Service dogs, or assistance dogs, are trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities. They assist people with vision impairments, mobility impairments, and hearing impairments. These dogs are specially trained to detect seizures, guide the blind, alert their owners to the presence of toxic substances, or help those suffering from mental illnesses.
Legally recognized service dogs wear vests bearing their training organization’s logo and identification. The work these dogs do is crucial to the safety and independence of their human partners. For example, seizures can be life-threatening for those suffering from epilepsy. However, not all “service” animals are legitimate.
Why Do Fake Service Dogs Exist?
It is illegal under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to discriminate against someone in a public place because they use a service animal or other type of assistance animal. This includes places like restaurants, hotels, stores and other public places where access is not normally allowed by customers or employees. Service dog owners can bypass a lot of rules that are enforced towards regular pet owners.
Unfortunately, this means that many people have tried to fake a service dog. These people may not have a disability or may be claiming to have a disability to gain access to a place that they normally would not be allowed into.
How to Spot a Fake Service Dog
Clearly, this is wrong and the law is very clear on this issue. Therefore, it may be useful to know what are some of the signs that indicate a pet is a fake service dog. Some of the signs that a fake service dog may be in a place include:
1. They’re not wearing a leash or a harness
One of the most obvious signs that a pet is not a service dog is that they are not wearing a leash or harness. This is because most service dogs are equipped with a leash and harness. They also often wear a vest. This is because distinguishing items makes it easier for other people to identify a dog as a service animal. If they’re not wearing a vest or a leash, they may not be a service dog.
2. They’re not well-behaved in public
The dog is not behaving as a service dog should. For example, the dog may not be following their owner’s instructions or ignoring requests to leave the premises. The dog may also be barking at people, or displaying aggressive behavior towards others.
Real service dogs should be properly trained to behave appropriately in public. They need to be able to remain focused on their owner despite whatever distractions are nearby. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to help their owner immediately when they’re needed.
3. They don’t appear to be well-trained
Real service dogs are well-trained and should behave in a manner that is appropriate for the situation. For example, they should sit or lie down when they are told to do so. They should also respond appropriately to their owner’s commands and have good manners. Fake service dogs do not always have the proper training, and they may not behave as they should when they are out in public.