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Fake service dogs a real problems

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by disney david, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. disney david

    disney david DIS Veteran

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  3. gericoronado

    gericoronado Mouseketeer

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    I work for a large retail chain and people come in ALL THE TIME with dogs and puppies. No one is ever able to question the authenticity of the "service dog" even though a two-month old puppy is obviously NOT a service dog. These dogs are frequently carried around in the shopping cart...yes, the same shopping cart that you or I later use to carry our food/clothing purchases. And, yes, sometimes there are "potty" accidents in the store.
     
  4. karliebug

    karliebug DIS Veteran

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    But a puppy may be a service dog in training. Depending on your state law, a puppy in training has the same accessibility rights as a fully trained service dog. That is how they learn how to behave in public.
     
  5. mistysue

    mistysue DIS Veteran

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    They might be.
    Lets be realistic though, they probably aren't and that hurts the credibility of true service dogs and dogs in training. I find it gross that people assume we all welcome the dander, saliva and potty droppings of their toy dogs on our new goods because they don't want to separate from their pet for a trip to the store.
     
  6. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

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    A good friend here trains dogs, and 'puppies' have to be a certain age and have a certain amount of training 'behind the scenes' to take out in public to 'train'. They 'must' be obedient to all the trainer's commands.

    You don't take dogs, no matter the age, that are not potty trained! :(
     
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  7. CPT Tripss

    CPT Tripss DIS Veteran

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    Why not?
     
  8. Section106

    Section106 Earning My Ears

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    Because you don't want to habituate a dog to go potty while they are working. It is the same reason you don't play with or pet a service dog while they are on duty. When they are working they are only working.
     
  9. Viva Las Disney

    Viva Las Disney DIS Veteran

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    We see "service animals" very frequently where I work in Vegas, our policy is to ignore them and only notify security if the dog is acting aggressively, barking, or relieving itself (all things a real service dog is trained not to do). There are so many different service animals for so many different conditions you just can't tell by looking at the animal or the owner if it's real or not, it's not worth risking a 6 figure fine on a gut feeling.
     
  10. videogal1

    videogal1 DIS Veteran

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    Well, not really...A business can, according to COSTCO v Grill legally ask a person three questions to determine if their dog is a Service Dog:

    1. Is that a Service Dog, as defined by the ADA?
    2. Are you disabled, as defined by the ADA?
    3. What is the dog individually trained to do to mitigate your disability?

    These questions were designed by the court specifically to assist businesses in weeding out Service Dog impostors and it is up to the businesses, with the assistance of their legal advisors, to construct a strategy for their employees to follow to protect the business and their customers from any improper, undesirable, or dangerous activities the "service animal" might engage in.

    It is also important for businesses to understand the difference between Emotional Support Animals, which are untrained "cuddlesome anxiety relievers" and whose handlers have NO public access rights except those that are specifically accorded them by the specific business they are visiting on the specific day they are there with their Emotional Support Animals.) It is also important to note that a Service Dog has NO rights itself. It is the right of a properly defined person with a disability to access public spaces when using a properly defined service dog. If a dog misbehaves it is legal for the business to ask the handler to remove it from the premises. The dog has no rights.
     
  11. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    The is quite right, there are ways for businesses to handle the posers. But the problem is they are so afraid of getting sued that they don't do what they should.
     
  12. MissMaryQC

    MissMaryQC DIS Veteran

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    So true. I work for a large retailer and we welcome animals into our store, except in our restaurant; only service animals are welcome there for health code reasons. Because we cater to our customers we tend to not question them, even when their "service dog" is sitting on their table eating from their plate...
     
  13. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza DIS Veteran

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    This is definitely the issue. I have worked at 3 different places where we came in contact with lots of service dogs and all of them said unless the dog is tearing things up, having accidents, unkept or aggressive don't bother.

    One thing I find interesting is every person I've met with a real service dog says they would gladly prove their dogs skills to a license board if it meant keeping the fakes down. Many of the service dog owners and trainers I've come in contact with say the fakes hurt them as well and having no license board or review means a lot of people in meed are being conned the biggest one right now being our soldiers battling PTSD. A PTSD dog takes a lot of training and some places are claiming they can find a dog and place it in under a month.

    There is a big issue here in NYC of doctors writing fake prescriptions for emotional support dogs because they are protected for housing situations (only housing though not work or health code etc). I know several people that have had them written so they new landlord couldn't refuse their dog even though their lease said no dogs.
     
  14. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    There would be issues with a licensing board, such as fees to do so when many people who truly do need service animals couldn't afford the fees.

    As for PTSD dogs, it depends on the circumstances, I know some people with PTSD (not from the military, but some very traumatic life experiences) that have been able to get a service dog fairly quickly that met their needs.

    As for writing fake prescriptions, they should be reported to the medical board and have their licenses to practice medicine revoked.
     
  15. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza DIS Veteran

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    I always hear the money debate but if you want a handicap parking placard most states charge for that unless you can prove hardship. It is usually about $5. Why can we charge for those but not a service dog license? NY actually has a license but federal law trumps state law so not everyone gets one. I have worked with about 5 people who got the license even though they didn't need one because it proved their dog was legit.

    On the PTSD dog thing I don't personally believe 6 weeks is enough training. I've seen it for other service dogs as well and there is no way you can fully train a dog to be a good canine citizen and service dog in that time. Most service dogs have been in training their whole first year of life and then go through another year of job based training. That is why the more reputable service dog trainers have waitlists. I only have limited experience in training service dogs but unless your friends got dogs that a trainer was already working with I find it hard to believe they trained them for the long hours with out potty breaks as well as noticing your friends cues for PTSD as well as whatever other task he may perform in such a short time.

    with the doctor thing it seems like almost every doctor in NYC does it. What is required for an "emotional support" dog is so low that we have even been offered a prescription before. I refused it saying I don't have a disability that requires a dog I just have anxiety. It is like how they give Xanax out here like it is candy.
     
  16. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    I can tell people that Walmart asks those 3 questions every single time we bring DD's Service Dog in.
    He is a black Lab, wearing a red Service Dog vest and DD is in a wheelchair. So, it is pretty obvious that she is disabled and he belongs with her.
    If more businesses asked, and more actually 'did' something with the dogs that are misbehaving, there would be less people pawning off fake ones.

    As this poster noted, the dog has no rights and the person with a disability doesn't have the right to use the dog in that setting if the dog is not under control, is not house trained or is aggressive.
    Under the ADA, a Service Dog is basically just another adaptive device.
     
  17. videogal1

    videogal1 DIS Veteran

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    Well, that was what COSTCO v Grill was about. It addressed the right of a business (COSTCO) to assert their desire for a certain standard when it came to Service Dogs (specifically the one belonging to Ms Grill) on their premises. COSTCO won the case and these three questions were the result. It doesn't take a legal genius to understand the precedent set by COSTCO v Grill and any business with access to a legal advisor should feel confident about their position when it comes to holding both legally qualified handlers as well as Service dog frauds to a legal standard that will quickly deter them from trying to take advantage of a right belonging only to those who are entitled to claim it responsibly. The responsibility for this determination really belongs to the business. A business has already won a case brought by a Service Dog handler. The handler lost. This notion of a Service Dog handler holding all the legal cards is simply a self-imposed blackmail that businesses are engaging in.:cheer2:
     
  18. candacewi5

    candacewi5 Mouseketeer

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    OMG! The service dog issue and legal access needs some kind of standardization! The fakes and their imposter handlers are a serious problem and there needs to be a way to weed out the people who scam the system. We have a legitimate service dog for my disabled son. The dog went through 18 months of training with a professional training organization. Mind you, this is the fourth dog that entered training for my son. The first 3 washed out of the program at various points in their training because they didn't meet the necessary standards. We then went through almost 200 hours of training with the dog to become handlers and to use the dog correctly. We invested an astounding amount of time, money, and resources into getting this special tool to help my son in his daily functions and this tool (the dog) has expanded my son's life in ways we could have never expected. When people pass their purse dog off as a service animal it really minimizes what a real service dog is and makes life harder for service dog handlers. The people who need and use service dogs are already fighting battles most people couldn't imagine, to make them fight for the tool that expands their worlds in so many ways is another barrier they don't need. The people passing their fluffy, puffy, lovey, lickey, yippee little toys off as a service animal and think it is just too cute and they love their dogs and whatever else they fabricate to justify their ignorance of the law or blatant disregard for the law infuriate me beyond belief. We fight enough battles day in and day out, year after year, because we have no other choice but to keep fighting for our child. Why should we have to fight people who are selfish and seriously lacking morals too?
     
  19. foxrunkn

    foxrunkn Earning My Ears

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    As a owner/trainer I agree with what has already been said. I am now being helped by my second dog, who is a med sized dog. The first one I trained alerted to my medical problems, and saved my life twice. The one I have now does tasks to help me during my daily life. Neither one of them would have never even thought about jumping up on a table. No TRUE Service Dog would ever be caught sitting on a table and eating from the persons plate. My dog is trained so that if she is under a table and food falls on the floor she is to ignore it. All these fake dogs are doing is making it bad for the real ones that come behind them. I never mind being asked if Annie is a Service Dog, she wears her vest with pride, and I am happy to answer most questions asked. But then again I have nothing to hide.
     
  20. CPT Tripss

    CPT Tripss DIS Veteran

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    Sorry, I meant why doesn't any manager at the store ask the two permissible questions about the purported "service" dog.
     
  21. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza DIS Veteran

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    You can ask but most people will tell you a fake answer. They will say yes and then make something up. I have a family member who always says yes and that her dog detects nutmeg for her since she is allergic to it. She is not allergic to nutmeg at all! It disgusts me and I always tell her if her dog is coming I'm not. She finally got it through her head this year that the dog is a bite hazard and started leaving it at home but only after the dog snapped at someone's kid who was trying to pet the dog.
     

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