Using Bogus Service Dogs To Obtain Privileges Is Now A Crime

A pet owner who pretends his or her pet is a service dog gains entry into places where animals would otherwise be banned. It’s a growing problem and a slap in the face to the reputation of real service dogs and the genuine needs of the handicapped among us.

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Using Bogus Service Dogs To Obtain Privileges Is Now A Crime
Disability Woman Hugging Service Dog

Why is it a crime and a shame to use bogus service dogs?

It may seem harmless enough to put a fake vest on a dog and pretend it’s a service animal because you want the animal’s company in a restaurant, store or even on an airplane. If however, you think it’s okay, you need to know that is against the law and here’s why. When bogus service dogs behave badly, it starts a chain reaction among business owners who might question future customers claiming they have one. Also, these phony service animals have no training, which means they are no help to the handicapped and can become aggressive and endanger those around them.

According to Lowry Heussler of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who uses a service dog to help her walk: “The problem is that all the work we did of convincing the public that if you see a dog wearing a cape, that dog is safe and reliable and you don’t have to worry about anything — that work is being undone.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and bogus service dogs

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a service animal as one “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” That applies only to dogs and miniature horses, and excludes even animals that may be needed mainly for psychological support, such as therapy dogs. Compounding the problem is the fact that there is no official certification process for the service dog industry, which makes it easy to push a phony agenda.

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