Annie's Mailbox: Worried Mother
Dear Annie: I have a beautiful daughter who is in rehab for drug addiction. For the past two years, she has had an abusive boyfriend who also encouraged her drug use. He broke up with her before she entered the facility, but I just discovered that she has been calling him.
I want to call the boyfriend and tell him not to accept her calls or I will turn the names of his dealers over to the police. What should I do? -- Worried Mother
Dear Mother: Instead of issuing threats, contact the facility and let them know that your daughter is maintaining contact with an abusive, drug-using boyfriend. This is probably against the rules, in which case, they would take away her phone privileges. Ask the facility for help with the drug dealers. This could be dangerous.
Then contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org) and ask for their help in disentangling your daughter from her abusive relationship. This is not going to be easy, Mom. We hope you can transmit some of your strength to your daughter.
Dear Annie: I am writing about the responses to "Please Leave Animals at Home." I am touched by the people who wrote in support of service animals. I know firsthand the independence they bring through their trained skills. I have been using a service dog since 2001. However, I feel it is important to correct some information that these supporters mentioned.
Service animals are defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. They include only dogs or miniature horses. They must have a trained skill that is directly related to the individual's disability. Emotional support and companionship are NOT service dog skills.
Service animals are allowed in all places the public is allowed to go. They are to be under control of their handler and working when in public. Stores cannot require that they ride in shopping carts. When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Two questions may be asked: (1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. You cannot ask about the person's disability or demand medical documentation, nor can you ask that the dog demonstrate its ability.
Service animals are not required to wear special vests or tags. But they must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless this interferes with the animal's work. The team should have good public behavior. Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals.
The rules for visiting therapy dogs or emotional support animals are different. They must have documentation and do not have public access rights. Emotional support animals are addressed under the Fair Housing Act and the Airline Carrier Access Act. Service dogs deserve respect and access for the work they are doing. -- Kristin Hartness, Executive Director, Canines for Disabled Kids
Dear Kristin Hartness: We appreciate your clarifying the difference between trained service animals and emotional support animals. Thank you for writing.
"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.