Thursday, May 06, 2010

Is That a Service Dog?

This story from Portland, Oregon is representative of an issue that I see discussed in numerous places as I make my way about the net. Do you sneak your dogs into stores? If so, you may be making it harder for those who need service dog access to public places. Judging by the comment response to this article, it's becoming a hot topic.

Life With Dogs


  1. Yes, it really, really, bothers me when people try to sneak their pet dogs in stores disguised as Service dogs.
    As a country, we should either tighten the Service Dog access laws, or make them looser.
    People bringing their pet dogs into stores disguised as Service Dogs are doing a serious disservice to the people that actually need them.
    Every time one store has a bad experience with allowing a 'Service Dog' (whether real or not) inside, they become much less friendly to those people that actually have a well-trained and polite dog that provides services to his owner.

  2. This is just stupid. STUPID! We seem, these days, to want to be liberal in all things and adopt the European way of thinking, except when it comes to animals!

    If you go in any restaurant in most of Europe, the outdoor cafes most especially, you will see people with their dogs. How can a dog carry more bacteria than we carry into the store on the bottom of our shoes or clothing! Our hands, even!!

    I was just coming through the airport the other day and noticed a woman with her, wait for it, Service Dog CAIRN TERRIER! Yep. I've had five Cairns and dearly love them, but what sort of service the dog might be providing her, I couldn't say.

    I didn't want to disrespect her or the dog, as the dog was wearing his service dog vest, so I never did learn what it does. Is she scamming the system? Perhaps.

    I knew one lady who flat out told you she went through the process because she suffers from anxiety and wants her dog with her. Personally? I think she's a big pussy, but she did what the law allows her to do. God help the dog...

    Last thing? If your animal is a service animal for you, do the right thing and put a vest on the animal so people don't get their knickers all tied up in a self-righteous knot about seeing it.

    Holy Freeholie...can't we all just get along?!

  3. I hate that.
    We have issues many times with taking our guide dog puppies in stores. Many people think they are our pets.

  4. The way the law is stated all a person needs to do is to claim the dog is a service dog and say why the person needs a dog. Businesses must abide by the law.

  5. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Ya, I'm a bit put off by the yahoos who bring their NON service dogs everywhere. It's out of hand. Service dogs should wear vests. I whole-heartedly support the service dog who does ANYTHING that the person cannot do or PREVENTS a health issue (like seizures) or aids in health care (like carry a couple of pounds of drugs that the person has to take every few hours). whatever it is.

    The new thing people do is make their dogs therapy dogs, and take advantage of that. Which is a wrong thing to do. The therapy is for ANOTHER person, not the handler. The dog is not allowed to use the vest as a service to the handler. It's really disgusting how people bend and break the law.

    It's fine that we as a nation don't follow European culture. Afterall, we are a suit-happy nation full of morons who spill hot coffee on themselves and sue the coffee maker. It's sad to live that way. I don't trust our country's people to behave like Europeans because they don't in too many other ways. The law is the law and nobody should be breaking it especially when it makes it harder for those who need service dogs.

  6. Wow. Old Girl and I, too, do favor the European approach as someone mentioned earlier, but we also try to be respectful of people who disagree with us. So that means no grocery or restaurants for me unless it's openly pup-friendly. {Old Girl found bunches of places like this in Austin!}

  7. I'm usually on the side of less government intervention rather than more, but I can't help but wonder if requiring specific credentials for service animals would help to prevent the type of abuses that go on now because businesses cannot ask for credentials and anyone can claim their pet is a service animal.

  8. We are with Wild Dingo on this one. We have no problem with service dogs who are certified as such. The laws need to be tightened uniformly and the pet should have some sort of identification, such as a vest, so that there is no need to question their presence.

  9. Ugh. People actually do this? How incredibly ableist.

  10. Khount me in on the wearing of a vest/etc -

    That really would have made much of the issue a moot point -

    Thanks for sharing this!

  11. There is just NO way I could try to sneak Chico into a store. He's a barker!

  12. I would never go anywhere that I am not welcome. However, I will say that I can conduct myself in a public place better than a lot of people that I know.

    wags, Lola

  13. as much as we wish to take Preston with us everywhere, we agree dogs (except for "real" service dogs) should not be allowed indoors in the places that serve food. we do hope there are more restaurants with outdoor seatings that can accommodate dogs.

  14. As long as a dog is clean and well mannered, why can't they go anywhere along with their people?


  15. Service animals should wear identifiable gear with an ID badge and the owner should have an ID card with pictures of both the handler and their animal.

    Stumpy and I have never been questioned, anywhere and we have traveled extensively.

    If that lady with the mastiff had a service vest on her dog she wouldn't be getting the dirt looks and no one would gvie her crap and cause anxiety attacks.

    I am not against a certifying agency, except I hate for the governemtn to be in charge of anything.

  16. BTW - Cheri Here
    UGH! I get so tired of all the anti-dog stuff here. When will Americans wake up? I grew up in Europe a place where dogs are welcome everywhere as long as they are well behaved. And ALL dogs are well behaved there! Americans scream and scream about too much government in their lives but yet here we have people screaming for government regulations?! It infuriate me! I wish more people could just be more mindful of their own actions and dictate less to everyone around them!

    BTW - there was s study done on what 'unhealthy' things are found on the USA paper currency and the #1 item found was HUMAN FECES! Because the dirty disgusting Americans do not wash their hand after using the toilet!!! Now you are telling me that a dog walking around a store is worse than the money we touch, caress and rub all over our bodies all day everyday? I think not! So the next time you go to your favorite deli or restaurant to have a fresh sandwich made think about all that money they were touching right before they touched your food! Yummy!

  17. Whoooo! First, sorry can't keep up with your posts furry well anymore - so much info! This one's interesting... as they all are. I must not get out much, cause I haven't seen any dogs in stores other than the occasional service pup. Practically next door, there is a guide dogs for the Blind, and they train 24/7 around here. Perhaps that's why people here tend to follow the tried and true. But I wouldn't want to buy fruit that's been licked by any doggeh other than Sammie heheh!
    Hugs xoxoxo
    Sammie and Mom

  18. I followed this debate for a while when I was more active on Dogster a while back. I really can't believe that we can't get one national agency that certifies and registers service dogs. If all service dogs were required to pass a certain test, probably a modified version of the CGC, then I think that would go a long way in allaying people's fears about whether service dogs were safe in public places. Require them to wear a service vest with credentials attached and nobody has to ask any questions. I understand that some people want privacy with their disability, but there has to be some way to balance thier rights with those of other people who don't want to be around dogs. I wish that I could take my dogs with me everywhere, but the fact is that I just can't. I think a national registry is somewhat inevitable.

  19. Moron......can't say more, trying to be nice.....will let you fill in the blank...a_____!

  20. Anonymous2:22 PM

    That's so difficult cause other costumers that aren't animal lovers can be afraid of these animals.
    About bacterias and stuff, well I've kissed all my dogs and cats I had in life, never got sick, never got anything.

    If I was a store's owner I would allow even an Elephant to come in, LOL.

    With my previous daughter (dog) I wouldn't enter a store that the owner would block her entrance. There were times they would allow me just because I was going away as a dog couldn't enter.