Two of the largest problems in the service dog training business are the scam of registering your dog as a service dog and passing a dog off as a service dog. There are scam companies that will register your dog for a price, and scam people who claim their dogs are service dogs to fraud their way into places their pet doesn’t normally have access to. I am going to address both today, and in the near future blog about Service Dog criteria under the law.
First let’s address the registering companies. There is not a legitimate registration for a Service Dog. The Americans with disabilities Act prohibits a requirement for registration of a Service Dog. Note I said dog because the Code of Federal Regulations declares that only dogs are service animals for the purpose of allowing access to Business and Public services. While miniature horses are mentioned as service animals the law doesn’t include them under the open access clause of the Act. I’ve looked at five companies, two of which are obviously the same company using different names, as the sign up form is exactly the same and the dog is registered in the same database. Except for one company none of them required anything but your name the dog’s name and your money to be added to their private data base. A listing that means nothing and apparently cannot be searched by anyone, even the people who foolishly pay to have their dogs listed. The one company that does ask if you actually have a disability and if your dog is specifically trained to assist with that disability has only check boxes for you to confirm these things. No court is going to take that as a certification that your dog is a legitimate Service Dog. If however you wish to send me $50 and a picture of your dog I will provide you with a photo id with lanyard and a certificate of registration to my private database.
Then there are the people who think if they have some ID card on the dog or a vest or collar they can get access to anywhere for their pet, or sue the business if they are refused entry. To the people who put a vest on their pet so they can get it into a no pets allowed hotel I give this warning; you are committing fraud. You are using a federal law to foster your fraud, which means you can be criminally prosecuted by both Federal and State Governments. Plus you’re a scumbag because you’re amorally using a disabilities law. May you rot in the h e double hockey sticks of your choice. If you think you’re going to catch some business in a civil suit and make some money think again. You will have to prove 1. You have a qualified disability. (under the ADA) and 2. That the dog is trained to aid in that disability. If you think you’ll slide by with a “ I am training my own dog.” You will still have to demonstrate to the judge how. Then the judge will decide if you’re full of it or not. God help you and your attorney if the judge decides your case is frivolous.
Next blog what the law actually says. You can look up the ADA at www.ada.gov