DYK Post

Don’t go to NAIT if you’re disabled!

I was in NAIT in the veterinary medical assistant program, I love working with animals but I have a government assessed service dog that I need. I had to drop out of Nait because they discrimated me, they made my mental health go to shit again because I had my dog that I needed. They couldn’t handle me having my dog there and no matter how much I tried to give they shat on it and said it wasn’t good enough. Me removing myself and my dog from a class for a stupid demonstration wasn’t good enough for them. PSA, if you’re disabled, NAIT will make a joke out of you! They wouldn’t even give a simple apology and they wanted me to apologize for having MY MEDICAL EQUIPMENT! They also don’t understand that my dog IS NEEDED! They think that it’s better for the students mental health to go to shit rather than to help them! So don’t go to NAIT if you’re disabled. Yes, I tried to get the government involved but they wouldn’t do anything.

So, now I found a different school but I need to find a job in a vet clinic. Is there any vet clinics around that wouldn’t mind having a person with a service dog? Unfortunately I don’t have much experience because the school I was going to discriminated me but I can do kennel work and I do know some front office stuff. All I want to do is rehabilitate animals and I feel that because I have my service dog I can’t because “it will be too hard” or no one will want to take the chance because of her. Why would an employer take the chance if the school didn’t even take the chance to have her in the same room as a “extensively tested demonstration dog” when she is more trained?



95 Responses

  1. Hahaha ! Your such a fragile snowflake that you can’t function without a “service animal” for mental health. Fuck off with your manufactured victimhood!

  2. I feel there is more to this story.

  3. if it is a service dog they cannot discriminate . if it is an emotional support dog they are not considered service dogs .

  4. Fallon Paul Fallon Paul says:

    Maybe lose the entitles attitude you’ve got going on there and people will be more understanding

  5. Its also against the law to do this….Sue Settlement

  6. I really doubt this is what happened

  7. Roxy Doc Roxy Doc says:

    I pet Flynn the official Nait service dog as often as I can in the halls between classes.

    I have a feeling there’s more to this story.

  8. you refer to your dog as ‘medical equipment’?

    …I’m guessing your diagnosis/es are self done. you sound like a loser

  9. The human rights commission and law courts are available for discrimination complaints.

  10. Susanne Gale Susanne Gale says:

    Maybe you should be making inquiries before you enroll or pursue a career. Other animals, like cats might not be relaxed with a service dog in the room when being examined. I would not go to,a Vet where there was a service dog. My cat is ultra sensitive. Look at things from more than just your side.

  11. I have mixed feelings here. My dad has a service dog, and legally he can’t be denied entry to anywhere. If there is a concern for personal or animal safety, then I’m sure there are legal writings to fall back on.
    Going into an environment where you work with many dogs and cats and other such animals, potentially they saw it as putting your dog in danger? Reactive and aggressive animals also go to vets. And putting yourself and your dog in a room with a reactive dog could cause a fight and some major damage to everyone.
    I understand their concerns. I don’t think it went according to your story, and I recommend submitting an investigation regarding the service dog act. Find out what stipulations (if any) there are.

  12. Sharon Swan Sharon Swan says:

    sorry you went through this .. but a VET clinic .. there are animals there … yours is a service dog .. so what is the difference .. he is not wandering all over the place .. comes in sits down while you do your job …. good grief …

  13. Jenna Bain Jenna Bain says:

    this must be very difficult for you, i bet youre feeling like your dreams are on the line and it must be very emotional! I hope that your new school is everything you need and your dreams come true. There are rules and regulations for reasons and unfortunately some ppl dont fit into those. The good thing is you have found another school and can work towards your goals. Best of luck to you!!! Its wonderful you want to help animals..

  14. Jane Doe says:

    I have attended Nait for just shy of three years, I completed the Veterinary Medical Assistant program (same program the OP was in.) and I am now finishing Animal Health Technologist. In that time I have seen numerous students with disabilities attend Nait, students with wheelchairs, students with service dogs, students with learning disabilities, in fact their was a young woman in my VMA class with Down’s syndrome. I have observed nothing but respect on Naits behalf when it comes to accommodating students with disabilities and the instructors are fantastic at making concessions to ensure every student maximizes their opportunities to learn.

    I went to school with the OP, she withdrew from the program, she was not kicked out or forced out, she wasn’t treated any differently than any other students. Unfortunately though when it comes to the animal health programs due to safety, sterility and liability there are only so many places a service dog can go. The OP refused to accept that and believed she was being discriminated against.

    The instructors in the animal health program are amazing people who care very much for their students. They also do everything they can to help EVERY student succeed.

    Word of warning to the OP, animal health is a tiny industry where just about everyone knows everyone. It is not in your best interest to be so unproffesional while also asking for a job.

  15. My mom is a NAIT animal health teacher. Going to pass this on to her and get her view of what happened.

  16. Go work at a pet store that allows you to bring your dog. I’m all for bringing your dog to work or school but it might be tricky working in a vet clinic with a service dog.

  17. If it is that much of an issue, get I touch with the provincial government and lodge a complaint

  18. I wish you didn’t let them win.
    Kinda wish I was there for you to tell people to back off.
    I hope you can find what you’re looking for.

  19. I work in a vet clinic myself and I can see that you will have issues trying to find a job in a vet clinic if you need your dog by your side all the time, not because of discrimination but because many cats fear dogs and some dogs are reactive to other dogs. What happens if another dog reacts and attacks your dog? Even if your dog is fully trained, not all dogs are. This poses a liability issue for the vet that hires you. I am not saying this to hurt you or to be mean but I know first hand that some animals will react to any animal in the room. Many times we put clients in rooms while other clients are leaving just to avoid any issues. It’s sad that this happens but reality is you could be putting your dog and yourself in danger.


    they prevented you in furthering your education
    they need to be held accountable

  21. Right from the Service Dog Alberta site it the following is stated (* see quotes below). There could easily be others in the class with allergies etc. As well many Vet clinics have sterile operating areas, both issues can cause a service dog to be excluded. Sadly you may have to consider career options where a service dog is feasible if it is required for you. The Govt makes certain accommodations but also hast o take in the consideration of others as well and weigh both sides. Having a service dog does not give you the right to supersede the needs of others as well. There has to be a balance and if the school and the Service Dog division can not accommodate you there is obviously something swaying that balance. *”This does not apply to non-public areas such as food preparation areas, sterile hospital rooms or restricted access areas.

    If other persons are present who are allergic to dogs, afraid of dogs, or avoid them for religious reasons, the rights of both parties must be taken into account. A reasonable compromise should be found to accommodate both parties. The Service Dog Assessment Team may be of assistance in finding options for dealing with conflicting interests”

  22. Before Greyhound went bust, I was travelling from BC to Edmonton and a woman brought her “emotional support dog” on and it shit everywhere. All over her and all over the seats. She didn’t have any paperwork for her dog. It’s people like these that give these work animals a bad name. I understand those that need support but put in the time and training or you’re just setting yourself up for heartache.

  23. Megan Nicole Megan Nicole says:

    I hope every person here being a dickhead steps on hot Lego with barefeet thank you

  24. It’s not safe for your dog to be with you in such situations. And it could stress out cats you need to see

  25. Shawna Jones Shawna Jones says:

    Call the human rights commission.

  26. Just a thought……… Maybe i’m wrong but….
    Writing an anonymous post blasting a generally well recognized and received institution in one breath – then asking for a job in the next prooooobably isn’t the best way to go about it.

    I don’t know the facts behind your story, first you say its a dog next you say its medical equipment, and you say they “discriminated you” but really didn’t specify whether or not it was the faculty, other students etc. You say it was because of your dog, but then said “no matter how hard I tried they said it wasn’t good enough” and that sounds like a grades/performance/attitude criticism, not one of a service animal.

    I actually know someone who is in NAIT, and is fully restricted to a motorized wheelchair, and he loves it there.

    All in all, i’m not sure I buy the whole “nait hates disabled people” thing you have going on here.

  27. There’s two sides to every story. I’m sorry you had this happen. It also sounds like you have an attitude. I’m wondering – there’s more to this story?

    • Debera Perkins my mom is a teacher in the animal health program at nait. I’m waiting for her to reply. I’ve been in that department many times to visit or volunteer my dog for learning purposes (shots, grooming, etc). I can say that the staff are all amazing. I just can’t see this actually happening as the OP is saying.

    • Lori Claassen I don’t believe it either

    • Cat Hills Cat Hills says:

      Debera Perkins I’m wondering as well. Especially considering NaIT has a dog they walk around the schools for students to pet and is trained to help calm students. ACTUALLY I believe they have 2 this year.

    • Cat Hills I think they bring in the dogs I don’t think the dog lives at nait

    • Cat Hills that’s a good thing! A man used to bring his beautiful dogs into the hospice when my mom was staying there – oh she loved those visits. It put a smile on her face during a time of pain, and suffering.

    • Cat Hills I’m pretty sure it’s still just Flynn although a lot of people just bring their dogs to walk them around anyway

    • Debera Perkins There is so much more to this story. She’s so full of crap. Her dog IS truly only an emotional support dog and NAIT and its staff bent over backwards to try to accommodate her. This is her temper tantrum for flunking out of her first semester. She is doing such a disservice to people with true physical disabilities needing intensively trained animals. Her disrespect is infuriating. I am so in favour of all types of animals trained to provide levels of service to any and all afflictions but the rules are there for everyone’s protection and her dog isn’t trained to service level. Period.

  28. So sorry to hear you felt discriminated against however I have to say that perhaps your chosen field of work is not a good fit for someone who needs a service dog. There are often fluids and blood and bacteria that would put the health of your dog and other animals at risk. Also not all animals are dog friendly so by you having your dog it might prevent some people from being able to seek treatment from a place you work. Even the best trained dog is still a dog after all and you needing your medical equipment is more than fair however I wouldn’t expect someone who needed a wheelchair to pursue a job that required them to climb a ladder every day just like I wouldn’t expect someone with a medical assistance dog to work in an environment that put their dog and other animals at risk.

  29. I understand but think about this….. you’re going to be working with other animals…. sometimes you’ll need to restrain etc how you gonna deal with other animals with your own dog with you? I’m sorry but I have to agree with nait….. no one else needed their dog with them but you…… again I’m sorry but that’s a bit much

    • Noh Huan Noh Huan says:

      Natalie A Chesser youre always ready to post something along the lines of ‘tough shit’, eh?
      I’m 100% sure theres more to this story bc nait is fine w service dogs. Student ability isn’t about what other people need in terms of student success, rather than what an individual students need. Legally every institution is legally bound to provide accommodations unless the responsibility to accommodate is too burdensome. Like as if a blind person was trying to become an uber driver. It would have to pass the meiorin test, which is a real thing Google it.

      Ppl need different supports and it is well within their rights to access them. This applies to the workplace as well. So by assessing this students needs compared to other students needs it is not only unfair but not applicable in real life.

    • Noh Huan it’s all good in theory but reality is if they can hire someone who doesn’t need their dog with them they will. Just because they can’t say that was the reason they didn’t get said position won’t stop them from choosing another candidate …… it’s a job, you need to be available.

    • Noh Huan Noh Huan says:

      I have a little more faith in employers being equitable and following the law then.
      Theres nothing unemployable when theres not undue burden.

    • Noh Huan they can hire whoever they want to without giving reason ….. employers don’t even like when you have kids …… of course they don’t say that…..step into reality…..

    • In a perfect world sure but this world is cold as ice…..

    • Noh Huan I’m just being real

    • Noh Huan Noh Huan says:

      Did you specifically pay someone to write your cover letter?
      Bc it sounds like they shouldn’t get paid and you should write your own.
      I hear ya I would never lead w:
      I’m a full time mom or pregnant
      Mostly bc it’s none of their business and for the same concern you have.

  30. It does not sound like you have a real service dog, but a therapy dog, huge difference, no allowances are made for a therapy dog as they a PET nothing more!! … Therapy animals and service animals are not the same thing. Service animals are trained, certified, and provide a service (guiding the blind, warning of an oncoming seizure, getting needed medications to a person, etc.). As such, they are allowed to be just about everywhere.

    Therapy animals are pets. They don’t require any special training and anybody can call any pet a “therapy animal”. As such, they aren’t afforded the same rights as service animals.

  31. Irene Bakker Irene Bakker says:

    If you have that much anguish to needing a support animal I think The Aish offices is a better fit for you never mind Nait

    • Irene Bakker how horrible to say. This is a person who is trying to become something. No one knows why she needs the dog.

    • Irene Bakker Irene Bakker says:

      I don’t think so I personally wouldn’t want an animal in my place of study it’s interrupting and allergies are a big thing these days so ya or maybe they can do their studies online if that’s the case

    • Kara Fehr Kara Fehr says:

      Doesn’t matter what you think personally what matters is the fact that your opinions don’t trump the law. A service dog will not inturrupt anyone and allergies aren’t any excuse to not allow a service dog

    • Irene Bakker Irene Bakker says:

      Kara Fehr you damn rights it is a persons allergies is a perfect and valid reason and if that school or that person brought their damn dog to the school and was allowed and cause me to get violently ill or close to death due to allergies you’d be slapped with a huge lawsuit

  32. Noh Huan Noh Huan says:

    I work at nait accommodating students with disabilities. I can speak on behalf of our department that we advocate for students and their needs especially regardless of ability.
    This shouldn’t happen. I know the instructors in this program too and they are very accommodating to what students need. I don’t know what happened but this seems like a lot of miscommunication.

    • Troy Meadows Troy Meadows says:

      Noh Huan there shouldn’t be any miscommunication! Period !! It sounds like you are trying to make excuses. If there was a problem or issue , it should have been dealt with immediately so there wasn’t any “ miscommunication “ ! Don’t be surprised if a lawyer shows up because that is what I would recommend ! Very surprised that Nait would discriminate when their policies are so strict about student behaviour. Maybe Nait needs a lesson in behaviour and equality.

    • Noh Huan Noh Huan says:

      I’m sorry were you the op? Bc I know that we do everything we can within legal parameters.

      I can’t say I deal with every student but we have had no problems accommodating students with service animals.

      I don’t know what that department allows and how it works entirely but the only student that we have worked for with a service animal was not in that program.

      Just saying there is probably more than what is being posted about as duty to accommodate is a legally binding duty as per human rights standards. The institution is committed to student success and so is everyone I have met so far in my short time here.

    • Noh Huan Noh Huan says:

      Also if you’re concerned with student welfare and communication being essential to success there are a number of people available to handle that dispute. If you know anyone that feels like they are being discriminated against due to ability I can help you buy getting you in touch with the student obudsman who is there to support students w disputes like this.
      Nothing like this just happens bc no one cares.
      There is a lot of support to access at nait.

    • I have a feeling there is more to this story. NAIT is amazing school.

    • Cat Hills Cat Hills says:

      Tammy Stinson I agree. Nait also has their support dogs that they walk around. So why would they discriminate against a ‘government assessed service dog’ that a student has?? Has to be more to this story. As it was said in a comment further up, there seems to be a lot of attitude from the OP, and pending the amount of attitude/language etc from the student they will be removed. That’s one thing NAIT doesn’t tolerate is abuse in any form.

    • Troy Meadows I’m guessing there’s more to this story then op is leading on. Not once did OP actually give specific examples on how NAIT discriminated. My guess is OP was overwhelmed with the program or got some bad grades and decided to blame the institution.

  33. If it’s a support dog you would have had paperwork. Furthermore the dog is your helper not a piece of equipment.

  34. From reading the OP, it sounds like the person had an emotional support dog, not a service dog. ESAs are not recognized in Canada and cannot go everywhere like a service dog. That would make the difference as to whether he/she were able to have the dog with them in school. I’m not arguing whether an ESA should be allowed, just trying to find an explanation. It’s been my experience with schools that they try to accommodate disable students.

    • Darlene Pearson I think you’re right.

    • David Nudel David Nudel says:

      The dog is a government assessed service dog. It doesn’t matter what it is for all that matters that it is a government assesed dog and qualified service dog in the eyes of the Alberta Government.

    • David Nudel if that were true then NAIT wouldnt have a choice but to allow the pet, no?

    • David Nudel David Nudel says:

      Yes but they refused access to the service dog because a demonstration dog in the classroom and removing themselves and their medical equipment for the demonstrations wasn’t good enough for them. NAIT has some big classrooms that can have like 60 students in at one time and multiple levels. Why couldn’t the school be more accomodating and maybe kennel the dog while it wasn’t doing a demonstration so they could still have all of that lesson and just record the demonstration or something you know?

  35. Some of the instructors there are there just to make money. Years ago I took my 1st year carpentry there and the shop teacher I had always put me down. Saying I had poor skills and will never make it etc. You are there to learn not be put down and everyday I was put down was not cool at all I never returned to it because of the way I was treated.

    • Rowena Eger Rowena Eger says:

      Tonya Davison being told you have poor skills is not a put down it is an assessment. You could choose to try harder to improve those skills sounds like you chose to quit!

    • Rowena Eger i completed that course and was told by coworkers that i was doing a great job put things together. I even had a foreman that said that I was one of the best workers on site. So for a instructor saying what he was saying that i would never make it and how i shouldn’t even be in the line of work is not cool I was the only female in his class. The other instructors I had all said the complete opposite

    • You get instructors like that no matter where you are I had a highschool teacher say I couldn’t weld and I could better than most of the guys and I’ve had two Nait instructors in the three years to get my jman say that I couldn’t but others who wanted me to enter for the welding competition and said I had amazing skill. Sometimes you get people who are just jealous or who don’t want you to succeed. But you just continue I had a third year I shared a bay with try to mess with me that was in another class you just deal and move on

    • Tonya Davison there’s bad instructors and there’s great instructors no matter were you go

  36. Is this an emotional support dog that doesn’t have the paperwork to prove it’s a trained dog? If a person say, has a seeing eye dog, I don’t believe they can discriminate; they are highly trained for almost anything. An animal that provides you comfort, but isn’t trained, wouldn’t be acceptable in a classroom or work place. I feel there is more to the story.

  37. I am sorry this happened to you and accomodating medical needs is tough. Speaking from someone who is considered handicapped…

    However my husband finished NAIT program about 6-7 years ago. He went there after surgery, he was not allowed to work so he decided to upgrade his skills. And they did accomodate a lot of his medical equipment and needs that he had to have at that time. He is not disabled but he had post-surgery required face breathing mask, back disk to prevent too much moving and so on. He speaks so highly of them.

    Actually the counsellor he saw at NAIT reinforced a belief that he had Irlen Syndrome, which he suspected yet 3 eye doctors refused to consider. She sent him to a specialist and he was able to get it officially diagnosed and buy the right tint glasses which makes his life a lot easier.

    On that note, I can understand some places refuse animals. I know my husband struggled with a co-worker who had a service dog but he is allergic. He ended up leaving a job because of that. His co-worker needs a service animal so his allergies forced him to find employment elsewhere. Less pay. They may be considering that.

  38. Amy Carroll Amy Carroll says:

    Who’s “they”
    Fellow students? Teachers? The dean?
    You can’t put a certain group of people into the problem and call it NAIT.
    I’m sorry this happened to you, its unfortunate that we only read one side of this story…..NAIT is an excellent school.

  39. Tina Adam Tina Adam says:

    Just call around, and I would look into small town vets if your able to drive.

  40. Edmonton Holistic Vets all the front staff have their dogs with them (behind) the front desk! They are large dogs and their pets!
    So I would phone some places and ask, it can’t hurt!

  41. Sadly it may be difficult to find a place willing to accommodate that work wise. If you’re working at a vet clinic and another dog or a cat comes in that doesn’t do well around other animals your service dog may be out at risk. That’s not forgetting the diseases that some dogs come to the vet for treatment that could be passed on to your service dog. It’s not discriminatory it’s just a safety precaution for you and your service dog as well as any pet that needs treatment

    • Alana Kornik exactly! Even if her dog is a well trained service animal that doesn’t mean every animal she treats will respond well. If I brought my cats in for a checkup and there was a dog in the room where we let them out of the crate it would be a blood bath… they don’t like dogs. So there’s no way I’d go to a vet clinic with a vet on staff that has a service dog

    • Alana Kornik exactly! Even if her dog is a well trained service animal that doesn’t mean every animal she treats will respond well. If I brought my cats in for a checkup and there was a dog in the room where we let them out of the crate it would be a blood bath… they don’t like dogs. So there’s no way I’d go to a vet clinic with a vet on staff that has a service dog

    • Gina Belle Gina Belle says:

      as someone who works in a vet Hospital, to me it does not seem feasible for an animal health tech to have a service dog at their side constantly considering the nature of everything they do and how quickly a situation can change in the treatment area where you may have multiple techs and/or doctors working on a pet in a small area, not to mention any patients that may be dog aggressive.

    • Amy Angela Amy Angela says:

      Gina Belle agree totally.

    • Allison Upsdell exactly my dog doesn’t react well when she is on leash and it would stress her out.

  42. Everyone who goes to nait is disabled

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