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Fake service dogs

Discussion in 'Canine News/Informative Articles' started by JanS, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Yesterday we went to an annual festival. It's a huge one with of tons of people. Guess who was there? Support dogs (they have changed their name and I can't remember the new one :rolleyes:) with loads of pups and older dogs in training. The trainers like opportunities like this to get the dogs out with lots of distractions. They had people walking in front of them with a sign that said "Please DO NOT distract the dogs they are working" Most people were very respectful and just let the dogs pass. Others just couldn't seem to control themselves and just had to pet the puppies. Most were labs and goldens and we all know how adorable those pups can be.
    The festival is huge. It covers several blocks and spills into a park on the river front. While you can take your dog to the part on the streets, dogs are not allowed in the park part. Support dogs had a shade structure set up where they could rest the dogs and give them water. It was near the entrance to the park because there was grass there. They set up a temporary fence so they could just let the pups relax in the grass for a bit. They would not allow people inside the fence with the dogs but they were happy to answer questions. Of course lots of people there with their untrained dogs jumping all over people for attention with their service dog vest on and their owners bragging about their service dog. The lady from the organization stopped talking when one man had trouble controlling his service dog while running his mouth about how great it was to take his dog everywhere. The lady turns to him and says "You sir are part of a huge problem and a reason why people with disabilities have to fight to have their dogs that help then function go with them." She then started on a rant about the companies that sell the illegitimate certifications and the harm they are causing. The cheers that went up in the crowd when she was finished was impressive. Suddenly you see about 10 people with their fake service dogs quietly walk away. :spit:

    • Wow x 6
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 2
  2. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Good for that lady! :thumbsup:
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Perhaps if more people speak up when they encounter fake service dogs it might start a trend.
    Some might view it as shaming people but when someone that is doing something wrong and it affects people with disabilities trying to live their life as normal as they can, then I think it is worth it.

    When the public is exposed to fake service dogs, they don’t know that it is fake unless they understand or have seen true service dogs in action. Therefore they make the assumptions that all service dogs are this way and it gives a negative response to people needing SD.

    I think that a campaign needs to be created to OUT the fake service dogs.
    It probably won’t matter much to those with fake SD because obviously they have little to no regard for the requirements anyway. It may however, discourage more pet owners from attempting a fake certification due to a heightened scrutiny a campaign would bring.
    Who knows... It’s just a thought, since it is all too evident on a daily basis that something needs to be done!

    I would certainly attempt to enlist the help of county commissioners, mayors, ADA, veterinarians, trainers, local newspapers, etc. to get a campaign initiated.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    I just got into a lengthy conversation about this the other day.

    Walking out of the grocery store, young Shepherdish looking dog comes out ... Clearly young, clearly untrained in even the most basic stuff - dog was literally tripping the person holding the leash. Think they were asked to leave? Nope! Because "he's a service dog!". Like hell he is.

    I don't know what the answer is. Some sort of certification would be nice. But it should be free, because those with disabilities are usually already on very limited funds.

    Personally - I call people out who try to claim their untrained dog is a service dog. No, your dog jumping on me, shoving it's nose in my crotch, barking incessantly for no reason, etc is most definitely not a service dog.

    But then there's the public ignorance, too! So many people think that only labs and Golden's can be SD's and that they're basically only for blind people. One lady tried telling me a dog couldn't be a SD because it was a great Dane. I had to direct her to the ADA website. She was a store manager! Shouldn't they be trained on this stuff?! And heaven forbid the SD be a "pit" or other "aggressive" breed. The public definitely thinks they can't be true SD's.

    And with the addition of ESA's people are even more confused. They think the two are the same thing when they're not. You can take a SD in the grocery store, not an ESA.

    And ESA's are such a crapshoot. There are some legit cases out there and people who put the time in to make their dog as well trained as a SD. But most of them just got the ESA cert so they can take their dog everywhere, even though ESA's don't have the same public access rights.

    And sorta OT but related - Delta banned "pit bull" service dogs from flights... Wtf?! How is that even legal?! I know the ADA doesn't apply to flying, it's its own thing but it is worded very similarly to the ADA. All because untrained dogs were causing issues. Dogs that obviously were not true SD's. So now people with dogs who provide potentially life saving services can't accompany their handler on flights?! If that's not enough to cause some serious changes in how things are handled, I don't know what will be.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I started making a list of what you see with a true SD and a fake SD. If any of you can add to the list for me with what you have experienced and if you have any photos of both a true and fake SD, I would appreciate it. I have some ideas to start a campaign to bring to light the abuse of fake service dog certification.
    I am going to contact the newspaper here once I get some research done and see where that leads.
    1D0AD289-E18A-466F-BA52-9048FE06F378.jpeg 2ED5386A-5795-46F8-B16A-034B7DF99E92.jpeg
    • Like Like x 4
  6. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    I just saw an article and Southwest is changing their pet policies.

    From their site:
    Effective for travel beginning September 17, 2018, Southwest is making changes to our existing policies for accommodating Customers with disabilities who seek to travel with a fully trained service animal in the cabin. Customers with disabilities seeking to travel with a trained service animal must still provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal. Additionally, note the following changes to our policy:

    1. Southwest will only accept the following species of animals in our cabin as trained service animals – dogs, cats and miniature horses.
    2. Southwest will accept fully trained psychiatric service animals as trained service animals.
    Note: A Customer who traveled on his/her outbound flight prior to September 17, 2018, and is returning to his/her origin on or after September 17, 2018, will be allowed to transport his/her trained service animal in accordance with the existing policy below.

    A fully trained service animal is individually trained to perform a task(s) or work for a person with a physical and/or mental disability.

    Southwest Airlines welcomes trained service animals accompanying a Customer with a disability on our flights as long as the Customer is able to provide the credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal.

    Note: Service animal ID cards or service animal registry paperwork is not accepted as sole indication an animal is a trained service animal.

    Southwest Airlines does not accept therapy dogs for transportation.

    We also do not allow a Customer to travel with an unusual or exotic animal (including, but not limited to: rodents, ferrets, insects, spiders, reptiles, hedgehogs, rabbits, or sugar gliders) acting as a trained service animal.

    An animal must be trained to behave properly in a public setting and under the control of the handler at all times. An animal that engages in disruptive behavior may be denied boarding. Examples of disruptive behavior include (but are not limited to):

    • Scratching, excessive whining or barking
    • Growling, biting, lunging
    • Urinating or defecating in the cabin or gate area

    I'm sure the first time it's enforced, that employee and the airline will be made internet famous for all the wrong reasons...
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Mini horses? Are they so trainable?
  8. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I just looked up online and found at least 5 different sites that sell SD kits with ID badges, certifications, vests etc. :eek:

    You pay for it, it’s mailed to you. No proof of training etc.
    This just pisses me off.
    There needs to be a State level certification registry for Service Dogs and there needs to be ID issued with the water marks that are on our driver’s license to authenticate credentials. Dogs must prove they have been trained whether by owner or other training facility with a physical display of the dog’s requirements for the owner/handler in front of a certified SD examiner.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  9. AresMyDobie

    AresMyDobie Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Very true. I went to the movies last evening and was pleasantly surprised to see a true service dog. I didn’t approach or ask the man any questions but you could tell by how the dog was behaving that he was a legitimate service animal.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  10. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    Yes! Mini horses have been used as service animals for a LONG time. Up until more recently, the ADA applied only to dogs and minis. They removed minis in recent years.

    Bonus to minis - larger, stronger build = better for physical support of larger person's. Longer life expectancy than large and giant dogs - means less turnover and retraining, means cheaper in the long run. It can cost tens of thousands to get a fully trained service animal (though it's also possible to train your own, this is obviously not practical or even feasible for all handlers).

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking dogs as SA's. But minis can sometimes be a much better option.

    Also - some religions view dogs as "dirty", but mini horses would be acceptable.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    Agreed. But who's going to pay for it?! That's the big problem and a large part of why the ADA is so loose on regulations. Sad fact is- most disabled person's struggle to meet basic needs, let alone pay for extra licensing requirements. And it would cost a lot to implement such a program.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    If the state and local governments can increase taxes for pet projects then certainly this issue can be addressed in some form either by state grants that are awarded to: for example down here, the tourist development council. Certainly this would warrant consideration. Each county could have an officer with the ADA that is trained in evaluating and certifying SAs. Money from each county could be allocated to compensate these employees. I know it’s a lot of red tape and paperwork but what isn’t these days when applying for grants, considerations and the like. It has to start somewhere. A campaign would be a place to get recognition for a good cause, then the work of researching grants or hiring a grant writer to submit a grant for consideration and approval. Donations are not out of the realm either. I have to pay school taxes with my property taxes every year and I DON’T have kids.
    There is a solution and we just have to find it.
    • Like Like x 3
  13. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    It more than pisses me off. It seems that restaurant managers and others in charge of places where dogs are not normally allowed are much more likely to let the monster dogs in because they are cute. Try to walk in with a doberman, even a well trained one that is obviously working and alarms go off. The hostesses are always uneasy about what to say. Never fails, they resort to the manager. That turns into a scene of some sort because I have to get out my phone where I have the ADA laws downloaded Should we have to wait for a table, other guest are moving away like we have a disease. If nothing else, people in charge at places where dogs are not allowed should be trained and well aware of the laws about service dogs.
    We are just beginning to take Rumor out in public places where other dogs can't go. It's going pretty well as far as her behavior. The behavior of the people is the problem most of the time. I just don't understand why they are okay with a cute little jerk acting like the devil but they have a problem with Rumor that is doing a job for me. Is Rue perfect? NO! But she is getting there. People need to understand that she is in training like it says on her vest. Rue is a food hound, admittedly she can be a problem where there is food. We are working on it and she is getting better. Last night we did go out to eat with her working. She did stay under the table even when the food came. Big step for her. She was restless and you could tell it wouldn't take much for her to bust out for some food. She did do quite a bit of sniffing in hopes I would drop something. At any rate, she has to have to the practice. It may not always be a success but that is the goal.

    You could keep it simple so everyone could understand. Just make a couple of pictures. One with a handler and a transparent dog at their side. The other a pic of a handler and a little mini tornado at his side with the wake of destruction in the background. :D

    When we started this journey, a SD handler told me to keep in mind that a service dog should be invisible. I have tried to make that happen. Rue is still young and the puppy does grab her brain from time to time. Most of the time she does her job as quietly as possible.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    She is learning through your training though. I know you don’t indulge her desire for food while working so there is the big difference.
    The fake ones are being catered to by their owners and encouraged to ‘share’ their food while in a restaurant. This behavior is indicative of fake because instead of the dog providing for them, they are working for the dog.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    I whole heartedly agree.

    But ... There's always a but :)

    Getting the average citizens on board with this would be HARD. They already bitch up a storm about how much disabled people use in resources (medical especially). As if we asked to be disabled! We get lectured on our use of assistance - everything from handicap parking to motorized carts. Because in their minds, if you can walk at all, you don't "need" these things.

    The sad fact is - compassion for the disabled is sorely lacking in our country. Most people are so ignorant as to what is actually considered a disability. If I can walk around the grocery store, surely i can work. Sigh. If only. Heaven forbid if you're younger, then no way you can be disabled. We're just "milking" the system and abusing tax money. Those are the mild ones. The truly evil ones think we should just be exterminated. We're too expensive and don't "give back".

    I just can't imagine enough people agreeing with making it paid for by something like taxes for it to pass. Our own president mocks people with disabilities and people *defended* it. That says a LOT about our society. How does the saying go? The true measure of society is in how it treats it's most vulnerable people (ie - kids and those with disabilities) ... Something like that.

    I do think a good step would be educating people on the current laws. Managers hear "service dog" and automatically think they have to allow the animal in, regardless of behaivor. Which is simply not the case. But they're so terrified of being sued that they back down. That needs to change. We have laws in place that allow for the removal of disruptive animals, service or not. And that's the issue - disruptive dogs. If the dog is behaving like it *should* be, being a service animal or not is almost a mute point. It's not like the average owner is likely to train their dog to such a degree that they can pass as a SD, so it would likely be incredibly rare that a dog allowed to stay wasn't a real SD.
  16. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I can be a force to be reckoned with when I set my mind to it.;)
    The positive of where I live is that we are all thrown together in this community as one entity. The Uber rich, middle class, poor and homeless.
    Tapping that asset for awareness and promotion would not be difficult. Workshops could be set up, fund raisers for public awareness, events set up to show the GP what life is like for those with disabilities since you have to understand the challenges that are faced by the disabled in order to understand why it’s important to get lesiglation on the books to prevent the cavalier, self-indulgent people from taking advantage of a law that was meant for those requiring SD in order to pursue life as normally and freely as possible.
    A challenge of sorts to have people spend one day in the struggles the disabled experience on a daily basis.
    Sort of like the ice water dunk. Choose a day and a disability and live that entire day as a disabled person does. Grocery shopping, doctors appt. dining out, clothes shopping and then share your experience of what you have faced living as disabled for just one day.
    To understand a fraction of what the disabled experience you have to spend a full day in their shoes.

    Perhaps it’s just our community but the majority of us respect and reach out to those in need. More compassion is shown for what they encounter daily so there are a few good guys out there that are willing to take on that challenge to stand up for what is right.
    I know I will and a lot of others will.
    Will it be difficult... absolutely, however positive and determined can advance the cause to many willing to make a difference in another’s quality of life.
  17. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    No I don't feed her. She is at a place she knows she shouldn't be begging so I correct her. Try that in a public place where EVERY single person is watching you. I swear most people want to call the cops. :rolleyes: :mad:
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 1
  18. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I heard this story this morning and since it's of similar nature to the thread I just thought I'd post it here.
    This has to be one of the silliest things I've heard for a long time. LOL
    On This United Airlines Flight, an Emotional Support Animal Had Its Own Emotional Support Animal
    You most certainly couldn't make this up, and United's CEO says it happened recently.


    Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
    I'll take any emotional support I can get.

    My preference, though, is for the human kind. Though I very much respect those who have had it with humans and prefer an animal.

    When you fly, though, you see that some people take liberties.
    Awful, perhaps even deranged, liberties.
    Airlines have recently tried to curb these liberties.
    Delta, for example, chose January to announce it was tired of it all. More recently, as my colleague Bill Murphy Jr. reported, Southwest took its own stand.

    The absurdity, though, to which passengers can rise -- or is it sink? -- was described this week by United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz.

    Speaking to Bloomberg's David Rubenstein, Munoz told the tale of a recent case on his airline:
    We just had a recent experience where one of the emotional support animals, wait for it, required another emotional support animal.
    You see? And you thought you'd heard it all, with peacocks and other poppycock.

    Munoz, though, continued:

    It was a dog and a monkey. And somebody asked me earlier today, which one was supporting which and I don't know the answer.

    Munoz explained that he's not against genuine cases. The problem, he said, is that the animal allowance is abused because it isn't regulated.
    So often, passengers complain about almost every aspect of an airline's service.
    Sometimes, they are, of course, correct. Many times, even.

    But who'll be the first to deny that they don't, just occasionally, abuse some sort of rule, if they think they can get away with it?

    Still, a dog and a monkey.

    I have to think the monkey needed the dog, not the other way around.

    PUBLISHED ON: AUG 22, 2018

    Original source: On This United Airlines Flight, an Emotional Support Animal Had Its Own Emotional Support Animal
    • Wow x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  19. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I would most definitely call someone out if I saw this! That would piss me off and get my Gander up. No way I keep my mouth shut if I saw someone trying to pass their dog off as a service dog and it was jumping all over people, or he was feeding it, or all the other things that prove it's not a genuine service dog. And I would say it loud enough for other people to hear.

    I agree, but I also think it's because of the fakers! Fake service dogs, fake disabilities, and just plain lazy people who just want to slide through life. They ruin it for people with real disabilities. Just like fake service dogs ruin it for the real ones. People get disillusioned and start to doubt everyone. Including people with real disabilities. I think that's where the compassion gets lost. No one can tell who's telling the truth and who's not. It's not right but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. And people with real disabilities get lost in the shuffle. It's really a crying shame.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I am forced to say something, at least it feels that way. I am known to have a bit of a sharp tongue and generally hit 'em where it hurts. I can't begin to tell you how many people I have left with their chins on the floor.

    While that is true, I think it comes with the territory. Every program that is designed to help people gets abused.
    But I can tell you that the good people, the ones with compassion and kindness, far out way the nasty ones. It's just that the old saying rings true, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

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