My mother has been living in AL for 1 year and is now having problems with pets at the facility. Does anyone have experience with this?

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The owner has started bringing his large poodle, which he says is a comfort dog. However, he walks through the dining room into the kitchen with the dog loose and following him. I feel this is a bit unsanitary. Sometimes the clients' relatives bring pets to visit and do not have them leashed. One ran for my mother and jumped on her. She has already had toe surgery because of a friend's tiny dog jumping on her. I feel I am paying for my mother to be happy, but also to be safe. Anyone have experience with this?

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There are a lot more facilities out there that don't allow pets than those that do.

Surely you were aware that this facility allowed pets when you moved in?
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I have brought my mother to look at one Assisted Living facility. I was quite put off that the admissions director had a therapy dog in training in her office. She put the dog in another office, because my mother felt uncomfortable. So she had to undo the gate she had to keep the dog in her office. There were still dog toys on the floor that my mother could have tripped over.

When we came back to the AD's office after the tour, turns out the dog had thrown up in the other office. Yuck!

The therapy dog is around A LOT. They even have people making dog biscuits as an activity. My mother isn't a dog person. I assume the dog is on a leash. I hope so!

I think the admissions director has found a way to keep her personal dog with her at work by pulling this therapy dog nonsense. I believe that real therapy dogs come to a facility, are well-controlled by their owners and then leave after a certain amount of time. They don't stay there all day!

I think the owner of your mother's facility is lying about the poodle being a comfort dog. He's just too lazy or cheap to provide proper supervision for the dog at his residence!

The facility must have health inspections for its kitchen facilities. Call the health inspector and ask if loose dogs in the kitchen are a code violation. I bet it is!

For what it's worth, I think "comfort" and "emotional support" animals are a bunch of baloney. People abuse the (ridiculous) policy to allow emotional support animals in the cabin of airlines (so they don't have to pay!) and in no-pet housing situations. People can get the necessary documentation over the Internet. I am sick and tired of seeing non-service animals in all sorts of situations where they shouldn't be (grocery stores!). 

If people are so incapacitated by psychological conditions, then they can get a service dog. None of this "emotional support" or "comfort animal" nonsense.
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I admit it - I'm a dog lover. In fact, I wish more humans were like dogs. Dogs don't know how to lie.

If the management told you one thing when you moved mom in and are now doing something else - yeah, I'd be ticked off as well.

I think a call to the health department may be problematic in that - they'll likely send a health inspector but you're gambling on odds that the dog will be in the kitchen at the time the inspector shows up. Although, the visit in itself - based on a complaint might get the owner to leash his dog - at least for awhile - until the owner gets all entitled and lazy again. 

With this being the owner who is bringing the dog in - you may be between a rock and a hard place. No one to go over his head to. In this situation- your ombudsman is probably your best shot.

Do take a good look at the rent agreement- usually there's a rules and regs page. See if there is any rule in writing that the owner is breaking. If that is happening you may have a legal leg to stand on. But then bringing in an attorney always runs the risk of backlash against your mom - and you don't want that.

It sucks. Just one more thing the elderly have to put up with - the constant loss of control over their own lives and environment must eat away at their very core.

On a side note - I'm the biggest b*tch in the neighborhood- no pun intended- when it comes to leashing dogs and picking up poop. One man has changed his route because I'd yell at him from my window - lol, I'm sure the neighborhood kids call me "Crazy, Old Lady Rainmom". Anyhoo - poor dogs, it's not their fault!  And yes, I have a sister-in-law who fraudulently takes her dog on planes and into restaurants. It makes me completely insane!
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This was one of my pet peeves (pun intended) with my mom's memory care facility

A year ago when mom was mobile but very unsteady with a walker - the place had two old house dogs and residents had at least three others including one the size of a German Shepard that would dash through the place as a dog will

Then there's the staff that brings their dogs and their kids to work as well - mayhem and memory care don't mix well

The most egregious part of all this was that there's no one to take care of the menagerie after 5 pm so of course the dogs are in the dining room and when they have to go they pee and poop all over the place

Unfortunately, some of these pets have died and now there's just one old house dog who's so grumpy he has bitten several times including children visiting the facility

We had a dog for nearly 15 years so it's not that I don't like them but somewhat like kids - you may love your own but somebody else's - not so much
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I agree with NYDaughterinLaw - my dad is in a nursing home. a couple of times a week a dog is brought in to visit - well trained, on a leash, and only for the residents who enjoy him. My dad likes to brush him. Otherwise, my dad's nursing home has a cat that stays there in the public areas. Alot of residents enjoy having the cat sit in their laps and they pet it. This cat is clean and gentle.

But NO animals go into kitchen/dining areas or in the resident's rooms. Only the public areas. The caregivers also know and have communicated to the dog handler which patients like / do not like dogs and this is very much respected.

sounds like some owners are getting lazy and bring a pet in when it should be home.
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When we moved in we were told that about once a week they were bringing in a pet for everyone to visit with. Also they were allowed to visit in rooms, but must always be on leashes. I never imagined a dog would be allowed in the dining room or the kitchen. This is very recent. I think they're slipping. I will check with the state to get the rules and go forward from there.
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There isn't a state in the country with a health department that allows animals in the kitchen, food preparation areas, or in dining rooms. There isn't a state where dogs are allowed to be walked off leash in public areas. Write to the health department - provide descriptions of the dogs and the dates you observed the behavior - and copy the AL's director. That will get their attention real quick.
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I found this site on line. Hit the link below or copy and paste and it will take you to information published by the University of Iowa regarding the topic of animals in nursing homes. Scroll down paste the first 20 or so mini pages and you find information broken down by state. If could be helpful.

https://nhlp.law.uiowa.edu/sites/nhlp.law.uiowa.edu/files/NHLP-AnimalsinNursingHomes.pdf
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I have a therapy dog that I take to nursing homes. We had to pass a test, take classes and need to re-certify every 2 years. I have to show his certification and vet records to every facility I go in. It is a requirement that they are never off leash and must always wear the therapy dog vest. Most residents love the visits but I always ask every resident if they like dogs before I take my dog near them. I respect their answer if they tell me they are afraid or just don't like dogs. And I remember who likes and who doesn't like dogs for future visits.
I also get annoyed by people who claim to have a therapy dog and don't have the vest on. It costs money to train and certify a therapy dog and if you see a dog without the vest they most likely are not certified.
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What a great question to ask for National Pet Month! I am biased about this because I love dogs. I think there are pros and cons to having dogs in a facility. Studies have shown that children growing up with dogs are healthier than children who don't have pets. Google it! I'm not sure how that works with seniors. Why do you think dogs are any unhealthier than people? Don't people throw up? Don't people spread disease? A person won't catch distemper from a dog. Rabies, yes. But, dogs must be vaccinated for rabies by law. The only disease I'm aware of that dogs can spread to humans is strep throat and I've never had a dog that had strep throat so I'm not sure if it's common. Dogs have also been shown to cheer people up and keep them emotionally healthier. What about the residents without relatives to visit or interact with? Isn't it nice for them to have a cheerful furry companion to make them smile? There are a lot of benefits to having dogs in a facility. Why deprive other residents of a bright spot in their day because of a personal dislike. I'm sure that is a way to compromise.

My dad was greeted by a therapy dog when he was recovering in the hospital. If dogs are allowed in hospitals I don't see why they would not be allowed in nursing homes. Medical studies must back up the impact on health or they would not allow it. By the way, did you know that patients in rooms with a view of trees recover faster than patients with no views of trees?  Nature is in our DNA. Don't run from it. Embrace it!
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