Fake Service Dogs – Unethical or Responsible Pet Care? – TheBark

by Spot on November 3, 2009

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I thought my readers would be interested in this article posted at TheBark

Playing service dog to travel first class.

The legitimacy and training of service dogs has come up a lot recently, and many of the cases do not have clear solutions. But what about when someone is consciously taking advantage of the privileges granted to service dogs?

With the USDAA Cynosport World Games coming up in Scottsdale, Ariz., I’ve been talking to many of the local competitors about how they’re traveling with their dogs. Some are caravanning in their RVs and others are reluctantly putting their pups in cargo.

One of the more seasoned competitors mentioned that while she dutifully puts her dogs in cargo, she always sees fellow competitors passing their pups off as service dogs on the plane.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wes Hagen 11.03.09 at 2:46 pm

As the husband of a woman who uses a service dog for seizure alert, I am appalled that some would exploit the ADA and threaten the entire service dog community by being so lazy and nonchalant.

Passing a service dog off is a felony in the State of CA and the penalty is jail time and a LOT of money.

PLEASE–leave service dogs for those who need them, and stop negatively impacting our service dog community.

By the way, I say it’s lazy because these same criminals could be doing something beneficial by putting out real effort to change the laws that govern where their animals can and can’t go.

By doing the illegal end-around, they potentially endanger the rights of the truly handicapped. (How do they sleep at night?)

‘Fake’ service dogs have little to no public access training. Say a ‘fake’ SD takes a stinky poop in a business. How will that impact the next blind man with a service dog that enters that business. Have some class. If you’re going to attack the handicapped community, please do it to our faces.

2 Deb Smith 11.08.09 at 3:33 pm

As someone disabled with a legitimate service dog, I was approached just a week ago with someone looking for tips on how to fly their “performance dogs” as service dogs. They went so far as to tell me that in their circle it’s done all the time – they create fake paperwork and bogus ID’s, slap a vest on their dog, and they are on their way. What was most apalling (to me anyway) was that they then participated in sporting events – earning money, awards, etc., all by trampling on the rights of someone physically unable to do that which they’ve exploited.

Supposedly they are rarely stopped and almost never caught. While I hopefully talked that one individual from ever attempting to do the same thing (I threw the term “felony” around frequently, as well as “criminal prosecution”), I’m sure it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So what is the answer? Strong moral convictions and people who will just do the right thing? With as nice as that would be it’s awfully unlikely.

3 shiloh 11.08.09 at 6:28 pm

well if the pet restrictions and being what they are based on breed specific fear (calif-denver, murder dogs cause of the blood lines) and the airline “norms” for pets is more un ethical and if it was you (pre-patriot act) it would be concidered torture, and what if a blind persons dog pooped (their dogs poop too),then a hotel changed their pet policy and you have to sleep in your car during a snow storm cause the proprieters pejudiced opinion,… so yeah i can understand wanting the same life style for them selves or their canine family members because some who has a hearing aid and seems too need a dog,… i geuss the alternitive for my dogs rights only people, is lets see,… gov’t orginized testing? training? high “fees” for trainer cert. and dog cert. loss of doctor patient confidentiality, dog id? human id? should i shirt w/ my disability and doctors information on it in public, because uptight yuppie stay at home bloggers, cant stand the idea of some one using the same privilidges they enjoy,… heres an idea, put therapy dogs on the same level as service dogs then any one on psych meds (a majotity of americans) or that are coping w/ prior trauma, w/ out meds or head-shrinkers, or lives in a restrictive love less soul depleting routine or is exposed to main stream media, (the rest of america),… so all thats left to do if your dog acts incorectly you need proof of obiedience training before entering that buisness again.
yes ive a disability, the change in my life and quality of my dogs life is awsome and in retro spect kenneling (voulenteer in one of these for perspective) or cramming them in a cage and storing them in an unlit non temp.cotrolled belly of a plane in immoral and unethical and my belief an unchristian way to treat a well ajusted creation of god,…
so get off your high horse and advocate for animal rights and stop buying puppy mill dogs instead of harping on poeple who just want the same treatment for their family as yours

4 Think about this.. 11.08.09 at 8:32 pm

I am still questioned about my right to have a service animal. I think the people who are passing as fakes are actually helping the cause. Think about this store owners can’t disprove whether the dog is or isnt trained and its against the law for them to ask what the disability may be. If more people have service animal tags fake or not the chances of them being ignorant about the whole subject goes out the window. I am the guy who sued Prime outlet centers in Destin Florida and settled out of court because they had security say there was no such thing. I can assure you when anyone walks in now and says service animal they welcome them with open arms. 10 years ago if you were blind you were just full of sh*T in the eyes of anyone. Think on that for a while. The law is the law. Thank God

5 Yuppie blogger (who's not uptight) 11.08.09 at 8:33 pm

Seems we’ve veered off the heart of the question. Lying about a companion animal by saying they are service dogs, whereby illegally misrepresenting yourself as a disabled individual who was granted rights via the ADA, is illegal (unethical, immoral, etc.) That very simple fact is aside from how safe airline travel is for pets, the theological basis for animals in general, the percentage of the population who is or isn’t on psych meds (OR need to be), etc. There’s obviously a separate forum to attack puppy mill supporters, yuppies, bloggers (whether they be uptight or not) and yes, even people that ride “high horses” (giddy up).

6 Trish 11.09.09 at 9:47 pm

Yes, I also am cared for by a Service Dog for “Med Alert”..I have encountered people in Stores with their Pets, saying they are “Service Dogs”..these dogs Bark at people, some Snap,Tug at the End of the Strap , etc. but I have Noticed the People trying to pass them as “Service Dogs” usually act about the same as their pet!
I have Never seen or heard of a “Service Dog” poop in the store, but certainly have the “Fakes”.. Well, I suppose in a way those people really are Disabled…In The Brain!

7 wayne morris 11.11.09 at 4:05 am

I have a friend who has a little yorkie that is very friendly,never barks or snaps at anyone and has never pooped in a store. this ladys life has been extended by having her dog with her constantly.It lets her know when someone comes around her home that she might not notice and keeps her laughing most of the time.

8 wayne morris 11.11.09 at 4:17 am

I have a friend who has a little yorkie that is very friendly,never barks or snaps at anyone and has never pooped in a store. this ladys life has been extended by having her dog with her constantly.It lets her know when someone comes around her home that she might not notice and keeps her laughing most of the time. She has shown more life now than she has for years because of her dog.She is on oxygen constantly but sometimes she stops getting enough and her yorkie somehow knows when she isnt breathing right and starts to lick her in the face until she corrects the problem. She is seldom depresed anymore because of her yorkie and I am convinced the pup has greatly improved her quality of life.She takes him everywhere with her.I dont know if the dog is papered as a service dog but he should be because of the joy he has restored to her life and his constant vigilance to her welfare.IS HE A SERVICE DOG OR NOT

9 Wes Hagen 11.11.09 at 9:35 am

Wayne: the definition of a service dog is a canine that has been trained to execute TASKS and BEHAVOIRS that MITIGATE a legal DISABILITY.

Wayne: your friend just needs to get papers that declare her legally disabled and look into a little public access training. It would be very easy for her to ‘go legal’ and get that Yorkie working properly.

Here’s a checklist to see if a service dog team is legal:

#1 Are you legally disabled? If not, you cannot legally have a service animal. This is how the courts will get you. If you are challenged with your fake service dog, the cops write you a ticket, you show up to court and have to prove to the judge that you are legally disabled.

#2: The animal must be trained for public access. Remember: EVERY service dog team represents every other service dog team. If a ‘faker’ has a bad experience with a ‘gatekeeper’, that ‘gatekeeper’ will forever be biased toward service dogs. If a team presents a questionable presence, is refused a hotel room, a table at a restaurant or whatever, and the ‘faker’ accepts their fate and walks away, then the gatekeeper will feel that they can deny public access rights to real disabled persons.

If you continue to think that you can ‘fake’ a service dog, I question your morality and your humanity. I’m sure you probably park in a handicapped spot when you’ve had a long day, too.

10 Wes Hagen 11.11.09 at 9:41 am

My wife pointed out that the doctor’s paperwork must state the person is disabled, and that the dog also needs to be trained to mitigate the disability.

11 Well. 02.03.10 at 12:56 pm

This is interesting, I can honestly see why they would do it. Airlines can seriously LOOSE your beloved pet, and not be held responsible. I would not want that to happen to my dog, whom I cherish like a member of the family, not just an animal. Is it ethical? Yes and No, no it is not right to fake anything that is meant for those who really need it, but at the same time they are saving their dogs misery and possibly being lost like luggage, never to find their way home again.
I can also see why people would do it when they move, many places will not allow dogs, and with our current economy many people are loosing their jobs and houses, forced to choose between their dogs and a place to live, especially if they have a dog on the “restricted” list. As a owner of a Pit Bull I know first hand how unfair this list is and how difficult it can be to find an affordable home and still have my dog. He has never once shown any aggression to another living creature and almost lost his life to a golden retriever, who I must add did not sustain any injuries because my dog did NOT bite back. So again, back to the subject, I see why people do it, it is because for responsible dog owners there are no rights for having a well behaved dog you get treated the same as those with out of control dogs and the only way to get around it would be to make them a service dog. Someone mentioned earlier we could fight for better rights for dogs, sure we could and many are, but nothing will be changed for our dogs in their lifetime, it is still unfair for them today. :cry:

12 Wes Hagen 02.04.10 at 9:26 am

Well..

Even though I understand your feelings about dogs and wanting them to be safe, there are legal avenues for you to pursue rights for pets. But service dogs are not pets, and a single bad experience in a business with a fake service dog can do irreparable harm to the next service dog team that enters that business.

EVERY service dog team represents the whole community, and as more real disabled people, vets, etc depend on these animals for mitigating a real disability, the more vital it is that the community shows its proper face: well trained animals, careful and considerate handlers, and a respect for the ADA that does not include those that would park in a handicapped stall with their grandmother’s placard or accept disability checks that were mistakenly mailed to them.

Bottom line is that it’s disrespectful to the disabled to fake a service dog, and what could be more pathetic than being thoughtless to disabled persons?

13 Kathy 05.03.10 at 7:14 pm

I am a manager in a restaurant. If someone comes in with a “service dog”, do I have the right to ask if this animal IS a service animal? How can I tell if the person with the dog is telling the truth? Especially if they do not appear to be blind, or disabled?

14 Lifebunny 05.08.10 at 12:09 am

You have to take them at their word.

You can ask if it is a service dog. You can ask what tasks the animal performs for them. You may not ask them what their disability is.

I would recommend that you look up the Americans With Disabilities Act (Amended) as it pertains to service animals at http://www.ada.gov/svcabrs3.pdf (it’s a PDF, so be sure you have a reader installed to be able to read it).

15 Robin B 05.10.10 at 1:31 pm

Not all disabled people are in a wheel chair. some disabled people may not look disabled to you because they have a seizure disorder, bloodsugar issues, heart problems, are deaf, just to name a few. I have RSD in my upper body and if you saw me standing there with my service dog you might not believe that I am disabled. My dog wears a moblity harness and backpack with patches and some times people ask if I am training her. I use my dog for balance and she does many task that make life easier and less painful for me. Service dogs are very important for the disabled, they are trained working partners, not pets that people take along with them for fun. Sometimes one of the hardest things about having a service dog is telling people not to pet or distract you SD and getting them to respect your space and right to just live your life. People that take their PET DOGS with them and say they are Service Dogs really hurt the disabled. I came out of a store once with my SD and a couple was walking toward the store with their cocker spaniel, they said, ” did they let you take in your dog?” I told them my dog was a SD and not a pet, that she is allowed by law. They said oh, I need to get one of those things for my dog. I informed them that was against the law! As we drove off I saw one of them sitting outside the store with their dog. Now a person that goes to our church, and has seen me with my SD has started to bring a little dog to church in a vest that says SD. However I am 75% sure that it is a pet, due to the fact that this person lets everyone at church pet, play with and walk around with this so called SD. Now I am the mean person that won’t let anyone pet my SD. So I just try to stay away from that person and the dog while I am at church. I have not met any person that has a SD who lets people play with the SD when it is supposed to be working.

16 Heather 06.12.10 at 12:05 am

I find this topic very interesting.

I do not support the idea of trying to pass off a fake service dog. I do, however, have questions about how to have a dog certified (if this is possible) without having to spend $30,000 on one.

My teenage son is autistic and although he is high-functioning he does struggle socially and has been physically attacked a number of times because he does not know how to respond to people in a “normal” way (he does not seem to hear them and does not usually respond to greetings) and quickly becomes a target for others aggression. We are working hard to help him deal with this and to take preventative measures, closely monitoring where he goes and always having someone along.

Animals seem to really calm him down and give him the ability to talk more easily to others and pay better attention to what is going on around him. I have been thinking that it would be beneficial for him to have a service dog.

The waiting lists are long and the costs seem to be prohibitive. We are in Canada. Does anyone know if it is possible for an individual to train a dog and then have it certified on their own initiative?

I thought I saw an episode of Ceasar Millan where he was talking to someone and helping them to do something like this.

I recently read an article about service dogs for people with autism. The impression I came away with is that there is often a lot of affection between the handler and the dog in these relationship. That seems to differ from the description of a service dogs role that I’m hearing here. I had gotten the impression that service dogs for people on the autistic spectrum serve the purpose of drawing a person out of their shell and encouraging them to engage with the world around them, rather than some of the more traditional roles of a service dog.

I do not underestimate the value of a professionally trained service dog, just wondering if it is possible to somehow open up this opportunity for my son in spite of a rather limited financial situation.

Thanks.

17 Robin B 06.12.10 at 2:49 pm

Hi Heather, a lot of people train their own service dog…due to the facts that you listed. Here in the United States a SD does not have to be certified (however that may change in the future due to people trying to pass off their pet dogs as SD)
Anyway, in the U.S there are programs that a person can go through and have their own dog trained as a Service Dog–if the dog has the right temperment. The trainers will even help you pick out the correct dog. I went through such a program. They had the program dogs for Veterans and also help people train their own dog for what ever their disability is. My Service Dog is certified through that program… it comes in handy if I run into any problems with access issue. I would think Canada would have some type of similar program try the Internet. Try the Lions Foundation of Canada for Austism Service dogs, West Coast Assistance teams, The Mira Foundation. One of these programs may be able to help you find a trainer or have a self train program that will also help you choose a dog that would be good for a person with Austism.
This worked for me here in the U.S. and it did not cost me a ton of money. It is more work but worth it, and some places will take monthly payments while you are in training.
Hope this helps and good luck, Robin B

18 Pami 07.03.10 at 4:11 pm

Did you know that you can have a service dog if you use a Epi-Pen, The dog will go get the Epi-Pen and bring it to you. Also Call 9-11 or go get someone. Also is trained to Alert to the smoke alram.

To get the vest and Epi-Pen Alert Dog Patches go online to Pup’parel to order let her know Pami sent you.

Also if you are looking for a Labradoodle to be your service dog go online to Seattle Labradooles This is for people that self-train their own service dog why because they are puppies please let me know what you think of this kind of service dog. also its best to have these patches on vest also Access Requird By Law.

19 Jim Bob 11.29.10 at 7:56 pm

We need stronger laws for service dogs and the tasks they need to do! And what age a service dog in training can go out in public.

20 Matt 04.19.11 at 11:27 pm

God Damn people, there are no specific laws regulating service dogs. Right now its very gray and no one is going to do any jail time because any dog can qualify as a service dog if it is doing service for its owner. Service can be as simple as companionship.

21 Matt 04.19.11 at 11:28 pm

You people remind me of a bunch of old women with nothing more to do than complain.

22 Matt 04.19.11 at 11:30 pm

By the way people, keep in mind that everyone has some kind of disability.

23 Robin B. 04.20.11 at 5:11 pm

Comfort animals/dogs or Emotional support (ESA) animals/dogs are not covered under the ADA LAW and do not have the same access rights as a Service dog under the LAW. Yes, there are SPECIFIC laws regarding service dogs. In California for fake service dogs it is Penal code 365.7 it is up to 6 months in jail , $1000 fine or both. Fake service dogs can and do attack real service dogs. And if they are aggressive or out of control in a store they can make REAL service dog teams look bad and cause access problems. Here is another Penal code 600.2 if a fake service dog or any dog attacks a service dog the person that owns said dog is ordered to pay for all vet bills and if the Service dog is killed or no longer able to work that person is also responsible for replacement cost $15,000 to $20,000 not to mention the law suit to follow. SO–yes there are laws regarding service dogs and pet dogs need to stay at home. And NO not all people meet the QUALIFICATION for disabled under the ADA, having just a doctors note isn’t enough–most Dr’s don’t even know the law.

24 Yorkie Whisperer 06.24.11 at 8:03 am

This is BS!

They allow screaming, screeching, vomiting, drooling, peeing, pooping, sticky germ infested kids in airplanes, hotels, public places, beaches and parks but they dont allow dogs?

All this moral and ethical crap really ticks me off. Our culture has so undermined animals and nature on EVERY level, it is so appauling and to cooperate in spirit with the limitations of allowing animal companions in our world ? Insane.

In my estimation, everyone should have a ‘service dog in their home and workplace’. The world would be a better place.

Our culture has relegated it such that the ONLY way we can have animlas with us is if they are ‘of service’ – that alone is kind of ridiculous.

First we outlaw ALL animals and THEN we turn around and allow them in IF they perform a function that grants them further ‘service’ . As if they have to join the elite club. Thats BS.

As if its not enough that we have hidden them away and prevented them from living in our world almost 98 % of places we live…
as if its not enough that we control every thing about them…
we should also not ever see them or let them accompany us unless they qualify to be ‘in service’?

This is the last great accepted SLAVERY of our culture…
disgusting – that disabled people feel they alone can ‘own’ this and act and speck as if their service animal is a machine.

And what about disability? Everyone has some kind of physical or mental disability to some degree. Everyone has had some sort of trauma in their lives and would benefit greatly to have a Emotional Support Canine by there side.

Who is so pompous to think they could judge a person’s needs? Its nuts.
Shame on them.

And THIS is why people obtain false IDs. Because they have no other choice. So instead of shaking your finger at that, change the system.

25 Linda 06.24.11 at 11:35 pm

Fake service dogs are an issue for those of us needing a real one. Mine is a balance dog, while I can get by without him my chances of falling are much greater and I have to walk “differntly” to try and not fall. By the end of the day my back and neck hurt.

However, my dog has had a couple of bad experiences with other dogs (like they let their dog in mines face even as I tried to stop them). He was also attacked by another dog. Now he does not like other dogs. This could have probably been prevented if others respected the service dog and the space around him when working.

Now I have to be on the look out for other dogs and try to keep our distance. The trainer and I have been working on the issue, but she is thinking that he may always be reactive now.

Not fair given my need for him and the amount of work, time and cost that goes into training a service dog.

26 SKo 07.03.11 at 2:38 pm

Personally, I love having my little dog around and would like to take him everywhere I go. I look at my dog as more of a companion/ family member. However, it is hard to bring him to places without being asked to leave. I see babies crying, kids screaming and sticking gum everywhere, spitting, and breaking stuff; and yet I can’t bring my dog. He is very well-behaved, extremely friendly, potty-trained and social to people and other animals. My area used to be a dog-friendly area, but now there are rules and restrictions where dogs are prohibited to even come close to a certain proximity.
I do understand that the people with disabilities and their service dogs are priorities. However, I believe there should be laws/regulations that can allow the rest of us to have our dogs by our sides as well, whether it is having the dogs go through a certification programs to ensure the dogs are well-mannered, obedient, and properly trained. Or maybe if the dogs are brought along with their kennels, our dogs can be allowed to be by our sides at restaurants/malls/ etc.
I believe that it is the irresponsible pet owners’ fault who lack the effort to control/discipline their dog aggressions or pick up after them that cause many places/area to force to banned all pets from being on the property. But to implement some kind of law and regulations that can allow properly trained, mannered dogs to have the same rights/ privileges as service dogs will allow the rest of us to have our beloved pets with us most of the time as long as the pets go through a certification training program and renewal follow-up each year.
I guess I am just so tired of being asked to leave including some outdoor places because my dog is not a SD; and not to mention the embarrassment and humility I felt being followed around by a security to make sure that my dog and I leave the premises. =(

27 Robin B 07.07.11 at 1:59 pm

I loved my PET dogs dearly before someone plowed into the side of my minivan and I became disabled, I love my Service Dog dearly also….HOWEVER, I would gladly give up taking my dog everywhere I go if I could have my health back. I would gladly have a PET dog that I take SOME places and not others. The REALITY with PET dogs is that most are not trained at all or not trained to be in all public area’s. They cause a problem for the disabled and their Service Dogs. Most of the general public does not understand, it is not a PRIVILEGE to have a Service Dog..it is a NECESSITY. The ADA makes it easier for the disabled by using a HIGHLY trained Service Dog to help make a disabled person’s live better. My Service Dog and I have encountered many pet dogs while we have been out, only one dog did nothing, the others have barked, lounged, growled and some small dogs have gone absolutely crazy…none of these owners had control over or could control these dogs. My Service Dog has even been attacked by one of these “well behaved, friendly dogs that wouldn’t hurt a fly” (the owners words not mine) So if you have a pet dog please only take it to pet allowed places AND please get your dog trained…just teaching it to sit isn’t training it. And never approach a Service dog team with your pet dog, NEVER, you could cause injury to the disabled person or SD and this will cost you $$$$.

Just the other day when we went to the grocery store, the clerk was complaining to us that they had a fake service dog they had to remove from the store, after it pooped in the store…So come on, make it a little easier on those of us that HAVE to use a Service Dog…have some empathy, it goes a long way. Thanks

28 Robin B 07.07.11 at 2:09 pm

Oh yeah…Anyone that wants to have my medical condition which is CRPS…look it up…you are welcome to it!! Then you can get a SD and take it everywhere you go..”so you won’t feel left out and not be one of the Priveleged” I will take my good health back and enjoy being FREE and ALIVE again. It is just wrong to go after the disabled…but I guess I should not be surprised some people just don’t have the mental capacity to “get it” SIGH…no more wasted energy on this topic…its pointless :(

29 Frustrated 09.01.11 at 1:36 pm

Listening to all of the chatter I can understand some of both sides. I do have a medical disability, Epilepsy. My dog is a sezure alert service dog. He goes every where with me. Because he is small he travels in a bag and is seldom seen or heard. He has been trained and is rarely noticed by most people. It would be both dangerous and humiliating for me and my family and or friends if I didn’t have a little early warning most of the time when a seizure is coming.
He never makes any noise unless he senses a change and then he starts to whine. If he is out of his travel bag he also tries to lick my face. We recently stayed in a resort where “Pets” are not allowed. Since my SD travels in his bag no one even noticed that I had him, subsequently no one asked me about him.When we went walking around we encountered several people walking with dogs claiming to be service dogs. One a Yellow Lab, one a pug, one some sort of Lasa mix.
I know they weren’t a service dogs because we saw them showing them off to other guest and letting them pet and play with them; a no no. The Yellow Lab being passed off as a SD jumped up on people and I actually witnessed the same dog poop on the beautiful lawn and the “disabled” person made no effort to clean up after it.
My little dog goes potty in litter box with puppy pads when inside and if necessary while out I always carry bags for clean up. It infuriates me to see that the real reason the resort doesn’t allow “regular” pets is because of people who have no common sense about respect for others property i.e. not cleaning up after their dog. No one wants to stroll past a heaping, stinking pile of dog poo when they have paid dearly to escape from their everyday woes.

30 Lori 05.26.12 at 2:37 am

God bless all of you TRULY disabled persons who require SD. I own a restaurant and you are welcome in my place anytime. But I am so over the fakes. They come in to my bar dressed to match their little dog’s carrier wearing its SD jacket. When asked what their handicap/disability is “Anxiety” is always the diagnosis. REALLY! Your going to come into a bar, loaded with obnoxious people when you have anxiety issues. OK, maybe she needs to self medicate – I know all about that – but who is she trying to foul. I find it disrespectful, self centered, indulgent, arrogant, and selfish to our community of truly handicapped who NEED this public privilege. And who was the idiot Doctor who granted her this certificate? How derelict to his profession can he be. And now the business owners have to smile and allow this over indulgent generation to smug us in the face. I’M OVER IT!

31 Diane 06.14.12 at 8:54 pm

Self medication? To be honest, I was okay eating Xanax and 3 different antidepressants and never leaving my house. My mother and my doctor disagreed. If you’ve never had an anxiety attack, suffered severe depression or survived an event that left you with PTSD, you really shouldn’t judge. One would hope that people who can be helped by service animals would be kinder. They are not given the same access as SDs but ESAs are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. With more of our soldiers returning with PTSD, you will be seeing more ESAs.
Many of us, with support animals, don’t really care if we go out in public, or live or die, for that matter. But giving up seems so cowardly and inconsiderate. Even if one makes arrangements for all their bills to be paid and utilities turned off, packed all of their belongings, cleaned out their refrigerator, tried to see that no one is inconvenienced, there is still the body to be found…the grief of the loved ones, wondering, “What if I’d said/done this or that?” So we stay and if a little dog helps make sticking around, a little more bearable, then let us be…please…

32 Raven 06.18.12 at 3:20 am

Wow! I cannot believe the amount of ignorant people who think being disabled means you get special privledges. We get the nearest parking spaces “reserved” for us and can bring our dogs wherever we go. Let me enlighten you: I would trade my constant, never ending pain, the mind shattering shooting pain down my legs and my inability to walk like anything but frankenstein (slow, dragging steps) which is all included in my suffocating disability ANY DAY for a life where my service dog and parking in disabled parking wasnt necessary. Anyone that thinks people with service dogs are “lucky” is an idiot. I hate what my life has been diminished to. I hate that i have to use disabled parking because i can’t walk very far. And its a big effort to take my service dog along with me everywhere. I wish it wasnt necessary. But it is. My service dog is such a help to me that I cant imagine having to function without her. But when i get harrassed by ignorant businesses because of bad experiences with fake service dogs, or having to listen to whiny little bitches complaining how unfair their un-disabled life is because, wahh wahh, they cant take their pet everywhere a service dog can go, i cant stand it. I just hope one day kharma pays them back and makes it necessary for them to have a service dog – and make them listen forever to whiny un-disabled people cry about how unfair life is for them because they didnt get the same rights as the disabled. Then, maybe, theyll gain some perspective and compassion.

33 Ashley 02.21.13 at 12:39 pm

It is ironic that in a forum discussing fake service dog ID tags, the advertisement on the page is for exactly that item.

Here’s my question. If a disabled person self-trains their animal and they desire to have ID tags or vests to help them overcome public ignorance (even though this is not required by law), is it so wrong for them to purchase these through services like servicedogtags.com and the like? If the person is disabled and the dog is trained, then the tag, regardless of where it was purchased, isn’t really fake, is it?

I am growing tired of the judgmental attitudes in our society. What gives a person a right to assume that every service dog they see is a “fake”? To the epileptic at the resort: Service dogs DO take breaks. They ARE allowed to play and socialize when they aren’t working. If a service dog happens to not be working, it does not mean that the dog is a fake.

To the restaurant worker who is “so over the fakes:” You state that you are asking people about their disabilities. Do you understand that this is against the law? You could actually be arrested for that. It is not up to you to decide whether a person’s disability qualifies them for a service animal. You are not a doctor, you are not the person dealing with the disability and you are not the ADA. Keep your opinions to yourself and hope that you are never in a position to need a service animal.

This is all so ridiculous. I don’t understand why people care so much what others are doing as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. Remember in kindergarten when we were told “Don’t worry about your neighbor, worry about yourself?” The same rules apply to the adult world. You don’t know what someone is going through. In my opinion as a mental health professional, a person, regardless of whether or not they are officially disabled, can benefit tremendously from the companionship of an animal. If the animal is not harming anyone or anything, people should just calm down and mind their own business. FYI: people can’t catch sicknesses from animals, just from other people so don’t go stating health codes on me.

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