My Service Dog, Jade

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lack of Oversight in the Service Dog Realm

Above is a great article/video about the service dog industry and the fact that it lacks oversight.  I completely AGREE! Too often people DO just slap a vest on an untrained, out of control, stressed out dog and call it a "service dog" in order to take it places with them where it certainly should NOT go.
I also agree that there SHOULD be some kind of regulatory testing that takes place, even when someone chooses to train their own service dog.  I still think that people should be allowed to train their own service dog to meet their own needs, however; even self-trained service dogs need some kind of oversight.  This would, at the very least STOP those despicable people who think it's ok to just toss a vest on their dog and call it a service dog.

I'm assuming here that people DO understand why this is a problem, but it may be necessary to give a brief description of why this is so.  Fake service dogs are a problem because, first, a person must FAKE being disabled in order to have a fake service dog.  I don't really have to tell you have despicable that is, do I? Most people, with even a tiny bit of education, know how difficult it is to actually be disabled, and how difficult it is to get disability benefits, and how hard one has to fight for them, right? That's because there are people out there who want to FAKE being disabled, in order to receive benefits that they DO NOT have a right to. One of those benefits is to have a service dog.  So you fakers out there are just making things more difficult for the truly disabled, but you don't care about that do you?  That's why it's important to have oversight, even in the service dog realm.

Secondly, a FAKE service dog is NOT properly trained, neither is the handler. Therefore, and I've had it happen to me and my real service dog, handlers of FAKE service dogs think it's ok for them to let their little faker right in your real service dog's face, while your dog is performing duties...working! The fake handlers say stupid things upon doing that, like, "Let's let them say hi...." or "Look they can work together!" FAKE handlers with FAKE service dogs have no understanding about how these type of distractions can really cause serious problems for a real service dog and REAL handler. Also, FAKE handlers with FAKE service dogs have a tendency to choose breeds of dogs that have a tendency toward aggression, and without training or proper control can easily ruin a REAL service dog and cause early retirement to a REAL service dog, as they tend to attack any and everything, bark like mad demons at people and REAL service dogs, and just wreak havoc. Those are the people that are FAKING being disabled and having a FAKE service dog for the  purpose of making some sort of "statement" to the general public about a certain breed of dog. Yes, pit bull lovers/disability fakers, that one is for you!

Third, whether people like to believe it or not, those who are really disabled and have REAL service dogs are often looked down upon when entering certain establishments with their REAL service dogs, and that's because of the FAKERS.  It's because the owners or managers of those establishments have "had it" with having to let the FAKE service dogs and FAKE disabled handlers into their establishments without being able to do anything about it, because of the way the Federal law is written in this department and because there is NO OVERSIGHT in the service dog department. Therefore, when a truly disabled person comes walking in with their REAL service dog, the manager sees them and what goes through his/her head? "Here we go again......another untrained FAKE service dog!"

So in case readers of this post were not aware of the problems caused by FAKERS, this will give you a start in understanding. Also, it's not just the FAKERS we need to be concerned about.....

The problem with lack of oversight in the service dog arena is also an issue for those who sometimes, not always, choose to train their own service dogs and don't do it right.  There are people who may truly be disabled and are honestly attempting to train their service dog themselves, that really don't understand the laws about service dogs, or the basic training rules, the dog's stress signals,
 etc.  There are also organizations out there, I'm sure, that claim to know and don't, and that don't do a very good job training.  So that can also be a problem as well.

Essentially, the service dog arena desperately NEEDS oversight.  We need some sort of Federal or even local institution that can truly verify that a handler is indeed disabled by law and that their service dog is appropriately trained to perform tasks necessary to assist the handler, and that the dog can always pass the public access test. 

The reasons I've mentioned above are only a few reasons, I'm certain, of the need for this type of oversight.  It's not that the Federal government doesn't know about the FAKERS....they know.  They also have looked into a way to put a stop to it, without infringing on the rights of the truly disabled.....this is an extremely difficult dilemma.  If they could find a way to create strict oversight for the service dog realm, without infringing on the rights of the truly disabled, I'm sure it would've been done by now.  We need to help them find a way.  Those of us who are truly disabled, need to be flexible about what we're willing to tolerate in terms of rules and regulations, so that the FAKERS can be ruled OUT!

I also want to post these new articles about MORE Service Dogs being attacked by loose dangerous dogs, Pit Bulls. These attacks are only becoming more and more frequent and are extremely traumatic for the handlers and their service/guide dogs alike.  THESE ATTACKS MUST STOP!




  1. Thank you for a fantastic and educational post!

  2. Thank you Illinois, for stopping by to read and taking the time to comment. I certainly appreciate the positive feedback! :)

  3. we also need strict laws and penalties for attacks on these peaceful creatures. felonies with prison time and $10K fine plus the cost to replace the dog.

    1. Completely and totally agree with you Dawn! There are so many vicious attacks on Guide and Service dogs each month. The blind and disabled are now afraid to go out with their dogs for fear of being viciously attacked, mauled and/or killed. We need better laws to protect the disabled! They deserve it!!!

  4. This is a great post, Jewel Jade. I found it linked through Skeptifem's blog.

    I agree with Dawn James--dogs are so much more than just property to their owners, but since they are legally defined as property, it seems to me that owners of attacked/"unusable" service dogs ought to be compensated for the loss of their animal. These dogs are valuable. They are more expensive than a car. A Service dog is not a pet (or is not just a pet). The money does not assuage the pain and trauma of losing the dog as a companion--not to mention the inconvenience of losing a tool of one's livelihood--but at least it is something.

    Incarceration would be just and appropriate.

    1. Thank you, Miss Margo and I totally agree. Incarceration would send an appropriate message.
      Thanks for the feedback, it's always appreciated!

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