Ragged Edge Online Home

Nude Sun Bather Sues National Park Over Furry Companion

by Dave Reynolds (subscribe)

CENTRAL ISLIP, NEW YORK--Here's a story that's getting a lot of 'exposure'.

And here are the 'bare' facts, all 'stripped down' for you.

Mark DelCore, 39, says he has experienced a skin condition caused by toxins, along with post-traumatic stress disorder, from September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks.

He says further that the best form of relief for his skin problem is to get an "all-over" tan. DelCore also claims that the best relief from his PTSD is 'Cheekies', his rat terrier that he says provides "emotional support and comfort".

But the Fire Island National Seashore, the clothing optional beach where DelCore likes to sunbathe in the buff, only allows guide dogs for blind people. No therapy dogs. No service dogs. Just guide dogs.

DelCore claims that the beach's policies are a form of discrimination because they violate his rights under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

And this week, he filed a lawsuit against the National Park Service.

"My dog is a typical service dog, he is obedient and well trained," DelCore wrote in the suit.

During a hearing on Friday, Central Islip Federal Judge Joseph Bianco seemed skeptical of DelCore's claims.

"I haven't seen any evidence that would suggest that this dog is trained in some way connected to your medical or physical condition," the judge told DelCore.

"Man Sues Over Naked Beach Beef" (The Smoking Gun)

Copyright 2006 Inonit Publishing
Article reproduced here under special arrangement with Inclusion Daily Express international disability rights news service. Please do not reprint, republish or forward without permission.


I really hate to be anything but open-minded about this sort of thing, but really, now -- really. This belittles bona fide ADA claims -- and there are so many of these ridiculous stories, involving jerks doing everything ranging from abuse to downright faking, and they naturally receive a heck of a lot more press than stories about reasonable claims. Crapola like this is precisely why many legislators are so quick to cite frivolous claims as a reason for choking out ADA processes. My dog brings me "emotional support and comfort" too -- but not generally while I'm lolling about naked on a beach and pulling absurd (and creepy) claims out of thin air. So many people have fashionably exploited the 9-11 attacks, and so many people get a weirdo kick out of being naked in public, and so many people are intruiged by the idea of showing up somewhere with an unauthorized dog. It's why people always want to pet service animals -- not 'cause they've never seen a dog before, but because they enjoy the "attention" a service dog attracts. All these unsettling tendencies combined tend to make me more than a bit skeptical -- and disgusted. And what the hell kindofa name is "Cheekies"?

And furthermore! The "typical service dog" is much more than simply "obedient and well-trained". I've got freakin' lizards that are "obedient and well-trained".

That is all.

I think only Mr DelCore's dermatologist and psychiatrist are qualified to assess whether his conditions require nude sunbathing and a service dog. we don't have enough information to conclude that this is not a bona fide claim.

Unless this dog is trained to perform a task that directly mitigates a disabiltiy of the owner, it is not a service dog.At best, by the descriptions of this case, this dog sounds like an emotional support dog, which is essentially a pet that has *very* limited public access, and only with a doctor's prescription.

Aside from that, federal law permits *all* service dogs access wherever their owners can go in areas open to the general public. Guide dogs are only one of many types of SD.

Since when are service dogs trained for emotional support only? Since when do doctors prescribe pets? They don't, or shouldn't. This man needs to meet some people who have a genuine need for a service dog. However, I doubt that would teach him much based on his claims. This is just another example of someone abusing the system that is in place to help people. A person like this will go to any length to get the things they want, just because they want them. This man needs to be reminded that the sun shines in his back yard as well as the beach. If he has no back yard... go to the tanning bed or get a sun lamp.

This discussion came up recently for me in a similar context. The individual indicated that his dog helped his depression and had an action against an entity which was denying that the dog was a service animal.

It is my understanding that ALL dogs provide emotional support and companionship for the people who own them. This being the case, it would seem that EVERYONE should be able to take their dog(s) into public places and be welcomed.

It is also my nderstanding that while no one can question a person with a disability about where their dog was trained, they must be able to demonstrate the tasks which the dog is specially providing for them.

It will be interesting to see how this comes out.

Post a comment

(All entries are checked for inappropriate content before they appear on the site. Thanks for waiting.)