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"Hear's" to Life!

News, Information and Ideas on how to deal with hearing loss in a hearing world. Plus a few other topics!

Article in USA Today on 'Fake' Service Dogs

Service Dogs for Hearing Impaired, Scams

Link:  http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/vet-views/story/2011/04/Vets-view-How-can-you-tell-a-real-service-dog/46180352/1

Believe it or not, this is becoming a real problem!  I've written other articles on this and even gotten some emails from readers with service dogs asking me to take them down due to their not agreeing with my opinions.  But, the fact is, there are people out there that are taking advantage of the laws/rules for those with true needs for a genuine service dog.

Unfortunately, the ADA law states that a business owner cannot question or require proof that a dog is really a service dog.  It's against the law.  So, the ones that are perpetuating this fraud are getting by with it all in the name of keeping their little darling with them where ever they choose to go.  Until the websites that sell these service dog vests start doing the right thing and require some sort of proof that the dog really is a service dog, the fraud will continue. 

There is a little known fact that if the dog is causing a disturbance or not behaving, the business owner can ask that the dog be removed from the premises.  Unfortunately, most business owners won't do this due to the possibility that they will then be looking at a lawsuit.  As far as the general public goes, maybe that is the way to end this debacle.  If all of us start questioning the person/owner of the disruptive dog, maybe they will decide to take themselves and their little darling elsewhere.  Or, we may have to wait until someone is injured by a tempermental dog in order to get some new rules on the books.  Either way, the business owner will probably be held at fault if one of their customers ends up being on the receiving end of a bite.

For those of you that have service dogs, take the time to educate and answer questions of those that are around you.  Point out the fact that the dog is not to be petted since he is on the job.  Talk about the training that your dog has had.  Let others know what the dog does for you and how he enables you to keep your independence.  Better yet, take the time to let the business owner know that you really are legit.  As business owners learn what a true service dog does, maybe this will help them to weed out the imposters.  For those that have true service dogs, yet feel insulted in taking the time to do this, keep in mind that the ones out there that are emulating their own version of a service dog are thanking you for not getting the word out.  After all, this enables them to do things that truly responsible PET owners would not think of doing.  That includes getting their pet on flights and in the cabin without paying a penny. 

Have a great week!

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