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Fri May 3, 2019, 06:40 AM

In 'lawless' world of service dogs, many families suffer

Source: Associated Press

In ‘lawless’ world of service dogs, many families suffer

By ALLEN G. BREED
May 3, 2019

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It was only after they had returned Okami and asked for a refund that the family learned the truth: Mathis was not a state-certified dog trainer. In fact, North Carolina has no such certification program — and neither does any other state.

The service dog industry — particularly in the field of “psychiatric” service dogs for people with autism and post-traumatic stress disorder — has exploded in recent years. But a near complete absence of regulation and oversight has left needy, desperate families vulnerable to incompetence and fraud.

“It is a lawless area. The Wild West,” says David Favre, a law professor at Michigan State University and editor of its Animal Legal and Historical Center website.

Properly training a service dog can take up to 1 ˝ years and cost upward of $50,000, depending on the tasks it is taught to perform. But the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require that a service dog be professionally trained or certified. And, according to the U.S. Department of Justice , local and state agencies are prohibited from requiring that the dogs be registered.

“It needs to be specially trained to do tasks that relate to the person’s disability, but it doesn’t say anything about who does the training or the quality of training or the efficacy of it,” says Lynette Hart, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis. “So it’s a very broad, wide-open barn door.”

-snip-


Read more: https://apnews.com/d0bb5c8e25574612869a71f3dd1a8e6a

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Reply In 'lawless' world of service dogs, many families suffer (Original post)
Eugene May 2019 OP
madaboutharry May 2019 #1
moreland01 May 2019 #2
mopinko May 2019 #3
CountAllVotes Aug 31 #4

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 07:21 AM

1. This is heartbreaking.

These families would have been better off if they had just gotten a regular dog and undergone a proper training course. It is evil for someone to take advantage of vulnerable people like this. There was nothing about the dogs in this story that made them in any way a "service dog."

It is clear that the ADA regulations concerning service dogs need to be rewritten and that legislation is necessary. The purpose of regulations is to protect the public, contrary to what republicans believe that they curtail the marketplace. Sometimes that is what is needed.

The children in this story needed loving companions more in line with what is called an "emotional support dog." An emotional support dog is a dog that is a loving companion. The idea of a service dog was used to con these families.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 08:57 AM

2. I raise Guide Dogs for the Blind puppies . ..

Trust me when I say it takes a village to raise these puppies. Dedicated instructors in our local club. Puppy Sitters who go through the same training that I go through. An entire organization breeding dogs specifically for their temperament and health. Yes, it costs a lot, but these dogs are not sold to blind people. They are given; along with training for the blind person. It's just heartbreaking to read about these types of groups that cast doubt on the truly wonderful organizations like Guide Dogs for the Blind. And then the blind person with their guide dog has to worry about so-called "Service Dogs" attacking their dogs because they're not adequately trained.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 10:02 AM

3. this make my blood boil. really boil.

the flood of "mutts in a vest" that their owners take everywhere just because infuriates me no end.
i have a therapy dog that volunteers w me. he could go anywhere, as he is a great dog, and well trained. he could wear his harness and bandana, and no one would stop us. the most they would do is ask if he is a service dog, and i could lie and say yes, and that would be that.
but i dont pull that shit.
and i would lose my certification if i did.

this really does need to be regulated SOMEHOW.
there needs to be ada recognition of some kind, some bar that they must meet.
people like me do this voluntarily. we seek out testing and certification for our dogs. we do the hard work, and not for money. for love and duty.

when i see these fakes, i really want to just take them down. i tell people how to block these dogs from their stores, etc.
you arent allowed to grill people about certification, such as it even exists, or about their disability.
you are, however, allowed to ask what task the dog is trained to do. this is the defining characteristic of an actual service dog v a comfort or therapy dog.
you cant refuse a service dog, but you can refuse therapy dogs. and a little knowledge of how a well trained dog acts differently than a "mutt in a vest" would also help. simple tell- if the dog is not focused on the other end of that leash, they arent a service dog. also, ask if you can pet the dog. if it is a real service dog, the answer is no.

all this should be unnecessary, tho. there should be an ada recognized patch and vest.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 02:47 PM

4. Sickening

I've been on a "list" to get a service dog for over 20 years now.

I've given up hope, I must admit.

The closest I came was a partially trained dog for $5K. If I wanted a fully trained dog, it was $15K.

I had no money for such a thing but I became suspicious.

I turned these creeps in for trying to sell a dog that may or may not be a bonafide service dog. They are no longer in business last I heard.

So sad that people that really need a service dog cannot get one.

It is indeed shameful.



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