Monday, September 16, 2013

Famed California tourist spot bans pit bull service dog

Pup-cake the service dog unwelcome at Tom's Farm
Tom's Farms bills itself as a "California destination since 1971" has reportedly turned away a young girl with autism and her service dog, a pit bull.

The company's Facebook page  which advertises a restaurant, professional services and an outdoor retreat hosts events to entice traveling families to attend. Currently, tourist attractions include a Civil War reenactment with 'Lincoln' reading the Gettysburg Address.

He won't be reading it to pit bulls, though, because pit bulls, even though certified service animals protected under the same laws as guide dogs for the blind, are not welcome at Tom's Farm.

Although dogs are welcome in certain areas at Tom's Farm, Pup-cake was asked to 'leave the premises.'
This is a trained service dog and not a danger to anyone, in fact, necessary and legal assistance for his young charge. Pup-cake with painted toenails and his little charge were banned from Tom's Farms.

Pit bull owners are irate and posting on the site's Facebook page. "As the owner of 2 wonderful dogs which happen to be pit bulls I am once again faced with the ignorance of people regarding this breed The poor child's dog was banned simply because of the breed.A service dog is a service dog regardless of the type. Besides breaking the law you are perpetuating the idea that these dogs are inherently dangerous which is simply not true.I would hope you would rethink your decision before this goes further and you are left with a lot of bad publicity."

Tom's Farms might not have heard about the backlash suffered by other businesses over breed specific statements and bans. McDonald's and Farmer's Insurance suffered huge consequences for anti-pit bull remarks. Their endorsements of convicted felon and animal abuser Michael Vick brought Subway and Nike considerable bad press. Kelly Rippa is only one of a few celebrities who've learned that a slip of the tongue can wind up leaving an incredibly bad taste.


Tom's Farms deserves an education about pit bull breeds as do many who issue these unfair bans. Tom's Farms is located in Southern California near over-stressed and very high kill shelters in which pit bulls are being killed by the truckloads daily. BSL such as employed by Tom's Farms kills dogs.


Tom's Farms

23900 Temescal Canyon Road
Corona, CA 92883
Phone: (951) 277-4422
https://www.facebook.com/tomsfarms

35 comments:

  1. Thank you for covering our story, Cindy!

    Julie for Shorty's Charities

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  2. Nice story, except there is not necessary certification in the United States for service dogs. It is not legally required.

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    1. Actually Ashley service dogs DO go through extensive training and receive certification as such. I know because I have trained 2 myself and they had to be tested and certified PRIOR to being placed as such.

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    2. The Department of Justice says you are wrong, Christina. There is explicitly stated by the DOJ that it is against the law to require certification or registration.

      You may have trained yours and had them tested by some organization. BUT there is NO LEGAL certification or registration for service dogs in our nation. And though some states have such registrations or certifications requirements, federal law overrides it as you cannot require people from other states visiting yours to comply with your laws that discriminate against them.

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    3. Christina, some programs may require it, but DOJ does not require it, and the ADA says it is not required.

      Check out this link from DOJ: http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

      3. Q: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?

      A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.

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    4. I have a service dog that i trained my self. We didnt have to go to any special classes. I do have a DR note for him. My son pitbull is working on being a service dog.

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    5. There is a difference between "Service" dogs/animals and "Therapy" dogs/animals and I believe it varies from state to state. From what I have read (and this is in no way intensive, except to begin research about service/therapy dogs in regards to my own disability & state) service animals are supposed to be allowed everywhere, while therapy animals can be turned away.

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  3. California..hmmmm. I have a work around for that. All pitties can claim they are illegal aliens and ask for sanctuary . They then will be welcomed with open arms.

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  4. I have contacted them by phone, the manager is not in as yet, I have posted on my FB page & on the pages of friends who also have service dogs. I have also commented on their FB page. This is AGAINST THE LAW!

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  5. So the only real question is what was the dog trained to do? If the dog is only trained to provide emotional support than asking them to leave was entirely legal. The dog must be trained to perform a task the person can not do themselves.

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    1. What are you, a moron? The litle girl is autistic. Many autistic people have service dogs, many for emotional support because they need them just to be able to be out and about, and that IS a task they can't perform by themselves. Too bad they don't service dogs to do people's thinking for them, because you definitely need one.

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    2. The venue is in violation and a lawsuit should be filed. See the link here:
      http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusca_civil_54_55_2.htm#s54

      This is from the CA Consolidated Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws:

      § 54.1. Access to public conveyances, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort, and housing accommodations

      (a)(1) Individuals with disabilities shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to accommodations, advantages, facilities, medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and physicians' offices, and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motorbuses, streetcars, boats, or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation (whether private, public, franchised, licensed, contracted, or otherwise provided), telephone facilities, adoption agencies, private schools, hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, or state or federal regulation, and applicable alike to all persons.


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    3. Service dogs for Autistic children not only serve emotional support, they are also there for their safety. Some children on the spectrum have flight responses to unexpected stimuli. If a child has a sound sensitivity and his response is to run, the dog can serve as a calming force. Read up on your information before commenting so blithely.

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    4. a service animal is defined by the ada as any animal that significantly improves the well being of a person with a disability. there is no distinction between an emotional support animal and a seeing eye dog. these are arbitrary labels people put to justify their illegal actions of not allowing services animals where the law says they are allowed. they dont have to be trained to do anything. a seizure dog doesnt sit in a room with tons of people that have seizures and then all the sudden they become seizure dogs. its just an ability they have. bottom line the family should sue this craphole and get the punitive damages they deserve. too many people allow these ignorant businesses to slide with no reprocussions. sue their asses and send a message since the pocketbook is the only thing that matters to these kinds of places as they sell themselves as so wholesome and family oriented

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    5. Taken directly from the ADA "Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA."

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    6. THIS. If people would actually READ the law, instead of talking out of their ass, we wouldn't have as much misinformation swirling around.

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  6. there is No Certification or Registration for a Service Dog, however, an organization that trains specifically can and do certify the dogs they train, not as State known, but through them. thats it.. means nothing when the disabled/handicapped are out with that said dog.. However, Every Service Dog in the State of Cali should have a State Id LIcense through and from their local Animal Control Services. i have 2 State Licensed Service Dogs.. its bigger than the regular one. Toms will NEVER get any of our business, cus where i go my dog goes.. the other Service dog is for my nephew in a wheel chair..

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  7. I've noticed that Tom's Farms FB page is removing comments regarding their banning the girl and service dog. Just thought some might like to know.

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  8. I personally don't know a whole lot about pit bull's but I strongly feel the reasoning for that little girl and her dog had to leave due to the fact that her dog is a serviced trained pit bull. Let me ask you a question Tom's Farm. If a police officer had a K-9 and that dog was a pit bull would you tell the officer that his or her partner could not come in the farm?? I just feel any service animal that has years of training and has been trained with there master, that they should be aloud to go anywhere. Are you better than an Airport cause I know for a fact that airports allow service animals including pit-bulls on the plane as a passenger. This young girl is handicapped and it is not her fault, and it is not her fault that she has a pit-bull for a service dog either. I feel because the name pit-bull scares you or you had problems in the past you can not judge the dog or the person. The only person who can judge is God and that young girl and her is one of his creatures and you told them both they can not come into the farm. THAT IS TOTALLY WRONG.

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  9. Please don't use a Disney photo for your informational spot about BSL and breed bans. It's misinforming. I'm angry about this ban, and I completely support pit bulls and all bully breeds but the photo of Flik from Bug's land is misleading, especially when it's the featured photo on Facebook for this article.

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Someone commented that BSL kills dogs. I challenge that statement. BSL sometimes includes bans, but typically on new dogs, existing pets are "grandfathered" in. More often, BSL includes reasonable and legally justified spay, neuter, registration and insurance requirements. What does end up killing dogs, albeit unintentionally, is the pit bull advocacy movement that encourages scores of backyard breeders to fuel the pit bull trend. Animal shelters across the nation are flooded by ever increasing numbers of unwanted pit bulls, that are euthanized in ever increasing numbers. These are not just dogs rescued from fight rings, but scores of animals given up by families who realize they actually cannot handle owning a dog this powerful. Members of social media pages then idolize the breed to the point of silliness (i.e., mythological nanny dog claims), and the cycle of overwhelmed shelters and mass euthanasia is thereby perpetuated, and all sides of the problem seem to be getting worse, not better. As far as this child and the therapy dog is concerned, I can see both sides of the issue. When you have a child with autism, and find a way to break through the sensory and other issues that isolate the child from the world, it is nothing short of a miracle. On the other hand, others do have legitimate reasons to fear pit bulls. So this is really about balancing the rights of one person, a disabled child, with the safety rights of others in a public place. The problem with pit bulls is one of power and degree because any dog can bite, but if a pit bull attacks, there is not much you can do to stop it (not many people even know what a break stick is, much less have one handy when needed an know how to use it), and the damage a pit bull type dog can do in an attack can be ruinous. Typically, a dog bite victim is not air-lifted to a trauma center, but this is common for a pit bull attack victim. So whose rights take precedence in this case? The disabled child whose access to the world is enhanced by the dog's presence or the public who may legitimately fear what may happen if the child's dog has a bad moment and goes out of control? Perhaps something as simple as a muzzle on the dog in public places would balance everyone's rights. I represent disabled children in education in my practice, and I wish there was this much of an outcry for every injustice done towards a disabled child (guess what, there isn't), but the pit advocacy movement is vocal and popular right now, and they seem to be what is fueling the comments and anger towards this establishment. I also wish the pit advocates would rise up and use their voice to help children who have been mauled and maimed by pits, the families who have lost their children to pits, and to acknowledge that there needs to be better training and education for every potential owner of this breed. Instead, I am see scores of statements posted that blame the victim and defend the breed, even as parents are mourning a horrific loss. An autistic child named Nephi Selu made the news recently because his beloved pet pit bull suddenly turned on him and killed him. Of the 18 dog related deaths in the US so far this year, 17 have been caused by pit bulls or their mixes--he was one of the unlucky 17. This is a fairly recent trend, and it is concerning and should raise the alarm to everyone about this type of dog. It takes far fewer deaths for a baby toy or a type of crib to be recalled as unsafe; why is it any different for pit bulls?

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  12. What was the dog specifically trained to do to assist this person? From what is described here it does not sound like this dog is an actual service dog, but is instead a "comfort" or "emotional support" dog. Those are NOT covered under the ADA and Tom's would be correct to refuse the dog and this family would be guilty of trying to pass a fake service dog. If this dog IS a trained service dog, this is still a family that is using their autistic child for their own political purposes - and pits are not traditionally used as service dogs for very good reasons. Neither are Chihuahuas. These people are not doing the dog or the child any favors.

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    Replies
    1. regarding PBs as "not used as service dogs": http://animalfarmfoundation.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/pit-bull-service-dogs/
      regarding autism service dogs:
      http://autismservicedogsofamerica.com/

      Do some reading before you start preaching your incorrect 'opinion'.

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    2. Thank you for the link. I did some reading and the http://autismservicedogsofamerica.com/ website says: "Although ASDA is connected to dog breeders across the country, we are actively seeking local breeders of Labs, Golden Retrievers, and Golden-lab mixes." There is nothing on the website mentioning pit bulls, and none of the dogs on this site are pit bulls.

      Pushing pit bulls as an acceptable breed for service dogs is a highly concerning practice, and I question the motivations of the people who are actively involved in it. Cesar Milan - one of the country's most well-known advocates of the pit bull breed - has recognized that there is a new trend of people abusing and exploiting the service dog laws. http://www.cesarsway.com/dogtraining/leadership/Fake-Service-Dogs-Real-Problem#ixzz2fFEUOGa1. The abuse is happening, right now, but the laws have not caught up with the abuse, and until corrected, these loopholes will continue to foster more abuse, which, ultimately, will undermine the ability of all disabled persons to freely use their service dogs.

      Even assuming that a pit bull could be trained to be a service dog, as the law is written now, a person claiming to have a pit bull service dog could bring the dog into a pre-school, and the school could not even inquire as to the level of training that dog had received. Taking that a step further, imagine special education kindergarten classroom with 12 five-year old children with autism, half of whom have been given pit bull service dogs they wish to bring in with them. If the school objects, the pit bull advocacy movement will rain down vitriol on them, fast and furious. Many non-pit-owning parents would not want their child anywhere near that situation, and would pull their child out of that environment immediately. So now you have to balance the rights of children with autism to receive an education in a safe environment, pitted against the other children with autism, whose parents insist that pit bulls are safe. What would likely happen to that classroom? If the school accepts the dogs it will likely lose a large number of the non-pit-owning students and then have to deal with the management of pit bulls, teachers, and the remaining young children in the classroom, some of whom may have sensory processing deficits that are adversely affected by the dogs' presence. Compounding this, it is unlikely that any of the staff would be physically able stop a pit bull should the dog attack one of the children (and if you do not accept this as within the realm of possibility, then you are rejecting the fact that dogs are animals, that animals are unpredictable, by nature, and that pit bulls possess a power and tenacity when they attack that differs in quality from other dogs). But if the school rejects the put bulls it will be subject to unimaginable vitriol from pit bull advocates. In either case, the school would probably have to close down to escape the situation, and everyone loses. The cycle then would repeat itself somewhere else.

      To have children with disabilities thrust into the pit bull debate like this helps nobody other than the pit bull advocates. (I don't even think it helps the dogs, as pit bull advocacy has increased, so has the pit bull population in dog shelters..and that means more unwanted, euthanized dogs)

      If this is the new trend, then eventually, the ADA laws will have to be changed to deal with particular issues raised by people wanting to bring pit bulls into all sorts of places of public accommodation - including schools - and that will make life even harder for all disabled individuals, who already have more than enough challenges to deal with, from the moment of diagnosis and throughout their lives.


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    3. Ironically, many (though not all) pit bull owners proudly proclaim themselves to be the proud owners of a "bully" and that their pits, Amstaffs, APBTs and the like are "bully" breeds. Many of these same people engage in online bullying of those who do not agree with them or share their love of the bully breeds (see, for example, some of the recent comments on Tom's Farm Facebook page - terms like "pathetic moron," "foamers," and even "praying that the wildfires reach your area and burn your shithole down" are used to shut down any hope for a civilized debate). People who make comments like this and who proclaim themselves to be proud "bully" owners make strange bedfellows with disabled children, who are the most likely group of children to be bullied by others, in exactly this manner. It is painfully obvious that most of the anti-Toms's Farm comments have less to do with the desire to help a disabled child, and much more to do with the desire to promote the pit bull breed.

      When pit bulls maim or kill the breed advocates blame (a) the victim or (b) the owners, but that begs the question of what constitutes responsible ownership of such a powerful breed, and what is being done to ensure that. Should responsible pit bull ownership include, at a minimum, training for how to stop a pit bull mid-attack, and if not, why not? We don't buy cribs, car seats, children's toys or other items that have been recalled for safety. Those recalls happen after far fewer incidents than what we are seeing with pit bulls. Pit advocates often dismiss a killing or maiming by a pit bull by claiming that their dog has never done (or would never do) such a thing, or by listing the numbers of pit bulls who have not done such a thing, but the same claims can be made with ANY defective product. For every recalled crib, there is an exponentially larger number of safe hours slept in it without incident than there are injuries or deaths, but no parent ever questions the recall, preferring, as a parent should, to be on the safe side. Why, then, would anyone close their eyes to and refuse to even consider the demonstrated dangers with pit bulls? It's a fair question, which deserves in-depth, honest answers.

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  14. I have a pit bull service dog.

    I do not usually recommend that pit bulls be used as service dogs.

    Not because they're vicious, mean dogs.

    Many people who own pit bulls have NO business owning them. They are incapable of providing the dog with the consistent environment that is best and needed for the dogs to be well managed, disciplined and controlled properly.

    People who think that having a pit bull is "badass" or makes them a "badass" are those people. Pride is NOT something that makes you a good pit bull owner. A good pit bull owner recognizes the fact that these dogs have instincts that can lead them to make dangerous mistakes, and they work to curb and control that at every turn. They don't glorify it or encourage it.

    Due to the fact that these dogs need constant structure and discipline, they are NOT for everyone. Period. And people have a really hard time being honest with themselves about that.

    It's not that pit bulls can't be great service dogs. I have an amazing service dog. She is amazing at her job. It's just that, while service dogs go through a temperament evaluation to determine if they would be suited to be service dogs, people really need to go through a temperament evaluation to determine if they have the correct personality to be a responsible pit bull parent/handler.

    Personal opinion based solely on my experiences. *shrug*

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  16. Don't jump down my throat now, because I think Tom's Farms was totally wrong turning this little girl and service dog away, but I'm thinking that MAYBE, just MAYBE Toms Farms turned this family away with the service dog because of all the gun firing going on at this event and all the smoke from those canons and the loud bang of those canons.
    I'm sure the people in this event were using gun powder in those canons but I heard them 4 miles away today at my house, not knowing this was going on today. MAYBE Toms farms felt it wasn't their usual setting there at the farm with this special event & "Maybe" the dog ( or any service dog) would become nervous and not be them selves with all the loud noises and horses running around and the big clouds of smoke etc..
    I'm just trying to look at it in a different way and just guessing about this. So please don't call me names or write mean things to me. I'm just voicing my thoughts here. I live right down the street from Toms Farms and have walked my golden retrievers there a lot. My golden retrievers are not service dogs & have broken loose from me only for them to have accidently jumped into their big pond to get wet, splash around and play to where I had to drag them out by their leashes and nothing bad was said to me, or was I told to leave.. (actually it was kind of funny & everyone was laughing at them except me!)
    Question: Are all service dogs trained to be around a lot of gun fire and canons?. I'm sure police dogs are trained in this kind of environment and setting minus the canons, but maybe, just maybe that's why they turned them away. Toms farms did NOT handle this situation well I agree, and they should say they are sorry to this family. I have seen service dogs there quite a few times over the years, but it was the days where people were just doing what they do there on normal days. This special event Toms Farms is having there this weekend is not their normal crowds There is more traffic and a lot of people and a different crowd, with a lot of noises and guns going off and canons. Maybe Toms Farms thought differently about animals being there service dog or not, which still doesn't make how Toms Farms handled this, right!
    Toms farms should read the laws and the ADA laws (maybe I should too lol). I'm so sorry this happened to the little girl and her pitbull and family, because Toms Farms is a pretty good place to hang out and eat. God Bless you all and hoping this gets worked out for everyone involved..

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