Access

Come Dine with Us at Second Annual 'Tables & Tails'!

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is one of the laws that helps ensure people who use service dogs can access buildings and businesses in the course of their daily lives. Together with Iowa restaurateurs, Central Iowa non-profit Paws & Effect will celebrate the 25th anniversary of this landmark legislation with its Second Annual "Tables & Tales" event!

Throughout July, select Central and Eastern Iowa restaurants will contribute a portion of proceeds to support training service and mobility dogs for children and military veterans.

"These business owners regularly open their doors to make dining experiences that are memorable, safe, and enjoyable for all patrons," says Nicole Shumate, executive director of Paws & Effect. "We’re humbled that they’re extending their hospitality to help us celebrate and improve service-dog access in our community."

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a Des Moines, Iowa-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and regularly hosts NADAC-sanctioned dog-agility events for fun and fund-raising. Its new Beaverdale neighborhood storefront also serves as a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America.

"Restaurant and bar owners, hospitality managers, and food service personnel are often at the front lines of ensuring that guests who use service dogs are able to exercise their rights of public access hassle-free," says Shumate. "Service dogs aren’t pets or companions. Instead, a service dog is trained to perform physical tasks to mitigate a given person’s one or more medical conditions. The reasons for someone using a service dog may not be visible, but they are vital to that person’s quality of life."

"It’s just like using a cane, or wearing glasses,” she says. “And the law protects all of us."

Patrons can participate in "Tables & Tails" by dining at these sponsoring restaurants:

  • Eden's "Sundae Sunday," featuring ice cream from Indianola's Outside Scoop: July 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Additional sponsored prizes and events are provided by:

Proposed Iowa Law Would License Service Dog Trainers

PHOTO: Paws & Effect

Reacting to reports of inadequately trained service animals, Iowa state Sen. Matt McCoy will propose 2015 legislation that will require the licensure of all service dog trainers every other year. Service dog trainers would be required to meet minimum standards established by Assistance Dogs International (A.D.I.), a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based coalition of not-for-profit organizations that promotes the professional and ethical training of animals.

A formal statement from the office of Sen. McCoy is pending.

Iowa state Sen. Matt McCoy

McCoy is a Democrat who represents District 21 in Polk County, with constituents in Des Moines, West Des Moines, and Cumming. He has served in the Iowa state legislature since 1997.

McCoy's proposed legislation will also create a process by which handlers could be provided a way to identify a trained service animal.

The Americans with Disability Act (A.D.A.) and other federal laws prohibit requiring special licenses, registrations, or uniforms for service animals. Business owners and property managers must provide access to handlers using service animals, unless the animal creates an unsafe or unhealthy environment.

"Service animals are trained to perform specific physical tasks to offset his or her disabilities," says Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate. "These are not 'companions,' or 'pets,' or 'emotional assistance' animals. Instead, these working dogs provide their handlers guidance, mobility, and confidence—keys to an improved quality of life."

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The organization also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and hosts community dog-agility trials as fund-raising events.

"Inadequately trained animals and those fraudulently represented as service dogs create a a risk to the public, diluting the strength of public access laws for those individuals who adhere to accessibility laws," Shumate says.

"We are supporting Sen. McCoy's legislative efforts because licensing service dog trainers is a step toward protecting service dog recipients."

Come Dine with Us at the Inaugural 'Tables & Tails'!

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is one of the laws that helps ensure people who use service animals can access buildings and businesses in the course of their daily lives. Together with local restauranteurs, help Paws & Effect celebrate the 24th anniversary of this landmark legislation with its inaugural "Tables & Tails" event!

Throughout the week, select Central Iowa restaurants will contribute a portion of proceeds to support training service and mobility animals for children and military veterans.

"These business owners regularly open their doors to make dining experiences that are memorable, safe, and enjoyable for all patrons," says Nicole Shumate, executive director of Paws & Effect. "We're humbled that they're extending their hospitality to help us celebrate and improve service-dog access in our community."

You can participate in "Tables & Tails" by dining at these sponsoring restaurants:

July 23:

Encore Pizza
5775 Merle Hay Road
Johnston, IA 50131

Flying Mango
4345 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50310

July 24, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.:

Culver's of West Des Moines
1820 22nd Street
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Culver's of West Des Moines
101 Jordan Creek Parkway
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Culver's of Urbandale, IA
8660 Plum Drive
Urbandale, IA 50322

July 26:

Trostel's Dish
12851 University Avenue Suite 400
Clive, IA 50325

Trostel's Greenbriar Bar & Restaurant
5810 Merle Hay Road
Johnston, IA 50131

July 27:

Eden (during its "Sundae Sundays" event, and featuring ice cream by Indianola's Outside Scoop)
418 E. 6th street
Des Moines, IA 50309

Behind the Scenes: When Dogs Train to Fly

See the recent KCCI-TV report here.

Today's air travelers know to anticipate such stresses as cramped conditions, long lines, and weather delays. That's why service-animal trainers work with airline and airport personnel to ensure that working dogs are prepped and ready for take-off.

As specified by the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (A.C.A.A.) , service animals may accompany their handlers in airports and on flights. As working animals, service dogs are trained to assist individual handlers with specific physical tasks, in order to mitigate physical or mental conditions. Under the access law, handlers are not charged extra for having their service animals travel with them.

Recently, a group of military veterans working with Paws & Effect, a Central Iowa non-profit that trains mobility and other service animals, were featured in a news report on KCCI-TV, Des Moines. In the report, the veterans and their new dogs are shown successfully negotiating an obstacle course of security baggage checks and boarding procedures.

Personnel from the Des Moines International Airport and Frontier Airlines also assisted in the training event.

Just as in other public settings, fellow travelers can help dog-handlers and animals by knowing about access laws, and not distracting handlers and animals while they are working. Dogs are trained to place themselves under seats, in order to keep aisles and exits clear.

Although there is no such thing as a service-animal "license," Paws & Effect also trains handlers to travel with documents regarding the health and safety of their animals. Information on the state of Iowa's "certificate of veterinary inspection," for example, includes identifying information such as microchip number, and vaccination history.