Showing posts with label fake service dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fake service dogs. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Selfish Owners Use Fraud Service Dogs

Service Dog Frauds: Rising Problem Could Jeopardize Safety Of Truly Dependent People

Hartford Courant
Leonard Felson
October 23, 2018
Dogs trained to perform specific tasks go through rigorous training. It takes two years before service dogs, like the German Shepherd guide dogs trained by Fidelco at its two centers — one in Bloomfield, the other in Wilton — are placed with clients. That’s 15,000 hours of training, “more instruction than our kids get in kindergarten through college,” says Russman, and $45,000 in direct costs. Therapy dogs such as the ones Quinn trains go through 2,000 hours of task training in addition to obedience training.

Eliot D. Russman, president and CEO of the national Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, sits with several German Shepherds at the training center in Bloomfield. (Brad Horrigan)
On a recent Hartford-bound flight from Florida, a couple boarded with two vest-clad rare-breed small dogs. As they settled in their seats, they took the dogs’ vests off, unleashed them, and over the duration of the flight, as the human passengers dozed off, the dogs wandered up and down the aisle, even after flight attendants warned the couple to hold on to their pet companions.

It isn’t the first time Eliot D. Russman, a passenger on the flight and head of Bloomfield-based Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, has witnessed a spreading trend: dog owners taking their pets wherever they want, often under the ruse that the canines are emotional support animals, with online-purchased harnesses, vests and identification cards meant to prove it.

“There’s a growing sense of entitlement that people want what they want and they don’t care about anyone else,” says Russman, president and CEO of the nonprofit organization that breeds, trains and raises German Shepherds as guide dogs for the blind across North America. “It’s plain and simple selfishness.”

Service dogs have been assisting their owners for generations, not only guiding the blind, but also retrieving and helping stabilize their owners’ gait.
read more here

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Fake Service Dogs hurting those who need real ones

PTSD Sufferer Says Increasingly Businesses Are Saying No To Service Animals
CBS Miami
By Lauren Pastrana
October 5, 2018
“We’re being hurt. We’re truly being hurt by those not following these regulations and laws that are in place to protect us.”  Eduardo Dieguez
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Eduardo Dieguez believes in second chances, for himself and for his four-legged friends.
“If it wasn’t for one of these guys,” Dieguez says referring to his dog, “I wouldn’t be around.”

With the help of Paws 4 You Rescue, Dieguez trains shelter dogs to be service animals.

“We’re giving them a role to play in somebody’s health,” he said.

He doesn’t just train them, he needs one, as well.

Dieguez suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“My PTSD stems from abuse when I was a young child,” Dieguez said.

Add in military service and more than a decade as a law enforcement officer, and Dieguez says he knew he needed help.

“That just intensified my fight or flight. And it usually went to fight. Dogs were the only thing that helped bring me down from all that fear and anxiety that I had,” Dieguez explained.

But Dieguez says it’s getting tougher to take his service animal with him in to public places.

read more here

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Iowa Senate Outlaws Fake Service Dogs

Iowa Senate passes bill outlawing fake service dogs

Iowans could face jail time if they lie about having a service dog under a new bill passed by the Iowa Senate on Wednesday.

The bill was introduced in response to veterans who came forward with concerns after their highly trained service dogs, meant to help with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), were attacked in public by untrained companion animals, according to the Des Moines Register.

Dogs go through rigorous training to assist with PTSD, blindness, epilepsy and other types of disabilities.

People were buying dog harnesses and fake certificates online so their untrained dogs could pass as qualified service animals or service-animals-in-training in order to get certain privileges, the Register reported.
read more here

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Delta Airlines wants proof your dog is good to fly

Good dog or bad dog Delta wants to know before you board
Associated Press
David Koenig
January 20, 2018
A rift has grown between disabled people who rely on trained service animals, usually dogs, and passengers with support or comfort animals, with many in the first group suspecting that those in the latter are just trying to avoid paying $125.

However, owners of comfort animals, including veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, often say that they wouldn't be able to travel without their companion.

DALLAS - Delta Air Lines will soon require owners of service and support animals to provide more information before their animal can fly in the passenger cabin, including an assurance that it's trained to behave itself.

The airline says complaints about animals biting or urinating or defecating on planes have nearly doubled since 2016.

Starting March 1, Delta will require owners to show proof of their animal's health or vaccinations at least 48 hours before a flight.

Owners of psychiatric service animals and of those used for emotional support will need to sign a statement vouching that their animal can behave. But owners will be on the honor system - they won't have to show, for example, that their dog graduated from obedience school.
read more here

Considering you can buy a service dog vest at Walmart...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fake Service Dogs Now Illegal In Virginia

Falsely Claiming to Have a Service Dog Is Now Illegal in Virginia
NBC News
By Mitchell McCluskey

Anyone who falsely claims their dog is a service dog now can be fined in Virginia.

Marty van Duyne's service dog, Sergeant III, dressed for a baseball game.
A law that went into effect July 1 makes it illegal to fit a dog with a harness or other signage "commonly used by a person with a disability" in order to represent the animal as a service dog.

Anyone found in violation of the law can be fined $250.

The legislation was inspired by Marty van Duyne, a Virginia woman who uses a service dog.

Van Duyne said she attended an event in 2015 at which she was asked to bring the red vest of her previous service dog, who had recently died.

At the event, someone asked if she would lend them the dog's vest. When she asked what the person's disability was, they told her that they had none.

"I was flabbergasted that someone would ask me to do that," van Duyne said. "You don't ask someone to borrow crutches to pretend to be hurt. You don't do that."
read more here

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Florida Lawmakers Taking on Fake Service Dogs

The point of a service dog is to make life easier for disabled people to be more able to do things. With PTSD service dogs, their jobs are numerous but the most important thing they accomplish is to get the veteran back out in public. They are there to calm down anxiety but in far too many cases, the veteran ends up with anxiety caused by people because of the dog.

With proper training, there should be no issue of allowing them in just about anywhere. You can tell by how they act as well as react. All too often a fake service dog with a vest and a piece of paper has not been trained. You can also tell by how they act and react but in the case of the fakes, it is usually too late to know the difference. It should be illegal to take advantage of people in need just because you want to do it.

I always bring up my dog. He isn't a service dog and he hasn't been trained. I wouldn't want to take him anywhere other than for a walk or to the vets. I have an obligation to my dog as well as other people. I couldn't imagine what would happen if I took this 80 lbs of walking muscle into a restaurant.

He's a mutt-rescue-Rottweiler-Hound-Rhodesian Ridgeback
"A large and muscular dog, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was not only developed as hunter but also as a family protector.

The breed can be light wheaten to red wheaten and are sleek and glossy in appearance.

Originally bred to hunt lions the breed is also known as the African Lion Hound."
"Rules exist for a reason and when it comes to Service Dogs and Service Dog law, too many people have come to view them more as “guidelines.” Whether it’s someone who wishes they could take their dog everywhere or someone who has chosen to break the law by presenting their pet as a fake Service Dog, both actions cause damage and harm to the Service Dog and disabled community."
The Hidden Complications of Fake Service Dogs

Florida taking on fake service dogs
HB 71: Service Animals
Service Animals; Requires public accommodation to permit use of service animal by individual with disability; provides conditions for public accommodation to exclude or remove service animal; revises penalties for certain persons or entities who interfere with use of service animal; provides penalty for knowing and willful misrepresentation with respect to use or training of service animal.
A person who knowingly and willfully misrepresents herself or himself, through conduct or verbal or written notice, as using a service animal and being qualified to use a service animal or as a trainer of a service animal commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 and must perform 30 hours of community service for an organization that serves individuals with disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the discretion of the court, to be completed in not more than 6 months. Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Veterans need to fight back against fake PTSD service dogs

Up until today I was telling veterans they should show the papers for their service dogs and not be so defensive. The owners do not need to know why veterans have them but they should have some assurance the dog has been highly trained to do a job and not belong to a fraud.

I was wrong.

Today was an eyeopener. I heard someone say they know someone who bought the papers and vest online. All they had to do was come up with the money and bingo, they suddenly had a "service dog" that has no training at all.

Another friend did some digging while I was at work and discovered this.

Service Dog Certification -- Spotting Fake Certification/Registration/ID
Who does it hurt when you pass your pet off as a service dog when it' isn't? Be sure to check out our article On the Consequences of Fake and Undertrained Service Dogs

Certification does not mean an individual dog is a service dog. Neither does registration or an official looking ID. There are several businesses selling fake certification, registration and IDs over the internet. All a person need do to get these products is pay a fee. Their dog is never tested and their disability is never verified. All the product really means is that the person was willing to pay money to get it.

If you question whether ID or certification is legitimate, a quick internet search of the name of the organization will reveal whether it is an agency that actually trains service dogs, or one that merely certifies, registers, or identifies any dog sight-unseen for a fee.

How can you tell a REAL service dog if ID cards and certificates are actually meaningless? The US Department of Justice permits businesses to ask two questions:
1. Is this a service dog required because of disability?
2. What is it trained to do to mitigate the disability?

Remember that "[a]nimals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or to promote emotional well-being are not service animals..." so a service animal must be specifically trained to DO something.

Additionally, if the animal behaves inappropriately, by disrupting business, behaving aggressively, interfering with other patrons or clients (say by sniffing them or jumping up on them), or toileting inappropriately, then it doesn't matter whether it is a service dog because you can still exclude it on the basis of "fundamental alteration" or "direct threat."

BE WARNED: when you see a fake certification, it is a STRONG indication that the dog is not a legitimate service dog. People with legitimate service dogs tend to be familiar with laws and know that certification is not required so long as the dog meets the legal definition. Those who purchase fake certification do so because they, or those they encounter, doubt their dog's real status and it is easier to purchase a fake document than to actually get their dog properly trained and evaluated by an expert.

What good does it do to have papers of a real service dog when this is going on? It costs thousands of dollars and countless hours to train a dog properly but these jerks are ruining it for everyone.

The intent of a PTSD service dog is to get veterans back out into the world so they stop isolating. All too often veterans end up getting even more upset by situations where they are face to face with an owner or employee of a business refusing to allow the dog in without documentation. All they want to do is make sure it is really a service dog that won't cause a fuss for the rest of the customers. Unfortunately, we've seen that happen all too often.

A dog could very well have graduated at the top of the class in training then again, some fake could walk in with the papers acting like my dog. Mine? Well, he is a breed that was raised to hunt lions and be guard dogs. He's not dangerous as long as no one comes near me. I am a responsible owner so I think about others. Too many just want to be able to travel with their dogs and don't give a damn about anyone but themselves.

Veterans have to fight back. Contact your member of Congress and get them to right a bill to stop the jerks from taking what they want. Tell them you want to make sure anyone with a vest for a dog has earned the right to use what you fought so hard for.