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  #51  
Old 02-21-2013, 12:44 AM
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OwnedByBCs OwnedByBCs is offline
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I really only have experience with Search and Rescue dogs, which do get a few special privileges (they can fly in cabin on planes for SAR specific travel, and they can go into *some* establishments while on deployment) but we are required to have vests and I.D. badges for both the handler and the dog. Its not really a big deal to me, but then again we don't "depend" on our dogs for day-to-day activities so its very different.

Anyways, sometimes I wish that service dogs did have vests, so they are easily identifiable. There was a Berner at Costco the other day, and honestly I didn't realize it was a service dog for a long time and almost considered alerting an employee. I thought he might be lost, he was offleash and very poorly groomed, but he was also extremely well behaved. I realized he was a SD because he was closely following a paralyzed woman in a wheelchair and her friend/caregiver. So yes, it was great that he was so behaved, but he was also rather dirty, drooling (yeah its a berner and it was warm, honestly that didn't bother me much but probably would bother others, considering that costco sells food), he was off leash and he had no vest.

So, my opinion on the topics brought up in this post: Training is obviously incredibly important, and obviously service dogs and non service dogs when allowed in a public place need to be held to a high standard.

Aside from training though, I think its kind of messed up for someone to pretend to have a service dog just so they can take their dog places. One, why do you need to take your dog everywhere? I *adore* my dogs, but I don't feel the need to take them grocery shopping. Two, I completely agree with the handicap parking spot comparison, I think it is exactly the same. With that said, people do stupid stuff that I hate all the time and I usually just ignore it and move on. LOL
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  #52  
Old 02-21-2013, 12:51 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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he was offleash and very poorly groomed
That's enough to get the dog kicked out. They must be reasonable clean (sometimes you can't avoid some things, but you have to at least try), and they MUST be on leash unless they're actively performing a task that requires them to be off leash, for example going more than a few feet to retrieve something or open a door.
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  #53  
Old 02-21-2013, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by OwnedByBCs View Post
Aside from training though, I think its kind of messed up for someone to pretend to have a service dog just so they can take their dog places. One, why do you need to take your dog everywhere? I *adore* my dogs, but I don't feel the need to take them grocery shopping. Two, I completely agree with the handicap parking spot comparison, I think it is exactly the same. With that said, people do stupid stuff that I hate all the time and I usually just ignore it and move on. LOL
It's really not like using handicapped parking spaces, because there aren't a finite number of service dog spaces. That's like... I have a coworker who is an amputee. Because of that, he has a handicapped parking pass. Some of us from work wanted to go to the sportsman's show, and since parking is awful there, we all met at a nearby parking lot, piled into his car, and drove off to park in the handicapped space. And yeah, looked like a bunch of able-bodied people using a handicapped space, because when he's wearing long pants, you can't tell that he has a prosthesis.

Anyway, the fact that the rest of us were taking advantage of the opportunity to be in a close in parking space despite not being disabled ourselves does not affect other handicapped people one bit. There were still just as many handicapped spaces available.

Similarly, if someone is claiming a service dog that isn't, as long as the dog is well behaved, it has no impact on disabled people and their SDs. They still have just as much access. I used to think it was a big deal, now I take the more relaxed attitude that it doesn't impact anyone as long as the dog is well behaved, so who cares?

And I can think of a lot of reasons to want to take your dog places where dogs aren't allowed. One I remember from some years back was when we had an agility trial at the state fair. Dogs not allowed on the rest of the fairgrounds. One woman I know put her dogs "therapy dog" vest on, because it looks enough like a "service dog" vest for him to pass, so she could take her dog with her to browse around the fair. Why not? What does it hurt? And why not get a chance to see the fair, as long as we're there, without having to abandon your dog in a crate all day? I was a bit jealous, truth told, I didn't have anything like that. Plus, my dogs were not so well trained, or small enough for me to carry.
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  #54  
Old 02-21-2013, 03:02 AM
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It is though, because:

1. Both are ILLEGAL. It's a felony to impersonate someone with a disability, and that includes using a fake SD. Most states have their own laws against it as well. There are hefty fines and jail time if you're caught far above and beyond using a handicap parking space without a permit.

2. Most dogs that are pets masquerading as SDs, are not trained to public access standard. Their misbehavior affects the ability of legitimate teams to get access. So while they aren't taking up a "SD slot", they contribute to restricting the mobility of people who are actually disabled.

I can't find the federal wording right now, but here's Alaska's just 'cause it's handy:

Quote:
A person commits the crime of criminal impersonation in the second degree if he assumes a false identity and acts in the assumed character with intent to defraud, commit a crime, or obtain a benefit to which the person is not entitled; or pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and acts in the pretended capacity with intent to defraud, commit a crime, or obtain a benefit to which the person is not entitled. Criminal impersonation in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000. Statute: 11.46.570
http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/folioproxy.asp?url=http://wwwjnu01.legis.state.ak.us/cgi-bin/folioisa.dll/stattx06/query=[jump!3A!27as1181900!27]/doc/{t4344}/pageite
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  #55  
Old 02-21-2013, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Flyinsbt View Post
And I can think of a lot of reasons to want to take your dog places where dogs aren't allowed. One I remember from some years back was when we had an agility trial at the state fair. Dogs not allowed on the rest of the fairgrounds. One woman I know put her dogs "therapy dog" vest on, because it looks enough like a "service dog" vest for him to pass, so she could take her dog with her to browse around the fair. Why not? What does it hurt? And why not get a chance to see the fair, as long as we're there, without having to abandon your dog in a crate all day? I was a bit jealous, truth told, I didn't have anything like that. Plus, my dogs were not so well trained, or small enough for me to carry.

It doesn't really "hurt" anyone* but I do think it's a childish and selfish thing to do. What does it hurt her to follow the rules and come back to the fair another day? Did she need to browse around the fair with her dog?


*Immediately and directly, anyway. Whether it indirectly hurts SD handlers as a whole is another discussion I'm on the fence about.
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  #56  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:06 AM
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I should note that the state of CA does have an optional certification program for service dogs. To get it, you need to present proof of training (i.e. a CGC).

They also have, again an optional, certification that gives SDIT's the same rights as SD's.

So it's there. I am of the mind that certification should not be there, but I saw it commented on earlier so I figured I'd bring it up.
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  #57  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
Even when I was training my dog, I didn't realize how much he would actually help me. Now that he's working...I'm not entirely sure how I functioned without him.



Adog misbehaving should be kicked out. Period. EVEN IF A DOG IS A SERVICE DOG, if it's misbehaving, it can be kicked out, SHOULD be kicked out, and kicking them out is the right, legal thing to do. There are questions that can be asked of a service dog handler to determine whether the dog is an SD or not. If it comes down to going to court, YES, the handler does have to prove their disability and prove their dog is an SD (typically via training logs and behavior).


Also, allowing dogs everywhere becomes a health issue (in grocery stores, restaurants). Service dogs get a "pass" because they're considered "durable medical equipment" and are needed by their handler. Also, they're supposed to be impeccably groomed. if a service dog s dirty, that is a valid reason to kick them out. There are also people who are afraid of or allergic to dogs that have every right to go shopping. Again, service dogs are well-groomed, not in the store very long, well-behaved, and any good service dog handler will respect the space of someone who is allergic or afraid.

Contrary to what most people here seem to think, have a dog in public every day, every time you go somewhere isn't all sunshine and roses. It takes time to get the dog ready to go. People stop to ask questions. People try to pet your dog without asking. Children run up to your dog without asking and you have to body block to keep them away. People try to stuff food in your dog's face, step on feet and tails, hit them with shopping carts, drop things on them. Not to mention it is VERY stressful on the dog, and most dogs, temperamentally, cannot handle it and it's not kind or humane to make them try to handle it. Then you have the PETA/AR nuts that will try to steal/injure/kill your dog to free it from "slavery." Why anyone would want to deal with that hassle. every. single. time. they go somewhere without actually NEEDING the dog's assistance is beyond me.

Now, I do think that canine ESAs, though not task-trained, should be granted access under the same behavior stipulations as SDs. some states allow that already, but not all (federal law specifically prohibits it, but states are free to allow them under state law). I can understand that a dog just there can be helpful to some people with certain disabilities, and I also think most of these dogs would end up task trained in the end anyway.
I SAID "seemingly misbehaving". a dog barking and dragging their owner might be alerting that their handler is having a panic attack and to GTFO THE WAY AND LET ME GET HER OUTSIDE. You dont know. And its not up to you even if you did know. And thats not posing a danger to anyone, unless of course someone is stupid enough to interfere with a SD and grab the leash and stop them and be like blahblahblahblah while the poor handler is having a seizure or stroke or panic attack or what-have-you.
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  #58  
Old 02-21-2013, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
The only thing that pisses me off is that dogs aren't allowed everywhere anyway If a dog is well behaved and acting appropriately I don't care where they are at all. and on the other hand, i don't care if the dog is an actual service dog, if it's not acting like it should, GTFO.
This pretty much sums it up for me.

I've seen some badly misbehaving "service dogs" before. One time, when I was grocery shopping, there was a lab causing a scene. The owner/handler kept leash popping it while it was trying to dart out the door.

I think misbehaved dogs give a worse name to service dogs than well behaved fakers.
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  #59  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Romy View Post
2. Most dogs that are pets masquerading as SDs, are not trained to public access standard. Their misbehavior affects the ability of legitimate teams to get access. So while they aren't taking up a "SD slot", they contribute to restricting the mobility of people who are actually disabled.
I'm not arguing the illegality, but that's up to a person's discretion whether that matters to them or not. The question of whether I condemn a behavior comes down to "does it hurt anyone", and I don't think a well-behaved dog masquerading as a SD does.

Note, again, that I stipulate well behaved. Not for people to bring poorly trained dogs everywhere they go. But if the behavior of the dog is such that it brings credit to SDs, where is the harm?
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  #60  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
It doesn't really "hurt" anyone* but I do think it's a childish and selfish thing to do. What does it hurt her to follow the rules and come back to the fair another day? Did she need to browse around the fair with her dog?
.
Well, if you want to tell an arthritic retired gym teacher that it's "childish and selfish" for her to enjoy a little of her downtime at an agility trial by seeing the sights at the fair (with a dog that's trained well enough to be a therapy dog, as well as a UD), rather than twiddle her thumbs all day, then drive an hour each way on another day so she can see the fair, have at 'er. I'm not doing it.
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