An article was passed along to me regarding service dogs, fake service dogs, and emotional support animals.
I feel like this needed to be shared.
Stop Faking Service Dogs
Some of the quotes from this struck me.
“A study conducted at the University of California at Davis found that the number of “therapy dogs” or “emotional support animals” registered by animal control facilities in the state increased 1,000 percent between 2002 and 2012.”
“News search results for “fake service dog” returns more than 2.2 million results.”
“The Americans with Disabilities Act limits the definition of a service animal to one that is trained to perform work or tasks…dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”
The article mentions an instance about an ESA (emotional support animal) attacking a passenger on an airplane.
A gentleman interviewed said that sometimes he and his family have to ask people to get their pets away from their sons’s service dog, saying, “people think we are being assholes, but we can’t afford a distraction.”
The cost to train service dogs is high. The hours that go into training service dogs are long. A true service dog is essential to their handler. They most not be distracted, or annoyed by a pet.
Yes, my husband has a disability. It is not visible, but it is very real and present. PTSD just doesn’t go away, and you don’t “get over” war so easily.
Animal lovers, dog lovers (in general, in society, not directed at anyone specifically, here), should be mindful that service dogs have a purpose, much like their owner/handler. They have a right to the rules that protect them, and people shouldn’t violate those rules.
There are real people who need real service dogs.
I’m married to one.
Don’t try passing off a pet or ESA as a service dog. It makes my husband’s life much more challenging—with travel, with businesses, and life. Because, believe it or not, even with a real service dog, we’ve been questioned. We get looks or stares.
The article is worth a read, and heck, maybe even a share or two. Education is so important–knowing the difference between real service dogs, emotional support animals, and pets—please consider how people’s lives are touched by real service animals.