Traveling with Marine Atlantic is an assistance dog owner’s nightmare

Traveling without it? No it’s impossiblesays the veteran.

The one who resides at Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, is planning a trip this month to Halifax, Nova Scotia to see her son and new baby. He will then go on vacation to California.

While booking plane tickets with two airlines went smoothly, buying tickets for the Marine Atlantic ferry was a real nightmare.

To travel with your service dog, Air Canada and United Airlines asked Jean-Guy Dubuc to fill out a declaration confirming that his animal is vaccinated and that he will not create problems on the plane.

It took maybe half an hour [après l’envoi des formulaires], then my dog ​​was accepted. Even the seats were selectedsays Jean-Guy Dubuc.

Crown corporation ferries, Marine Atlantic, connect the island of Newfoundland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Photo: Courtesy/Marine Atlantic

The process at Marine Atlantic was more acrimonious. For more than a week, Jean-Guy Dubuc sent a series of emails and made several calls to the Crown corporation, which was not satisfied that his dog was indeed a certified service animal.

However, Jean-Guy Dubuc had sent him an identity card showing the photo and the name of the dog and its owner. He had also sent her a certificate and a receipt showing that Posey had undergone certified training at Kansas.

Frustrated, Jean-Guy Dubuc called customer service last weekend, who recommended that he book a pet-friendly cabin.

<q data-attributes="{"lang":{"value":"fr","label":"Français"},"value":{"html":"Ma chienne, ce n’est pas un pet [animal domestique], he is a service dog. She was trained to be in public. She is certified”,”text”:”My female dog is not a fart [animal domestique], he is a service dog. She was trained to be in public. It is certified”}}”>My female dog, that ain’t one pet [animal domestique], he is a service dog. She was trained to be in public. She is certifiedsays Jean-Guy Dubuc. It stresses me out. I have anxiety issues, so that doesn’t help much.

Darrell Mercer.

Darrell Mercer is a spokesperson for Marine Atlantic.

Photo : CBC/Bruce Tilley

Darrell Mercera spokesperson for Marine Atlantic, explains that the carrier is following Canadian Transportation Agency guidelines by asking passengers for identification or other documentation issued by an organization or individual specializing in dog training. ‘assistance.

This document should identify the disabled person and should confirm that the dog has been trained to perform a specific task to help the disabled person, the spokesperson said.

Problem of fraudulent certifications

Darrell Mercer maintained, Thursday morning, that the documents provided by Jean-Guy Dubuc do not contain sufficient information concerning the training given to his dog.

In an email, he explained that normally people traveling with service dogs provide Marine Atlantic with a letter detailing the dog’s certification, as well as the date of training and the reason the person is using a service animal.

Unfortunately, there have been situations in the past where fraudulent certifications have been presented and we have had incidents with other passengersexplains Mr. Mercer.

According to him, Marine Atlantic had to rework its rules because passengers had been bitten by dogs whose owners had submitted falsified documents to the carrier.

Thursday morning, Marine Atlantic asked Jean-Guy Dubuc for a letter signed by the trainer who trained his dog, at Kansas. Believing that he had already met all of Marine Atlantic’s criteria, Mr. Dubuc contacted Radio-Canada as a last resort.

The carrier finally changed its mind, rechecking the file and giving the green light to Jean-Guy Dubuc and his dog.

The documents were different from those we usually receiveclarified Darrell Mercer, au micro from Radio-Canada. We did a recheckhe said, adding that a exception had been made, founded in good faith.

Reached by phone on Thursday afternoon, Jean-Guy Dubuc acknowledged that Marine Atlantic must verify the certifications of assistance dogs, but argued that its policy must be revised.

My stress is at the limit. I shouldn’t have gone through that exercise, he said. He demands a formal apology from Marine Atlantic.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.