Friday, June 12, 2015

San Diego Service Dog Loses Certification For Being a "Biker?"

It has finally been decided. Just like when municipal police shut down enterprising young children's lemonade stands, a non profit organization given Draconian powers, has acted for the "greater good." A therapy dog dressed too much like a biker?  That simply cannot be tolerated. Thus, "Chopper" the therapy dog is being "put down," in much the same way, figuratively speaking.

Who The Heck Is Chopper?

"Chopper," no not this bloke here, is known as the "biker dog," a therapy dog that visited nursing home patients in the San Diego area, and he actually lost his special therapy license, because of his patriotic biker costumes. The 5 year-old Boston terrier wears a leather vest and protective goggles, when he rides his owner’s motorcycle in his own protective seat to visit patients.

The interesting story about this black and white canine, is that he is actually "in character" dressing like a biker doggy.  What do I mean? What I mean is, Chopper really is a biker. In fact, as part of the therapy he provides people, he often rides his own mini dog motorcycle into patient’s rooms.

Video Of Chopper Riding His Motorcycle


His owner said Chopper began riding the mini motorcycle at about three months old and likes being on it.  Chopper’s owner Mark Shaffer said the dog is in high demand and they receive requests for Chopper to make visits up and down the West Coast. Shaffer received news that Chopper my lose his therapy license because of his costumes.

What is this all about?

Simple, according to at least one opinion piece and the available direct and circumstantial evidence, it appears so. It looks like this is about the political views held by most bikers, pure and simple. Bikers and the biker image will always be known for being the tough white male, who is self sufficient, keeps and bears firearms, hates regulations and big government. Makes sense, given the history that the original M/C's were started by war vets after WW2.

In fact, many of those war vets settled right here in San Diego, California, and their progeny continue to do so after each war, or End of Active Service ("EAS.") This town also has a higher percentage overall of domiciliary inhabitants, and seniors in hospital who are vets. Vets and bikers typically have patriotic value systems such as the "apple pie" ideals pushed by the so called 99% biker clubs.

Enter Political Correctness and Discrimination 

But alas, just when we finally found a cool story reflecting our values, a story with even Soviet sounding names has surfaced. It really looks like Chopper has been stripped of his doggy certification because he is not POLITICALLY CORRECT!

You heard me right. Read on if you want to doubt me. As you read, imagine if Chopper wanted to wear a dress and he reflected LGBT values, and ask yourself if this would have happened. The war on patriotism seems to be rearing its ugly head everywhere we turn. In a story that sounds more like big government dispensing "justice," Chopper was stripped his certification to continue helping patients and others needing dog therapy because of the values his costume reflects.

Pet Partners - Who Are They and Their Position

“We are concerned about the clothing in which Chopper is in the community. We are also concerned about the perception that your team may be creating in the community with regard to therapy animals.” - Bilyana Yakova, Pet Partner’s Program Manager
On the heels of the Texas 1% er shootout, and conservative bikers marching on DC, the nonprofit group Pet Partners, a group that allegedly insures and evaluates therapy animals,now claims that their policy prohibits therapy dogs from wearing costumes. Comrade Yakova stated that this ensures the safety of the animal and patients. Comrade Glen Miller, Pet Partner’s Director of Communications, stated that animals wearing costumes impairs the animals ability to see, move and respond.

Miller also said that a costume is not appropriate for therapy animals visiting hospitals.  Chopper's owner says that Chopper’s biker uniform makes patients laugh and prior to interacting with patients his goggles are removed. The dog owner also says that Chopper rides a motorcycle, so he is not really wearing a costume at all. Miller said that Chopper can continue to see patients because he doesn’t need a license to continue as a therapy dog.

But is that really fair?  I mean think about it, a shootout involving bikers in Texas and then an email from one of the women who run Pet Partners, canceling the license of Chopper the Biker Dog. Seriously?  Imagine a bunch of black protestors wearing hoodies being used as a pretext to take away the rights of all blacks.  How would that go down? I fail to see the difference with what happened here to the owner of Chopper if the circumstantial evidence is as powerful as I think it is.

The Pet Partners Director of Communications said many hospitals prefer therapy dogs to be licensed, and Chopper can continue his bad boy style and be registered with a different animal organization that is more accepting of his costume.  What if Chopper cannot get re certified by someone else? What other pet certification programs are accepted by the local hospitals and other hospitals that Chopper once visited. We are waiting for a reply to our email asking these very questions. What if this is really about the political views of the owner of Chopper, and the views held by most bikers and vets?

Can the dog owner sue Bilyana Yakova, and/or Pet Partners, based upon Pet Partners operating as "State Actors?" In my opinion, there is a chance there is a colorable claim here. Imagine once again, if this involved a male dog wearing a dress, the LGBT community would already be boycotting people and trashing Yakova online calling her a "racist, bigot and homophobe." Same goes if the dog was owned by a black man, and the dog was wearing a rapper costume.

And here, there is overwhelming evidence that Pet Partners knew that Chopper was wearing a biker outfit for years, but did not act. So even if, as Pet Partners alleges, Chopper was not allowed to wear a costume, the principles of "waiver" definitely come into play here as a defense to enforcement. 

But of course, here we have a white male who is a real estate professional, who rides bikes, and uses his cool dog who also rides bikes, to enrich the lives of others. What rights are afforded to him and the others who are now being deprived of Chopper and his love? The reasons for cancellation were clearly pre textual in my mind.

What About Getting Pet Partner's Certification Powers/ Non Profit Status Revoked?

If you believe that Yakova acted in a discriminatory fashion, contact your state representative, speak to your lawyer as well. Let them know how you feel. It's time for the silent majority to stand up for their rights and beat back the PC crowd before it is too late.

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Dog on a Leash
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