

I'll do the inspections.
Fluffy white dog, drinking an iced frappuccino, on 4th and Broadway in Santa Monica..? Result: fail. :cool:
Cres i have a little fluffy dog, while she wouldn't be drinking an iced frappuccino I could be. So according to your judgement I fail. Without so much as asking me two simple questions.

A couple days ago I had request from Nail Salon, young girl came out with a small dog, and dog was jumping around and she didn't look like blind...I said I don't take animals, she said its a service dog, I said no, its not a service dog....I canceled...If I see person does not look like blind I will never take them, i'm not gonna be ask them demonstrate some trick... i can also say i'm allergic, will uber ask me doctor's prescription? The best way should be if all disability with animals or not will request Access, and there be no question....but in uberX it's difficult to identify who really has service animal. If i know rider is a really blind i should take them for free.
Mike78 service dogs assist people other than the blind. Often, such in my case they are trained to perform life saving tasks.

Other than on airplanes (i believe), emotional support dogs don't have the same rights as service dogs. If someone has an emotional support animal, you don't have to take them in your car if you choose not to. The laws only apply to service dogs.
EcoboostMKS, I want to thank you as it seems you are one of the more respectful and knowledgable people posting on this thread. However, your statement about ESA is incorrect. While the ADA laws do not provide the same rights as service dogs; many states and/or local ordinances do grant ESA the same rights.

Dogs can bite. I don't know how a strangers dog is around other strangers. Could be someone who picked it up at the pound a week earlier and bought a vest claiming it's a service dog because no one to watch it at home. I don't trust anyone's word.
Whiteorchids yes dogs bite. And it's awful you had to experience such an ordeal. But paxs can also get violent. Last Friday I had a pax in the backseat call me the c word that rhymes with runt, punch the passenger seat, then punch his friend sitting up front, then grab me. Thankfully I wasn't injured and drove away scared out of mind and a $10 tip.

I've taken two riders with pets during my short time driving. Both called after I accepted to verify I would accept them, both had towels to put over the carpet and seat (even though I had some in the back), both behaved perfectly during the ride, and both riders tipped at the end.

I told myself that if a pet became unruly or did any damage to my car, I would just pull over, ask them to get out, 1 star them with an explanation and pictures for proof. Uber protects those riders who qualify under the ADA rules, and that's fair. If you don't want to follow ADA rules, take your chances with any and all punishments that go along with that decision.

However, I expect Uber to cover damages from a rider's dog in the same fashion as if the rider caused the damage.
UberWhenICan - thank you for sharing. It appears you are the only one who posted about your actual experience with a dog. (If someone else did, sorry for the oversight). You have an awesome perspective on paxs with dogs. I agree with you that uber should cover damages caused by a dog no differently than damage caused by a pax.
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Not necessarily. I have never denied service to anyone who has required assistance entering my vehicle, service animal or not. If anything, my behavior has been quite the opposite. I have carried bags to the passenger's door, informed relatives they've arrived, taken apart walkers, etc. I have taken the time out of my day to care, even though it's not my job. I am not being compensated for that time. A few days ago, I walked this older woman to her doctor's appointment on the 5th floor.

I made a joke which was more about the type of rich people I've encountered in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.
People who think that:
1. They can bring a frappuccino into my car. Nobody drinks a frappuccino in my car.
2. Figure they'll go for a walk to the beach with their pet. Think it's okay to call an uber for the 3 block trip home.

As I said, these have been my experiences on the westside.

Now, let me clarify something. I'm not rude or unpleasant with people who have pets. I simply state that I do not transport "pets". If they reply that the dog is a service animal, not a pet. I will gladly take them. I have done it before. But like I said, that is not the response I usually get. See up there^^
First off, i don't know you but like you already. My mother is 70yrs old. She has polio and thankful she's still able to walk with a cane, for how much longer we don't know. She also requires the use of oxygen full time. There are days she can manage carrying her o2 , purse, and walk with her cane but there are other days she desperately needs assistance. She knows me and my brother will take her anywhere but über and Lyft and give her independence when she doesn't feel up to driving herself. I'm so grateful for people like you being so gracious to assist others in need. Not knowing if they will tip you or not. My mother always tips very generously and is often concerned she doesn't have enough cash around. She prefers tipping cash knowing it's not reported. But loves it when a uber driver has Square for her to tip. She also uses Lyft. Still tips cash. At first she didn't notice the other button and felt bad she could only tip $5. .

I totally respect your position of no pets in the car. I also respect those who just flat out don't like dogs. Those who have allergies. Those who are frightened of them. That is why when I need a ride I call first and tell the driver I have a dog. Although I'm a driver I often end up being a pax because mom might be driving somewhere and get fatigued so I have to go meet her and take her home.

When I call, I don't even mention service dog. I wouldn't judge someone who would decline driving me because I know there are pleanty of other drivers willing to drive me and Mattie. I've just been fortunate that every driver said no problem driving me and Mattie. And I do tip very well. Typically $10. Even though Mattie doesn't shed doesn't smell doesn't leave the dander that most people are allergic to since she doesn't have that kind of coat.

I knew your post was on a joking side. I'm not from California so not familiar with the area you described. And indeed if you come across some of my other posts on this subject I joke along with everyone else.

My purpose of my post here was to point out how many people have such prejudices against driving service dogs who actually never had to pick one up. Also to point out the prejudice because purportedly there are so many fraudulent cases of fake service dogs. I've never met anyone with a fake service dog. In fact I rarely see others with dogs in public other than at Home Depot or pet smart.

The danger of these posts it feeds the prejudice of people to situations that may never happen. While also allows supports the ignorance so many have when it comes to service dogs.

My second post here was deleted by the moderator because I mentioned a private issue between him and I in one sentence. So the final remarks were not posted.

What was deleted was my statement saying I hope none of you ever end up needing a service dog or ESA. Life is hard enough without a disability. I just ask before anyone judges another to show some compassion and consider things from the presepective of those who require service dogs; just as I think about those who don't like driving dogs around. If we had a little more compassion and a lot less prejudice this post wouldn't be here because some selfish soul put a blind mans dog in the trunk. Rules and laws are often the result of a selfish act of even just one individual. To give an extreme example, look at the shoe bomber. Because of him how many thousands of people must remove their shoes everyday to go through security at the airports.
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Sorry, I got into it yesterday w/ a rider she hopped in my car, with a poodle reject and let him run around and this b#$%& ( dog ) SCRATCHED MY TINT UP!


Im putting an end to PAX abuse one @ a time..
That really sucks! I fully believe the pax should be charged the max amount just as if it was a drunk who puked in your car and spilled a red staining drink. As a driver we shouldn't have to put up with that. Personally, I think it's ok if drivers want to have a no pet policy. I'm even ok with drivers not wanting to take a service dog even though I have a service dog. I don't want to impose my needs on someone else who isn't comfortable or doesn't like dogs.

What I don't appreciate this the judgements people have about service dogs who never even had a pax with a dog.

I'm sorry this happened to you. It gives all dogs and dog owners a bad name. It was selfish of the pax to allow her dog to destroy your car. Is be as angry as you are.
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Not necessarily. I have never denied service to anyone who has required assistance entering my vehicle, service animal or not. If anything, my behavior has been quite the opposite. I have carried bags to the passenger's door, informed relatives they've arrived, taken apart walkers, etc. I have taken the time out of my day to care, even though it's not my job. I am not being compensated for that time. A few days ago, I walked this older woman to her doctor's appointment on the 5th floor.

I made a joke which was more about the type of rich people I've encountered in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.
People who think that:
1. They can bring a frappuccino into my car. Nobody drinks a frappuccino in my car.
2. Figure they'll go for a walk to the beach with their pet. Think it's okay to call an uber for the 3 block trip home.

As I said, these have been my experiences on the westside.

Now, let me clarify something. I'm not rude or unpleasant with people who have pets. I simply state that I do not transport "pets". If they reply that the dog is a service animal, not a pet. I will gladly take them. I have done it before. But like I said, that is not the response I usually get. See up there^^
Forgot to mention I agree with you on pax bringing drinks in your car. I had a pax bring her Starbucks into my car and spill it all over when she got in. That's why I now have a travel package of wet ones. Luckily I have leather interior so it didn't take much effort to clean up.
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I take any animal but Unicorns, as they scratch my leather seats
But didn't you know the dust of a unicorns horn is has magical powers.

Personally I'll take a pax with a dog even with my dog in the car. But... No cats....No birds. I'm scared to death of birds and not only am I deathly allergic to cats, it would drive my dog crazy. My dog wants nothing more than to have a cat as a friend but they seem not to like my happy little dog. They find her annoying and she's gotten her butt kicked twice by a cats.
Stop being so disingenuous, I already answered your question on another thread about this topic. Let me give you my reply again. "I said most not all. I don't have a problem with people who are truly disabled riding in my vehicle with their dog. Many take advantage of the system because no one will question them. There is nothing wrong with having legitimate concerns of fraud. You know very well that these shenanigans occur frequently and drivers or riders shouldn't have to put up with these frauds." Like I said before, many of these "service dog" owners are the worst people on this planet. Sometimes it seems like they're part of a cult.
LA Dispatcher - You love calling me disingenuous don't you? BTW- according to Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of disingenuous is not been truly honest or sincere: giving the false appearance of being honest or sincere. When have I ever been truly dishonest or sincere?

If anyone is being disingenuous it is you.Going back and deleting a post you made that I called you out on, then asserting you said something else fits that definition quite well.
Head Hand Handwriting Facial expression Leg

I had to take a screenshot to remind you of what you in fact did say. Where in that post did you say MOST but not all.

Moreover, not here or in any others thread have you answered my questions:
  1. Exactly how many times have you had to pick up a service dog?
  2. Exactly how many times have you personally dealt with a fake service dog? How were you harmed.
And I don't share your belief that MOST service dogs are frauds. Indeed I've never once experienced or seen someone with a fraudulent service dog? tell me what evidence do you have supporting your conclusion that most service dogs are fraudulent, other than your own ignorant prejudice.
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Some are legitamtely allergic to dog dander
I totally agree and sympathize with that. I'm deathly allergic to cats and wouldn't have one in my car.
Yestetday i was pinged by a dog....it was a human with him....Dog behaved very well 5* for Fido ...sob human received 1*...
Fido just didn't train his human properly. That happens often. Mattie has me well trained so hopefully if you ever get a ping from Mattie you would give me a 5* too.
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Taught that short cut to my brother to reply if I send him txt that's tl/dr. :p
My goodness we're wordy!
I know I know. I have a bad habit of using ten words when one will do. Someday I'll learn to post a readers digest version of something.
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I keep going in circles with you. I had already replied to you that I don't have a problem with people who are truly disabled.
I know this issue is very important to you, but I will not tolerate people who abuse the system. I'm going to need a service animal myself after debating with you. I might go with a comfort cobra since no one is allowed to ask questions. Don't take it too personal, I'm just hoping for a little more transparency on this issue so people won't take advantage.
We are not going in circles, you're just circumventing the questions i asked you.
  1. How many times have you personally experienced someone abusing the system?
  2. How were you harmed or your rights trampled on?
  3. What evidence do you have to support your conclusion that most not all people with service dogs are frauds?
I'm going to suggest your answers to all three questions is NONE. But still you feel the need to judge people with service dogs since based on your conclusion most of them are frauds and worth human beings to breath air on this planet. What type of transparency do you require? Do you want us all to sew in a patch on all our clothes issued by the govt so everyone knows we are disabled, and different than everyone else. I seem to remember reading in history that was done once before. Didn't cause any discrimination or anything. Just ended up killing millions of Jews.
Why don't you answer these questions.
1. Do you believe that fraud does not exist with service animals?
2. Should drivers not ask any questions and risk their vehicles being damaged?
3. Should any type of restraint be required for any animal entering your vehicle since it can create a safety hazard?
Before I answer your questions I must first admit I was wrong and I owe you an apology. Before you sent me the article about the extent of fake service dogs I had no clue it was so bad. I also did some further research and understand now thE harm these fakers can cause. For drivers, extra time and money cleaning cars. They also defraud the system and avoid paying pet fees in hotels and rental cars.

1- now I can say yes for certain there are those who defraud the system. In all honesty i couldn't fathom who or why someone would do this. Perhaps bc I have a legitimate service dog trained to perform specific tasks for me. Perhaps I'm sheltered but the thought of people falsely claiming they had a service dog just surprisesd me and upsets me. It's as bad as faking a disability to get handicapped parking as observer pointed out.

As I searched for more information on the Colorado bill I was horrified to learn what some people will do. From what I learned the issue isn't as much about the individual dog owners but the business that profit and enable such fraud. There is even a licensed psychologist here who for $150 write a letter to the airlines for patients he never has seen so they can fly with their dogs in the cabin. And the companies who charge hundreds for fake certifications, vests, etc to enable these fakers.

2-I've said this before on this thread and other threads. I don't think drivers should be forced to take any animal if they don't want to. Including service dogs. I also believe if they do agree to take a dog (or other animal) and the animal damages the car, the driver should be reimbursed no differently than if it was a human. Even if it was a service dog. This is fine line because the ADA doesn't allow companies to charge for cleaning fees for service dogs. That makes it even more of a hardship on a driver. Especially a faker. (You turned me into a faker hater)

I'm very sensitive to not impose on someone else if at all possible. That's why I call ahead and tell them I have a dog and if they mind taking us to our destination. Never do I say service dog.

Additionally, I respect the fact it's the drivers car, they may have allergies or their kids have allergies; or they are afraid of dogs; or even just don't like dogs. I get that and respect that. I don't get upset or take it personally, that's why I don't mind cancelling and requesting another driver There are pleanty of drivers who don't have an issue. Indeed, I have not had one driver from either Lyft,uber, or even local taxi say no. I also tip at least $10. Especially if it's a short trip. If I had a big hairy dog that sheds I would tip more. Since Mattie small enough and sits on my lap and I bring a blanket too. So no clean up after me. But I realize not everyone is that respectful. I would suspect the pax with real service dogs are. Even though I have a service dog and people I met with service dogs seem not to have a sense of entitlement. This is what is for us. This is our normal. I'm making a assumption here with no facts supporting it but I'm going to suggest the ones who feel entitled are the fakers.

3-I don't know the answer to this one. Before I started driving Mattie had a car seat. But it's one of those big car seat beds that props her up so she can always look out the window. And if she's restrained allows her to put her head out the window safely like so many dogs love to do. At the same time they make small attachments to connect a harness to a seatbelt. So there is no excuse for me not restraining Mattie or a pax not restraining their animal.

The same can be asked if pax should be required to buckle in. In my experience, most the pax in the front seat do. But I should be insistant they do because I'm the one with ticket if they don't. Never noticed a pax in the backseat buckle up. Curious now how that would effect insurance coverage.

But I agree it's unsafe for the animal as it is for a human not to be restrained. I was in accident with my previous Westie and she got hurt. What was frustrating is the driver who was at fault insurance refused to pay her vet bills. They were high enough to be expensive but not worth the headache of small claims court.

What I get so defensive about is the prejudice that comes with service dogs. I'm beginning to understand better why it is. But you also have to admit some of it is unfounded.

Finally, the driver who put the blind man's dog in the trunk should be penalized. Not all the uber drivers. But that's how life It only takes one bad apple to change the lives of several. Tens of thousands of drivers are now affected by the unconsciousible act of one selfish cruel driver.

Tedgey - yes I know another tl/dr wordy reply. Perhaps I should have my dog edit my responses before I post.
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LA Dispatcher. If you do get a service cobra I won't be bringing my service dog around you anytime soon. That damn cobra could likely swallow my dog whole. and I'll miss her and I'll be sad. But if the service cobra makes you happy I'm all for it. Just hope he doesn't turn on you and bite you. Then I'll be sad again. Don't like seeing anyone getting hurt.
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An ESA in not a service animal you my dear are part of the problem....
you asked what does a phoney service animal owner do to hurt you... in my case the health department shuts me down. I loose my livelihood, and my employees loose their job. All because you need to have a dog make you feel warm and fuzzy. I totally agree with you calling a driver and telling them up front, you should, as you should be tipping for the specialized therapeutic attention.
I don't have a ESA Nor have I ever claimed to have an ESA. I have a legit professionally trained service dog that assists me in times of medical emergency. I always tip my drivers very well-minimum $10 often more. They are going out of their way to assist me. Even if it is just by allowing me to ride in their car. I do my best not to impose on them. My dog doesn't shed but I still carry a small blanket or towel with me to protect the car surface.

I'm curious, how could the health department close you down if there was a fake service dog at your place. The ADA laws are clear that someone with disabilities requiring a service dog cannot be denied service. Your duty is to ask two questions. If they respond Yes and state the task how could you be held liable if they lied to you?

ESA on the other hand is a different issue. While not covered under the ADA laws, some state and local laws extend the same rights to ESA. A law just passed and goes into effect in August regarding ESA and tenant/landlord laws and extending the same rights to an ESA as to a service dog. For housing only.

While I get there are many that abuse the ESA and get fake vests so they can bring their dog to make them all warm and fuzzy. That's not what the law was intended to do. Real ESA have made significant differences to people (especially vets coming home from war). They serve a real need and not to make someone feel all fuzzy wuzzy. It sucks the fakers have abused the law such that people immediately fail to understand ESA really do help people. There is the story of the ESA turkey flying in delta. That seems a bit absurd. But then again there was a story on local news of a little autistic child who bonded with a duck. The duck follows her everywhere. They even sleep together. So who's to judge what's right for someone.

And I do get it now how ESA and service dog fakers can give us all a bad rap.
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As mentioned before if a service animal is not perfectly obedient it can be banned, This includes, not immediately following any command, barking, growling, ect., a true service animal will sit by its owners side, and will not move or make a sound until told to do so. In a car the animal MUST lay on the floor in the back, use this as a test. If it doesn't do that properly, service animal or not, you found your legal reason to kick them out.
Where does it say anywhere a true service animal must act perfectly or it can be banned. If the behavior is destructive or puts others safety at risk you can ask to have the dog removed but still provide the services to the human afterward. You cannot train a dog to go against its natural instincts. Even the best of the best trained animals. For example I have a well trained Westie for a service dog. Westies were originally bred to be mousers on ships and to rid the farms of rodents. If I take Mattir somewhere that has mice, her inbred instincts come out. She doesn't get disruptive but she sure will sniff the area where there are rodents. And tell me in her own little way there is a mouse she needs to find. It also impossible not to train a Westie not to dig. It's in their nature. Service dog or not. She still is a dog.

Where did you come up with rule service dogs MUST lay on the floor of the backseat? Until I started driving Mattie rode in her big bed car seat where she can look out and stick her head out the window. Just because she likes sticking her head out the window like most dog do doesn't make her any less of a service dog. She also is a therapy dog. I take her to children's hospital because she loves kids and she is a little healer. She also goes to nursing homes and I take her to the VA hospital.

But I agree if the answer to the two questions indicate ESA, depending on your state and local laws you don't have to extend service to them.
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You're normally so logical and right. But please go ahead, like I stated, I won the lawsuit so you would only prove me right and gain media attention to the problem of fraudulent service animals. Like I said, this was a chronic offender, she would literally drag her half disabled, dirty dog into my restaurant, after months of no questions asked, I received complaints which I knew where absolutely valid and confirmed my suspicions.
Your original post read much different than this one with the facts. If a faker has the audacity to sue for not serving her, well done on winning. Fakers hurt the ones who really need them too. You are a prime example. Because of this one woman you are now quite suspicious and perhaps prejudice of anyone who has a service dog that doesn't fit your exact perception what of a service dog should look like and act. You then accuse me of being huge part of the problem by making an untrue assumption I have a ESA. Might want to check out your judgements. Next time you might not be so lucky in court if you continue with your blinded beliefs by trampling on the rights of a truly disabled guest who had their rights trampled on just too many times.
[QUOTE="I'm curious, how could the health department close you down if there was a fake service dog at your place. The ADA laws are clear that someone with disabilities requiring a service dog cannot be denied service. Your duty is to ask two questions. If they respond Yes and state the task how could you be held liable if they lied to you?.
Very simple it's either a service animal or its not. If not, it's a violation of health code. The law doesn't stipulate weather or not I believed the person that owns the animal.[/QUOTE]
I'm still confused. If someone enters your establishment and claims their dog is a service dog (not ESA) and can answer the two questions with yes and a legit task, what grounds does the health department have to close you down?
LA Dispatcher & FAC You 2 should get a room
I don't think LA Dispatcher service cobra and my little Westie would survive it. Then I would be sad and have to get a new service dog. Don't want a new dog love Mattie way too much.
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Yes. I like this idea. Very much.
Well it makes me feel good that your interested in what I have to say and attempt to read my posts. Until it hits the tl/dr quota;)
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