Service dogs and feelings of ‘entitlement’

I came across this video on social media back on December 20, 2018. This is a great example of people’s feelings of ‘entitlement’ these days.

Regardless of whether the dog is a service dog or just someone’s pet, you absolutely DO NOT have the right to pet the dog. If you ask, and the person says NO, accept it for what it is, and press on. They do not owe you any explanation. By continually questioning, simply because you do not accept the answer, as the woman in this video is doing, is interfering in the dog’s training. When did we as a society become so rude and condescending, expecting that we are able to do whatever pleases us? Another thing that gets a ‘burr under my saddle’ is this feeling of violating one’s privacy by demanding that other’s not video you. You are in a pubic place, and as such, you have no expectation to privacy. Anyone has the right to video record you or anyone else, provided you and them are in PUBLIC.

As for the rules governing service dogs, you must check with your particular state and local codes, to know exactly what is the law. But the basic law, comes from Federal legislation, under Ada.Gov.

And with that, I want to also state, that police dogs and Search & Rescue dogs are NOT Service dogs. There are numerous handlers that I have encountered, that believe they fall under this same law. Certain businesses or agencies may very well allow these other highly trained dogs access, but that is a PRIVILEGE and not a right under the law. A privilege can be withdrawn at any time, without any notice or explanation. But the law is the law, as long as the handler’s dog is a legitimate Service Dog.

Under the ADA legislation, only dogs and miniature horses are recognized as service animals. Additionally, the dog MUST be trained to perform a task or tasks, that assist the owner with a documented disability. But an owner is NOT required to provide any documentation on either their disability or the dog’s training, and the service dog is NOT required to have any sort of certification. Emotional Support Animals or Therapy animals are NOT service animals, as they are not required to have any training. As such, these animals do NOT have any PUBLIC access rights afforded to them.

A service animal, when out in public, will pay strict attention to his handler. He will not be sniffing products, jumping on counters, or pulling his owner around the store/area. If the animal does this, then he is not a legitimate service dog. Additionally, the handler must have control over the dog at all times, and the dog must be on leash.

Trainers of service dogs will often take dogs out into public areas, for the exposure that is necessary in the dog’s training. The same rules and courtesies apply to SDITs, but businesses are not legally required to allow dogs in training that public access. The ADA law only applies to “certified” (see above, re: certs), service dogs that are already trained and in place working for their handlers.

Service animals are WORKING animals, not pets, and as such, the public must refrain from attempting to pet, talk, distract, or otherwise interfere in any way, with the dog’s work or training. To do so, could very well have drastic implications for the disabled handler. And in many jurisdictions, this may also carry a fine or a misdemeanor charge for the offender.

For more information on service dogs, please visit ada.gov at https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

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