Fake Service Dogs Endanger Us All

I just came in from a dog walk. As we came about 50 feet from a truck there was a RED NOSED PIT who was very aggressively protecting (?) his truck. Again I was 50 feet away. I was told the dog was friendly and was a  TRAINED service dog, complete with service dog certification. A service dog would not have acted aggressively at the sight of me and my dog.

Lie number one. There is no Federal service dog certification. In most states including mine, there is no state certification.  All those places you see online that offer to register and certify your service dog, all fake, they just want your money. So that was his first lie..
Lie number two...he had said the pit bull was NOT a pit but a Staffordshire Terrier..hello people, that is what a pit bull is. Everyone knows that don't they?
Lie number three. He had an ID card that was obviously from eBay certifying the dog was a service dog.
Lie number four. He said the dog was a trained service dog. The dog had had no training. When he got the dog out of the truck it did not walk on the leash like a professionally trained service dog would have. It did not even behave like a CGC or obedience dog. At no time did this dog watch its owner which is what service dogs do. It was too busy wrapping the leash around his leg and looking at me. Professionally trained service dogs don't do that. Not ever. He said the dog was professionally trained by the people he adopted him from but he couldn't remember the name of the organization.
He said his shrink signed off on the dog. That may be true but what I suspect is that his shrink told him to get a dog and put it in writing. When I asked him if he was a PTSD dog he faltered, so I suspect another lie. He may need a PTSD dog but he doesn't have one. He had left the dog alone in the truck but a genuine PTSD dog goes everywhere with his owner.

Even a dog trained for PTSD should have basic obedience skills. This one did not.

But here is the catch...if he knew the law regarding dogs for the disabled, and he obviously doesn't, he would know that there is NO certification requirements.  By law under the American with Disabilities Act  no dog has to be certified to perform a disability service for his owner. This pit looked incapable of performing a service even for PTSD , companionship is not enough. A landlord tenant trial in Nashville proved that and the woman on trial.when asked could not prove the dog performed a service. She had all the fake eBay ID papers and even the fake vests they sell on eBay.

 There are reports all over the country of dog owners faking service dog certification.  They take them, untrained and often dangerous to others, on planes, in restaurants and rent housing where breed restrictions apply. All because business owners cannot discriminate against them. Business owners also cannot ask someone about their disability.Truthfully, there is little a business owner  CAN DO.
They can ask what service a dog performs. And if the dog is creating a disturbance they can ask the dog to leave.

If a potential tenant shows certification and goes on about their dog being trained, landlords should be suspicious. I would ask who the trainer was, what service the dog performs and ask if I could call the training facility.  Granted  any Joe Schmo can  by law, train a Service dog. But if the owner says the dog came from a training facility..I would ask to speak with them. A landlord cannot ask about a personal  disability, but if a dog owner offers up certification when none is required by law, it is ok to ask about the dogs' training. In the case of the dog above, it was obvious the dog had not been trained by a service dog facility or even a skilled knowledgeable person. Again let me stress that a landlord or business owner can ask what tasks the service dog performs. All service dogs must perform an identifiable task that benefits the disabled person. Being a companion is not enough.

It is against Federal Law to claim your dog is a service dog and  it not be trained for a specific task.

There are various issues surrounding fake service dog certification.
There are many groups out there who claim they can get you a service dog.  They even provide the fake papers and make the owner believe they have a service dog.That is the lowest of the low, many people take advantage of the disabled in this way. Then the patient tells the doctor they have a service dog and the doctor takes their word for it. When in reality they have a 2nd hand dog that was discarded by someone else  for behavior problems and it is flipped by greedy people pretending they can  rehab the dog and make it a service dog for a lot of money.They provide certification that looks official and the unruly poorly trained dog ends up being a danger or a nuisance.I see these people on Craigslist all the time.That is not illegal either. And it needs to be. A good service dog provider will match the dog to the disabled person. They don't  pair dogs with large exercise requirements with people who live in apartments unless the dog performs physical tasks like helping a person walk. They don't pair high maintenance breeds with people who cannot care for them either. A lot of thought, study, education and training goes into a real service dog.

Every day disreputable dog flippers take people with disabilities for a ride.

And then there are the growing number of people with restricted aggressive breeds who use the fake service dog certification to get them into places where their dogs would not be allowed. They run around with plastic ID badges that say access is guaranteed by law.They enter apartment complexes with children and small dogs, all of whom are at risk. Insurance companies don't make property owners exclude these breeds because they are prejudice, they do it because of the high number of incidents from irresponsible owners and/or ignorant owners that cause harm to other tenants.
It is a liability issue and a good reason to deny these dogs in a crowded community. If you take a pit bull, you have a dog  who is genetically hardwired to kill, and remember, every single pit bull/Staffordshire Terrier carries those genes regardless of how friendly he appears. He also  is hardwired to be very active, expending the equivalent energy of 50 miles a day. Put him in a tiny apartment  with inadequate exercise and a person who does not understand proper behavior and training and there are going to be displacement issues. Issues that could prove very harmful.

In my city, a pit owner is not  allowed to exercise the dog on city property. They are banned from all dog parks as well. So it is impossible for apartment owners with pit/Staffies to get the dogs proper exercise unless the apartment has a private dog park. Put that dog in an apartment, where he can never get exercise and you have a keg of dynamite ready to explode. This is why there are so many incidents regarding pitbulls/Staffies in apartment complexes. It isn't that pits are bad dogs, it is caused from irresponsible owners who don't understand the very specific needs of this breed or don't care. So to protect tenants, property and to comply with insurance contracts, the dogs are banned.

And people like that are finding out that they can buy fake service dog ID's, paperwork,vests, the whole nine yards on eBay and that gets them and their poorly mannered dogs, into any place they want.

I used to be adamantly against a certification for Service dogs. But I have changed my mind. It is high time that proper certification be required by Federal law. All service dogs should be able to pass CGC certification and demonstrate good manners since they are in public. Poorly trained aggressive breeds that are capable of great harm by their sheer size and genetic history cannot be allowed to be passed off as service dogs with fake certification. Fly by night pseudo trainers must no longer be able to take advantage of disabled people.
And people who want their dogs to gain access that they don't deserve give all dog owners a black eye.

This is a very very sensitive subject to me because I have a medical alert dog. I keep a video of him performing his 'task' to prove he is a GENUINE medical alert dog. Since there is no service dog certification required he is certified CGC and Therapy dog certified. He knows how to blend into the background and be quiet in public like a service dog should. I can spot a fake service dog a mile away. And sadly, there are too many of them.
By law, even your sister who never owned a dog can train a service dog. Having conversed on this subject with various ADA lawyers I understand that all is needed is to prove the dog performs a task and there are no other requirements. Business owners, airline stewards, apartment leasing agents, hotel managers...none of them seem to have any idea about the proper way to handle potential fakers. This puts ALL OF US AT RISK. Service dogs are wonderful creatures who have improved the lives  of thousands of people with medical issues and disabilities. Let's not let the fakers take away from that.

What do you think?
Isn't it time fake service dogs were stopped? 
Go to Canine Companions for Independence and sign their pledge to stop this fraud.
 I did , and I complained to the State Attorney Generals Office, and wrote a local investigative reporter. I intend on personally writing each and every City Council Member to urge legislation stopping fake service dogs. This has to stop, it has gotten out of control and it hurts the very people it is supposed to protect, the disabled.