Stop fake Service Dogs!
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Fake service dogs are showing up in restaurants, grocery stores, amusement parks, doctors offices and just about every other place that pets are NOT allowed. This is not only criminal, but it is a major health and safety hazard. The ADA allows for professionally trained dogs (and some other animals) that perform a service to their disabled handler to be allowed in these places. These dogs have undergone hundreds of hours of extensive training to not only assist their handler but to also be safe and well behaved in public places and they often cost over $20,000. Emotional support dogs and therapy dogs are NOT covered under these laws and should NOT be unless they have specific training to assist their handlers and can behave like other Service Dogs. They often have little to no training and are often aggressive to other people and real Service Dogs. Their owners are taking breaking the law and taking advantage of a law that doesn't apply to them and making it much harder for those with real disabilities. IF emotional support dogs get the training they should be allowed under the ADA easily.
It's suggested you do a YouTube search for "fake service dogs" to witness this prevalent and very real problem. You can also find thousands of website hits for this same search. These fake service dogs are well known to defecate and/or urinate in doctors' offices, restaurants, and grocery stores, as well as bark, snap at and be aggressive towards other dogs and people everywhere. Right now these criminals simply lie and say "it's my service dog" and they usually threaten to sue if asked to remove the dog from the premises. When confronted by real handlers with real Service Dogs they are very often verbally abused and even threatened. Conversely, real Service Dogs and their handlers are often asked to leave places they have a legal and legitimate right to be in with their dogs. Let's make it simple for all.
To put a stop to this issue we put forth this plan: Have a federally issued dog tag for the collar/harness/halti/leash/etc. the dog wears that has an ID number to verify the dog is a Licensed Service Dog along with a photo ID of the dog and handler for the handler to keep on them. Easy-peasy, as they already have to have a rabies tag in most states. These tags/cards should be made available through the ADA Office (https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html and implemented through verified Service Dog Trainers who can give the new handlers the Service Dog Tag and Handler's Card when they give the dogs to their handlers after training. We then need to make it legal for all businesses and government-owned places such as parks, to be able to request to see the tag and card, verify it if in doubt and then report to police any illegal fake service dogs who should then be heavily fined, while being able to eject these people with their animal from places they shouldn't be to begin with. As many real Service Dogs do not wear vests, as they are not required, this simple tag/card system could serve as the way to end people abusing a right that doesn't belong to them. In addition, it will stop the truly disabled with real Service Dogs from being bothered by people who think they are fakers. We also need to make it criminal to sell or use the fake ID cards, vests, patches, etc. that are all over ebay, Amazon and dozens of other sites. One ID tag, one card- if it's not from the ADA it's NOT going to be allowed.
Real Service Dogs do a variety of jobs. Each dog is individually trained for the specific person that needs their assistance. The most common include:
Guide dogs for the sight impaired- aka Seeing Eye Dog. They are literally eyes for their handlers to assist with life in many ways.
Hearing dogs for the hearing impaired. They can alert their handler to cars, doorbells, phones and far more.
Mobility Assistance dogs for those who have many different issues with mobility. They can provide balance, fetch objects, etc.
Diabetic and Seizure Alert dogs- they help their handlers by alerting them when they are about to have a blood sugar issue or a seizure. Seizure Response dogs help protect their handler during a seizure.
Autism Support dogs assist handlers dealing with the spectrum. they can use DPT and other techniques to help.
Psychiatric Service dogs assist their handlers in a variety of ways, including helping alert them to high trigger events, providing Deep Pressure Therapy and providing a physical barrier from others.
Please sign and share! Protect the disabled and the general public. Do what's right.
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