Friday, January 16, 2015

You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks, So We'll Tell Him About Our Animals on the Bus Policy

By Laurel McJannet

There’s an old saying in the journalism biz:

“When a dog bites man, that is not news. But if a man bites dog, that is news.”

Well, this week, the news was all about a dog who took the bus.

Media outlets far and wide went doggone crazy over the story of Eclipse, a dog who learned to ride the bus alone to a Seattle dog park. That’s right—a Seattle dog park, which makes Eclipse a KCMetro bus rider. It was on ABC News, the Washington Post, even Huffington Post picked up Seattle’s own KOMO-TV coverage.

We love this story. Many of us at Community Transit are dog owners and have 1, 2, 3 of our own at home. However, we’d like to take this opportunity to let you know we don’t plan to change our policies about animals on our buses in light of this story. You can read up on our animals on buses policy here, but I’ll take a moment to give you the highlights here.

Service animals are allowed on all Community Transit buses as long as they are harnessed, leashed or tethered. This is per the American’s with Disabilties Act (ADA). If the device used prevents the service animal from doing their job or the individual’s disability prevents them from using a device, the service animal must be controlled through voice, signal or other effective control.

This is my 10-month old dog, Bandit.

Bandit the Shih Tzu
Bandit is a non-service dog. He is not allowed to ride on Community Transit’s commuter buses (those are routes numbered in the 400s and 800s).

Bandit can explore Snohomish County on our local buses (with his person, of course) as long as he is on a leash and is wearing a commercially-produced muzzle that covers he mouth and is secured behind his head.

Now, if you have another type of small animal, (a reptile, bird or cat), s/he must be in a confined carrying container and held on your lap or at your feet.

Whether you have a service animal or a non-service dog, all owners must have complete control of their animals at all times. Animals can’t occupy a seat, block the aisle or wander around the bus annoying our fellow passengers.

We have this policy in place to ensure the safety of your animals and your fellow riders. Thanks in advance for being great pet owners and transit riders.

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