dogstore.jpgWhen a person says to you that their dog is a service dog are they required to prove to you that they have a doctor’s order for a companion dog?

Two incidents that bring context to my question. Shortly after Diane Whipple was killed the Animal Control and Welfare Commission held a hearing to consider a requirement to muzzle pit bulls and rottweilers. About 350 showed up and about 100 brought their dogs. The room was way overcrowded. A sheriff officer stopped one of the people with a dog and advised him not to enter. That person told him he had a doctor order for a companion dog he could take the dog wherever he wanted. The officer told him he wasn’t questioning his rights, he just wanted him to know it was very crowded. The guy didn’t make it the length of the room before his dog got into a nasty, growling, snarling, barking fight with another dog. No one was hurt.

Last night I was at a community meeting at a clubhouse when a person with one of those plastic ball throwers in one hand and a leashed golden retriever on the other hand walked to the front of the room. When informed by a person standing next to me that dogs weren’t allowed in the clubhouse the person said, “This is my service dog it goes with me wherever I go and whenever I want.” Pause. “You’re being very rude by questioning me.” The person standing next to me replied, “Well it doesn’t look like a service dog.” At that point I intervened and said, “We didn’t know it was a service dog, now we do, what do you want?”

I suspect the answer might lie along the even if I have the right it is better not to argue with someone needs a four legged security blanket when in public.

Linda, a SF Animal Care and Control representative, told me a person can prove his or her pet is a service animal with at least one of three things: the required tag, an affidavit from the city shelter, and/or a doctor’s letter. While any one of these should suffice, Linda said a doctor’s letter is the only mandated item according to the Americans With Disabilities Act and therefore a service animal owner’s best bet.

However, when I called the Department of Justice’s ADA information line to double check, a spokeswoman told me that one isn’t required to show any information – not even a doctor’s note – in most cases.

“Unless a person is trying to get a job or find a place to live,” she said, “[s/he] doesn’t have to show any tangible proof that the pet is a service animal.”

(It’s wise to remember that a person’s disability might not be evident to the naked eye, so visually evaluating the person with the animal is rarely a good idea.)

Besides, of course, considering how important it is to you to ensure the rules are being followed in any given situation, what should someone (say, a business owner) do if faced with a situation where they think a non-disabled person’s trying to pull the pet equivalent of bogarting a blue spot?

“You can ask what kind of training the animal has received,” the spokeswoman said, “and then decide for yourself whether you want to treat [the animal] as a service animal or otherwise.”

In any case, according to the ADA:

“A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the animal is out of control and the animal’s owner does not take effective action to control it (for example, a dog that barks repeatedly during a movie) or (2) the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.”

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  • Christine Borden

    I understand the right to privacy when it comes to medical information (in this case, not having to show proof of requirement for a service animal), but I also live on the flipside of this argument.

    I work in an ice cream store, and every day people try to bring in their pets. Not just dogs but pets (we’re a few doors down from a pet store). One guy brought in a bird on his shoulder. For the most part, it’s people bringing in little cutesy dogs that fit easily in their arms or designer handbags.

    Now I am not going to begrudge anyone their companion animal. I know of some people who carry around companion animals for things like depression. Who wouldn’t want a cutesy handbag-appropriate dog for that?

    Under restaurant health codes, we are not allowed to welcome any pets save for service animals. If we are found with an animal in the store, we can be shut down immediately (as I was told by our owner). It is a serious threat. But besides the official ramifications, pet hair and dander can get everywhere (in the air, somehow in the ice cream…) and it can trigger allergic reactions, especially in such a small space.

    My coworkers and I often feel like people abuse the system by lying about whether or not their dog is a service animal. Especially when it’s a shivering little chihuahua that they obviously do not want to leave alone tied outside the tree on the sidewalk. Like I said, companion animal = perfectly understandable. But just exactly how many depressed people in the Bay Area are coming in every day for ice cream with their teacup puppies?

  • Christine Borden

    I understand the right to privacy when it comes to medical information (in this case, not having to show proof of requirement for a service animal), but I also live on the flipside of this argument.

    I work in an ice cream store, and every day people try to bring in their pets. Not just dogs but pets (we’re a few doors down from a pet store). One guy brought in a bird on his shoulder. For the most part, it’s people bringing in little cutesy dogs that fit easily in their arms or designer handbags.

    Now I am not going to begrudge anyone their companion animal. I know of some people who carry around companion animals for things like depression. Who wouldn’t want a cutesy handbag-appropriate dog for that?

    Under restaurant health codes, we are not allowed to welcome any pets save for service animals. If we are found with an animal in the store, we can be shut down immediately (as I was told by our owner). It is a serious threat. But besides the official ramifications, pet hair and dander can get everywhere (in the air, somehow in the ice cream…) and it can trigger allergic reactions, especially in such a small space.

    My coworkers and I often feel like people abuse the system by lying about whether or not their dog is a service animal. Especially when it’s a shivering little chihuahua that they obviously do not want to leave alone tied outside the tree on the sidewalk. Like I said, companion animal = perfectly understandable. But just exactly how many depressed people in the Bay Area are coming in every day for ice cream with their teacup puppies?

  • Greg Dewar

    I know people with service dogs and they’re all kinda pissed at how many people have “service animals” that are nothing but pets that the faker people feel like taking everywhere. I know a person who really needs his dog because of a hearing problem, and thanks to all these bullshitters out there, it’s making it harder for him to have his dog with him because people just assume he’s making it up, and he really needs the dog to navigate the streets.

    Meanwhile, I was walking down Lincoln and this idiot on a bicycle was illegally riding on the sidewalk. She almost hit a senior citizen, then me ,and she had her dog with out a leash running along side. I called her on it and she was all “I have a disability and this is my service dog, asshole.”

    Yeah right. You can ride a bike really fast, terrorize pedestrians ,and clearly have no disability, except perhaps a personality disorder being a jerk-ass, and oh yeah surrre that’s a service dog. NOT.

    It’s no different than the phony “medical marijuana” prescriptions. The people with cancer who need it get crowded out by hipsters who claim they need their medicinal pot to cure some imagined illness. LAME!

  • Greg Dewar

    I know people with service dogs and they’re all kinda pissed at how many people have “service animals” that are nothing but pets that the faker people feel like taking everywhere. I know a person who really needs his dog because of a hearing problem, and thanks to all these bullshitters out there, it’s making it harder for him to have his dog with him because people just assume he’s making it up, and he really needs the dog to navigate the streets.

    Meanwhile, I was walking down Lincoln and this idiot on a bicycle was illegally riding on the sidewalk. She almost hit a senior citizen, then me ,and she had her dog with out a leash running along side. I called her on it and she was all “I have a disability and this is my service dog, asshole.”

    Yeah right. You can ride a bike really fast, terrorize pedestrians ,and clearly have no disability, except perhaps a personality disorder being a jerk-ass, and oh yeah surrre that’s a service dog. NOT.

    It’s no different than the phony “medical marijuana” prescriptions. The people with cancer who need it get crowded out by hipsters who claim they need their medicinal pot to cure some imagined illness. LAME!

  • DT

    There is a legal difference between an ADA recognized Service Animal (which will have appropriate tags, garments, or harness) and a Companion Animal.

    Many people are claiming their pets as companion animals and this is tolerated by SF Government while creating all manner of Health Code violations. There should be a reconciliation of Health Code and feigned or real anxiety, depression, etc.

    It has been my observation that many are attention-seeking, self-centered people who fail to observe the common good when in public. Basically they have no manners.

    While I love my pets, I do not take them everywhere with me.

  • DT

    There is a legal difference between an ADA recognized Service Animal (which will have appropriate tags, garments, or harness) and a Companion Animal.

    Many people are claiming their pets as companion animals and this is tolerated by SF Government while creating all manner of Health Code violations. There should be a reconciliation of Health Code and feigned or real anxiety, depression, etc.

    It has been my observation that many are attention-seeking, self-centered people who fail to observe the common good when in public. Basically they have no manners.

    While I love my pets, I do not take them everywhere with me.

  • Erik

    This came up on another website and an alleged lawyer who had dealt with the issue before said that they are required to have a letter from a doctor any time they are out with the animal but that most businesses or organization have a policy of not asking customers for proof, mostly because fakers tend to get defensive and make a scene when called out on their lies.

    I would think that anyone who actually needs a service animal would be glad to show the letter at the first sign that someone is questioning them.

  • Erik

    This came up on another website and an alleged lawyer who had dealt with the issue before said that they are required to have a letter from a doctor any time they are out with the animal but that most businesses or organization have a policy of not asking customers for proof, mostly because fakers tend to get defensive and make a scene when called out on their lies.

    I would think that anyone who actually needs a service animal would be glad to show the letter at the first sign that someone is questioning them.

  • Matt Baume

    I want to know more about this clubhouse! Is it in a tree?

  • Matt Baume

    I want to know more about this clubhouse! Is it in a tree?

  • Addy

    I definitely support the rights of people who need (actually NEED) service animals for whatever reason. However, I think these animals should wear ID and be screened/trained to be non-aggressive and able to cope with crowds, confined spaces, other dogs, etc. Unfortunately there’s just not the money to oversee this regulatory process.

    The SF Weekly ran a story about this last year (Service With A Snarl, June 17, 2009). Basically it’s really easy to get official-looking “service animal” regalia, and a lot of people do it so they can bring their fashion-accessory purse-dogs onto muni without paying the extra $0.50.

    As someone with several hidden disabilities, I’m frequently confronted with the question of whether to disclose my status. It can be a difficult dilemma. If my disability is interfering with my work, I can tell my supervisor — who might be understanding, and help me find an accomodation … OR who might decide I’m “just not a team player” and find a reason to shitcan me.

    So, while I support the right of people who need service animals to have them, it pisses me off to no end when this privilege is abused by non-disabled people who just feel like taking their aggressive dog everywhere they go. Those people are going to the Special Hell.

  • Addy

    I definitely support the rights of people who need (actually NEED) service animals for whatever reason. However, I think these animals should wear ID and be screened/trained to be non-aggressive and able to cope with crowds, confined spaces, other dogs, etc. Unfortunately there’s just not the money to oversee this regulatory process.

    The SF Weekly ran a story about this last year (Service With A Snarl, June 17, 2009). Basically it’s really easy to get official-looking “service animal” regalia, and a lot of people do it so they can bring their fashion-accessory purse-dogs onto muni without paying the extra $0.50.

    As someone with several hidden disabilities, I’m frequently confronted with the question of whether to disclose my status. It can be a difficult dilemma. If my disability is interfering with my work, I can tell my supervisor — who might be understanding, and help me find an accomodation … OR who might decide I’m “just not a team player” and find a reason to shitcan me.

    So, while I support the right of people who need service animals to have them, it pisses me off to no end when this privilege is abused by non-disabled people who just feel like taking their aggressive dog everywhere they go. Those people are going to the Special Hell.

  • Nativefox

    Here is a link to the US Department of Justice’s Business Brief regarding service dogs and public access. http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm

    In previous replies I see a good deal of misinformation so it is best to go to the source. In essence there are two things you may ask. One, is the person disabled or is the animal a service dog, and two, what tasks has the dog been trained to perform to assist with the disability. As you have already acknowledged you may not ask the specifics of a persons disability,

    You may not ask for proof, and under federal law there is no proof required. Many service animals are owner trained and there are no certifications required by federal laws for an animal to be considered a service dog regardless of where or by whom the animal was trained. Furthermore there are no ID tags, harnesses, vests, or other equipment required by the law.

    Fears and allergies are not legal reasons for barring access to a disabled person and their service animal. Some states also permit the same rights to public access for trainers with service dogs in training,.

    You MAY refuse access, or ask to leave the premises, any service animal that is out of its’ handlers’ control and the handler makes no effort to correct the situation, or is posing a direct threat to an individual. (i.e. menacing or vicious). If an animal is asked to be removed you must then permit the disabled person the option of returning without the dog.

    Yes there are persons who falsely claim their animal is a service dog. Far too many IMHO. You however, do not get to be judge and jury. If the person can answer the two questions you are permitted to ask you must accept their word, except as noted above.

    In conclusion a service animal is a highly trained animal that assists its’ handler with their disability, It is considered a device, the same as a wheelchair, walker, oxygen tank etc. It may be much loved but it is legally not a pet. An Emotional Support Animal, may be prescribed by a Doctor and have legal rights under the fair housing act but is not granted full public access by the ADA as it is not task trained to mitigate a disability, Pets are just that and have no legal rights. As it is impossible to look at a person and diagnose an invisible disability, (i.e. seizure disorder, diabetes, PTSD, etc.), your best bet is to focus on the answer you receive when you ask what tasks the animal is trained to perform. If the handler cannot tell you how the dog was trained to assist then you may well have cause to deny access..

  • Nativefox

    Here is a link to the US Department of Justice’s Business Brief regarding service dogs and public access. http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm

    In previous replies I see a good deal of misinformation so it is best to go to the source. In essence there are two things you may ask. One, is the person disabled or is the animal a service dog, and two, what tasks has the dog been trained to perform to assist with the disability. As you have already acknowledged you may not ask the specifics of a persons disability,

    You may not ask for proof, and under federal law there is no proof required. Many service animals are owner trained and there are no certifications required by federal laws for an animal to be considered a service dog regardless of where or by whom the animal was trained. Furthermore there are no ID tags, harnesses, vests, or other equipment required by the law.

    Fears and allergies are not legal reasons for barring access to a disabled person and their service animal. Some states also permit the same rights to public access for trainers with service dogs in training,.

    You MAY refuse access, or ask to leave the premises, any service animal that is out of its’ handlers’ control and the handler makes no effort to correct the situation, or is posing a direct threat to an individual. (i.e. menacing or vicious). If an animal is asked to be removed you must then permit the disabled person the option of returning without the dog.

    Yes there are persons who falsely claim their animal is a service dog. Far too many IMHO. You however, do not get to be judge and jury. If the person can answer the two questions you are permitted to ask you must accept their word, except as noted above.

    In conclusion a service animal is a highly trained animal that assists its’ handler with their disability, It is considered a device, the same as a wheelchair, walker, oxygen tank etc. It may be much loved but it is legally not a pet. An Emotional Support Animal, may be prescribed by a Doctor and have legal rights under the fair housing act but is not granted full public access by the ADA as it is not task trained to mitigate a disability, Pets are just that and have no legal rights. As it is impossible to look at a person and diagnose an invisible disability, (i.e. seizure disorder, diabetes, PTSD, etc.), your best bet is to focus on the answer you receive when you ask what tasks the animal is trained to perform. If the handler cannot tell you how the dog was trained to assist then you may well have cause to deny access..

  • supertamsf

    If dogs have to be registered can’t they simply be registered as service dog at the time? That way they will always have the right tags.

  • supertamsf

    If dogs have to be registered can’t they simply be registered as service dog at the time? That way they will always have the right tags.

  • areallyniceguy

    I think it is fair to say that many people are a lot dirtier than most dogs are. Dogs don’t spread colds, influenza, hepatitis, etc. And consider the money that you are handling; there isn’t a bill in circulation that isn’t smattered with germs, bacteria, fecal matter, etc.

    Depression and/or a need to reward one’s self is a common motivator for buying ice cream. I suspect that you see a lot of people with mental health and/or self-esteem issues at your shop. Good luck with that.

  • areallyniceguy

    I think it is fair to say that many people are a lot dirtier than most dogs are. Dogs don’t spread colds, influenza, hepatitis, etc. And consider the money that you are handling; there isn’t a bill in circulation that isn’t smattered with germs, bacteria, fecal matter, etc.

    Depression and/or a need to reward one’s self is a common motivator for buying ice cream. I suspect that you see a lot of people with mental health and/or self-esteem issues at your shop. Good luck with that.

  • areallyniceguy

    SF Weekly had a feature article on this issue a while ago. It is interesting, but I think that there might be some holes in this story:
    http://www.sfweekly.com/2009-06-17/news/service-with-a-snarl/

  • areallyniceguy

    SF Weekly had a feature article on this issue a while ago. It is interesting, but I think that there might be some holes in this story:
    http://www.sfweekly.com/2009-06-17/news/service-with-a-snarl/

  • Kathy

    Christine, first, thanks for your views, it is always helpful to see things from other perspectives. I am a trained Community Access Monitor, and wish to clarify a few things re Service Animals. Firse, service Animal is a specific legal term, and not all “helper dogs” are trained Service Animals. Second, the reason the health department exemps Service Animals re their ban on pets is that legally, Service Animals are not pets, AND the health dept is subject to the ADA under Title II.

    Many people note negative effects of having a “dog” around. However, dander is carried on peoples clothing and in their hair, and can be carried into a place without any dog ever having being there. The US Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, after hearing tons of testimony re the egregious treatment of People With Disabilities, PWDs, decided to ensure that PWDs would have equal enjoyment of all the services, programs, activities as other folks, who are not disabled do.

    The reasons and thinking of the DOJ re Service Animals can be read on the Federal Register,,,
    http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm

    Although the ADA Regs have been revised, use of Service Animals has been streangthened, and the broad support, intended by Congress has been affirmed.

  • Kathy

    Christine, first, thanks for your views, it is always helpful to see things from other perspectives. I am a trained Community Access Monitor, and wish to clarify a few things re Service Animals. Firse, service Animal is a specific legal term, and not all “helper dogs” are trained Service Animals. Second, the reason the health department exemps Service Animals re their ban on pets is that legally, Service Animals are not pets, AND the health dept is subject to the ADA under Title II.

    Many people note negative effects of having a “dog” around. However, dander is carried on peoples clothing and in their hair, and can be carried into a place without any dog ever having being there. The US Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, after hearing tons of testimony re the egregious treatment of People With Disabilities, PWDs, decided to ensure that PWDs would have equal enjoyment of all the services, programs, activities as other folks, who are not disabled do.

    The reasons and thinking of the DOJ re Service Animals can be read on the Federal Register,,,
    http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm

    Although the ADA Regs have been revised, use of Service Animals has been streangthened, and the broad support, intended by Congress has been affirmed.

  • Kathy

    Your misunderstanding of what a serious disability is is astounding. What if the bike rider had epilepsy, and the dog was trained to alert him to siezures?

    Even a Doctor cannot tell by looking at someone if they have a serious disability.

  • Kathy

    Your misunderstanding of what a serious disability is is astounding. What if the bike rider had epilepsy, and the dog was trained to alert him to siezures?

    Even a Doctor cannot tell by looking at someone if they have a serious disability.

  • Kathy

    Q. Can you ask for “proof” of disability, or of training of a Service Animal.

    A. In a place of public accomodation you can ask for it, but the individual is not required to provide it, nor can you deny service based on his/her declining to show proof.

    A Person With Disability, PWD, should not be required to carry and show medical documants if all other patrons are not required to do so.

    However, a PWD should make a “credible statement.” This is hard to do, however, when confronted with people shouting NO DOGS, or any other silly questions.

    The best way to handle this situation is to inform patrons that “we have a no pets policy.” The PWD can then answer “This is not a pet, it is a working dog.” of “I am disabled, and this is my trained Service Animal.” or some similar response.

    No dog signs or policies are considered barriers in the general environment. Insted adopt a no pets sign or policy.

    Since even doctors cannot tell by looking if an individual has a serious physical disability, one should not imagine that if the disability isint readily observable then the individual must be “mental.”

  • Kathy

    Q. Can you ask for “proof” of disability, or of training of a Service Animal.

    A. In a place of public accomodation you can ask for it, but the individual is not required to provide it, nor can you deny service based on his/her declining to show proof.

    A Person With Disability, PWD, should not be required to carry and show medical documants if all other patrons are not required to do so.

    However, a PWD should make a “credible statement.” This is hard to do, however, when confronted with people shouting NO DOGS, or any other silly questions.

    The best way to handle this situation is to inform patrons that “we have a no pets policy.” The PWD can then answer “This is not a pet, it is a working dog.” of “I am disabled, and this is my trained Service Animal.” or some similar response.

    No dog signs or policies are considered barriers in the general environment. Insted adopt a no pets sign or policy.

    Since even doctors cannot tell by looking if an individual has a serious physical disability, one should not imagine that if the disability isint readily observable then the individual must be “mental.”

  • Kathy

    Well, you can ask for proof, but you cannot deny service if the Person With the Disability declines to show proof.

  • Kathy

    Well, you can ask for proof, but you cannot deny service if the Person With the Disability declines to show proof.

  • Kathy

    Well, when one gets a license for a dog, if the fee is waived because it is a Service Dog, then the dog license, which is NOT the tags worn by the dog, should note the fee was waived due to it being a Trained Service Dog.

  • Kathy

    Well, when one gets a license for a dog, if the fee is waived because it is a Service Dog, then the dog license, which is NOT the tags worn by the dog, should note the fee was waived due to it being a Trained Service Dog.

  • KND

    As Someone who has a service animal they are allowed to ask me two things “Is this a service animal” and “What does he do” When I do take him into public he is appropriately marked, he has his harness and a vest with patches that say “I am a service dog” and “Medical alert”

    However today I faced massive discrimination when I was so rudely told to leave a restaurant here in Oklahoma. She did not care he was a service dog did not ask, said it was against health code violations, and thusly I was banned for life and denied service even if I were to call in and pick up…..she even went as far as to cuss at me despite me telling her she should contact the ADA that what she was doing was discrimination and for the two cops in there? they took her side and said she was in her rights to tell me to get out, that she did not have to allow my pet in there. I agree that these people bringing pets in make it harder for people like me who depend on their animals…My guy even has a photo ID he wears so that they know (if they can’t tell by the vest)

  • KND

    As Someone who has a service animal they are allowed to ask me two things “Is this a service animal” and “What does he do” When I do take him into public he is appropriately marked, he has his harness and a vest with patches that say “I am a service dog” and “Medical alert”

    However today I faced massive discrimination when I was so rudely told to leave a restaurant here in Oklahoma. She did not care he was a service dog did not ask, said it was against health code violations, and thusly I was banned for life and denied service even if I were to call in and pick up…..she even went as far as to cuss at me despite me telling her she should contact the ADA that what she was doing was discrimination and for the two cops in there? they took her side and said she was in her rights to tell me to get out, that she did not have to allow my pet in there. I agree that these people bringing pets in make it harder for people like me who depend on their animals…My guy even has a photo ID he wears so that they know (if they can’t tell by the vest)

  • Jim T

    I was searching this topic and this thread came up so I thought I’d add my 2 cents.

    Here in Houston most business have signs up that say we reserve the right to refuse service.

    I think this would also apply to anyone that brings a dog into a place.

    Now for a business that does not serve food I think you can ask if this person if their dog is a service dog and if they say yes then you really shouldn’t question further. However if you are in a resturant then you should bring in your service dog with papers, clothing etc that lets everyone know 100% that this animal is needed. It just can clear up any issues from the beginning. At the same time I do believe that they can still say no to the animal.

    The laws are about access. You still have access just without your animal

  • Jim T

    I was searching this topic and this thread came up so I thought I’d add my 2 cents.

    Here in Houston most business have signs up that say we reserve the right to refuse service.

    I think this would also apply to anyone that brings a dog into a place.

    Now for a business that does not serve food I think you can ask if this person if their dog is a service dog and if they say yes then you really shouldn’t question further. However if you are in a resturant then you should bring in your service dog with papers, clothing etc that lets everyone know 100% that this animal is needed. It just can clear up any issues from the beginning. At the same time I do believe that they can still say no to the animal.

    The laws are about access. You still have access just without your animal

  • serenityadara

    As an individual with multiple disabilities, I require a service dog. I feel that asking “What tasks the animal performs for you?” is invasive and provides information about your disability that people have no right no ask.
    I fully support the registration of service dogs & would even pay for this service.
    Despite identification, vests and my cane, I am still hassled about my service dog because she is not a large dog. A large dog does not equal being able to perform a service to a disabled person. I have PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Acute depression, suffer from Panic Attacks and have difficulty dealing with people when I am out on my own. I am treated by a number of physicians. My dog provides me with the independence to be able to conduct errands that I previously had to depend on my husband for [who works full time]. People abuse “Disabled Parking Placards” more often then they abuse calling their pet a Service Dog. If you are disabled and try to find a place to park – and see someone with a huge truck, muscles and obviously running a business from their truck parked in a “Disabled Parking” place – that truly angers me. I am mobility impaired with a muscle disease and need to be able to park as close as possible to stores. I think there should be a special place in hell for the individuals who use “Disabled Parking Placards” when they are clearing able to work and are not disabled. Please think twice before hassling someone who has a service dog because really what inconvenience is that dog providing to you?

  • serenityadara

    As an individual with multiple disabilities, I require a service dog. I feel that asking “What tasks the animal performs for you?” is invasive and provides information about your disability that people have no right no ask.
    I fully support the registration of service dogs & would even pay for this service.
    Despite identification, vests and my cane, I am still hassled about my service dog because she is not a large dog. A large dog does not equal being able to perform a service to a disabled person. I have PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Acute depression, suffer from Panic Attacks and have difficulty dealing with people when I am out on my own. I am treated by a number of physicians. My dog provides me with the independence to be able to conduct errands that I previously had to depend on my husband for [who works full time]. People abuse “Disabled Parking Placards” more often then they abuse calling their pet a Service Dog. If you are disabled and try to find a place to park – and see someone with a huge truck, muscles and obviously running a business from their truck parked in a “Disabled Parking” place – that truly angers me. I am mobility impaired with a muscle disease and need to be able to park as close as possible to stores. I think there should be a special place in hell for the individuals who use “Disabled Parking Placards” when they are clearing able to work and are not disabled. Please think twice before hassling someone who has a service dog because really what inconvenience is that dog providing to you?

  • rsher

    So – where do you all stand on Companion Animals that are certified for emotional comfort?

  • rsher

    So – where do you all stand on Companion Animals that are certified for emotional comfort?