• Cierra Voelkl

Fake Service Dogs are Ruining it for EVERYONE

Yes, most of us which we could take our dogs with us pretty much every where. For  the most part, we often enjoy their company moreso than strangers. In reality, this really isn't realistic as many dogs aren't super well trained, can be leash reactive and it's often not sanitary in food establishments. The only dogs who have public access rights are trained service dogs and THAT'S IT (except mini horses which actually can be service animals, too!) But this isn't stopping people...

Photo Credit: A News Cafe

There's been a new trend were people are slapping service dog vests on their 5 pound chihuahua they carry in a purse and when questioned, they blurt out they got certified online and walk away. And before continuing, let's get something straight: ONLINE SERVICE DOG REGISTRATIONS ARE 100% SCAMS! You do NOT need a certification for a service dog and if someone has one, that right there tell's you FAKE. You don't even need a doctors note! Sadly, this is why it's so easy for service dogs to be faked. Businesses can only ask the following two questions: "Is your dog a trained service dog?" and "What tasks are they trained to perform?" The fact that a soooooooooooo many people are taking advantage of this system is ruining it for those who actually NEED service dogs. Featured below is Rosie, shelter mutt turned medical alert service dog, who undergoes constant training and represents what a service dog SHOULD be!

Photo Credit: Rosie the Service Dog

Ok, first example: have you heard how Delta just banned pit bull type dogs from their plane INCLUDING service dogs? Yeah, it sucks because they are many pit bulls who actually are service dogs. But this all came out of a fake service dog lunging at someone on the flight. 

This isn't just bad for handlers, but so many fake service dogs aren't well socialized and have resulted in injury to real service dogs and bystanders. Here's a story taken from USA Today in 2017 about a woman faking a service dog:

"Chris Slavin was in an elevator a couple years ago with Earle, her yellow lab service dog, sitting calmly beside her wheelchair. The elevator doors opened and in walked a woman holding a purse. In the purse was a teacup poodle the color of apricots.

The doors closed just as the poodle spotted Earle. That’s when the trouble started. In an instant, the poodle leaped from the purse, flung himself at Earle, and clamped his teeth into the bigger dog’s snout, leaving Earle bleeding onto the elevator floor.

“As soon as this occurred the woman said the poodle was a service dog,” said Slavin, who has a severe spinal injury that requires use of the wheelchair. “She then said he wasn’t a service dog but an emotional support dog. Finally, she admitted he was a pet she just wanted to bring in the building with her.” " (USA Today)

This is a perfect example of how service dogs can be injured just by doing their job! It's not only this but if these incidents keep up, businesses have wanted to fight for being able to ban service dogs as well. 

Overall, fake service dog are running it for EVERYONE! So just please stop doing it if you're already doing it. Oh yeah, it's also against the law to fake a service dog too...

Photo Credit: Sugar the Golden Retriever

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