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Returning to US with US service dog following 17 day visit

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Post by Expat2bee on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:24 pm

I am returning to the US following a 17 day stay, exploring the area for possible relocation. Lots of hoops to jump through, as my guy is a "real" service dog and travelled next to me on the plane. And no, real service dogs do not occupy seats ANYWHERE in public. The USDA required health certificate, endorsed by the USDA, is good for thirty days, so I have plenty of leeway there, but my concern is what will be required by Mexican authorities, in order to board the plane in GDL for return to the US?
Do not need guesses, but someone with REAL life experience! Do no tell me to call Senasica as my hearing is my disability, and the deficit combined with their understanding of the situation did nothing to forward my progress on the way here. E mails were unanswered. I have visited a few vets here, but they were clueless as to the requirements required by the Mexican SENASICA. Can anyone help? Returning to US with US service dog following 17 day visit 477249

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Post by Jim W on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:39 pm

Expat2bee wrote:I am returning to the US following a 17 day stay, exploring the area for possible relocation.  Lots of hoops to jump through,  as my guy is a "real" service dog and travelled next to me on the plane.   And no, real service dogs do not occupy seats ANYWHERE in public. The USDA required health certificate, endorsed by the USDA,  is good for thirty days, so I have plenty of leeway there, but my concern is what will be required by Mexican authorities, in order to board the plane in GDL for return to the US?  
Do not need guesses, but someone with REAL life experience! Do no tell me to call Senasica as my hearing is my disability, and the deficit combined with their understanding of the situation did nothing to forward my progress on the way here.  E mails were unanswered. I have visited a few vets here, but they were clueless as to the requirements required by the Mexican SENASICA. Can anyone help? Returning to US with US service dog following 17 day visit 477249


You need legal help Expat2bee. Web board input gains nothing! Contact Spencer....AKA Intercasa on this board. Good Luck!
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Post by zenwoodle on Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:53 pm

Have not had a problem, do not know anyone who has had a problem, boarding in GDL for a flight NOB with a service dog.
Only problem experienced have been arriving in GDL.
The security people at GDL airport do not seem to know what a service dog is, and insisted that I carry him in the check-in area.
Good luck, and don't worry. Beer
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Returning to US with US service dog following 17 day visit Empty Thanx for the input

Post by Expat2bee on Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:18 pm

Jim,
Thanx for the assurance...glad to hear from someone who has been in my situation. Did my due diligence to get here, and had no hiccup, so will just plan to revisit that state of my on the return side. cheers!

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Post by Expat2bee on Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:21 pm

My bad, Zen,
Accidentally replied to another post....thank YOU for the info!

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Post by Chapalagringa on Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:35 pm

No experience flying here and highly unlikely you'll find a soul on this web board that can give you a real personal experience being most people down here don't have services dogs nor personal protection guard dogs, which I do.   I've looked into flying with a service dog a couple of years ago and the rules for having an official service dog.  The airlines have their rules available online.  What does your airline have to say about flying with a service dog? Aren't you flying back on the same airline?   From what I remember, you needed a letter stating the dog was a service dog and you had to pay extra for them boarding in cabin.  Just curious, is your dog a lap dog or a large breed?  I'm just imagining if the dog was laying on the floor or in a travel bag. :)

Maybe try Chapala.com or Mexpat Guadalajara Facebook page.


Last edited by Chapalagringa on Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by CanuckBob on Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:39 pm

Does a guard dog qualify as a "service dog".......?? When I think service dog I think blind or seeing impaired people.

Expat2be, I am curious. How does your dog help with your hearing disability?
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Post by Chapalagringa on Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:59 pm

No, not necessarily, I'm just saying, I checked into it and just because he's trained as a personal protection guard dog doesn't qualify him for a service dog unless owner had a specific need and the dog was officially approved. A service dog could be a lap dog that helps someone with post traumatic stress disorder, it just depends on what they're trained to do. I sat with a lady in physical therapy that had her ranch dog trained to be a service dog after she fell off of a platform and hit her head on concrete; now suffers from seizures. My dog is better trained but her dog was trained for what she needs and is able to alert if she has a seizure and is in trouble.
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Post by Expat2bee on Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:23 pm

Dear chapala gringa,
   I am flying with Delta as I did to come to Mexico.  In preparation for the trip, I drove to Jacksonville International Airport and took my dog thru the entire airport to acclimate him to the noise and activity
level. I am well aware of the difference between our little airport and the huge Atlanta airport, but it served its purpose and he was fine.  During our orientation, I stopped at Delta and relayed the situation and one of the behind the scene ladies designated our seats in advance, so I thought that was taken care of properly.  She did this for both legs and return flig as well.  While we were unable to go through TSA, I spoke to the agents and they told me what to expect. Nothing too involved or scary for a first time flyer.  The next morning I made contact with
Delta and the lady insisted that I had to have a letter verifying my disability and need for a service animal.  I explained to her that this was against Federal regulations, specifically the ADA(American Disability Act). She explained that this is what she was informed.  No one will ask a blind person to prove they are blind, so I decided to pick my battle.  I was scheduled to have a fitting for my new hearing aids, so I called my doctor and she gladly drafted a letter, which I put in my dogs folder.  I was, however,  never asked to produce the document.
The organization that gifted "Jeff" to me spent several days going over situations and recent laws regarding the use of real "service" dogs, so I am very in tune to my rights, on American soil.   We were also trained to educate and diffuse difficult situations.  So my issue is not with the airlines, but SENASICA.  The international health certificate, endorsed by the USDA is good for 30 days.  But Mexico only allows for 10 day validity period, so I did not know if I had to do something else in order to leave.   My dog is a yellow lab, 60 pounds, and 2.5 years old.   There is the ADA law that protects me from being charged any monies to have him travel uncaged, on the floor beside me.  Do not confuse an emotional support animal with service dog....service dogs are Highly trained for a purpose and emotional support provide their function without specialized training...comforting, or calming.  in fact some of the dogs that do not make the cut as service dogs are gifted to Wounded Warriors and there is a long waiting list for these "released" guys.

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Post by Chapalagringa on Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:35 pm

Thank you for your lengthy explanation expat2be. My apologies for offering a guess. If in doubt about the vet papers, you could get a vet clearance here as well, highly recommended. I just can't imagine having an issue leaving Mexico. We've had conversations on the Chapala.com board about flying with in cabin pets, yes I realize we're talking about your ears but I'm thinking of paperwork. If your dog is noted on your ticket, there shouldn't be any issue at all leaving aside from having the current vet clearance which Mexico requires. You're already here and there was no problem coming, it should be just as a breeze getting home to the US because you have to abide by the airline rules and dealing with entry of the US, which you already know that's not a problem. Of course I'd feel terrible if you needed something officially translated into Spanish. *gasp* I'm just trying to think Mexican and I would think they'd treat the paperwork of a service dog the same as an in cabin pet. One reason I'd looked into this was because I wanted to fly with an in-cabin pet and was trying to figure out how I could work around the no in cabin pet rules being enforced and so looked into the qualifications of a service dog. If you don't get an answer online, the least convenient thing to do would be to take a ride to the airport with your ticket and paperwork and ask if they're going to require more from you on the day of travel.

I have spoken with families with wounded warriors waiting for a service dog and I'm not too confused, maybe just a little :) I looked into all of this a few years ago out of curiosity and enjoyment of watching how the dogs are chosen, trained and placed. Service dogs, police/military dogs, therapeutic dogs. Military/police dogs that don't make the cut are trained for service or personal protection dogs etc. I like dogs, especially well trained dogs.

Hope you find someone that has also traveled with a service dog that can help.
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Post by Flamingo on Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:38 pm

I think Gringa's suggestion about actually going to the Airport and the Delta counter is a good one. Just for your own peace of mind. I had a blind friend with a service dog a number of years ago and I know she flew back and forth from Guad airport to the states. She has moved on so I can't ask her for ideas.

Just as an FYI, when I lived NOB, I was active with several local shelter and rescue groups. I attended a number of seminars on service dogs and was amazed to learn of all the ways a dog can be trained to help and the wide variety of disabilities that can be assisted. This was a number of years ago so I expect I would be even more amazed today.
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Post by Expat2bee on Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:46 pm

Dear Canuck,
My hearing dog, Jeff IV was gifted to me after over a years wait. There was paperwork, two interviews and a years wait to verify my deficit and find several dogs for a possible match. Hearing loss is very insidious...it's not a visible deformity and people assume you are slow witted and often treat you that way, if they acknowledge you at all. Jeff has transformed my life in many ways and I enjoy socializing, and have none of the fears that I used to have. I live alone and that combined with the loss of hearing can be difficult. I missed phone calls, and if in public and someone called my name I did not acknowledge and they thought I was intentionally ignoring them. Knocks on the door went unanswered and I worried at night if the home was broken into, or if there were to be a fire, I would be in a serious trouble. Jeff has been taught to "alert" to sounds. Mine specifically include home and cell phone, knocks on the door or doorbell, the microwave or oven, washer and dryer dings. He alerts when he hears these signals, by nudging me with his nose. I respond to his nudging by standing and gesturing " what?" and then he leads me to the source of the sound. With sirens, while driving, he sits up from the back seat and nudges my ear, so I can respond by pulling over. If it is a person addressing me, he alerts and leads me to whomever is calling my name. Positive reinforcement can be a pat, hug, or a treat(Jeff's favorite).
That being said problems have evolved with fake service dogs...people who insist on bringing I'll behaved PETS with them wherever they go. They jump, lick, beg, annoy people nearby, bark and groom their genitals in public.
Service dog patches and vest can be purchased online, so who really knows a real service dog behavior is supposed to be? A real service dog does none of the aforementioned behaviors because of their training. Jeff' was the product of planned parenthood and destined for service. At 2 months to specially trained puppy raisers who were with him 24/7 and taught him obedience. At 15 months to college, where he was singled out for his hearing abilities and I received him at age 2. The end result is evident when you see a "real"service dog.
BTW guard/protection dogs are not considered service dogs because they do not fall under the ADA or Americans for Disability Act. Service dogs have to be trained to perform a task for the disabled. Emotion support animals are animals to provide comfort. Wounded Warriors dogs have fallen under service dog as they are trained to ameliorate symptoms of PTSD. Hope this gives a little insight as to the world of disability and what And how Jeff helps. Also see CCI, Canine Companions for Independence, the largest service dog organization in the world, who gifts dogs to many disabilities for free. This is Jeff's family

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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:32 am

Thanks for the detailed explanation. That is amazing. Good luck on your flight home. Like the others said I would go to the airport ahead of time and check things out. If you don't speak Spanish you may want to bring a Spanish speaking person in case you have to talk with some office staff.
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