Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Will the Real Service Dog Please Stand Up?

Canine Companions for Independence, the nation's largest breeder/trainer/distributor of service dogs, has issued a petition to the Justice Dept- calling for the outlaw of false service dog vests and certificates.

Apparently in another one of those "ethically questionable things you didn't know people did til the Internet came along" there are people out there selling these items, and perhaps dogs that aren't properly trained to go with them. So, being disabled is cool now? Not so much- but being able to take your dog places otherwise not allowed is- or at least more convenient for you.

In addition to dishonesty, this misuse of service dog disguises for regular pets jeopardizes the inclusion of service dogs in public spaces. People with disabilities have fought long and hard for public accommodations and we still struggle with defending and extending the rights we have. Currently users of service dogs are not required to carry documentation (though other types of service animals are) but that may become restricted if there is more suspicion of the animals' status.
Potentially this could also lead to folks who need service dogs getting ones that are not properly trained.

So- go sign the petition!

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