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  1. #1
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar


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    Fake Service Animals Becoming a Problem

    There's been an interesting problem over the years where people are now are creating fake service animals.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health...em-f8C11366537

    http://consumerist.com/2013/10/10/fa...store-carpets/

    Basically, it took a long time for service animals to be recognized in the first place. People are now just getting vests and coming up with bogus reasons to use the pet as an ADA to just have the dog around them all the time. It's rather unfair because there are legit uses for the service animals, and people are being inappropriate abusing this because there is little oversight and regulation. Another odd fact is that it can also apply to a miniature horse to be a service animal.

    The problem is also with privacy laws, while business owners can refuse service to suspected fake service animals and their owners, they can face litigious retaliation by the fakes hiding being the ADA due to currently poor legislation.

    I love my pets but I think people hiding behind non legitimate use and calling them a service animal is pretty scummy.

  2. #2
    Senior Brace's Avatar
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    I had a professor like this. Her disability was that she was fat. She had me put on non-academic probation for transphobia because I asked inappropriate questions. She thought the concept of objective fact and reality was something invented by capitalists to oppress people.

  3. #3
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    Yikes, I had no idea so many people were doing this.

    "In August, Russell Ireland banned a dog from his Oxford, Mass., diner after its owner put a plate of food on the floor for the dog."

    Ew. Fine at your house, not cool at a diner.

    If I were going to try to pass my dog off as a service animal, I'd at least want to make sure he was trained enough to act like one. And not, y'know, likely to pee on merchandise. But I'm of the opinion that too many people don't take the time to even understand dog psychology as it is, let alone train them properly. ("No puppy! No jump! No! No jump!" in a high singsong voice. "Who did that? Who did that on the carpet? Was it you? Yeah, you look guilty." Petting them while they growl or freak out to 'calm them down'. Ughh.)

    I did some research a while back to see if I could get my dog registered as a service animal and what it would involve (since his presence helps me recover from panic attacks quicker, without having to drug myself or wait for a few hours until the dizzying panic flares stop) but the most he'd qualify for is an "emotional support animal" which just means I could potentially get him into otherwise pet-free housing, and not a constant public companion. Which I can respect. It's not like I'm blind or wheelchair bound.
    Formerly gorgonops. I do art-type stuff.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    I had a professor like this. Her disability was that she was fat. She had me put on non-academic probation for transphobia because I asked inappropriate questions. She thought the concept of objective fact and reality was something invented by capitalists to oppress people.
    The sad thing is, a lot of people are learning how to exploit social sympathies to their advantage. Many o the worst bullies in the school district's m.o was to provoke you into snapping, then when you do, get out of the "Zero tolerance" policy by saying "They did it because I was black/hispanic/Indian/Gay/Female/Bi", which would not only silence anyone trying to call them out on this ("So you support racism/sexism/ableism/homophobia?") but get their target in even more trouble, while they get away scot-free.

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    Sentimental Machine Fiz's Avatar

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    Reminder to keep on topic, everyone.

  6. #6
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar


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    I wonder if they should add serial numbers or create specific vests so people can't just order one online to put on the service animal.

  7. #7
    I imagine that the ADA may end up tweaking some of its rules for service animals. Most have special vests, and all have paper work. But right now it isn't legal to demand paper work since people aren't likely to carry it around. (which is interesting I saw a post elsewhere saying it was, but I checked on the ADA's website and it isn't).

    I could see them either making it so one gets a special card to carry around in place of the paper work, or a special tag for the animals if fakes become a really big problem. (or both) While changing the law so that businesses may ask for proof (although they still wouldn't be allowed to ask after what your disabilities are obviously)

    I did find that it is legal to refuse service to anything other than a guide animal specifically, and that if the animal becomes disruptive they can also be expelled (although the animals owner may be allowed to stay and finish whatever they are doing if they so choose). Seeing as most types of service animal are extremely well trained and behave very inconspicuously, the chances of them being disruptive (barking, growling, acting "vicious") are vanishingly small. Whereas animals that aren't trained as service animals stick out like a sore thumb, even the extremely well trained ones behave very differently from service animals, and should be easy to pick out and refuse service to. This is important because fake service animals represent a danger to the real ones and their charges.


    It's pretty disgusting to pretend ones pet is a service animal, it breaks credibility of the actual ones when a fake animal misbehaves, and it is dangerous to those with disabilities and their helpers. :|
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    Didn't try, Succeeded Fay V's Avatar



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    Quote Originally Posted by gorgonops View Post
    Yikes, I had no idea so many people were doing this.

    "In August, Russell Ireland banned a dog from his Oxford, Mass., diner after its owner put a plate of food on the floor for the dog."

    Ew. Fine at your house, not cool at a diner.

    If I were going to try to pass my dog off as a service animal, I'd at least want to make sure he was trained enough to act like one. And not, y'know, likely to pee on merchandise. But I'm of the opinion that too many people don't take the time to even understand dog psychology as it is, let alone train them properly. ("No puppy! No jump! No! No jump!" in a high singsong voice. "Who did that? Who did that on the carpet? Was it you? Yeah, you look guilty." Petting them while they growl or freak out to 'calm them down'. Ughh.)

    I did some research a while back to see if I could get my dog registered as a service animal and what it would involve (since his presence helps me recover from panic attacks quicker, without having to drug myself or wait for a few hours until the dizzying panic flares stop) but the most he'd qualify for is an "emotional support animal" which just means I could potentially get him into otherwise pet-free housing, and not a constant public companion. Which I can respect. It's not like I'm blind or wheelchair bound.
    You can also bring them onto airplanes without the fee, or with a reduced fee. This is something I found out since I have a cat I adopted to help with anxiety and depression. Getting her home cost something like 200 or so. If I can manage to get all the paperwork, doctor stuff to have her as and ESA animal official, she'll be able to travel with me in her carrier for a reduced cost, which would be nice.
    ESA animals are pretty loose though so I dunno how much you're protected from legally.

  9. #9
    I'm glad this is becoming a well-known problem. I was very upset when I saw an oldish man dressed in camouflage rags stomping around walmart with a german shepherd in a blue vest draped over it back that said "service dog", and looked like it was cut out from a piece of blue tarp with "service dog" clearly handwritten. And the man himself was walking up to people bragging about how he gets to take his "doggie" everywhere, and encouraging them to pet it. I knew right then it was a fake service dog, because you are NOT allowed to show affection to them or it'll mess up all the training they've been put through. That, and he would constantly let go of the leash and the dog would wander away from him, so it was just an ordinary dog being used by a selfish person. I was so angry, and I wish I could've said something but most of the people around me were whispering if it was a real service dog. I'm glad people are becoming more aware of this issue, and hopefully there's a way that can weed out the fakes without getting into legal issues.

  10. #10
    I work at a hotel and it has a no pet policy and people come in and rent a room and housekeeping will see them take a dog into the room and when confronted they say 'oh it is a service animal' and it's almost always a load of barnacles. But we can't really do anything about it except inform them there is a pet cleaning fee (and they get irrationally mad about it as well)
    Last edited by Mystic; 03-03-2014 at 10:37 PM.

 

 

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