Service Poodle Outreach/Outdoors Tour


In May 2011 Maeve, Psychiatric Service Dog and Mental Health Advocate, and her human, Joanne Shortell, committed themselves to get the word out throughout the U.S. about the rights of people with psychiatric disabilities to emotional support animals in no-pets housing without deposits or fees and to psychiatric service dogs, to fight stigma, and to demonstrate that non-medical interventions can have a significant effect on psychiatric disabilities.. The campaign is called SPOT -- short for Service Poodle Outreach/Outdoors Tour. Joanne and Maeve go to as many places as possible in the Maevemobile to talk to people about these issues -- including talking to staff and customers during many impromptu visits to businesses. In addition, they get outdoors as much as possible to demonstrate the positive effects of nature, exercise, and her service dog's assistance on Joanne's bipolar disorder.

Would your organization like a visit from the Maevemobile? Please contact us! We speak for free (although an offer to cover expenses would never be turned down).

We speak about the following subjects:

  • The right of people with psychiatric disabilities to emotional support animals (pets) in no-pets housing without deposits or fees anywhere in the United States.
  • The right of people with psychiatric disabilities throughout the United States to have service dogs -- and the right to train their own service dogs if they wish to do so.
  • Our own experiences as a psychiatric service dog and handler team -- including details on our experiences with landlord, businesses, dating, and relationships; training one's own service dog; the beneficial effects of a service dog on Joanne's mental health; and what it's like to be disabled by bipolar disorder and to travel everywhere with a service dog.
  • How Joanne's emotional support cat, Sibol, has helped her as well as Joanne's experience with other non-medical interventions.
  • How Joanne recreated her life to support her recovery and accommodate her disability and what it's like to live, work, and travel across the U.S. in a 100 sq ft vehicle with a service dog and a cat.

We  speak to any group that is interested and we're particularly keen on speaking to:

  • College and grad students, especially those who may go into medicine or a mental health related occupation
  • Clubhouses and day treatment centers for people with psychiatric disabilities 
  • Staff who provide services to people with psychiatric disabilities 
  • Doctors and others who provide therapy and/or medical treatment to people with psychiatric disabilities 
  • NAMI, DBSA, or other mental health related groups
(For stories of the tour see: http://maevetour.blogspot.com/. To book a free talk for your group, contact us)

Some groups we've spoken to: