Fake service dogs

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  #1  
Old 09-19-2019, 02:44 PM
tophcfa tophcfa is offline
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Default Fake service dogs

I just read this, and in my opinion it's about time.

A bill has been filed in the Massachusetts State House that would ban passing off a pet dog as a service dog. The bill would make it a civil infraction to knowingly misrepresent a dog as a service dog or service dog in training "for the purpose of obtaining any rights or privileges afforded to a person with a disability requiring the assistance of a trained service dog."

Violators would be subject to a fine of up to $500, 30 hours of community service at an organization servicing people with disabilities, or both, for a first offense. The penalty would increase for subsequent offenses.

As a dog owner myself, who has a brother who is legally blind and requires the assistance of a highly trained service dog, I think this is a great idea. And as a homeowner in the Villages, I hope this type of bill is also introduced in Florida where I see an unusually high amount of fake service dogs.
  #2  
Old 09-19-2019, 03:01 PM
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I 100% agree. The fake service dogs are a big problem. People have been bitten on planes, dogs unruly in restaurants and riding in the carriages in the supermarket. It goes on and on. I own 2 dogs and previously owned a dog business. One of my instructor's had a service dog and it was amazing what that dog could do. The "service dogs" I see around TV are untrained!
  #3  
Old 09-19-2019, 03:25 PM
dnobles dnobles is offline
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100% on target tophcfa from a big animal lover. It needs to be controlled.
  #4  
Old 09-19-2019, 03:28 PM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is online now
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I agree with the law, but, I read the law, and it looks to me like it is pretty much unenforceable. First of all, the violator must have a dog with a vest or other item identifying the dog as a service animal. If so, then they can be charged with fraud, if the identifying item is a fake. However, the Federal ADA law does not even require a service animal to have anything that identifies it as a service animal. And, no one is allowed to ask for proof that the animal is a service animal. So, it appears that all someone needs to do to avoid prosecution is to not have a vest or identifying item on the dog, and claim that it is a service animal.
  #5  
Old 09-19-2019, 03:32 PM
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It's the ADA requirements that need to be changed in order to strengthen them. It's too easy for fraud to occur. There needs to be some registration and certificate issued for service dogs that without one, the dog doesn't qualify.
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2019, 04:59 PM
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The other day I went to a Pulmonologist Office in Leesburg. Everything was going fine. Checked in first at 12.40 for a 1 PM appointment paid my Co-Pay everything was Beautiful. Within minutes there were 10 Patients and about 16 people in total.

The last two people came in with what could have been beautiful little Ankle Biter Pups who hadn't seen a groomer in quite some time. I don't know it was Phycological or real but I watched the majority of the Crew Bail Out because of these Dogs. The people were gasping for their next breath. I hung in there and made it thru my entire appointment including a Stress Test. I actually passed the test. A Miracle. When I came out over an hour later there was a big showdown going on over the dogs. They did have little vests on that said Service Dog but to my untrained eye, the vests didn't look very official. Anyway, the Sheriffs that were there were trying to make sense of a very Heated Situation which in my opinion shouldn't have occurred. Wouldn't a person at a breathing Doctors Office trump the comfort of a persons comfort pet? I don't question the persons need for the pet just the common sense of making another arrangement for this particular office visit.

I've been watching the newspaper and haven't seen anything about the story so I guess they worked it out. Those Sherriffs must really see it all. They were very sensitive to everyone involved while we were there. Can't we all just get along!
  #7  
Old 09-19-2019, 05:14 PM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is online now
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You can blame Congress. Those people were in full compliance with Federal law, even without the "unofficial" looking vests.
  #8  
Old 09-19-2019, 05:46 PM
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This to will go the same lack of enforcement route as handicap stickers.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2019, 06:29 PM
tophcfa tophcfa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
I agree with the law, but, I read the law, and it looks to me like it is pretty much unenforceable. First of all, the violator must have a dog with a vest or other item identifying the dog as a service animal. If so, then they can be charged with fraud, if the identifying item is a fake. However, the Federal ADA law does not even require a service animal to have anything that identifies it as a service animal. And, no one is allowed to ask for proof that the animal is a service animal. So, it appears that all someone needs to do to avoid prosecution is to not have a vest or identifying item on the dog, and claim that it is a service animal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFrance View Post
It's the ADA requirements that need to be changed in order to strengthen them. It's too easy for fraud to occur. There needs to be some registration and certificate issued for service dogs that without one, the dog doesn't qualify.
I agree with both of the above posts, but trying to undo this scam has to start somewhere. Once the snowball starts rolling downhill it keeps getting bigger. Hopefully more states will try to address the problem and eventually the Federal laws will catch on?
  #10  
Old 09-19-2019, 08:32 PM
OrangeBlossomBaby OrangeBlossomBaby is offline
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"Comfort animals" are not service dogs. If they say that they are comfort animals, then you're within your rights to make them leave any place that doesn't allow pets because that designation is not protected under any law at all. If they say they are service dogs, there are two questions a business owner/staff are allowed to ask:

1: is that a service animal, required due to a disability?
2: what type of work or tasks has this animal been trained to do?

They can't ask about the person's disability, and they can't challenge the claim that it's a service animal. Guide dogs for the blind have special harnesses, but other than that, there's no special "official" clothing or vest for service animals.

Also, owners/businesses are still within their rights to require certain standards: if it's an allergy doctor, he can ABSOLUTELY forbid ANY furred animals in his office. Any. Even service animals. If it's a dog that grows fur, it can be barred from entry, because of the nature of the business. They can also demand that the animal be controlled at all times, and keep "4 on the floor." They are absolutely allowed to forbid ANY animal being in a shopping cart, or carried, or on a retractable leash, or no leash at all. They can absolutely kick out anyone with an animal, even a service dog, if the animal behaves aggressively to someone, or poops on the carpet, or tries eating food off a supermarket shelf, and so on and so forth.

So while yes, Fido might be just a pet and not really a service animal, and no, you can't challenge the owner even if you know that he knows that you know damned well it's just his pet, you can expect that dog to be walking, on a short non-retractable leash, well-heeled, well-behaved, from the moment he walks in til the moment he leaves again.
  #11  
Old 09-19-2019, 10:53 PM
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Taking pets, specifically dogs, into public places is so disrespectful & rude. Inconsiderate people are doing so as they know that no one will question it or tell them to leave.
I went to a drs appt at Santa Barbara & there sat a guy with his dog that plainly you could tell this was not a guide dog. The guy sat in plain sight & then proceeded to the area of the lab. The guy left the building & got into a sports car that ironically did not have handicap license plate. How can this continue to be allowed? Maybe I’ll start wearing my cologne to my Dr appts
Yes I placed a call to the office manager & explained my entire observation.
  #12  
Old 09-20-2019, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFrance View Post
It's the ADA requirements that need to be changed in order to strengthen them. It's too easy for fraud to occur. There needs to be some registration and certificate issued for service dogs that without one, the dog doesn't qualify.
I agree that the ADA requirements and rules for a number of things need to be changed. I think they are abusing their power. We have a loved family member who is disabled so I am not uninformed.

Every time we pass a law, it does a lot of things and some are not good. AND more and more and more people in today's society ignore, or try to circumvent laws.

That said. I love dogs. I sometimes do not love the people who own them. P.S. I love cats too.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2019, 06:43 AM
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It is what it is..No laws will be enforced..Non compliant Villagers will remain smug.While abusing the ADDA guidelines for their NON SERVICE ANIMALS
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2019, 07:08 AM
NotGolfer NotGolfer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
"Comfort animals" are not service dogs. If they say that they are comfort animals, then you're within your rights to make them leave any place that doesn't allow pets because that designation is not protected under any law at all. If they say they are service dogs, there are two questions a business owner/staff are allowed to ask:

1: is that a service animal, required due to a disability?
2: what type of work or tasks has this animal been trained to do?

They can't ask about the person's disability, and they can't challenge the claim that it's a service animal. Guide dogs for the blind have special harnesses, but other than that, there's no special "official" clothing or vest for service animals.

Also, owners/businesses are still within their rights to require certain standards: if it's an allergy doctor, he can ABSOLUTELY forbid ANY furred animals in his office. Any. Even service animals. If it's a dog that grows fur, it can be barred from entry, because of the nature of the business. They can also demand that the animal be controlled at all times, and keep "4 on the floor." They are absolutely allowed to forbid ANY animal being in a shopping cart, or carried, or on a retractable leash, or no leash at all. They can absolutely kick out anyone with an animal, even a service dog, if the animal behaves aggressively to someone, or poops on the carpet, or tries eating food off a supermarket shelf, and so on and so forth.

So while yes, Fido might be just a pet and not really a service animal, and no, you can't challenge the owner even if you know that he knows that you know damned well it's just his pet, you can expect that dog to be walking, on a short non-retractable leash, well-heeled, well-behaved, from the moment he walks in til the moment he leaves again.
You're right on re: this. We have a friend whose disabled, in a wheelchair, who has a registered service dog. Our friend's dog is trained specifically for her needs. Once you've met a registered service dog then see the fake ones you will KNOW the difference. It's amazing what lengths "some" people go to, pushing the limits. IF one of those fakes happen to poop/pee inside a building OR worse yet, bite another---I would think they could be arrested and asked to leave. Why the people in that dr's office didn't leave BEFORE having the sheriff show up is beyond me. I'd be embarrased to have all that "attention". How sad our culture has gotten with such selfish behavior.
  #15  
Old 09-20-2019, 07:38 AM
bilcon bilcon is offline
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It never ends. The Scammers are always thinking up new angles. I am sure the pet industry is behind a lot this is "comfort dog "BS. I love dogs, and have had several over my life time, but I never would think about taking the liberties that many owners think they are entitled to today. Once again, I will tell you about the large lab who entered BBandBeyond on a leash, and proceeded to take a dump right on the floor inside the front door. We all complained to the manager, while the owner walked out. Seriously. When is the madness going to stop?
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