A law that protects people, not pets
By Donald L. Kahl,
As the owner of a large dog that firmly believes that he is a person and entitled to enjoy every experience that I do, I can certainly empathize with the concerns of Gerald Sheldon [letters, Sept. 7] about how D.C. cabdrivers treat dogs, including guide dogs.
People with visual disabilities who use guide dogs, however, are uniquely situated in two ways.
First, their ability to move through life 8equally and engage in the same activities as sighted people is greatly enhanced by their guide dogs. Second, people with disabilities (not their service animals) are specifically protected from discrimination by federal and District law.
Testing by the Equal Rights Center supports its report “No Dogs Allowed: Discrimination Against People Who Use Service Dogs” [Metro, Sept. 2] and was, contrary to Mr. Sheldon’s concern, methodologically sound.
If governments choose to ban discrimination against pets in general, I am sure that more testing could be done to address Mr. Sheldon’s assertion that the discrimination isn’t limited to guide dogs.
The writer is executive director of the Equal Rights Center.
Donald L. Kahl
| September 9, 2010; 7:55 PM ET
Categories: D.C., Metro, pets, transportation
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