"FAKE SERVICE DOGS CAN HURT THE REPUTATION AND ACCEPTANCE OF VALID SERVICE DOGS AND THE DISABLED PERSONS WHO TRULY NEED THOSE DOGS TO ASSIST THEM" - Frankie Franks
It really bothers me when people try to pass their dog off as a certified Service Dog, or when they get a doctor to prescribe an "emotional support" dog just so they can bring their dog to a restaurant or on an airplane. Faking Service Dog status hurts the reputation of true Service Dogs and could potentially cause them to lose access some day.
|Icy is a Therapy Dog, which is NOT the same as a Service Dog. Therapy Dogs are NOT entitled to public access under the Americans With Disabilities Act, but Service Dogs ARE.|
A service dog should have a real need and perform a specific function(s). When you fake it, you make it harder for true service dogs to gain acceptance, and cause people to perceive them in a negative light. That could some day cause people with real disabilities, physical or emotional, to lose the ability to go to places the rest of us can access freely. In turn, that would rob them of their independence and quality of life. Would you really want to be responsible for that??
Here is my own personal Fake Service Dog experience.We were selling a house we owned in another state, an investment property. The renters moved out and we put a lot of time, work, and love into renovating the home and prepping it for sale. Once it was all finished and looking beautiful, we listed it for sale. We were proud of all the work we did and how well the house showed.
An interested couple came to look at the house early on and we were thrilled! Their Realtor was very young, and clearly "green around the gills", but she was a nice young woman. The first visit went well, nothing seemed amiss. The couple and their Realtor returned again later to look at the home a second time. But this time the Realtor brought a little Chihuahua dog with her! It seemed odd for a professional Realtor to bring her dog to a showing. The dog was adorable. She informed me that the dog was 8 months old and was her "Service Dog". Really??
|Max, a real Service Dog puppy in training with my friend Barbara. Barbara works with an organization that trains dogs to become Service Dogs that aid the disabled.|
Can This Puppy Really Be A Service Dog?First of all, where was the "Service Dog" on their first visit to the house Secondly, an 8 month old puppy probably wouldn't even qualify to be a service dog yet. It seemed unprofessional, but I'm an extreme dog lover so it didn't bother me that much. Not until she put the dog on the floor and let her sniff around the living room, the room with brand new hardwood floors installed 2 weeks prior, and the dog promptly urinated. She giggled and apologized profusely as I cleaned up her dog's mess. Because of course she had no pet wipes with her to clean up. OK, Strike One.
She then asked if I would mind if she let the dog off leash in the yard so she could "run around". Again, I'm an extreme dog lover so I agreed. Until the dog pooped in the corner of the yard beneath the beautiful palm tree. Of course, she didn't have a dog waste bag with her or in her car. Seriously?? Fortunately, I always keep dog poop bags in our car so I went and got her one. Strike Two.
There's No Way This Puppy Is A Service Dog!The couple ended up buying the house! It was worth a bit of pee and poop to make the sale happen. They came back a third time to inspect a repair we agreed to make prior to closing. The Realtor brought the dog again. This time she didn't have any water for her puppy! She actually asked me if I had any bottled water for her dog. Apparently she didn't have a water bowl with her either. I gave her a bottle of water, which she gave directly to the dog, spilling some of it on the new hardwood floors. It would have been Strike Three, but Who cares? The nice new hard wood floors her puppy peed and spilled water on were theirs now, LOL!
|Therapy Dogs bring comfort and smiles to people in need. They do not perform the important tasks that Service Dogs perform. They are very different. Therapy Dogs do not have the public access right that Service Dogs are granted by U.S. law.|
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It's wrong to fake having a Service Dog. If you don't really need one, please don't do it! It's not worth degrading the amazing, fascinating work performed by true Service Dogs. Those dogs are not only heroes but they are an important part of our society. They can give a disabled person their freedom, their independence and quality of life. We owe them so much more respect than Faking It, don't you think?
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What did you think of this post? How do you feel about getting a "service dog" certification for the sole purpose of bringing one's pet to places dogs are normally not permitted? Please leave us a comment and share your thoughts! We love hearing from you?
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