Abrea♿️ Profile picture
May 11, 2018 16 tweets 4 min read
Dear people: stop using allergies as an argument against service animals. This is nothing more than a way to keep disabled folks out of public and out of site. Let me explain why.

#serviceanimals #ada #DisabilityRights #allergies
Allergies are real and a problem for many people. Animal allergies can make you miserable. For most people, dog/horse allergies mean a runny nose, itchy eyes, puffy face, and sometimes hives. All of these things are uncomfortable and inconvenient, not life threatening.
To put it bluntly, though, your temporary discomfort does not trump a disabled person’s right to be able to go out in public with their medical equipment (aka service animal) and be semi independent and functional. #sorrynotsorry.
Before I get people in my mentions saying "But what about people who have life threatening reactions," let's talk about this. First, let's talk about the likelihood of this happening. Life threatening reactions to animal allergies are *extremely* rare.
So rare that you will have a hard time finding an EMT who has ever treated one that didn't involve a bite (aka direct contact). So rare that I can't find statistics with a quick Google search, & most discussions about pet allergies don't even mention anaphylaxis as a possibility.
The likelihood that one of the very rare people who are in danger of anaphylaxis from their pet allergy will end up in the same place at the same time as a service animals is exceedingly remote. So remote that it is practically non-existent.
For the sake of arguments, let's just say it does happen. What then? Speaking as a life threatening allergy sufferer (though not to animals, mine is to specific foods), I'm always on the lookout for this allergen and I stay away from it any time I see it.
Service animals do not jump on or touch strangers. The animal is not going to initiate contact with them. If someone with a life threatening allergy comes over and pets a service animal and has a reaction, it's on them.
"But what if they sit in the same spot later and pick up dander that was left behind?" You realize that pet dander is everywhere, right? It's in schools and stores already, because pet owners have dander on their clothes/hair/shoes and it gets tracked everywhere they go.
If someone has a life threatening allergy to dander that is left behind, they already can't go out in public because the allergen is already there. The presence of a service animal does not suddenly introduce the allergen to a previously allergen-free area. It's already there.
And I repeat, anaphylactic reactions to animals are so rare that the likelihood of a person with this bad of an allergy being in the same place at the same time as a service animal is practically non-existent.
In the very, very, very unlikely event occurs and the allergic person touches the service animal and has a reaction, that's not the fault of the handler. Don't punish the handlers for their stupidity.
If the person is allergic enough to have a reaction "because the service animal is in the room," the allergen is already present from being transported there by other people who have a dog/horse. Again, don't punish the handler. The allergen was there before them.
Unless you also want to propose that every single pet owner should change into clothes that have been kept somewhere pet-free and shower every time they leave their house, you are doing nothing more than chasing a red herring.
Service animals simply being present do not pose a life threatening risk to people with dog/horse allergies. Stop trying to use this to justify your discrimination against those of us who need them.
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