My Service Dog, Jade

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pit Bulls Called "Service Dog" To Get Around The Law

     Here is another good example, in my opinion, of another person trying to call their pit bull a "service dog" to get around the law.  If this dog is at all certified as a "service dog" then it's only because she ran to one of those illegal websites to quickly pay for a "service dog certification" to get around her landlord's telling her the dog has to go.  The funny thing is, that people think that just because their dog is a "service dog" it can get around any law and is exempt from all the rules.  This is so not true.  Regardless if a dog is a "service dog" or not, it can still legally, by ADA rules, be asked to leave if it is considered a nuisance by any staff, employee, resident or manager of any store, restaurant, apartment building, trailer park, etc.  The  so called "service dog" doesn't even have to be aggressive per se, it just has to be considered a nuisance and it can legally be asked to leave.  The tenant can stay, but the manager has EVERY right to ask that this dog leaves the premises...."service dog" or not.  By the way, you have to be "disabled" first and foremost to even have a service dog.  Many people, in my opinion, choose to impersonate a disabled person in order to be able to call their dog a "service dog" for the purpose of getting around the law.  I am not sure if having arthritis in your knees is considered a disability or not, it very well may be...but has her doctor declared this to be so? That's something the lawyer could definitely look into here.
     Another point I'd like to make is this....if you have a REAL service dog, then you know how a service dog is supposed to perform the command, "brace." If your dog has been properly trained to "brace" I can assure you, it's not by pulling as hard as it can to the end of the leash, correct?! This could very well injure the dog if it's just pulling as hard as it can by the collar, and bearing a human's body weight. Especially the 60-70 pound dog in this article.  This is NOT an appropriate "brace" by service dog.  My service dog has been properly trained to "brace," by moving in front of me sideways, tensing up, and waiting for me to put my hands on the "sweet spot" of her back (whithers) and commanding "brace," as I use her to brace me to stand up and sit down.  She also has been trained to use her harness correctly for the "brace" command, as I lean into the appropriate place on her back with my harness.

You can read the article below and let me know your thoughts as well.  The above are my thoughts.  To add to this, I have to say that I find it really sad and disgraceful that someone is resorting to calling their dog a "service dog" to get around the law.  I also find it disgraceful that anyone's "service dog" would invoke such complaints by tenants, that the dog is "charging people, aggressing toward them, growling at children and barking and snarling at them, acting aggressively toward other animals," etc.  That's scary! No properly trained service dog should behave this way! So this is again why I say that breed is an important consideration when choosing a REAL service dog, as the pit bull dogs are bred for the purpose of fighting and killing!!! They are NOT a good breed of choice, generally, for a service dog.

But please read the article and let us know your thoughts. Thank you!


  1. first, is it even possible to have a 10 month service dog?

    second, feigning a disability and/or fraudulently presenting your dog as your service dog, should be a criminal offense.

    1. Hi Dawn,
      Thank you for your comment. I do believe it is possible to have a service dog this young, as most service dogs begin training very early, even in puppyhood; however, I will check into this. In regards to FAKING a disability and FAKING a "service dog" being a criminal offense; I'm pretty sure it is a criminal offense, but I will check into it. I'll let you know if I find anything out. Thanks again.

    2. Faking a disability and claiming that your dog is a service dog, when it's not, is Federal Fraud, and you can and will be prosecuted for this. I haven't been able to find the specific consequences, but it's definitely Federal Fraud.

  2. This blog might be useful for service dog education if it wasn't just about how Pits are bad and can't be service dogs.

  3. Kaycee, never did I say that Pits can't be service dogs, because they are bad. I did say it's not a good idea, however, to choose a breed of dog that was originally bred to fight and kill, to be a dog that is supposed to serve one with a disability. I'm sure there are pit bull service dogs out there, although I haven't personally witnessed any myself. I also would like to point out that pit bull are not necessarily "bad." It's just that pit bulls, as all dogs, were bred for a specific purpose, and that purpose was to fight and kill in a pit. That doesn't mean the dog itself is "bad," per se. I do realize that it's not the dogs' fault that they were bred for this purpose and they can't help what they do. However, I do think that the value put on human beings, and especially children, needs to be much, much higher than that of a dog, any dog. I personally don't think it makes sense for people to fight for the life of a dog that has severely mauled, or even killed a child, but I see people do that all the time, and I just don't understand it. Even the dogmen of yesterday would cull the man-biters. I think, at the very least, we should continue that practice, if we are going to continue to have fighting dogs in our homes and on our streets. Call me crazy if you want to, but this is something I feel very strongly about, for many reasons. One of those reasons being that many a service dog team has been, are being, brutally attacked by pit bulls, and are being killed or forced to retire. That is definitely a service dog issue. Don't you agree? Thank you for taking the time to read through my blog and comment.

  4. The biggest threat we have outside from dogs is from the pit bulls. Pits weren't meant to be in polite society to begin with.

  5. i think legitimate pit service dogs are extremely rare. i've personally seen two fakes and no real ones.
    a legitimate service dog does not solicit attention from strangers, lunge at people walking by, bark or growl, stand up, sit down, circle around. legitimate service dogs are reserved, quiet, still, calm and passive. that right there SHOULD tell you why the overwhelming majority of dogs belonging to the category of people pleasin' super athletic lick you to death ultimate canine gladiators are not good candidates for service work.

  6. One of my best friends had a pit service dog. He was wheelchair bound and the dog picked things up for him.That was back when they where considered an respectable breed.I agree that a humans life is more then that of a dog. I agree that if a dog harms someone it should be put to sleep but I have worked with many pits and have meet many pit therapy dogs that have been wonderful. Many different breeds had fighting as their purpose or their secondary purpose but it is only Pits we go after.I just think that it shows disrespect to Pit service dogs to have an entire blog about them not being good service dogs. I am very sorry to hear about what happened to your dog though.That must have been a horrible experience.I know what it is like.I lost a cat to a GSD not long ago, so I hope for nothing but the best for your dog and yourself. I mean no disrespect in my posting but I think that Pits can be good dogs with the right person.

    1. kaycee, do you believe there should be some kind of oversight to prevent fake service dogs? do you agree that any service dog exhibiting barking, growling, lunging should have their service status revoked?

      as for your "only go after pits" comment when many dogs have fighting in their history, the operative word here is HISTORY. boxers, no longer bred for fighting, sharpeis, no longer bred for fighting (not in the us), akitas, no longer bred for fighting, boston bulldogs, no longer bred for fighting.
      pit bulls, STILL being bred for fighting and dog aggressiveness in the non dog fighting community of pit fanciers. dogos, ambulls still being bred to take down large powerful animals.

    2. Completly agree with Kaycee. I do aggree too, somewhat with dawn james, fake service dogs are unexceptable with any breed not just Pit Bulls. On this blog is the first I have heard of this. Also there not all pit Bulls are being breed for fighting, most arnt, they were just breed by stupid people who just want money for the puppies. The dogs that are being breed for fighting, that is not the dogs fault its the dogmen that are fighting their dogs. We need to stop them and throw them in jail not kill all pit bulls.

    3. Yes, Tay, FAKE service dogs are UNACCEPTABLE with any breed of dog, not just pit bulls. Anyone who would impersonate a disabled person and slap a vest on their dog, that has NOT been trained to perform service work, is just despicable.

      There are some pit bulls that are bred for fighting, Tay, but then most aren't bred to fight. There are SO many people out there breeding pit bulls, that have NO IDEA what they are doing! They don't know how to "breed out" certain traits, or "breed in" certain traits. These people, as you say, are just out to make a buck. THIS NEEDS TO STOP, for many reasons. First and foremost, there are already hundreds, even thousands of pit bulls taking up the shelter space all over the country, and yet these morons continue breeding them. I see signs all over town, make of cardboard, and hanging on light poles and such, written in magic marker, stating, "Pit bull puppies for sale." and such. This is NOT good for pit bulls, not good for the community, and not good for the shelters.

      I don't think anyone wants to "kill all pit bulls" but we DO want some regulations in place here. How else do you plan to stop all of this irregular breeding? This type of "backyard" breeding is doing A LOT of harm. Can you see that? We need some regulations to stop these people....these people that have no idea what they're breeding and what these pit bulls will turn out to be.

      I agree that it's not the pit bulls fault that it is what it is. Humans created pit bulls, yes. Now they need to stop creating them! We need regulations in place, such as mandatory spay/neuter laws, outlaw backyard breeding, muzzle laws (because pit bulls continue to "somehow" get loose and attack and maul). I myself, I prefer an all out ban on pit bull type dogs, which would include several different breeds. I like the Denver ban, but there is a better way to go about it. I would like there to be laws that mandate spay/neuter of all pit bulls, mandatory licensing and microchipping of all pit bulls (all dog for that matter), breeding should be outlawed for pit bulls because there are JUST TOO MANY of them in shelters, in homes, on the streets, being euthanized, etc.....and I think all of the pit bulls that are already here should have to be muzzled whenever they're outside of their house or their enclosure. I would like a law that mandates requirements for what kind of enclosure these pit bulls (which would be "grandfathered" in) should have. That's my want. I think I can say, after doing enough research, that a lot of people would like the same. That has nothing to do with "killing all pit bulls." Make sense? I don't think that shelters should be allowed to adopt out pit bull type dogs anymore...this should be outlawed. This is because the pit bulls that end up in shelters, have unknown histories, have been turned in to the shelters due to their history of aggression, and fighting, etc.

      Anyway....thank you for reading and taking time to comment.

  7. Kaycee, thank you for the well wishes. I appreciate your taking time to read and comment on my blog. The way I feel about pit bulls is a personal thing, and yes, some of it comes from the attack on my own dog; however, since that attack I've done a lot of research on pit bull type dogs. If I ever meet a real pit bull service dog that is not aggressive and is legitimate, with proper training, and is helping a disabled person to live a better and more independent life, I will not disrespect it. That's not my intention really. However, having done the research that I have, I have truly found that there are a lot of pit bull owners out there that are buying vests off the internet and putting them on their dogs to get around the law. No, it's not just pit bull owners that are doing that, but I do believe that a pit owner who does this poses a much greater risk to the community than say a yorkie owner who does it. Neither is acceptable however, and I believe it's something that needs addressing. Again, thank you for wishing us well, and taking the time to read and comment. I welcome all comments (except the downright rude and nasty ones). I wish you well in return!

  8. As an advocate who help people with disabilities understand their rights to emotional support animals under the Fair Housing Act and to service dogs under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans With Disabilities Act(ADA), I feel compelled to clarify the actual legal rights given to disabled people who use assistance animals in the U.S. under these laws.

    It is not the ADA that applies here, but the FHA. Under the FHA, assistance animals require no special training. They can be babies not yet housebroken, rodents, birds, etc. They are just pets. What makes them assistance animals is that they help a person deal with his/her disability. Emotional support animals are specifically covered by the FHA, but not the ADA.

    Neither the FHA nor the ADA have ever had any breed restrictions or require ANY type of certification or professional training. (see The purpose of both laws is to empower, not restrict, people with disabilities. They are civil rights laws.

    BTW, under the ADA it is a violation of the law to require removale of a dog because it is "considered a nuisance." Here is a direct quote from the DOJ:

    "A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken."

    See for full text and link to original document on USDOJ website.

    Unless you are an intimate friend or physician of a person with a service dog it is unlikely you can know whether a service dog is a fake. Disabilities are not always apparent the neither the ADA nor the FHA require that people disclose the nature of their disability. As stated above no training at all is required for an emotional support animal under the FHA and the definition of a service dog under the ADA is "Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability."

  9. Joanne;
    I'm not sure what you are trying to say at the beginning of your comment, in regards to the ADA vs. the FHA, but I can tell you this...The ADA most certainly does require that an assistance dog is trained... "Service animal means any dog that is INDIVIDUALLY TRAINED to do work or perform tasks...." , and since the revisions to the ADA effective as of March 2011, a service animal can only be a dog, or in some cases a miniature horse. The ADA, since its recent revisions, no longer allows any other animal to be considered "service animals," that means, cats, birds, ferrets, rodents, etc. Those are no longer allowed. Please refer to the ADA website and read the recent revisions.

    A business owner or manager most certainly CAN ask a person to remove their "service dog" from the business if it becomes a nuisance. The ADA defines this most yourself quoted the DOJ in saying, ""A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken." That is considered a nuisance. Please read the ADA regulations. If the dog is barking excessively, "acting out of control," acting aggressively, bothering patrons, etc, yes, it most certainly CAN be asked to leave the business. However, the business owner/manager MUST give the disabled person the opportunity to return without the dog.

    This statement you made here is completely false..except for the last sentence..."It is not the ADA that applies here, but the FHA. Under the FHA, assistance animals require no special training. They can be babies not yet housebroken, rodents, birds, etc. They are just pets. What makes them assistance animals is that they help a person deal with his/her disability. Emotional support animals are specifically covered by the FHA, but not the ADA." An assistance animal is a "service animal." A service animal, as stated by the ADA revisions effective March 2011, clearly states that birds, cats, rodents, etc, will NO LONGER be accepted as service animals. A service animal must be a DOG or in some cases a miniature horse. That is all. Yes, a service DOG must be specially trained to perform specific tasks that help the disabled person mitigate his/her disability. No, it doesn't have to be PROFESSIONALLY trained, but it must be trained! No, it doesn't require a special certification, but yes, it must be trained.

    Emotional Support Animals are NOT considered service animals. Again, this is clearly specified by the ADA revisions, effective March 2011. Please read the revisions as you have provided erroneous information. The ADA regulations have changed. ESAs are no longer afforded the same rights as service animals as far as public access and the like are concerned. People that have Emotional Support Animals are up in arms about this new regulation. Emotional Support Animals are discussed in BOTH the ADA and the FHA regulations.

    You are correct in saying that neither the ADA nor the FHA have breed restrictions about service animals OR emotional support animals (again, not the same thing), and I never stated that they did. I believe they SHOULD, but as of yet, they don't.

  10. Nevertheless, my point remains the same. Many pit bull owners are slapping vests on their dogs, that they've acquired illegally from the internet, without having TRAINED their dogs, nor are they disabled, in order to get around the law. Not all of them are doing it, but, yes, there are some. It's not ONLY pit bull owners that are doing this either. Keep in mind, that in order to have a REAL service dog, you must be disabled, and your dog MUST be trained to perform specific tasks to help mitigate your disability.

    Joanne, before you attempt to correct me, you need to get your facts straight. If you are a person that assists disabled people in this area, I highly recommend that you read the new revisions of ADA regulations, before you tell people that emotional support animals are the same thing as service animals, because they're not.

    Thank you for reading my blog and taking time to comment.

  11. I just want to say I totally agree it is wrong to fake a "service dog", on the other hand I would have to say pit bulls would be the best breed to be a service dog because they are NOT "killers" they are people pleasers they do what makes their owners happy. I've never owned any other breed of dog for this reason and I have never had any problems with my pits.All I am asking is that everyone stops blaming the breed and blame the people its their fault this dog has the rep they do.

  12. Joanne is correct re: FHA vs. ADA. ADA covers places of public accommodation, and the FHA covers almost all housing - apartments, non-owner-occupied single homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, as well as mobile home parks, etc etc etc.

    FHA covers emotional support animals, while ADA does not. This means that while a business owner does not have to accept an emotional support animal as a service animal, an apartment owner most certainly does.

    Not disagreeing with the majority of your post as far as ADA is concerned, but ADA and FHA cover two different areas, and the references to landlords/housing in your post are incorrect.

  13. I think that pits are good dog as long as they are trained right they say pit will bit all bogs will bite don't matter what kind of breed. Its all how the dogs rasid

  14. I live in a senior apt. lady next door has what she says is a service dog. friendly with people, but with other dogs on property wants to attack them. we are all afraid to walk our dogs as her dog has turned over her motorized chair with her hanging onto the dog. ps. she has M.S. what are our rights as dog owners?