Anne D. Kansas City, Kansas
“I was so nervous to fly with my 105 lb Rottweiler Zeus. What would I do if they did not take me seriously when I arrived at the airport? I could not miss this flight and I had to take Zeus along, no options. To my surprise, they took me to the front of the security line Zeus by my side. I boarded the plane first because I am disabled and found they had upgraded me at no charge to a bulkhead seat where Zeus could lay down on the floor in front of me and we could both stretch out… It was surreal the stewardess even brought him a bowl of water! The best part was that since Zeus has his Free My Paws Service ID and Vest, his tickets were free! Thanks Free My Paws!” July 2010 .
Jack S. Orlando, Florida
"When I moved to Orlando for a great new job at a tech company, I was excited. But on my own. You see, I am in a wheel chair. I like to live near where I work so I can "commute" without a car.
Since I first got my wheelchair, I've had a Service Animal around the house to help me get things that are out of reach. I raised Jack since he was a puppy. From picking up medicine I drop on the floor, to retrieving the mail... Jack has been my second pair of hands. And I love him for it. All of the choices for apartments near my job did not allow pets -- nor Animals for that matter.
When I found the place I liked the best and completed the tour, we began to do our paperwork in the leasing office. The application asked if I owned any “pets”. A Service Animal is not a pet, it is a working Animal so I marked “no” and went on to the next question.
When the rental office told me I was approved, I went in the next day to sign my lease, with Jack by my side. They seemed confused to see a "pet" by my side. I presented Jack’s Free My Paws ID and said “not to worry, he is a Service Dog, he is approved.” The assistant manager took Jack’s ID from me and went to the manager’s office. Then the manager came out of the office and told me I needed an addendum for my lease for a “pet deposit” to clean up the apartment when I move out. I chuckled and said “This is my Service Dog Jack. He is not a pet. It is illegal for a landlord to charge a deposit to a disabled person to have their Service Animal live with them and it is discrimination.”
After another minute of discussion amongst the office workers, the manager came back to me and said “I am sorry for any confusion, welcome home!". New job, new home, with Jack by my side. Thank you Free My Paws, you’re the best!"
Amir. Boston, Massachusetts
I was in an serious car accident and after months of hospitalization was released paralyzed in wheelchair. I’m not wealthy, so I can’t afford to hire help but a local charity gave me Sparky (my new dog and best friend) who is trained to fetch the mail and retrieve items from the floor because I can’t. Not long after my release I went alone to the movies to cheer myself up and get out of the house. I “parked” my wheelchair in the disabled area of the local theatre. The theatre was empty, just the way I like it, but five minutes into the movie I dropped my popcorn and candy onto the floor. I couldn’t reach my snacks where they had fallen so I had to go out into the lobby and ask an employee to help me by picking up my snacks for me, he was very gracious to me but it was so embarrassing and I missed part of the movie. If Sparky was with me this uncomfortable situation could have been avoided so I asked the employee if I could bring my dog next time. He replied “This Theater prohibits dogs but clearly identified Service Animals are always welcome.”
Shortly after this incident I got the Free My Paws Service Dog ID Package for Sparky and now I take him everywhere. Adjusting to my new life has been made easier now Sparky has his Free My Paws ID Card and Vest, he never leaves my side. No one ever questions us and we can go in and out of all public places seamlessly. The manager at the movie theatre where we go regularly always welcomes us and even brings Sparky a bowl of water!