Former Victor Valley College student, Shardae Gill, shared her insights about her experience with having a service dog on campus. A service dog has specific rights as to where they’re allowed to be in public. They can go anywhere their human handler goes.
Gill got her pit bull Einstein from her neighbor when he was a puppy and she was in high school. He’s five years old now. Gill received an AA in philosophy from VVC. Her dog is for anxiety and asthma alerts.
“If you have a service dog, they need to be trained,” said Gill. “And you need a note from a licensed therapist that you see regularly that has evaluated you and deemed that you would benefit from a service dog.”
Gill is still actively training Einstein. “I’ve spent around $1000 so far,” said Gill.
It should be noted that registries for service dogs don’t exist. “The websites that offer them are fake,” said Gill. “There’s no such thing as a service dog registry.”
“The only people that legally need to see this letter [therapist note] are landlords, when you’re moving in, and police, when someone has reported that your dog is not a real service dog,” said Gill. “By law, no one can ask you what your service dogs are for, what tasks they perform, or refuse your service because of the dog, unless the dog is not publicly behaving.”
Socializing a service dog is part of the training Gill described. When Gill was on campus at VVC during Einstein’s early training, she posted on VVC chat an invitation to give her dog a treat. This allowed lots of people to interact with the dog.
Service dogs are useful to many kinds of people on a college campus.