KOMO News’ Jeff Burnside reported yesterday that the number of complaints about fake service dogs could set a record in Washington this year.
The crux of the problem is that the American Disabilities Act (ADA) requires no test or certification for service dogs, and a number of websites can provide fake service dog credentials (for a fee of course).
To show how easy it is Burnside goes to one of these websites to get service dog credentials for his dog Roscoe (who was rescued from the Olympic Animal “Sanctuary” in Forks, WA).
For about $60, Roscoe got a badge, a photo ID, and a registration card from workingservicedog.com.
Burnside also clears up the confusion that people have between service dogs and therapy dogs. Service dogs “perform real tasks” for people like detecting seizures or picking up items their person drops.
Therapy dogs simply provide comfort and support for people. A good example would be the dogs that people bring to hospitals to visit patients.
The ADA allows people to take their service dogs anywhere, but it doesn’t apply to therapy dogs, which can only go where all dogs are welcome like All The Best Pet Care or Nordstrom in the Seattle area.
The biggest fallout from the increasing number of fake service dogs is that the people who really need them get hassled or turned away by business owners who are tired of getting scammed by people with fake service dogs.
I understand that people want to take their dogs with them everywhere, but trying to pass them off as service dogs is selfish and illegal.