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  1. These days, half the "service dog" claims are bogus. California is trying to figure out how to get it under control. I expect Florida has the same problem. I'm not judging this particular case, however.

    40 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      <These days, half the "sevice dog" claims are bogus>


      <California is trying to figure out how to get it under control>

      I hope they figure this out soon.

      < I'm not judging this particular case, however.>

      Did you watch the video?

      1. re: GH1618

        I'm not judging either, you see, but the little pooch with the bow in her hair doesn’t really give off the service dog vibe. Plus they were awfully friendly little dogs for service pets, sticking the faces up to the camera.

        1. re: GH1618

          "These days, half the "service dog" claims are bogus"
          I think the issue is a little more complicated than that. Offhand, I think service dogs are found to be useful for an increasing number of medical or even psychological issues. So more people are getting them. And if it's more efficient or more helpful than traditional therapies, then I'm all for it.

          BUT... the laws written to protect users of service dogs were written with the historical uses of service dogs in mind - largely, to aid the blind, and a few other very serious maladies. These were people who NEEDED their dogs with them all the time, and the laws reflect that. Newer users of service dogs might not have the same degree of need, but still have the same degree of protection. Which can be a problem for people with allergies, or also if the standards of training for service dogs drops as some dogs now need less training to perform their therapeutic duties than, say, a seeing eye dog would.

          What to do about this problem? I have no idea.

          1. re: cowboyardee

            Maybe some sort of I.D. card with a picture of said service animal. These cards would be available from a veterinarian or your doctor. Too much work for the pet owner? My in-laws who are 85 years old had to do some work to get their handicap parking sticker for their car. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to require owners of service dogs to do the same.

            Interesting that there are so many more of these out of the ordinary service pets in Southern California than in other parts of the country.

            1. re: bobbert

              You beat my exact sentiments by five hours, bobbert. I was thinking a numbered and bar coded picture ID of both dog and owner riveted to the harness should suffice. And, as a suburban Philly resident, I have yet to encounter this as a problem. In fact, I can't recall the last time I saw a service dog in a restaurant. SoCal pet owners must be modeling each others' behavior to avoid having pooch stay in a hot car.

              1. re: Chefpaulo

                The husband, who supposedly has a 30% hearing loss, IS a doctor (albeit reportedly a plastic surgeon). So he can write his own necessity for a service dog. (How does a small dog in a carrier help with hearing loss? What is the dog supposed to do if a train or bus is coming?)

                And he undoubtedly verified his wife's need for a service dog, even though she refuses to disclose the nature of her need.

                Any reasonable rules you write, there are those that will selfishly game the system. And eventually it will deny those who really, legitimately need the service.

          2. re: GH1618

            Half? Really? And on what do you base this? Any facts? Statistics?

            1. re: jmckee

              where's the facts and statistics that it's *not* half?

              GH, just going by the conversations here on CH, I don't think the problem is nearly as big in FL as in CA -- but it's probably headed that way. I've started seeing more and more dogs in stores all over the place.

              1. re: sunshine842

                They are starting to pop up more and more in Walt Disney World. Either they are fake service dogs or they are the worst trained animals ever.

            2. re: GH1618

              1. "These days, half the "service dog" claims are bogus."

              I'm sure it's unintended, but there is a lot of bigotry in this statement. It is also unsubstantiated.

              2. "California is trying to figure out how to get it under control. I expect Florida has the same problem"

              How so? Disabled people are protected by federal law. The Department of Justice explains the law clearly on their website.

              3. "the laws written to protect users of service dogs were written with the historical uses of service dogs in mind"

              The federal government updated and revised the law in 2010 and 2011. They are written to aid and protect disabled people today.

              4."Dogs closed up in a stroller can't possibly perform their duty as a service dog"

              Nobody except the people involved would have that information. It's possible, it depends on the situation.

              5. "but their ability to sense and respond to someone having an attack will be grievously hindered by being zipped into a stroller."

              What makes you think that? This is inaccurate.

              6. "effort made to shut down the service-dog certificate mills"

              Disabled people do not need certificates or documentation. There are companies who provide documents to help disabled people protect their rights in situations such as this.

              7. "Change it to Advanced Self-entitlement Syndrome, and you have a condition with the perfect acronym"

              Mocking disabled people because they do not live up to bigoted stereotypes of what a disabled person should look like.... good move.

                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                  This can't possibly be for real.

                  1. re: jpc8015

                    Or maybe it is and illustrates why the legislation has resulted in such unintended consequences which have not been adequately addressed in amendments. The lobbyists and advocates IMO tend to take rather extreme, unilateral views which make it tricky for legislators to achieve legislation which is both balanced and practical.

                    I suspect one of the unintended consequences of this type of impractical legislation is that it creates hostility towards the very groups it was designed to help. Everyone* supports genuine service dogs, although I was a little surprised at the miniature horse amendment (but pleased to note they must be house trained - I assume a miniature horse "land-mine" is still substantive), but stretching the definition to beyond breaking point will sorely tax that sentiment.

                    * sorry I don't have the published stats to prove this beyond reasonable doubt - but I understand the UK's Guide Dogs for the Blind charity had to stop taking donations a few years ago because they received too much cash to use.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      I'm afraid you may be right. This perfectly illustrates why we should not rush into legislation with wild abandon. Creating laws for the sake of creating laws is not good lawmaking.

                  2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                    Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                        Feed who/what first?

                        "I see nuthink!" - Sergeant Schultz

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I don't know. I mean, this post responds to an impression I also picked up from the thread. I know people here on chowhound can be sympathetic to social issues, and I know that most of the responses here are in light of two people who might well be giving off a dubious vibe. However, this more specific focus is giving way to generalisations about service animals (a domain that has expanded, and with it, as always, those who take advantage) and demands for a rigorous oversight of disabled people that places the onus on them but not the state for ensuring provisions of access. (Although I get the feeling that many on CH list libertarian, so I'm sort of not surprised by the latter issue.)

                          As for the people themselves, there is so little to glean from any short item (I will refrain from comments on Florida man and woman) so from a distance, this starts to look nasty. (Why does plastic surgery matter at all?)

                          All that said, I'm not writing this to take you to task about what has been written, but to say that the post you are treating as trollish is possibly coming from a better place than you think. (And I speak of this post only, not necessarily follow-ups, because I, too, have no idea what being a Christian should matter.)

                          1. re: Lizard

                            I don't believe that there is any question about the ensuring of provisions for access to public spaces by disabled persons. The ADA has ensured that access is provided everywhere. This problem has been settled.

                            As for the "onus" of the possibility of having to document one's right to take a service dog into a restaurant, this is blown out of proportion. For example, disabled persons who use reserved parking spaces need a medical opinion attesting to the need in order to get a placard, must display the placard when using a reserved space, and must be able to show that the placard is being used by the person to whom it is issued. That may be an "onus," but it is a minor one. I used a parking placard for a time and consider the restrictions which enable the system to be enforced to be entirely reasonable.

                            The need for service dog is no different in principle than the need for reserved parking. If the system is being abused (and I think it is clear that it is), then there must be a way to enforce it. If some persons who use service dogs think being asked to document their use of a dog as legitimate is an "onus," I say that's just too bad.

                            1. re: GH1618

                              The issue has not remotely been settled. To be ADA compliant essentially entails having wheelchair access, and there are many other kinds of disabilities. I would have no problem with requiring service dogs to be certified, provided that we as a society are willing to take on the cost of doing this. Being disabled is already expensive and to me it's not reasonable to ask for another financial burden in order make sure someone doesn't get away with an illicit chihuahua.

                              1. re: ErnieD

                                The issue of access has been settled. Where is a disabled person denied access merely because of his or her disability (excluding isolated cases of businesses which are not in compliance)?

                        2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                          1. "we should not rush into legislation with wild abandon. Creating laws for the sake of creating laws is not good lawmaking"

                          The DOJ's ADA is designed to protect disabled people when uninformed, maybe well-meaning, but people uneducated in all the issues involved try to make it overly hard on the disabled by denying them some really basic rights.

                          Why is it so hard to understand that these two are disabled? Because they don't look disabled? They don't fit some really narrow stereotype. Exactly how do hearing impaired people look?

                          If someone tells us they are hearing impaired, we have no problem believing them unless they want to do something that annoys us. In THAT case, they must be con artists just working the system. So, be hearing impaired - that's ok.... but not around me?

                          2. "I think I will get a ball python and insist that it is a service animal next time I go out to eat"

                          As charming as that idea is, only dogs are allowed to be service animals. (I believe the use of miniature horses is restricted to some specific rural areas. I may be wrong, but I remember going deep into the DOJ ADA site and seeing a reference to that.)

                          I understand that it's hard to accept the change of dogs in restaurants. It is that which is causing so much hate from people who I am certain generally are not bigots. But, unless the law is changed it's a fact of life. Do you really want to go around accusing people of not being deaf. Or worse, mocking disabled people.

                          3. "This couple appears to be working the system. Both have the same medical disability? I didn't know being a sociopath was a disability"

                          No they don't. They appear to be PO'ed. Of course it is possible for people with the same disability to be married/involved. There have been hearing impaired people medically and financially eligible for the cochlear implant. But, they declined to have the procedure to implant. Why? One reason: Because they so loved and were so involved and emotionally attached to the hearing impaired community that they were afraid that they'd have to leave it if no longer impaired.

                          I'm not sure about sociopath, but I know bigot is not a qualifying disability.

                          4. "I seem to find myself siding on the side of the restaurant on this one."

                          If even one of the two have a legitimate disability/need, I would hate to be the restaurant owner right now. In a perfect world, a sincere apology and an assurance that the staff are now properly trained and a invite back to the restaurant would be enough. But we don't live in a perfect world.

                          1. re: lilcloversprout

                            Don't hearing dogs need to be able to make contact with their owners? Tough to do in a stroller.

                            1. re: lilcloversprout

                              I am pretty certain no one bears any ill will to a disabled person who needs the help of a service dog. The concern is directed at those who are not disabled who exploit disabled legislation for their own selfish reasons.

                              I totally agree that its impossible for the "person in the street" to make a judgement about a persons disability and/or the role their animal plays in alleviating this disability.

                              Because of this wouldn't it be sensible for service animals to have a ID card verified by the owners medical practitioner and issued by the authorities. It doesn't need to have any details about the disability, but it would help eliminate abuse of this very valid right.

                              I would go further and say the ID's should only be issued for an animal that is required to alleviate the disability if the owner needs to take an animal into an area where animals are generally discouraged.

                              I can't see anything wrong with this concept, its logical, practical and looks after the interests of the individual and protects their privacy.

                              1. re: PhilD

                                1. "I am pretty certain no one bears any ill will to a disabled person who needs the help of a service dog"

                                Actually, there is a large amount of ill will directed to these disabled people. In this thread, they have been called sociopaths, liars, cheats, con artists working the system, one inference to profanity that many seconded. It is this hate that I am responding to. It's really disgusting. We don't know that they aren't hearing impaired. What makes anyone think they are not?

                                2. "Because of this wouldn't it be sensible for service animals to have a ID card verified by the owners medical practitioner and issued by the authorities"

                                Depending on how this was implemented, of course, but something like this could be very useful for everyone involved. I know there are people who are working the system. But we don't know these two are. And I know far more that have legitimate need than those that are "working the system".

                                3. "The woman found the experience humiliating, yet she’s good with toting her dogs around in a baby carriage"

                                This stroller looked like the strollers that are extremely expensive that are specifically designed to transport pets and are sold in high-end pet shops and catalogs.

                                It's possible that the dogs are normally walked with a leash but as the couple entered the restaurant they put the dogs in the stroller in deference to other customers. It was one - day time and two - it was a hot day. The dogs could not remain in the car. If they had been strolling around checking out the sights, they probably went to the car and picked up the stroller before entering the restaurant.

                                1. re: lilcloversprout

                                  No, no one is calling a disabled person a con artist. I (a disabled person) am calling persons who pretend to be disabled when thay are not con artists.

                                  1. re: lilcloversprout

                                    lilcloversprout - it would have been good for you to reflect on the whole of my first paragraph rather than just the first sentence. The second sentence qualifies the first and this makes your first point fairly redundant.

                                    I think your second point actually agrees with the sentiment of many on the board who are critiquing the scammers.

                                    1. re: lilcloversprout

                                      I met a couple walking two Yorkshire terriers in a park adjacent to my condo complex about 10 years ago. They were very interested in the complex and eager to buy a unit.
                                      They were walking two Yorkshire terriers. I informed them that there was a strict no dog policy and that they might as well just give it up.
                                      Six months later guess who was living in my complex, they no longer had the 2 Yorkshire terriers they now had two Maltese terriers????
                                      The condo board said "get rid of em" the couple sued for harassment stating that the dogs were service animals who's job it was was to jump on the obese, cigar smoking drug abusing husband, should he stop breathing while sleeping. Without getting into painful details I know with absolute certainty that this man did not have a disability, he did however have an excellent attorney.

                                      They ended up getting a beautiful new kitchen out of the lawsuit $$$$.
                                      Flash forward a couple of years, the couple divorced and his "service dogs" were fought over in a custody battle...hmph????
                                      AS long as there are shysters this is going to continue

                                    2. re: PhilD

                                      Why not just do it like disabled parking spaces? You get a permit for a valid reason, display it clearly on your person or service animal and nobody questions you as the permit is issued by the government and standardized, and easy to recognize.

                                      Is that unreasonable at all? I don't think it would cost an inordinate amount of money to have such a system.

                                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                        exactly -- the system is already in place for parking decals -- adding service animals would be a fairly small incremental cost...

                                        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                          "display it clearly on your person"

                                          You mean like a big tattooed "D" on disabled people's foreheads? :)

                                          Some sort of ID that could be placed in a wallet or purse might work if a system like this was put in place.

                                          1. re: lilcloversprout

                                            there was a suggestion of a photo ID tag attached to the animal's working harness...I think that works pretty well to identify the person and the service animal, signifies that they belong together, and signifies "no further questions necessary"

                                            The disability wouldn't have to be identified, as everyone would know that yep, this has been vetted, and it's all cool.

                                  2. re: lilcloversprout

                                    I'll feed.

                                    "3. "the laws written to protect users of service dogs were written with the historical uses of service dogs in mind"

                                    The federal government updated and revised the law in 2010 and 2011. They are written to aid and protect disabled people today."
                                    Culturally speaking, 2010 is a fairly long time ago. The diversity of jobs a medical service dog might be used for has seen a very rapid recent expansion.

                                    That's beside the point though. The point is that while it is easy to see why the need for a seeing eye dog might trump another person's dog allergies (and even that's not so in the case of someone with a known anaphylaxis reaction to dogs, though this is admittedly quite rare), some other reasonable uses of therapy dogs might not. Not all therapy dogs are needed to the same extent and it seems as though not all therapy dogs are trained to the same extent.

                                    As I wrote above, I don't know what to do about this, because it's invasive to require that people state their medical conditions. Perhaps some kind of designation for service dogs that have legitimate need to be taken ANYWHERE along with a card or something. Of course, even the process of sorting out what conditions/uses fit this bill and which don't would be a nightmare. It sucks to give disabled people more BS to deal with, but allergies are a very legit concern.

                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                      The need to not give disabled folks more shit to deal with is very real. However, it must be carefully balanced with those dickheads who will use the rule to take any animal any and everywhere they please.

                                      I think I will get a ball python and insist that it is a service animal next time I go out to eat.

                                    2. re: lilcloversprout

                                      That's not an exact figure, of course, just a first approximation plus or minus 49%. I know there are some because I have known "service dog" scofflaws personally. I also know that there are legitimate service dogs. The exact percentage is unimportant — it's high enough to be an obvious problem. Here's a link to a news story on the subject:


                                      Anybody who thinks there aren't a lot of scofflaws gaming the system here is naïve. There are scofflaws gaming every system where they might be able to get some advantage out of it.

                                      The charge that I am bigoted against disabled persons is laughable. I don't take offense, because I attribute it to ignorance. I spent months in a wheelchair recovering from a serious illness and still have pernanent disability. I had a legitimate need for disabled parking privileges for nearly a year, but could rarely get a disabled parking space because there are so many scofflaws in California cheating on their parking placards. I personally know someone who used her husband's parking placard when he was confined to long term care, and continued to use it for months after he died. If you think that there are not many people similarly willing to cheat on disabled parking rules, service dog rules, and every other sort of rule, you are not thinking very clearly. Perhaps you live in some sort of utopia where everybody is honest, but it isn't California.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        1. "The charge that I am bigoted against disabled persons is laughable. I don't take offense, because I attribute it to ignorance"

                                        I have had a disabled parking placard in California since about 2007. I rarely have a problem finding a space. One of our best friends is a parking enforcement officer here. She is a Christian and a severe stickler for details and the rules. Because there are some jerks that use a dead relative's placards, she runs the serial number off the placards. Once in a while she finds one being used illegally. I have spoken with her about this, while she does run across this, it is rare.

                                        Of course laws to help disabled people are going to be taken advantage of to some extent. But, are we going to stop trying to help? I hope not. Yes, put safeguards in place. But, let's not get carried away with negative attitudes towards these two and come off looking like people we don't want to be.

                                  3. Interesting -- I live in Tampa, and this hasn't caught even a flicker of traction locally.

                                    But I smell a rat. Dogs closed up in a stroller can't possibly perform their duty as a service dog, whatever affliction these two imagine themselves to suffer.

                                    But yeah -- I agree with GH1618 that there needs to be a very hard look at what constitutes a "service dog" and an effort made to shut down the service-dog certificate mills.

                                    55 Replies
                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      That's exactly what I was thinking, sunshine. I couldn't hear the video that well here at work, so I'm not sure if it was stated as to what the dogs were supposed to do from a medical basis.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        it was never explained-- no mention of the "disability", no mention of what the dogs are trained to do, and no mention of where the certifications are.

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            I think you're right.
                                            Very severe...

                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                  Change it to Advanced Self-entitlement Syndrome, and you have a condition with the perfect acronym.

                                                2. re: sunshine842

                                                  The law explicitly prohibits asking the nature of someone's disability. That's why the news clip doesn't supply that information. The fact that there's no publicly stated information doesn't mean there isn't a wholly legitimate reason for a service dog.

                                                  If the restauranteur or a news reporter had inquired -- and, to make an important point about the ADA, I'm assuming there really is a legally qualifying answer -- that would have created even more legal exposure for the restaurant.

                                                  The ADA is not an invitation for the general public to vote on who is or is not deserving. And that is exactly what appears to have happened in the real-time incident, let alone on this board. The recorded voice of the restaurant employee calling the police states, "They're saying that their dogs are service dogs, but I don't think that they are."

                                                  The employee has violated the ADA the instant he challenges the dog owners claim of disability. We don't know how the employee who confronted the couple phrased his/her question/challenge, but it was obviously enough for the female manager with the piece of paper in the video to do some after-the-fact training of her staff. I suspect she has been advised to do so by her lawyer.

                                                  1. re: Indy 67

                                                    the fact that the story has died in the Tampa Bay media (and was only mentioned on 2 of the 4 local networks) should tell you that the story didn't have legs to begin with...

                                                    had there been a legitimate disability, the shrieking and rending of clothing would still be ongoing, with interviews of anyone who had ever known the couple, the dogs, or anyone who'd ever been within a 10-mile radius of the restaurant.

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      In fairness, it might have died because both sides of the argument are essentially non-verifiable, and the story wasn't all that compelling in the first place. If the dog-owners aren't willing to state their disabilities in the news (and though I agree that these particular dog-owners have a very hate-able vibe, I don't blame anyone for not airing their medical history on TV), then the story was pretty doomed to start off with.

                                                    2. re: Indy 67

                                                      It's pretty clear to me that the ADA needs revision to ensure that the problem can be dealt with in a reasonable way. It isn't necessary to inquire about the nature of a person's disability. All that is needed is a way to document that an animal is, in fact, a service dog, and that the person with the dog is the person entitled to use it. A photo id for the dog would suffice. This is more a burden than carrying a license in order to drive.

                                                      1. re: Indy 67

                                                        If anything, this should be an example of what is not a reason to call 911.

                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                          Indy - it's worth pointing out an employee can ask two questions. First, is it a service animal required for a disability, and second, what work or task does the dog perform. If the couple failed to answer these questions satisfactorily I assume the restaurant can legally deny entry.

                                                          The phone call could relate to those two questions, and the managers training could simply be a defence mechanism based on legal advice i.e. to demonstrate they are taking their responsibilities seriously and have a training plan in place etc etc.

                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                            You're the second person to claim that employees can ask what work or task a service dog can perform. Unfortunately, this information is directly contradicted by the Civil Rights Lawyer who is interviewed as part of the news segment that is part of the link the OP provided. (Scan half way down the page.) And using my own logic, I don't see how this line of questioning is possible. For an employee who is suspicious and challenging, the level of disclosure needed to mollify the employee would simultaneously disclose medical information.

                                                            Employee: I'm sorry, but dogs are not allowed in this restaurant.
                                                            Guest: This dog is a service dog so your request is inappropriate.
                                                            Employee: What tasks is the dog trained to perform?
                                                            Guest: He's an alert dog.
                                                            Employee: What do you mean he's an alert dog?
                                                            Guest: He signals when I have a medical need.

                                                            If the employee is smart and well-trained, he'll stop there and let the matter drop. What if the employee pursues the matter?

                                                            The next answer would reveal information about the guest's specific medical condition, which every agrees is a legal no-no.

                                                            If you have a link that verifies your statement that employees can ask questions about the training and tasks the dog can perform, I'd really appreciate your sharing them. In the meantime, you might want to listen to the Civil Rights Lawyers statement.

                                                            1. re: Indy 67

                                                              Perhaps this guide published by the US Department of Justice will help. It clearly states businesses may ask what task an animal has been trained to perform.


                                                              Even civil rights attorneys can be mistaken... though it's rather incredulous. I can't imagine how many times it took him to pass the bar.

                                                              I realized the guide above is a bit dated. Below is another link to the updated guide with the information confirmed


                                                              1. re: Indy 67

                                                                Would this link from the DoJ's web site be OK..... http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_20...

                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                  Yes, very clear and helpful. I've copied (below) the pertinent information about questions that may and may not be asked of the person claiming to have a service animal. So if we go back to my hypothetical dialog between the guest and the employee, the conversation is legal as long as the employee stops the conversation exactly where I speculated he/she should.

                                                                  ##When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task

                                                                  1. re: Indy 67

                                                                    Agree - and what happens if the server doesn't believe them. It sounds like the burden of proof is with the restaurant.

                                                                    But that said if a "reasonable person" could assume they are not service dogs because for example: they are a matching pair, housed in a stroller, have bows in their hair, and don't demonstrate the disciple expected by service dogs. Then maybe its a strong defence and thus OK to exclude them.

                                                                    But I suspect it has not been tested in court yet.

                                                                    1. re: Indy 67

                                                                      These conversations go on every single day because there are no shortages of perfectly abled people willing to exploit laws designed to assist the disabled for their own benefit. Sadly, it makes it more difficult for those with legitimate disabilities and trained service animals.

                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                            I believe I heard a brief mention in the video that they were "alert" dogs. A quick google shows that alert service dogs are trained to help diabetics and people who get seizures.

                                                            1. re: pamf

                                                              but their ability to sense and respond to someone having an attack will be grievously hindered by being zipped into a stroller.

                                                              1. re: pamf

                                                                Yes, you heard right. They were described as "alert" dogs, a word which has multiple meanings including the one you uncovered with a search.

                                                                The post immediately after yours (and a few more down this thread) simply dismiss the alerting function of a service dog, claiming that the only legitimate service dog for SOMEONE WITH A CONDITION LIKE SEIZURE DISORDER is one who is big enough to brace the fall of someone having an episode. THE FACT THAT THERE ARE MANY TYPES OF SEIZURE DISORDERS HASN'T ENTERED THE CONVERSATION. A TINY DOG THAT ONLY ALERTS ITS OWNER MAY BE PRECISELY THE CORRECT TYPE OF SERVICE ANIMAL EVEN THOUGH OTHER TYPES OF SERVICE DOGS EXIST TO DEAL WITH OTHER KINDS OF SEIZURE DISORDERS.

                                                                Full disclosure: The text in caps was added to clarify a point that I didn't make explicit in the original version of the post.

                                                                1. re: Indy 67

                                                                  what exactly is your stake in this story?

                                                                  Nobody anywhere made any claim about the only legitimate definition of a service dog. If that's all you took away from the conversation, you're not reading very carefully.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    Stake? What an odd word. Are you saying that unless a poster has a stake in a topic, he/she shouldn't be posting? Are you saying that if a person has a stake in a topic he/she has to disclose that fact? Should we be asking that question of you and everyone who has posted in this thread?

                                                                    If I must have a stake, here it is: I saddened by a pattern I see in today's society. We're having great difficulty solving hard problems because people are jumping to conclusions and substituting bias and assumption for logic.

                                                                    We don't know the facts in this situation and, given the nature of the ADA law, unless this goes to trial, we aren't likely to do so. This Florida incident is one more example of people staking out entrenched positions without the benefit of full information.

                                                                    1. re: Indy 67


                                                                      You are confusing the discussion about **these particular dogs** and **these particular people** with opinions about service dogs and disabled people in general.

                                                                      I lived in Europe -- I am quite used to seeing dogs in restaurants, and have taken my own pooches into restaurants in Europe, and onto patios advertised as dog-friendly here.

                                                                      I have worked with people who needed service dogs for various disabilities, and am in awe of the dogs and their ability to help people live normal lives.

                                                                      I have an enormous issue, however, with people claiming disabilities where none exist, whether for a companion animal or a parking decal, and with people who will lie (yes, LIE) and pay the fees to obtain a bogus service-dog certification for a disability that doesn't exist, when they really just want to have some excuse as to how the rules don't need to apply to them.

                                                                      I have had a couple of unpleasant first-person experiences with this sort of liar in recent weeks, and I genuinely hope that karma catches up with them.

                                                                      These idiots really do exist...and the biggest blinking red light is their very vocal insistence about how much they need this service animal. My experience is that the folks who have a legitimate need feel no need to broadcast it.

                                                                      It is long past time that the steps be taken to ensure that service dogs are regulated in the same way that parking spaces are regulated.

                                                                      Nobody has to tell what their disability might be in order to park in a handicapped space, and I'm fine with that. They do, however, have to display a decal/license plate/hang tag indicating that a medical professional has deemed this decal/plate/tag is necessary.

                                                                      The same goes for service animals -- all you need is a jacket/harness/tag indicating that someone with the qualifications to say so feels that this service animal is necessary.

                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                        Her point is you don't have any facts about "these dogs" and "the owners." You're just ASSuming that these owners are liars and those dogs are not service animals. What's grating is that you insist on others of not "reading carefully" or "confusing" the issue.

                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                          If the people who take dogs into restaurants were required to have documentation, then we would have the "facts," wouldn't we?

                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                            Sure, go talk to your congressmen and have the law changed.

                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                              WE don't need to have the facts for others' disabilities. The general public should not be judging others when they aren't involved. Even with disability placards, I know people who are harassed by the general public who think they can "see" disabilities and know better. It's very common for people to be attacked for parking in spots, even w/ the placards. Some people are just unwilling to give people the benefit of the doubt and see everyone as bad. See what's happening to this couple? People have no idea and yet immediately determined that they're guilty.

                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                I agree with your entire post, with one caveat:

                                                                                "See what's happening to this couple? People have no idea and yet immediately determined that they're guilty."
                                                                                I genuinely believe that a good deal of the quickness with which the couple has been judged is based not on their particular claim but on their manner. A quote from the lady:
                                                                                'The manager descended with her wrath, like a loaded gun, on us'

                                                                                Or the fella:
                                                                                'I think I was embarrassed... for her [the waitress who initially questioned them]'

                                                                                Regardless of the righteousness of their claims, these people kinda need to be slapped down.

                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                  No one should be judged on likeability. Slap them down with known facts, not assumptions.

                                                                                  As all this goes, I fully support 1) laws that are strict on pretending to be disabled when you're not, with harsh punishment and 2) laws that say the general public needs to MYOB and not question them to their face, which also happens often. Even worst are the passive aggressive types--"Well, I guess they give out placards to EVERYONE these days."

                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                    These two hearing impaired people are being vilified because they are disabled and are standing up for their rights.

                                                                                    They are being attacked by people who feel their line of thinking is logical and their conclusions justify their prejudice.

                                                                                    Bigots always feel they are in the right.

                                                                                    I just want to highlight one particular comment: "these people kinda need to be slapped down." If we could have signatures I would ask the author of this brilliant statement permission to use it in mine. Because it is really amazing.

                                                                                    I mean who wouldn't want to "slap down" two middle-aged people who are hearing impaired - one's a woman and the other one is a veteran who became disabled while serving? Especially when you consider they had the nerve to assert their legal rights. Geez some people. Maybe a good beat down is not enough - how far should it go?

                                                                                    I know that people think that taking the time to make a distinction between true disabled people and frauds is important. And that by making this distinction they are clearly not being bigots. Under some circumstances that might be true. But not in this case of this thread.

                                                                                    To make it easier to understand, instead of the disabled, pretend we are talking about a particular race of people. You can't say you hold no prejudice with disabled people but at the same time attack 50% to 100% of those claiming to be disabled. That's like saying, I have no problem with those people, those [insert random race here]. In fact some of my best friends are [insert random race here].

                                                                                    If you continue to say, well, sure, I don't really have any hard data but, I know, everyone knows, it's common knowledge that half of those people, those [insert random race here] are con artists, criminals, frauds, working the system for their own selfish benefit. At least half and sometimes all of them can't be trusted. They are liars.

                                                                                    And if you go on spouting knowledge of and training in in picking up and correctly reading the "vibes" coming off other people and state that it's obvious that those people, those [random race] are obviously lying. Don't trust them. Don't believe them.

                                                                                    The laws meant to protect those people, those [random race] are unneeded, poorly written. They are obviously a product of a flawed system. How dare those people be protected by federal law. It is not bigots but these laws that are causing us not to trust those people. It is these laws that are causing such rampant self-entitlement. I mean how dare them, those people, expect to be served politely in a restaurant.

                                                                                    And btw, the "slap down" guy quoted above, wasn't talking about frauds but about these actual two disabled people. Who, because they were treated so rudely and illegally were simply embarrassed and PO'ed.

                                                                                    1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                      Heal the world with a Band-Aid.

                                                                                      1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                        Where do you get the "hearing impaired" bit from. I understood their disability had not been disclosed - the dogs where simply described as "alert dogs".

                                                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                                                          there is not a single mention in any of the links in this thread alluding to the handicap(s?) in question, so it's erroneous to state that they're hearing impaired.

                                                                                          All it says is that they are service dogs.

                                                                                          and your argument about race? Could you show us some examples of someone who was able to pull off a lie about their race, please?

                                                                                          Considerably tougher than lying about a disability...

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            “Where do you get the "hearing impaired" bit from. I understood their disability had not been disclosed - the dogs where simply described as "alert dogs".
                                                                                            there is not a single mention in any of the links in this thread alluding to the handicap(s?) in question, so it's erroneous to state that they're hearing impaired.”

                                                                                            I’ve mentioned several times that they were hearing impaired. Did you just pick up on this? Hehe I got that information from other posters on this thread.

                                                                                            Two days ago:
                                                                                            "Apparently he's a surgeon who claims to be 70% deaf from his time in the navy.... She refuses to say what her 'disability'" is…Withnail42

                                                                                            Then there was the guy on this thread that referred to these two as sociopaths: he said that they had the same handicap. It was the fact they were both hearing impaired that proved to him that they were scammers and liars. Which of course is ridiculous but none the less that is what he thinks.


                                                                                            Ok, I went back down to the post FROM TWO DAYS AGO. In that post there was a link to a news story. In that story (referring to the two hearing impaired people):

                                                                                            "Sher and her husband both have service dogs. Dr. Davis said his dog is there to alert him after he lost 70 percent of his hearing while serving as a naval surgeon. Sher wouldn't disclose her disability."

                                                                                            1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                              Thanks - I had missed that.

                                                                                              Could you educate me on one aspect of this. The dogs are zipped into a buggy. They are alert dogs, I understood the alert dogs for those who are deaf paw or touches the owner to alert them.

                                                                                              As these two are confined to a buggy do they bark to alert their owners?

                                                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                No, problem. In a long thread like this it is easy to miss stuff sometimes.

                                                                                                Ever since this started, I have been imagining what I would do if I was in their shoes. I mean if every single variable was the same what would I do:

                                                                                                Two disabled people instead of just one, age range, they appear to be financially comfortable (so can afford that dog stroller), hearing impairment vs. an ambulatory issue, choice of dog breeds,etc.

                                                                                                If it was me, if every variable was exactly the same, I would generally have those two dogs on leashes - for several reasons (most of which are not relevant to this discussion). However, before entering a confined area, especially where food is going to be served to the public, I would in fact put those two small dogs in that dog stroller. I would do this in deference to other customers and to put management concerns to rest and to make sure if the dog barely moved his tail wouldn't get into the walk way. If I could afford the stroller, I would do that.

                                                                                                Would you prefer they bring the two dogs in on leashes instead of the stroller? It just seems better for all involved for the stroller to be used.

                                                                                                At some other point in this thread someone relayed a story about a service dog biting a TSA agent. The disabled person had to proceed without the company of the dog. The ADA clearly states the dog must be completely controlled by the disabled person. Can't go around biting people. I got the impression that this poster was implying that because the person was able to proceed with the flight without the dog that the person wasn't really all that disabled. Just a fraud.

                                                                                                The problem with this little theory like so many is this: people who have seizures don't have seizures every minute of every day. They may only have a few seizures a year. But, the risk for a seizure to occur does exist every minute of every day for the patient. So that is why the alert dog needs to remain at the disabled persons side at all times.

                                                                                                So, the guy in the airport says to himself, well I can either cancel my trip or risk going for a few hour without the dog. The trip may have been vitally important - too important to cancel. So, he decides to take the medical risk. It's a situation that doesn't come up very often.

                                                                                                So as far as the two folks in the restaurant in Florida, those dogs might normally be on leashes. But placed in the stroller for the event of eating breakfast. But, regardless of that, the dog could simply be trained to bark if the hearing impaired person is in danger. People might laugh at that idea, but if he has 30% of his hearing a small, yappy little dog might bark at just the right pitch or volume to get his attention.

                                                                                                1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                  I related the TSA story. The animal in question turned out to be an emotional support animal, not an actual service animal, as he told the airline AND TSA as he transited the checkpoint. Animals traveling as 'paid passengers' are required to be in approved crates. Once police arrived to question the gentleman, he told them the truth about the dog's status and a friend picked up the dog for quarantine, as required by city ordinance.

                                                                                                  Sadly, there is a financial incentive for folks who wish to travel with pets to lie about their status. One, the airline cannot charge the usual in-cabin fee of $75, $100, or $150 each way and they are guaranteed a spot in the cabin.

                                                                                                  I certainly didn't mean to imply fraud or that it was a just a theory of mine. It was genuine deception, though this person's true motive is unknown to me.

                                                                                              2. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                That's something that I didn't focus on. That shows much more attention to detail than the holier-than-thou crowd.

                                                                                                1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                  "He claims" -- I can claim to be Wonder Woman.

                                                                                                  She never said anything about her "issue" -- "she declined to say" -- so we have no indication whether she's deaf, blind, or suffering from ASS (see elsewhere for acronym)

                                                                                            2. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                              I feel more than confident enough in my lack of bigot-ude towards the disabled to openly acknowledge that it's possible to simultaneously be both disabled and a jerk who should be slapped down (metaphorically speaking, and not because of their disability). Disabled people, just like the rest of us, can still run the gamut from wonderful individuals to raging assholes.

                                                                                              I was commenting on their manner of speaking - they're obnoxious. It wasn't that they stood up for themselves but rather that they were arrogant and ridiculous in doing so. Which doesn't mean they're wrong. Or right. It just means they're obnoxious. And that was actually my point - that people are seeing someone obnoxious and assuming (perhaps incorrectly, perhaps correctly) that they're wrong.

                                                                                              You can disagree that they're obnoxious. We might have different definitions of obnoxious...er... we almost certainly have different definitions of obnoxious. But if you don't understand that my judgment had nothing to do with either their disability or their standing up for their rights, then you need better reading comprehension.

                                                                                              1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                I can tell you are passionate about the subject, and I respect that, but your analogy to race is flawed in that there aren't people pretending to be [random race] in order to take advantage and/or profit off of laws in place to protect against bigotry. Reason why is we can't ultimately fake our race but we can fake or exaggerate a disability. A simple swab proves my race, but it can't prove my need for a cute lil' Yorkie in a stroller to be with me 24/7, and what a shame that is! Although I prefer larger breeds that can actually scare away burglars and reach the refrigerator handle, but I digress. Until there's a definite litmus test, there will naturally be skeptics, but that does not make them bigots.

                                                                                                1. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                  "...Reason why is we can't ultimately fake our race but we can fake or exaggerate a disability. A simple swab proves my race, ..."

                                                                                                  I don't know about that. You should check out the affirmative action threads on the college admission forums.

                                                                                                2. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                  Do you know these people in real life? Are you 100% positive they are disabled? Just because they say they are doesn't mean they are. Yes, perhaps that's cynical. So sue me. This whole situation still reeks of gaming the system by this couple.

                                                                                                  Again, a photo tag on the harness showing that the service animal has been vetted as medically needed by a doctor, and that a vet has certified that the animal has been trained for the specific tasks would solve this issue.

                                                                                          2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                            the fact that this has died down and is completely gone from local media coverage tells me that they really didn't have a legtimate gripe...which means that there was something about the dogs and/or their behaviour that didn't stand up to scrutiny.

                                                                                            dogs with barrettes in their fur (no jacket, no harness, no tag) zipped into a closed stroller (i.e., not in close physical contact with their charges, and unable to nudge the owners as an alert of any kind) MIGHT be legitimate service dogs.

                                                                                            But I really don't think so, and the last time I checked, I'm completely allowed to think that.

                                                                                          3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            So...if you advocate for your right to have a service dog, you don't legitimately need one? I have known several people who needed service dogs and had to fight pretty vehemently for their right to have one, because many people still think of them as "seeing eye dogs" and make themselves free to argue that you couldn't possibly require one for seizure disorders, PTSD, or any other invisible disablity.

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              Some good points in this post.

                                                                                              *Edited to clarify: Some good points in Sunshine842's post. I fear the threading in this forum makes it appear I was commenting on another's post.

                                                                                        2. re: Indy 67

                                                                                          I suspect the suspicion was raised in this case for many by the behaviour and "presentation” if the dogs. They looked like a pair of pampered pooches in their buggy with bows in their hair, their subsequent behaviour (the dogs not the owners) on the video seems to confirm this.

                                                                                          Clearly they could be service dogs but to the average person they really don't look the part. So in the absence of a ID card the owner who genuinely needs a service dog could at least make an attempt to dispel controversy by treating the dog like a working animal (which I thought was required to help define boundaries for the animal).

                                                                                          The argument that a person won't want to draw attention to the fact they have a disability is a moot point. Using a service dog does this when they bring the dog into an area that bans dogs.

                                                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                      Dogs who are trained to alert their owner about an impending seizure can certainly do their job from inside a closed stroller. Those dogs bark or physically nudge their owner to get them to lie down, a safer situation than having a seizure in a standing or even seated position. I imagine that other service dogs are trained to provide assistance in ways I'm not even aware of.

                                                                                      That said, I'm in no position to decide whether these particular dogs were or weren't service dogs. All I can say is that the public's definition of a Lab or German Shepherd acting as a guide dog are well in the past.

                                                                                      1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                        They are also trained to lie next to or brace themsleves against the individual should they go down...to break the fall, difficult to do from a stroller.

                                                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                          it's not possible to nudge their owner from inside a closed stroller.

                                                                                          I also would be keenly interested to see how a couple of miniature mongrels could possible break the fall of anything bigger than a toddler -- but still physically impossible from inside a closed stroller.

                                                                                          As above, the story has completely disappeared from Tampa Bay area news outlets, which would indicate that there really isn't much credence to their story.

                                                                                          Believe me when I tell you that the four local television stations would chase it down for all to see if someone had a blister from some imagined slight that could be misconstrued into an injury.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            A small dog may break the fall, but the dog in that case would be considered "one time use," hah.

                                                                                      2. The restaurant is not allowed to ask what the disabilities are (apparently both husband and wife have disabilities that are helped by these service dogs) nor for documentation of the dogs' training. But if they file a lawsuit, I presume they'll need to disclose this information at least to the restaurant's attorney (and to the court if they get that far).

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                                                          Hopefully at least it brings attention, as sunshine said, to what actually constitutes a service dog, and to shut down "certificate sites" that provide these fake IDs.

                                                                                          Celebrities claim their need for their pets to be with them to relieve "stress" and give "emotional support", and it denigrates when service dogs are truly, actually needed.

                                                                                          According to the ADA, "A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability."


                                                                                          An emotional support dog is NOT a service dog.

                                                                                          "When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task."

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            I think dogs can help owners who suffer from extreme self-centeredness. The owners get to focus on something other than their own personal desires by having to feed the dogs and maybe even push them around in a stroller.

                                                                                        2. This couple appears to be working the system.
                                                                                          Both have the same medical disability?
                                                                                          I didn't know being a sociopath was a disability.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                                                            The woman found the experience humiliating, yet she’s good with toting her dogs around in a baby carriage.

                                                                                              1. re: EM23


                                                                                                I saw my first dog stroller a couple of years ago.

                                                                                                We were recently on vacation in upstate NY and noticed many stores and restaurants had signs stating no animals allowed and any service animal required proper documentation.

                                                                                                I wish I would have taken a picture of one of the signs.

                                                                                                1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                  there's a family in our town who has a potbellied pig who accompanies them to outdoor festivals in a purple stroller.

                                                                                                  He's a pretty cool pig, but meh.

                                                                                            1. People claim animals are service animals all the time in order to avoid airline fees and keep their pet with them in the cabin of aircraft. Two weeks ago a man's 'service' animal bit a TSA employee in the face as he was being screened. Naturally, his friend came to collect the dog and the passenger continued his travels without his 'necessary at all times' service animal. It's RIDICULOUS.

                                                                                              Laws need to change in order to keep pace with the biggest disability I've encountered so far, acute hyperentitlement.

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Susangria

                                                                                                AH is estimated to effect 1 in 3 Americans and is increasing every year.

                                                                                                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                  It's a chronic condition. You can only manage the symptoms.

                                                                                                2. re: Susangria

                                                                                                  Do you remember where that happened Susangria? I would be interested in reading about it and I couldn't find it in a Google search.

                                                                                                  1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                    It happened at San Diego International Airport approximately 3 weeks ago. Possibly a month.

                                                                                                    1. re: Susangria

                                                                                                      Thanks! I'll keep checking.

                                                                                                      Edited to add: Gave up. I must be inept.

                                                                                                3. OMG! OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                  WHAT IS THIS WORLD/COUNTRY COMING TO????

                                                                                                  1. I hope the restaurant starts a not for profit web page to access funds to fight the coming law suit. I will support them with a big donation if the cause is set up correctly.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: genoO

                                                                                                      Hey, if you have some random extra money lying around - I'd be happy to provide you with my account information!

                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        There is a Nigerian prince who needs to use your account to deposit a large sum of money. He just needs a small fee from you.

                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                          I only spend money on stopping people who bring dogs into restaurants. Actually, I would like them all jailed for 5 to 10 but being thrown out is a start.

                                                                                                          1. re: genoO

                                                                                                            That's a noble cause, for sure. I hear US prisons are in desperate need of new inmates.

                                                                                                      2. A few months ago I was behind a couple at the airport check in counter and she had a small "service dog" in a carryon tote. The agent jokingly asked if the dog bit and she said oh no he was tranquilized because he was afraid of flying. Two hours later I ran into her walking out of the ladies room with the dog on a leash. I guarantee you ten to one she brought the dog in there to pee/poop in a back corner before the flight.

                                                                                                        What does this have to do with this thread? Absolutely nothing.

                                                                                                        1. Yea, they're disabled alright. I think they make a wonderful couple. If I say anymore here, I'm sure the mods will delete my post. You can just guess what I have to say.

                                                                                                          1. Hah, I was watching the video thinking to myself that the woman looked like she'd had quite a bit of plastic surgery done. Thanks to the magic of Google, looks as though her hubby, Dr. Richard Davis, is a plastic surgeon! I guess his disability doesn't impede his ability to practice medicine.

                                                                                                            Not that his profession negates their claims...

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. I seem to find myself siding on the side of the restaurant on this one.

                                                                                                              Odd that they had video of themselves and the dogs in the restaurant before things started.

                                                                                                              Apparently he's a surgeon who claims to be 70% deaf from his time in the navy. But don't know how a small pampered dog confined to a stroller will be a service. She refuses to say what her 'disability' is.

                                                                                                              They're certainly milking this. Here's another report (Their story seems to be a little more dramatic in this version): http://www.wptv.com/news/state/dr-ric...

                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                I've been actively surfing all of the local news -- including WTSP -- the last couple of days.

                                                                                                                This story has completely disappeared from the Tampa area airwaves.

                                                                                                                One has to wonder what the stations found that made this un-newsworthy.

                                                                                                                WTSP seems to have been the only local station to have even mentioned it.

                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  ran past the edit time .... WFLA, the NBC affiliate had a short mention of it on their webiste (never saw it on their broadcast), and WTSP is the CBS affiliate...

                                                                                                                  ...neither the FOX nor the ABC affiliate mentioned it at all.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    Is it really that compelling a story, someone being asked to leave a restaurant with no police follow-up?

                                                                                                                    I saw a drunk guy asked to leave a bar last week, film at 11!

                                                                                                                    1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                      that's kind of the point. If 2 of the 4 local network affiliates didn't run it, it's obviously not being considered all that compelling.

                                                                                                                      Compare that to all four of them running bits on lice, now that school is back in session...

                                                                                                                      I hadn't seen the original WTSP piece, and curiousity got the better of me once EFGM posted the link.

                                                                                                                      As above, I live in the same TV coverage area, so it's not really all that difficult for me to channel-surf during a 30-minute news broadcast...

                                                                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    Ever since that radio shows hoax about the woman handing out letters for parents of overweight children instead of Halloween candy I've noticed the major networks hold off now. They all jumped on the bandwagon that night like there was no tomorrow. Then complete silence after that. So many scams and hoaxes since then I've lost track. Glad they finally got the word.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                      It is possible that the story disappeared from the airwaves because the restaurant and the TV stations woke up to their legal exposure if they continued to splash it across the airwaves. The news media may have wised up since the days of Richard Jewell and the Atlanta Olympics bomb incident. Jewell won every single libel suit he filed against his employer and the many news organizations that rushed to judgment.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                        Actually, they all settled with Jewell. Except for the Atlanta constitution, that case was dismissed after he died.

                                                                                                                        1. re: donovt

                                                                                                                          They all settled for undisclosed amounts of money. That may not qualify as a win legally, but the lay person certainly would consider it a victory.

                                                                                                                          Of course, the Jewell case goes even farther. In Jewell's case he had a letter from the US Attorney investigating the case clearing him (Jewell) of any involvement in the bombing. I suspect all the media outlets named in Jewell's suits had that letter in the back of their minds when they decided whether or not to proceed to trial or how much to offer in the way of a settlement.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Indy 67


                                                                                                                          I've lived here a long time -- the media here doesn't walk away from a story that might show shock and horror.

                                                                                                                          and no, settling out of court does not mean anybody won, because a victory means that it went to trial.

                                                                                                                          Settling out of court means the two parties agreed on a sum of money for which it would all just go away. It's not an admission of guilt, it's not a victory -- it's hush money.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                            Hush money may apply to some/many/most cases, but it hardly applies to the Richard Jewell case. I've already mentioned the letter rom the US Attorney who was leading the investigation clearing Jewell of any suspicion. What I haven't yet mentioned is the then-direction of the FBI testified that the agents used "constitutionally suspect" techniques and made "major errors in judgment." If you were a lawyer for the defendant, would you want to try a case when the plaintiff has facts like that to introduce into a law suite? Settlement must have been an appealing option to the news media.

                                                                                                                            And, frankly, sometimes settling out of court is simply a strategic move made by a defendant who thinks the judgment could go either way and wants to avoid the risk of a sympathetic jury both deciding in favor of the plaintiff and awarding a much higher amount than what a settlement might cost. That's particularly true of settlements that emerge in mid-trial.

                                                                                                                            If the case of the Florida couple were to go to trial and if they could document their legitimate need for a service animal, I suspect out of court settlement might look very appealing to the restaurant before a verdict and damages were handed down.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                              If a legal challenge was mounted as he defendant I would wait until I understood what their evidence was. I assume the US court system is similar to other jurisdictions where the defence must be given all the evidence prior to the trial to rebut it.

                                                                                                                              If the evidence looked conclusive I would then try to settle before trial - but only on the basis of the evidence. In many jurisdictions courts take a dim view of plaintiffs who fail to accept a reasonable offer of settlement prior to a trial and may adjust awards down for this reason. So a plaintiff could risk the value of award if they hold out unreasonably.

                                                                                                                    2. While I'm not in favor of people being jerks about their pets, I'm inclined to make some allowances where these claims are concerned. What comes to mind is ex-military who use "service animals" to control their PTSD. This is the sort of "emotional support" that is not mockworthy and I wouldn't risk challenging someone who legitimately needed an animal's comfort during the half-hour or so they were in my place.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                        Agreed. My wife suffers from PTSD, and has a medically "prescribed" and trained service dog for stress and emotional support (although granted she doesn't need to bring her out in public very often).
                                                                                                                        But that being said, Angel (our dog) does NOT leave the house without her service vest on when she working, and when she IS working, she is a completely different dog. She's on short strap, is incredibly well behaved as she should be, and sure as hell wouldn't jump up at the camera like those dogs in the video were.
                                                                                                                        In Ontario at least, while it may not be legal to ask what the disability is, it IS legal for the establishment to ask the owner to produce documentation that the dog truly IS a service dog.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Midknight

                                                                                                                          Sounds like a great dog and a real angel!

                                                                                                                      2. I'm horribly allergic to dogs and in Berkeley people fetishize them. They bring them to groceries and all kinds of stores. Yesterday there was a fat, dirty poodle with a matching owner in Trader Joe's. I've been on Benadryl since then and still have a rash. Allergies are not considered disabilities so there is no accommodation. There are even dogs allowed in my doctor's office. I'm afraid to fly anywhere for fear someone will bring their dog on the plane and I'll be exposed for a long time. I'm very grateful for the responses here and the restaurant owner. There needs to be some regulation of "service" animal--something like a disabled placard/license.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: bachchick

                                                                                                                          Is it only in Trader Joe's, Berkeley Bowl and Whole foods, or do you see them in regular supermarkets as well?

                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                            I've seen them in Monterey Market and The Cheese Board (It's tiny and crowded and has unwrapped food). I don't go to the other stores, but I expect they are there too. There were three at the Apple Store and two started a fight. It was very loud. If I see a dog in a store, I usually don't go in unless I have to.

                                                                                                                            1. re: bachchick

                                                                                                                              "two started a fight"

                                                                                                                              A pretty sure sign that at least 2 of the 3 weren't actual service dogs...

                                                                                                                          2. re: bachchick

                                                                                                                            I am a life-long dog lover but would NEVER think to bring my 90 lb hound into a grocery store or restaurant. Never ever. While I love my dog, I realize that others may not or they may be allergic. It's common sense and part of being a responsible citizen. I should also say that he does not get dressed up in costumes, is always leashed when outside our property, and has better manners than most of the kids in our area. But he is a dog, and I run errands and go to work and other appointments without him.

                                                                                                                          3. What "service" did the mutts render?

                                                                                                                            1. gets better and better...

                                                                                                                              Here: http://www.wfla.com/story/26321334/8-...

                                                                                                                              says that the Clearwater PD didn't even file a report after sending officers out to speak with the "good" doctor and his companion...

                                                                                                                              and note, especially, the part where the ADA **does** allow restaurants to ask if the dog is required because of a disability, AND to ask what duties the dog is trained to do. Also important to note that the ADA doesn't recognize emotional support dogs.

                                                                                                                              The article says that the ADA covers restaurants for asking people to leave if they don't answer one of those questions.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                I had posted ADA regulations on service dogs further upthread:


                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                    NP. Just wanted to reiterate the two questions that restaurant staff are allowed to ask. I hadn't realized that the ADA covers restaurants for asking patrons to leave if they refuse to answer one of those questions.

                                                                                                                              2. I wonder if the good doctor keeps the dog with him at all times while conducting his practice, whatever that might be. The thought conjures up all sorts of odd scenarios whether he be, e.g., a surgeon, a psychiatrist, or maybe a proctologist.

                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: RedTop

                                                                                                                                        Yeah. But Gomerblog often plays their satire so close to real life that it confuses people.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                          When I was a wee child, I had a neighbor that was a hand surgeon and he used to take his dogs to the office with him. His practice was in a very crummy section of LA where he worked on a lot of city employees that cut up their hands at work. He couldn't keep his RNs or front desk very long because of the location. So he sent away to Germany for two Shepherds, who were very well trained. Never had any more problems with losing staff or hold-ups. The dogs would just sit by the front desk all day long always on duty.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: junescook

                                                                                                                                      ADA specifically states that assistance dogs cannot be permitted in areas like operating rooms, where the presence of the animal would compromise the sterility of the procedure.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: junescook

                                                                                                                                        I know of a child psychologist who has a small friendly lap dog available for certain clients upon request. But a dog for my rhinoplasty? No, thanks.

                                                                                                                                      2. It's a regular service dog epidemic, I tellz ya.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                          These threads are Rorschach tests--it's easy to distinguish those who immediately are suspicious of others except for the few good eggs and those who think people can be trusted except for a few bad eggs. If you ask people who are disabled, the epidemic is more the general public who judges that they're not "disabled enough" more than those who are cheating the system.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                            It's how anecdotes become data, e.g. the homeless person in a Mercedes, the SNAP recipient with the iPhone, etc. etc.

                                                                                                                                            If only people cared as much about, ya know, real issues. Or rather, didn't spend their days being outraged by everyone else's behavior. Can you imagine their blood pressure levels!

                                                                                                                                            Of course then the NAF board and, increasingly, the FM&N board would be pretty dead '-)

                                                                                                                                        2. I have "limited vision".
                                                                                                                                          There is a very real possibility that I may need a guide dog in the future.

                                                                                                                                          People who take advantage of the "service dog" policies nauseate me.

                                                                                                                                          It may be small-minded and spiteful, but a big part of me hopes they actually ~need~ a service animal... soon.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                            I'll send my sincere hope that it doesn't progress any further.

                                                                                                                                            The French put a sign on their handicapped parking spaces that says "if you're going to take my parking place, please take my handicap, too".

                                                                                                                                            I think the same applies to "service" dogs.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                              That is so, so true.
                                                                                                                                              I mean, be grateful that you're able bodied and stay the hell out of the disabled parking spots!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                I really like that bit about the French HC parking signs. Of course if anyone tried that here can you imagine the viral uproar and lawsuits that would ensue.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                  We know a man who is a quadriplegic. Once, upon exiting his vehicle (heavily modified so he can drive it) parked in a front row handicapped spot, someone walked by and said, "you are so lucky to be able to park so close." Seriously??? He has a great outlook on life, but when he told us this, we were all left shaking our heads.

                                                                                                                                                  My parents are puppy raisers for GDB. Really too bad when people harm those with real needs by taking advantage of laws that were designed to protect others.

                                                                                                                                              2. Unfortunately all one needs is a computer and $$$$$.
                                                                                                                                                Absolutely heinous and IMO a crime against individuals with disabilities who have and need legitimate service animals !!!!

                                                                                                                                                A friend of mine who lives in Boca Raton told me that it is a common occurrence in Florida to see people dress up their dogs put them in baby carriages and take them to dinner, that in fact many restaurants don't mind this... apparently not all restaurants are on board with this...

                                                                                                                                                My closest and dearest friend is blind, she has a service dog she worries all the time when this shit happens because it really does affect her quality of life directly....for shame!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                At the end of the day legitimate service animals and their owners are seriously protected under the ADA...however they should not have to go through the hassle of defending themselves... I wish the offenders would wake up they are making life very difficult for the most vulnerable.

                                                                                                                                                Abuse of Disabled parking permits not only the spaces is rampant and another issue which makes me completely insane.

                                                                                                                                                1. Perhaps one way to regulate this is to have a formal training and certification program for the dogs and only issue vests and licenses to dogs that have been through the program. All service animals would require the vest and restaurants, groceries and other shops could prohibit non-certified service animals. This takes the focus off the individual's disability.

                                                                                                                                                  Although there could be a rule that before applying for dog vest, the owner must be certified by a doctor too.

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bachchick

                                                                                                                                                    While I do agree that this would make things easier, what about the owners who don't want to draw attention to their disability? It's easy to recognize limited mobility or vision, but what about seizure disorders, PTSD, etc.? What if those people don't want others to know their disability? The vest might draw unwanted attention. And training can be very expensive and time consuming.

                                                                                                                                                    Its hard to find pet friendly housing, airlines limit the #of animals is the cabin, amd charge a couple hundred each way. Maybe if more places were pet friendly people wouldn't feel the need to scam the system. I know, wishful thinking.

                                                                                                                                                    The couple people that I know with "service animals" got doctors to sign off and went online to order vests.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                      That's why the burden would fall on certifying and training the dog and have recognizable vests (like disabled placards) with stiff fines for counterfeiting them or buying them online when not earned.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                        Also the vests are not only for the owners and the businesses.

                                                                                                                                                        I've noticed that the donning of the vest changes the service animals themselves.

                                                                                                                                                        Dogs come to know when they are "on duty" or "off".

                                                                                                                                                        I've never met anyone who is embarrassed by that distinction.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pedalfaster


                                                                                                                                                          One of the colleagues I mentioned had a service dog who was an absolute clown when he wasn't working. He loved to make people laugh.

                                                                                                                                                          But as soon as the harness went on, you couldn't distract him with a 10-pound steak.

                                                                                                                                                    2. After reading stories like this, if I was a business owner I would assume that every well behaved dog/ monkey/mini horse, etc was a service animal. I would watch and instruct staff to keep an eye on them, but would only approach if the customer or their animal became disruptive. It doesn't seem worth it to possibly cause a scene and risk a lawsuit without a very good reason.

                                                                                                                                                      1. The other day on AMTRAK a woman had a tiny dog, I think a Pekingese, in her arms the entire (long) trip. She insisted it was a service dog because if she can't have her dog with her she gets so upset that she has an asthma attack. Multiple conductors disputed her definition. Don't know how this ended, but sounded to me like an abuse of the concept "service dog". I volunteer with blind people and know what an actual service dog is and I don't think that Pekingese was one.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                          Well "Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA." So the conductors could have had a point.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                            Huh. I wonder what will happen to her when the dog dies...

                                                                                                                                                          2. At least it wasn't a pair of service snakes. I, for one, do not look forward to the day I'll have to sit next to a stranger and his seizure-detecting snake on a plane. And yes, I went there... snakes on a plane.


                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                                              I'm no particular lover of snakes, but if I ever get seated next to this guy, I hope I'll have the grace to be grateful the snake is helping him stay alive.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                                                That relationship is not going to end well, I predict. I liked this line:

                                                                                                                                                                He said, however, that it's important "to be stronger than the snake" in case he needs to pull Redrock off.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I have seen people with service parrots in grocery stores. I'm freaked out by them. My neighbor has one . And it's very protective. A small Mexican parrot that will fly straight at you and have no problem of taking a bite out of your flesh. No one has survived this small beast with wings.

                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                                                  According to this recent DOJ document, only dogs are recognized as service animals.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                    Don't forget the miniature horses. :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes. Those need not be accomodated everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not diminishing the role of horses, as the articles I've read are really amazing - I had no idea horses could do all that...it just makes me giggle to think of walking into a restaurant and there stands...a horse.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                                            ...and the bartender asks, "Hey! Why the long face?"

                                                                                                                                                                  2. The latest posts emphasize that the man in question had hearing loss and that's why he needed the dog in the restaurant. I don't get this. He's with his wife who can hear, she could get his attention. I understand dogs alerting deaf people to the door bell or telephone- if they don't have a hearing person sitting right next to them. I don't quite understand a "hearing" dog in stroller in a restaurant when he's with his "hearing" wife.

                                                                                                                                                                    24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bachchick

                                                                                                                                                                      It could be for a variety of reasons. He may have been going somewhere alone before or after. We don't have any idea what the dog actually did for him; maybe it's something to wife can't always do. For all I know he was, in fact, abusing the system but I don't understand the haste to declare him a scammer based on pure speculation. He seems like something of a festering a-hole, but that doesn't mean he's not deserving of accommodation.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bachchick

                                                                                                                                                                        If I'm reading all this correctly, both husband and wife have disabilities of some sort, husband hearing and wife "unknown".

                                                                                                                                                                        Which, yes, they were together on their trip and in the restaurant, which gives them the luxury of giving their dogs a stroller break for a while. But if they had left home without the dogs entirely it would have meant staying together, for mutual protection, their entire time out. Separate shopping? Bathroom breaks? Medical emergency?

                                                                                                                                                                        Not so many people are trying to get away with bringing their pets into restaurants that we have to make a Federal case out of it, literally or figuratively. Nothing significant is gained by the relatively few fakers, or significantly lost by the shop, whereas a lot is lost by petty judgement of strangers who more likely than not aren't doing anything wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                          When they separate which lucky dog gets the stroller and which has to walk? Or maybe it's a stroller that can be separated into two so the dogs can accompany each person.

                                                                                                                                                                          For me it's the stroller and presentation of the dogs that raises suspicion they are pets and not really working dogs. I bet the restaurant would not have questioned them if the dogs had service dog harnesses/coats rather than the accessories more usually found on a pampered pet.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                            When they separate, both dogs would then be working dogs and not in the stroller at all.

                                                                                                                                                                            If not for the stroller they would have been two leashed dogs on the ground, either under the table or in the path. This doesn't strike me as an improvement.

                                                                                                                                                                            A stroller in this situation actually makes practical sense, and so what if it looks nice? I mean I'm the last person to defend rich people for assuming privileges where they have none, but as I've said I'd rather make that allowance than take a chance on giving someone grief who doesn't deserve it, and whose daily life decisions I can't begin to fully understand (and thank God for that).

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                              Well they are Morkies so leashed under the table will take up far less space than the stroller. And as you seem to indicate they are not working whilst in the stroller so why are they there?

                                                                                                                                                                              I fully support everything that helps people with disabilities. But wonder if there is a natural balance that makes it easier for all. Language is difficult here as we should see these as "rights" so not benefits or privileges (or rather not in the sense these words are commonly used). But even with "rights" there should be some expectation that the recipient appreciates the privilege and benefit they receive and thus helps the provider by making it a bit easier for them.

                                                                                                                                                                              Putting "service" dogs in strollers with bows in their hair doesn't strike me as achieving this balance.....and so the resulting confusion and controversy is expected. If they were genuine service dogs you would hope the owners would prefer to avoid this, but if not genuine.......

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                " And as you seem to indicate they are not working whilst in the stroller so why are they there?"

                                                                                                                                                                                So the dogs can be available if and when they become necessary. Just as parents often bring along a stroller even if their kids are fine with walking, because sometimes kids decide they are done walking and it's a long way back to the car.

                                                                                                                                                                                In both instances, people are just taking reasonable precautions.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                  "But even with "rights" there should be some expectation that the recipient appreciates the privilege and benefit they receive and thus helps the provider by making it a bit easier for them"

                                                                                                                                                                                  So, various racial groups should be grateful that those supporting the status quo have given them, have allowed them to have basic human and civil rights. They should be grateful and thankful and go out of their way to make it easy on the status quo folks when the oppressed transition to the equal? Obviously, it's the status quo folks who are suffering the most as others start being treated fairly.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Disabled people do not ever, ever, ever have to appease the noisy and arrogant. There are several reasons why vests/special harnesses/displaying photo ID's will never be mandatory. If a disabled person brings a dog into a restaurant, it is no bodies business (except for management). If I don't like what I see and I'm working off of bigoted stereotypes and want to report someone to management, I should do that. That's it. Then management might, maybe go ask the person a couple of questions. Disabled people do not have to appease or plead to get anyone's approval. All they have to do is follow the law. Hopefully the noisy and arrogant can do the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                  And who cares about the bow in the hair. A service dog could have multicolored liberty spikes and hot pink with silver glitter slippers on. If they can do their job then they are acceptable.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Regardless of what some are thinking, the current ADA was written expressly for today's American landscape and to protect the rights of today's diverse pool of disabled people. The vast majority of disabled people do not need dogs trained to the amazing and wonderful high standards of "Seeing Eye Dogs". That is why the ADA is written to protect all disabled not just one portion of that population.

                                                                                                                                                                                  So, while a seeing eye dog must adhere to rigid protocols to best help and protect, not all dogs need to maintain the same standard. The bow in the hair means nothing. The stroller means nothing because the dogs can obviously perform their duties while even in the stroller.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                    You seem to be trying to create a straw-man argument or completely misunderstanding my post. Or both.

                                                                                                                                                                                    In modern society everyone had a role in making it function in fair and equitable manner. With the privileges that all receive from a modern society there are equal responsibilities for all to ensure the society functions well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    As I said before I support things that make life easier for those with disabilities. But isn't it sensible for people with disabilities to make it simpler to be helped? The people who abuse the rights and privileges accorded to the disabled do cause issues, whether it's parking permits, abuse of the benefits system, or exploiting service dog rules.

                                                                                                                                                                                    So why do advocates for the disabled resist a simple idea like an ID card for the service dog sanctioned by a relevant authority? It removes confusion, avoids conflict, and most importantly ensures genuinely disabled people are not disadvantaged.

                                                                                                                                                                                    You may think the how and stroller means nothing, but it seems it's a strong signal to many that these are likely not to be genuine service dogs. A simple ID card would help, but the owner could also help by treating a service dog as a service dog.

                                                                                                                                                                                    And finally - what obvious duty do the dogs perform for the hearing impaired doctor when zipped into the stroller....?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                      Bows on dogs are fifteen kinds of ridiculous, but if people choose to make judgments about a dog's fitness as a companion animal because of them that's their own problem. The issue is pretty easily resolved by the general public minding our own business. As far as them not currently performing any duties, if you need them for any portion of the day, they're pretty much along for the duration. It's not like you can leave them in a car trunk in August.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't really object to an ID card but that kind of administration has to be paid for somehow. I'm not really sure why we need to bother in the absence of any evidence that significant harm is taking place due to service dog fraud. Everyone has a story about having seen someone who is totally cheating the system, but explanations of how you can tell whether someone has seizures and who is legitimately being harmed are few and far between.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                        This is a civil rights issue. That is why it is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. We do not have to spend our time and energies trying to win the approval of people who are obviously not aware of what is going on. I do not have to justify my actions to anyone if all I am doing is trying to live my life on an equal footing with others.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I might choose too, of course. If people are decent to me, I will be decent to them. I just don't have to. And if I'm in a restaurant trying to enjoy my meal, I may not feel like stopping for the millionth time and explain the law to some NOISY BUSY BODY. If they are really being decent. I might take the time or I might just refer them to the DoJ website.

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you think the stroller issue is an issue then you, and I don't mean any disrespect, but if you think the stroller is an issue than you are ignorant of the law. It has been explained several times how the dog being in the stroller is perfectly acceptable because the dog can do its job.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Regarding the mandated photo id or special uniform or whatever. There are many reasons why this is probably never ever going to be implemented. Which I'm going to discuss in another post.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's quite a simply worded piece of legislation so I am pretty confident I understand it. I actually thinks it's a fairly badly drafted piece of legislation as it fails to reconcile how it works effectively with food health and safety legislation.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Most would agree that animals don't mix with food preparation and service and thus we see the benefit of legislation that keeps animals away from these public areas. All would also agree of facilitating access for the disabled including access for their service animals.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The simple provision of a service animal ID card would solve this. There is evidence there is a problem from this tread and press reports. It's a problem for establishments serving food as they legally are required to keep animals out, but equally they need to facilitate access for people with service dogs, yet the law fails to provide the mechanism to identify genuine service animals. Hence the conflict which can't be good for either the restauranteur or the person with a genuine service dog.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                            "as it fails to reconcile how it works effectively with food health and safety legislation."

                                                                                                                                                                                            " It's a problem for establishments serving food as they legally are required to keep animals out,"

                                                                                                                                                                                            " yet the law fails to provide the mechanism to identify genuine service animals"

                                                                                                                                                                                            The ADA makes it very, very easy to restaurant owners to not get in trouble for violating the law. They are not required to keep all animals out. Just those that are not service animals. If they are a service animal they have to let them in. There are no conflicts between these two things because the ADA reconciles the situation perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                            So, from a legal stand point there is no problem unless management chooses to break the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                            To determine if it is a service animal vs. just a pet,the management is allowed to ask two questions. We all know what those questions are. If they follow this procedure they can't possible get in trouble with the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                            So the owner of the restaurant is totally protected.

                                                                                                                                                                                            On the issue that people keep bringing up about state issued IDs, photo IDs etc. I would like to discuss it. But it would take a long discussion that might be beyond the scope of this thread. Maybe a thread on the "Not About Food" board. It's a valid concern and I can see where people would think that was a good idea. And, depending on how it was implemented could be a good idea. I just don't know if we should discuss it in this thread. Or, if the original poster of this thread didn't mind, maybe this thread could be moved to "Not About Food", but he or she may not appreciate that, I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                                                            But in any case restaurant owners are not going to get into trouble for following the ADA.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                            I see you keep saying that a service dog that supports a hearing impaired person can easily do their job whilst confined in a stroller. I am very interested to understand how they do this, could you explain as my understanding was dogs for hearing impaired people tend to alert them via touch or a similar physical (obviously not auditory) trigger.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                              PhilD, I've actually explained that two to three times. If you look at my posts, the one that starts "No, problem. In a long thread like this it is easy to miss stuff sometimes", is one place it is clearly discussed.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks I missed that. However, I do think you are constructing an excuse for the stroller, IMO if a service dog is accompanying their owner then they should be free and able to perform their function. And this includes being trained to sit quietly under a seat or table out of the way (these are also Morkies, not Great Danes so not big) although their behaviour on camera may indicate why the strolled was required...!

                                                                                                                                                                                                As to your point about the dog bark being audible to the owner who has 30% hearing. It's plausible but wouldn't you admit unlikely. If you think about it hearing dogs are trained to alert their owners by touch and some to lead their owners out of danger (fire alarms etc) why complicate and potentially compromise the dogs utility by training it to bark in order to alert a deaf person? I know dogs are good but let's not think they are capable of deciding to bark or touch depending on circumstances. That's a little too anthropomorphic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Once again, you are making up "rules" for what a service dog is and should do. No one gets to just make up those rules. The federal government has stated what is legal and what is not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Think about it, why should a disabled person worry about meeting with your approval. On the ADA website there is more than just that one page that people keep linking. You would learn more about the law if you read a couple of pages deep. For instance, why it's a civil rights issue and not just a health dept. issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Each individual dog is trained for each individual disability and each individual disabled person. (If not, then the dog may not be properly trained and there could be problems. And that improper training could create a violation of the law.) Not all hearing dogs are trained to alert by touch. Some are trained to alert by barking. Some are trained to alert by pushing a button (which could be rigged up in a stroller).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And the chances are very good, that those dogs are rarely in the stroller. They were probably put there just prior to entering the restaurant in deference to the other customers and to put owner's concerns to rest. But, even if this is not true it does not matter. So long as they are still able to perform the job they are supposed to do - everything is fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                            Go talk to your congressmen instead of focusing on these dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't have one. But I do live in a country that requires service dogs to be accredited and the owners to carry a card. The anti discrimination laws and how they relate to service dogs almost reads precisely the same as the ADA except for the requirement to have and carry the ID card (a card that does not carry any details of the disability).

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't hear any outcry about this from the disabled lobby, and I can't recall "fake service" dogs being an issue. We also have very strict hygiene legislation regarding dogs which does not permit dogs to be within so many metres of a place that serves food, which means they can't even be on a terrace or in an outside area if food is served. As it's impossible to have a dog with you in a cafe or restaurant you would expect more abuse of service dogs, we don't see it, do obviously a simple ID card works.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                      Honestly I wouldn't take that bet. The level to which people get questioned about service animals, even clearly marked ones, is astonishing. You are probably a polite person who wouldn't make yourself free to walk up and question someone about the specifics of their health needs, but plenty of others have no compunctions at all about doing so. Service animals are really pretty rare, despite all of the claims that people are seeing ten fakes a day, and they tend to attract quite a bit of attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                      There have been a lot of complaints about "entitlement" regarding service animals, but to be honest I've seen an awful lot of entitlement on the other side too. People make themselves free to ask about the individual's disability in excruciating detail, to pet clearly marked working dogs, to let their kids yank the dogs' collars, vests or ears because "he's too young to know any better," and to coo at or otherwise distract dogs that really need to be paying attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: bachchick

                                                                                                                                                                                    "The latest posts emphasize that the man in question had hearing loss and that's why he needed the dog in the restaurant. I don't get this. He's with his wife who can hear, she could get his attention. I understand dogs alerting deaf people to the door bell or telephone- if they don't have a hearing person sitting right next to them. I don't quite understand a "hearing" dog in stroller in a restaurant when he's with his "hearing" wife."

                                                                                                                                                                                    Disabled people by law can have their service animal even if they are with an employee, an attendant. And we don't know what the wife's disability is. Some thought it was also a hearing impairment. But, it doesn't matter. It's no one's business.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                      dogs are over rated. if you are hearing impaired, buy a hearing aid. being deaf is one thing, being impaired is a whole different story.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: genoO

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hearing aids are not a workable alternative to many people. And even when it is workable, it is still a matter of personal choice. Many people believe that hearing aids are over rated.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: genoO

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hearing aids don't work for all impairments. They are also quite expensive and often not covered by insurance (in America). They cause particular problems in busy places like restaurants because they amplify all sound, so background noise really impedes your ability to understand people close by. People understand their own disabilities and what helps them.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                                                                                                                            Umm isn't a properly trained service dog a heck of a lot more expensive than hearing aids? If their insurance company won't cover hearing aids, I really doubt they will cover service dogs. and if this surgeon has such a significant hearing loss, how can he practice in an OR? There is no way any hospital would let him bring in his dogs to the OR. Everybody needs to be masked as well, so lip reading is out of the question, whether he is in an OR or doing procedures in his own office. Unless of course he does not believe in OSHA standards. I also used to live by Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis and I didn't see a reliance on alert dogs by the kids. But that may also be CID's philosophy.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I have a visual deficiency.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've always wanted an iguana.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                                                                        You be you. Don't ever let anybody tell you no.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. The issue may be not whether the people have disabilities but whether these dogs are service dogs. The law allows you to ask what training the dogs had and what service they are TRAINED to perform and says they have to be on a leash and clearly working.

                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bachchick

                                                                                                                                                                                          "The law allows you to ask what training the dogs had and what service they are TRAINED to perform and says they have to be on a leash and clearly working."

                                                                                                                                                                                          Three of the four points in this sentence is incorrect.

                                                                                                                                                                                          It is illegal to ask what training the dog has had beyond simply asking what service or task they perform. It sounds like the same thing. But, it is not, and you are very knowledgeable to make the distinction. But an inquiry can only be made about one.

                                                                                                                                                                                          They do not have to be on a leash. And the "clearly working" thing is amazingly incorrect.

                                                                                                                                                                                          And the law DOES NOT allow you or me or anyone else to ask anything at all. Unless, we are in a position of management in a business where a disabled person is a customer. If someone is just a customer somewhere and sees a disabled person it is none of their business.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                            "Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices."


                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                              Exactly, they don't have to be leashed.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                                A harness or tether is equivalent to a leash. A stroller is not any of these things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Restraints of any kind are not always required. What is required is that the disabled person has, at all times complete control of the dog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That isn't what the regulation states. I'll go by the actual written regulation rather than your interpretation of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                      No, the law spells it out quite clearly. Just got to read beyond the first line and read it very slowly so you can comprehend it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work......In that case the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal or other effective controls."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The stroller in this case is a very effective device to maintain control over the dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The only folks being "creative" with their interpretations of the law is the ones who are acting in a prejudicial way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      But, yeah, go ahead and read the second sentence after the first one and you'll see the meaning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Why do you ignore the part that's after unless....if they always have to be leashed, then the "unless" is unnecessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. It's Very simple: Service dogs are required to wear special certification uniform while performing service dog duties. If the dog is not in uniform, it does not qualify.

                                                                                                                                                                                            These specific uniforms cannot just be bought. They are acquired, sized and made specifically for each service dog after the rigorous training service dogs require to qualify as one. It is in fact illegal to turn away a person w a service dog based on their dog. When a dog becomes a service dog it is no longer a " dog" but becomes a life important tool to the same degree as a wheel chair.

                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Healthyhappy

                                                                                                                                                                                              "It's Very simple: Service dogs are required to wear special certification uniform while performing service dog duties. If the dog is not in uniform, it does not qualify."

                                                                                                                                                                                              This is very incorrect. The ADA specifically says that no special identification of any kind is needed. Id papers, photos, vests, harnesses, etc. None of any of this is required in any way.

                                                                                                                                                                                              You are right when you say it is illegal to turn away a disabled person with a dog. There is no required uniform of any kind.

                                                                                                                                                                                              To require id papers, photo ids, special vests and such will probably never be made mandatory.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                                "The ADA specifically says that no special identification of any kind is needed. Id papers, photos, vests, harnesses, etc. None of any of this is required in any way."

                                                                                                                                                                                                I do a lot of ADA evaluations and I cannot fathom that the law would allow any person with any unlicensed, unvaccinated, untrained, inadequately-restrained dog into a public eating establishment complying with local health ordinances just because a person claiming a disability insists they enter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I really want to see this citation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We were talking about ID papers or photos not city pound licenses, vaccinations, training or restraints.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    No ID papers regarding his status of service dog are required. Animal Control licenses and vaccinations are obviously required. But have nothing to do with the ADA or the DoJ. Training is of course required. Restraints of any kind are not always required. Federal Law overrides any local laws regarding service animals or local health laws.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. It's actually pretty easy to spot a legitimate, trained service dog. It is focused on its person. It is not sleeping, licking its butt, begging for food, or eying other dogs. It's a pro doing its job. It can be a Lab or a Yorkie, but you'll know it if you see it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It may be focused on its person. It may be under the table out of the way because it's only needed when the person is moving around. It may be waiting for the right time to remind its person to take her meds. It may be focused elsewhere because it is watching for particular things that trigger its person's PTSD. I agree that it will typically not be licking its butt or begging, but we have one that comes into our therapy gym and immediately knows he is supposed to go under a table. He may sleep there for a while, but he will notice right away when she moves. He's not exactly off the clock, but it's better for him to be out of the way while she is stretching or doing exercises with a therapist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's just really hard to tell sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                    pikawicca, The spirit of what you are saying is good. Some of the specifics is off. But, it is extremely obvious that people have so many incorrect preconceived notions about service animals, many will not "know it if you see it".

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some think that if they are wearing a bow, then they are not a service animal. This is obviously ridiculous. Some think they have to be wearing a vest. This is also ridiculous. If once in a while my dog sniffs his butt, he is still ok. Some will lay for hours maybe seeming totally oblivious. But, then as soon as need be he stands up and performs his job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are too many incorrect stereotypes. It really is defined nicely in the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I worry a little that you take any constructive criticism and labeled as bigotry or stereotyping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am pretty confident I and other posters understand how service dogs work, we have all seen the dogs sitting quietly observing their owners, new have seen them resting, with a near cocked ready to respond. We get there are more types of service dog these days than just the trusty guide dog in their harness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      But we are a little cynical because the system is abused. We are especially cynical in this instance because so many factors are in play at the same time. All these are cumulative factors and probably contributed to the restaurant making the call they are not service dogs. This includes: the type of dog; the fact they are a matching pair; they are dressed like cosseted pets not working dogs; they are confined to a stroller; the "cussing" and other behaviour by the owners which led to the police being called; and finally the owners engagement with the media etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would argue that the restaurant has a good defence they reasonably felt these people wanted to take their pets with them....and laws are generally interpreted by the courts based on how a reasonable person would react.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      So where does that take us. First, we are not bigots, we are not anti disabled, in fact I expect the posters here would be more than accommodating and would be very helpful. Second, the law could be better drafted to avoid the conflict with health legislation and make it easier to police. Third, when a disabled person is with their service animal, treating them like a service animal rather than a pet will help avoid unpleasant conflict, that that sounds like it's a reasonable thing to ask i.e. the right to be exempt from Food Health and a Safety legislation comes with the responsibility to treat your dogs like a service dog and not a pet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "I am pretty confident I and other posters understand how service dogs work"

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Apparently few do. It seems what is happening is that people are thinking about an old and outdated understanding of what a service dog is. There used to be rigid (rigid in a good way) and formal protocols for all service animals. Those rigid and formal protocols do not apply to most of today's service dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If I want to let people pet my dog, I can. So long as it is consistent with it's training and my handicap. I can dress him in multicolored liberty spikes and hot pink booties. I can dangle a dog treat over his head and mutter what a good dog he is until he stands on his hind legs and grabs that treat. If both me and my mate like the same breed of dogs that's really great. Any breed can be a service animal. I can do absolutely anything I want to do as long as it does not violate what the ADA has explicitly set as the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If people just make up rules about what they think a service animal is or should be allowed to do, the disabled person and the restaurant management get to ignore that. Individuals, even maybe well-meaning individuals, don't get to just sit around and make up "rules" that alter what the federal government has set out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There civil rights issues. Just because someone thinks they are not acting in an illegal and bigoted way doesn't mean they are not. Bigots never think they are in the wrong. I don't have to "treat my dog" in a way that appeases some nosey busy body. Disabled people do not have to meet with your approval. We all just have to follow the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is ridiculous and illogical to try to infer the reason they were answering a reporters questions is because they are liars. If they ran from the reporters and refused to answer the questions, that would appear more damning. All though it wouldn't be, they don't have to answer reporter questions. But in this case they chose to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          And anyone is free to try to get the law amended. If that happens, then obviously everyone will have to follow the amended law. But, until it does, we all need to become educated to what the law says and follow that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I believe I addressed all these in my previous post. But one point is worth reinforcing. With the benefit of allowing service dogs into an area normally off limits to animals because of health laws comes the responsibility to act responsibly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Certainly there is no law that requires you to treat your animal in a particular way (other than animal cruelty legislation) and what works for you works for you, it's your business. But isn't it common sense to adapt behaviour to accepted norms? Isn't it better to avoid unnecessary conflict? As you say many disabilities are not visible, so why confuse restaurant managers and servers more by not treating a service dog with in the accepted social norms?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Isn't this all about improving access and opportunity for disabled people? The bloody minded, self centred approach, that says I can do anything if it's not illegal because it's a civil right is akin to arguing to be able to shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre as a defence of the right to free speech. That doesn't seem a sensible way of advancing a cause.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                                              There are so many different opinions about what a service dog is and should do and how he should behave. The old and outdated "accepted norms" no longer apply to all service animals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And of course, these rights come with responsibilities. No one is denying that. I have seen a disabled person kicked off of public transit because she was violating the law with her service animal. No one got hurt or anything, but still the bus company was in the right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              But just because we are enjoying our civil rights to the dismay of certain onlookers don't mean we are not being responsible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some service animals still act and look like the old-time images and thoughts. But not all. They don't have to. You have to become educated on the issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And, being able to yell "fire" in a theater is not a civil rights issue at all. It is terribly illegal and can get you arrested. It has nothing to do with service dogs.


                                                                                                                                                                                                              Listen to what you are saying: I'm sure you agree that disabled people should follow federal law (well, I'm assuming that. Sorry if I am wrong.). But, BUT you are saying that they HAVE TO FOLLOW YOUR ADDITIONAL rules ALSO. No, we don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now,you counter that by saying well these have been accepted norms for a long time so should not change, should not be updated with the change in society. It should just stay the same. Ignore the fact that the ADA has changed accepted norms based on a changing society.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              There are reasons why the old-time "accepted norms" no longer apply to all service animals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't believe I am guilty of being judgemental or imposing some set of narrow accepted norms. The CBS link GH1618 makes the points well. There is a problem and it affects disabled people. What I can't get is the rejection of any suggestion of compromise that could alleviate any issues and problems. Your right to enjoy your civil rights seems to trump any common sense suggestions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                PS - I assume you took my "Shout Fire" example so literally because you didn't want to address the underlying points it raises. However, if it's because you don't understand it I will be happy to elaborate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The CBS link had no one who had ever been harmed by a service dog. They referenced some people who were harmed because we feel ourselves free to appoint ourselves hall monitors of the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ernie, the CBS item is not about the impact of service dogs, which are presumed to have legitimate right of access to restaurants. It is about the impact of dogs which are not service animals being brought into restaurants under false pretenses. There are two kinds of harm caused by these:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. There are so many bogus "service dogs" in restaurants that people are inclined to assume, in cases which are not obvious, that a dog in a restaurant is illegitimate even when it is legitimate. This harms the person with the service dog as explained by the gentleman in the video.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The inability to police the use of the "service animal" designation forces people to be exposed to dogs (meaning only those which are not legitimate service animals) when they are dining out when they should not have to. It isn't necessary to show any actual harm which would meet your standard. People may wish to eat without being in the presence of animals (except for bona fide service animals) for any reason whatsoever. Dogs have no rights other than those society chooses to give them, and in many places society has decided that dogs (with limited exceptions) do not belong in restaurants. That's just the way it is. Persons who disregard the restriction by faking a "service animal" claim are scofflaws. They are placing their own desires ahead of the legitimate rights of other diners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That video is not about "there being so many bogus service dogs, in restaurants that people are inclined to assume......"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That is out and out not true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was not about dogs not having rights, or really anything else that you are saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The video was about 2 things. 1). People using fake ID's. Actual fraudulent IDs. and 2). People using poorly trained dogs as service dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That is what they were talking about. Both those things are illegal. And should not be done. But has nothing to do with the current ADA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just like people are making IDs up and implying or saying the are DoJ authorized you are making stuff up to say that video supports your views.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It actually supports, probably everyone's views. Faked ID's and poorly trained dogs should not be used and is illegal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't do what the frauds are doing by claiming things that are not true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It does not document either of these harms. I watched it, and it doesn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ernie, it documents the first through the comments of the gentleman who was interviewed. The second I explained to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It doesn't matter what the video documents or whether the documentation meets with your approval. The video contains what CBS News decided it should contain. It is what it is. Take it or leave it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You are making stuff up if you say that anyone is suggesting that compromise is not possible. I have and others have said that already many, many times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No one is allowed to break the law. Breaking the law is not the same things as enjoying our civil rights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No one needs to buy a vest or id card. If they are buying fakes that say that this dog is authorized by the DoJ or some organization aimed at helping a particular group of disabled people (like a society for the blind, let's say), well that is fraud and no one is allowed to do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If someone who owns a business hasn't taken 20 minutes to read three pages of information and therefore is ignorant of the law, disabled people don't have to suffer for that. Of course, that business owner might.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As far your "shout fire" stuff, I read that to mean, that sometimes if people do whatever they want it can cause problems. That it's wrong or could be wrong. Even though it might be legal, it is wrong or could be wrong. For instance, shouting fire in a theater. Well, shouting fire is not legal, it is illegal and can get you arrested. Having a service dog that licks its butt or wears a bow is not illegal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I'm wrong about how I read that shout fire stuff, I apologize, you offered to elaborate, ok, please do so if I misunderstood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No disabled person should do something that is illegal. We don't have a "civil right" to do that. We only have the right to do what is legal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you or others want to just make up rules and then whine because others are not following them, well, sorry but that is a problem you have to grapple with, not anyone else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lilcloversprout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "No disabled person should do something that is illegal. We don't have a "civil right" to do that."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The issue that most have here is not with disabled people doing some illegal. The issue is with able-bodied people doing something illegal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The onus is not on the disabled to prove to you why they're entitled to use a service animal. For some bizarre reason, even though you don't have a congressmen , you want to tell us what our laws should be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All are welcome to participate here, not merely US citizens. I find PhilD's posts to be thoughtful contributions to the discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                              This morning I passed an elderly woman walking with her shih tzu. He was wearing a red harness with SERVICE DOG embossed on it and there was a tag, like a luggage tag, dangling from the harness. He looked very official.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yah, I saw someone at Goodwill with a service dog yesterday: harness, tag, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was a bit surprised that the owner let several people pet the dog, as I was under the impression that this is frowned upon, generally, while they're "on the job".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It depends on the disabled person and on the training that the dog has had. With seeing eye dogs, they many times will be wearing a vest that clearly states "Service Animal. Do not Pet". For dogs helping with other types of disabilities it may be ok. It varies depending on the situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. What do you think ? Locked before Monday eve. Over and over again. Blah ,blah, blah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. The irony is that vigorous defense of the right to use a "service animal" privilege without documentation, and ignoring the abuse of the system which results, actually harms those with a legitimate need rather than helps them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here is a short video from CBS News on the problem:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry to say, but you are making stuff up again. That video is not about using a service animal without documentation and it's not about anyone saying that it's ok to ignore the abuse of the system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's about using fake ID's and improperly trained dogs. Neither of which is legal and should not be done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. http://pleasedontpetme.com/difference...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Emotional support vs therapy vs service animals.....did somebody already post this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That pleasedontpetme.com is a great site, thanks for the link!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Here's a link to another article on the problem, from the Orlando Sentinel:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It seems that the CCI is handling this exactly as they should, by asking the DoJ to amend the rules. And it is ultimately the place of the DoJ to determine, uphold and revise those rules: not ours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And if fraudulent helper animals are resulting in business owners and casual bystanders treating the disabled as undeserving of the help, that is the fault of everyone--and I do mean everyone--except the disabled themselves. We alone are responsible for how we react, and how harshly we are going to punish a group as a whole for the inconsiderate acts of a relative few.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We can do our part by treating everyone as if they did indeed deserve the help and consideration they are asking for, while it is legal for them to do so, while asking the DoJ to reconsider the rules. In fact, we have no legal or moral right to do otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Folks, this thread has run its course, and devolved into name-calling. Time to move on. We're locking it.