Fake Service IDs for Dogs Concern for Disabled Community

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Jake Sprowl, an eighth grader in the Shawnee High School Marching Band, stands at attention behind his cymbal as “Dot” his service dog sits close by Wednesday during practice after school. (Photo: Bill Lackey/Staff/Dayton Daily News)

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Staff Writer Chris Stewart, Dayton Daily News, has written a powerful article about people taking advantage of the Americans with Disabilities Act by purchasing fraudulent certifications and vests for their pets so they can pass as service animals.

While some people may see “no harm,” in this, the ramifications are huge for those in the disabled community who require the support of their service animals to manage their daily lives.  Service animals are specially trained, going through rigorous courses often learning to recognized and alert on the physical changes of their owners in the case of seizures or migraines. They are focused, dedicated, hard-working animals with upwards of two years of training before they are paired with an individual and the two begin to train together.

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Karen Shirk, founder of 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, said the non-profit’s service dogs have trained for a year or more to not only help mitigate a person’s disability but also to become acclimated to any number public settings. (Photo: Chris Steward/Staff/Dayton Daily News)

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Unfortunately, because there are those who want their own pets to go everywhere with them, they will find a way to acquire something that looks official as a way to circumvent rules and restrictions put into place for the safety of everyone. As a result, those who do have legitimate service animals are often put into poor light or challenged, particularly anyone whose issue may not be readily apparent, about their service animals because of others.

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Konrad Feldmann’s service dog Liza was alongside the 19-year-old from Liberty Twp. when he voted recently for the first time in this year’s election. (Submitted/Dayton Daily News)

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An cited example, one of many, in Stewart’s article talks about the exhibition of horrible behavior, such a dog climbing up on a cart at a grocery store to get at food.  The owner’s command of “sit down,” was contrary as it was comprised of two very different commands. “Sit,” meaning the dog should sit on its hindquarters and “down,” meaning the dog should lay down on the floor.

Karen Shirk, Executive Director of 4 Paws for Ability, offered an impassioned and insightful view, stating “If is infuriating that they (people who purchase fake IDs) would take advantage of something that’s meant to make our lives easier,” referring to the ADA laws.

 

 

While we all love our pets, the purchasing of fraudulent documentation and materials is not in the best interest of those for whom the ADA was created, and there must be action taken against the sale of these services which are clearly aimed at taking advantage of a situation while padding someone’s wallet without care, consideration, or regard for those this sad state of affairs is impacting.

Please take a moment to read the entire article by Stewart, Fake service dog IDs used to travel with pets – Fraudulent practice concerns those with disabilities.

 

 

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