Our pets are our part of our family and it is understandable that many of us want our pets by our side just as we want our children by our side however to diminish the extent of the time, dedication and service that a true service dog provides to those who truly needs a service dog versus those who just wants to have their pet by their side or to save a few dollars just cannot be justified. It is nice to see that it is now punishable by law, when someone misrepresents their pet as a service dog.
It has become more recent that individuals are abusing the system in order for their pet to fly with them free of charge and out of a carrier, to go into stores with them and to be with them all the time by stating they are their service dog. By law a service dog/pet does not need to wear a vest or have specific documentation however they do need to be trained for a specific task and be under the control of the handler at all times. An establishment by law can ask a handler if the pet provides a service and what is the pet trained to do? Real service dogs have stringent guidelines and training, they are no longer a pet but a medical necessity. A handler’s life is in the balance of their service dog whether it is a Seeing Eye dog, hearing dog, diabetic alert dog, seizure alert dog and so on.
There are specific service dogs that are bred from birth to be service dogs. There are also dogs that are rescued and then trained to be service dogs pending what the service they will be training for is. Either way, a real service dog usually starts training at the age of two even through as they are going through their puppy stages and playing there are toys and games that ultimately assists with eventually will be a task when they become a certified service dog. Not all pets that enter the service dog training whether bred from birth or that are rescued actually become a certified service dog, it takes dedication and discipline which not all dogs have to become a service dog. Those dogs are not destroyed but are adopted or sold to become family pets, remember a certified service dog is not a pet but a medically necessity for the handler.
Once a service dog goes through the training and becomes a certified service dog, their training does not end there. Each year the service dog team (dog and handler) are retested to make sure the dog is still performing the tasks they were trained for, if the dog fails it goes through retraining and if the dog fails again the dog is no longer a service dog. The dog will be adopted to another family as a pet while the handler will be assigned to another certified service dog. A service dog cannot be disruptive or out of control in any public place because even being a service dog they can be requested to leave. So even real service dogs can be requested to leave if they are being bad.
With the extensive training a real service dog goes through and the lifesaving service they provide to their handler as well as their handler counting on them to be there for them and knowing the handler really cannot go anywhere without them because it could cost them their life. Individuals who do not need their pet as a medical necessity should be thankful and not abuse the system. When they abuse the system it only makes it harder for those who really need the system. One day it could be you or someone you love then you will realize the extent of what is takes between the documentation and training to qualify for a service dog then to be questioned or ridicule due to the misrepresentation of fake service dog. I only pray and hope it does not happen to you or someone you love but think twice before you misrepresent your pet as a service animal. There are many stores that are now pet friendly, employers that are pet friendly, restaurants with outside eating areas for those who want to bring their pets and even public transportation who allow pets. Research your area and try a different approach then misrepresenting your pet; it only makes it harder for others who already have it hard enough.https://www.care.com/c/stories/6229/34-surprisingly-dog-friendly-stores/
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