Monday, May 15, 2006

Dogs and Ducks for Depression

I think that we're all aware of service animals for the physically disabled, especially the blind. But now patients with psychiatric disorders are claiming that their dogs are "emotional service dogs," often with dubious rationales:
"If you have backing of a medical professional and you can show a connection between a disabling condition and the keeping of an animal, I have 99.9 percent success," said Karen Copeland, a tenants' lawyer.
One of her current clients maintains that she needs an animal in her apartment because she is a recovering alcoholic and, apart from her pet, all her other friends are drinkers.

Even ducks are getting in on the act:
These days people rely on a veritable Noah's Ark of support animals. Tami McLallen, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, said that although dogs are the most common service animals taken onto planes, the airline has had to accommodate monkeys, miniature horses, cats and even an emotional support duck. "Its owner dressed it up in clothes," she recalled.
My opinion on the matter:
This isn't cute and is a total insult to the disabled community. They are ruining it for people who need it."


Anonymous said...

I am a 45 year old married professional female. I have suffered from severe depression my entire life - before it even had a name. I have had a dog all my life - on my 4th now. Last 3 lived in excess of 12 years each. I can tell you without doubt, this article has more truth in it than some believe. I survived both a childhood and a first marriage of 24 years as an abuse victim. My "babies" saved my life. Especially when I was a child and the only people in my home could not be trusted. Something to think about...

Shrink Rap said...

We were also particularly struck by the emotional support ducks.