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Home > Dogs and the Law, Florida Animal Law, Working Dogs > The Problem with Fake Service Dogs

The Problem with Fake Service Dogs

August 17th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments
Fake Service Dog ID

Fake Service Dog IDs are Easy to Come By

Recently, as my husband and I were waiting to board a plane from Atlanta to Tampa, we noticed a young woman walking around at the same gate.  With one hand, she held a cell phone to her ear.  With the other, she held a canvas bag.

Hanging limply in the crook of the woman’s cell phone arm was a tiny Chihuahua with a pink, rhinestone-studded collar around its neck.

We watched the woman for fifteen or twenty minutes as she walked back and forth carrying on her never ending phone conversation, all the while clutching that sad looking little dog, its back paws dangling as she gripped it by its stomach in the crook of her arm.

Finally, my cynical husband echoed my own thoughts as he remarked, “Just watch.  She’s going to claim that is a service dog so she can take it on the plane.”

Sure enough, as she boarded the plane, the woman flashed some sort of laminated card and, without further inquiry, she went to her seat.  By then, the little Chihuahua was stuffed into the canvas bag.  Cell Phone Lady was still on the cell phone.

Phony Service Dog IDs

Of course, I cannot say for certain that the woman I saw was not disabled.  Many disabilities are not readily observable to strangers.  And I can’t say for sure that the sad looking little Chihuahua hanging there like a rag doll was not a service dog, trained to help the woman with whatever disability she suffered from.

But, given the look of the entire scenario, it did raise my suspicions, particularly as the dog had more of an appearance of an unwilling and not very well-cared-for accessory than an animal trained to assist someone with a disability.

And there have been a number of disturbing stories in the news recently about nondisabled dog owners trying to pass off their pets as service animals in order to gain access with their dogs to restaurants, stores, restricted housing, public transportation, and other areas where dogs would not otherwise be permitted.

Fake Service Dog IDs are Easy to Obtain

Fake service dog vests, ID cards, certificates, and other indicia of legitimacy are readily available for sale on the internet for anyone who wants to spend a little money.  The problem is, these fake service dogs and their owners are doing a disservice to people with real disabilities who use trained animals for legitimate assistance.

On top of just plain fraudulent behavior, these phony service dog handlers:

  • Often fail to properly clean up after their animals;
  • Frequently bring animals that are poorly trained or badly behaved into establishments; and
  • As a result, give legitimate service dog handlers a bad name.

Florida’s Definition of a Service Animal

Under Florida Statute § 413.08, a “service animal” is defined as “an animal that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability.”  This broad definition includes animals (not necessarily just dogs) that are trained to perform such tasks as:

  • Guiding a visually impaired or blind person
  • Alerting someone who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • Assisting someone in a wheelchair
  • Assisting with mobility or balance
  • Alerting and protecting someone with seizures
  • Retrieving objects
  • Performing other tasks as needed

Florida law specifically provides that a service animal “is not a pet.”

Florida Law:  Penalties for False Service Dog Credentials?

Service Dogs are Trained

True Service Dogs are Trained to Help Their Disabled Owners

Florida law provides that a person accompanied by a service dog does not have to provide documentation that the dog is trained as a service dog.  An establishment may, however, ask if the animal is a service animal, and may ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform in order to determine whether the animal is really a service animal or just a pet.

And the establishment may exclude or remove an animal from the premises, even if it really is a service animal, “if the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others.”

Although there are criminal penalties for people and companies who deny or interfere with the accommodation of a disabled person accompanied by a service animal, Florida law does not appear to provide any penalty for persons who fraudulently seek accommodation through the use of an animal falsely identified as a service animal.

How to Spot a Phony Service Dog

Wayne K. Roustan in the Sun Sentinel reports that the best way to determine whether a dog is a legitimate service dog is to observe its behavior.  Real service dogs:

  • Do not appear restless
  • Do not jump or bark
  • Will obey the disabled owner’s commands
  • Will perform tasks
  • Will lie down passively when instructed

It is a disgrace that any nondisabled dog owner would try to gain an undeserved accommodation for their pet by passing it off as a service animal.  Real service animals perform valuable tasks for their disabled owners, and several years of often very expensive training can go into making a dog a true service dog.

Nevertheless, as long as sellers are willing to sell, and owners are willing to buy, phony “credentials” for pets, all with apparent impunity, the practice of unscrupulous pet owners passing their pets off as service animals will continue.

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  1. August 11th, 2013 at 18:32 | #1

    any responsible dog owner, will train and socialize the dog accordingly, otherwise it will eventually get put down and should be if it is in any way a threat to children or others. That is why everyone that is able and well suited for it should have a license to carry, and should carry, to prevent the very few irresponsible who do not take proper methods with their dogs, my 12 pound dog was almost ripped in two by a pretty woman child psychologist’s two rottweilers, while she stood there and did NOTHING. The child phychologist was ostracized from the small town where we lived and had to move away. My dog is alive and happy but has a few enlarged disks in her back and skips when she walks now. It is this type of person who ruins everything. Who cares if a dog is carried in a bag? It’s harmless. Get a grip.
    sara corbin´s last blog post ..The Problem with Fake Service Dogs

  2. August 11th, 2013 at 18:34 | #2

    People who love their dogs do not want to subject their dogs to the torture of cargo travel, you sound like HITLER!
    sara corbin´s last blog post ..The Problem with Fake Service Dogs

  3. stacy
    September 26th, 2013 at 13:07 | #3

    I think you and your husband should mind your business more and not be so quick to make judgements on others. (If you have a problem with me saying that, then you can understand why others may have a problem with you writing this article.) Some people have emotional issues and their dogs serve that purpose to assist them in that way.
    Like you said in your article, you cannot say it was fake, and from the looks of it, this person actually had something to back up her claim. Just leave it be. Don’t cause problems for dog lovers who may just want to keep their scared dogs from luggage falling on them and possible sickness due to the cargo compartment temperature differences etc. Perhaps it will serve a better purpose for you to look into the number of deaths that have occurred to pets traveling in the cargo area, and write on that.

  4. Polly
    September 29th, 2013 at 06:44 | #4

    She doesnt need a card to bring her dog on bosrd. Was this your first time on a plane, too? Or do you live under a rock? Airlines allow small dogs in cabin for a fee, so People like the woman you saw paid to travel with her dog. Why is that a problem? Dogs in the cargo die by the dozens each year, and sirlines encourage in-cabin travel for small dogs to avoid problems. We live in europe and return to the US 1-2 times a year and have to bring our dog. It is a lot of stress for our dog snd us, but its more stress to leave it with an unknown kennel owner for 3-4 weeks. Wake up people.

  5. Kim
    October 5th, 2013 at 13:23 | #5

    Seth, I am reading Frankie the Law Dog’s blog for the first time. I want to say that your response and comments are the most intelligent, thorough, and correct.It reminds me of people that give me the “evil eye” when I park in a disabled parking space. Even though I put my disabled placard on the rear view mirror, because I am younger ( not that young!), people look at me like I am doing something illegal. I don’t know why people are so quick to judge others when we are all just trying to make it in this world.

  6. Kim
    October 5th, 2013 at 14:03 | #6

    @Jenine DiConti
    Jeanine- you make the best point! It’s not like any of us are tripping over service dogs everywhere we go!!!!

  7. Joninaweeks
    October 25th, 2013 at 11:33 | #7

    I believe the laws are different for a dog that is to serve an emotional handicap which is different than the disabilities a service dog does. I know people who are afraid to fly and dog calms them. They probably have a doctor validating this. Not uncommon. Also, I do know you can pay for your dog to be on board.
    Frankly, I think this lady and husband need a life….why they would be so obsessed with a lady and little dog and start thinking negatively right away.
    What do they think about passenger that sits next to them: has not washed his/her hands, is emotionally unstable, has a contagious illness, has extreme body order, has to constantly go to the bathroom, etc. etc. etc. I much rather have little dog on the plane.

  8. Sharon
    October 29th, 2013 at 19:24 | #8

    I recently took one of my dogs with me on an airplane as a Psychiatric Assistance Dog. I needed to get to my mother quickly as she was very ill, and when she got out of the hospital would need my assistance, and alot of it. I have PTSD, and severe depression. Neither are 100% debilitating. But, I discovered that this dog (I have 6), (I also live in the mountains with a lot of land for them, so please no jabs about the amount of dogs)has some special ‘skills’. He seems to ‘sense’ when I am building to an anxiety attack, or sinking into depression. He comforts me when these things happen. He helps me when I have flashbacks in a way that Im not sure I can explain. While I did not need his assistance while travelling, Im not afraid to fly. I did need his assistance when I reached my destination. He kept me from countless ‘meltdowns’, seems to know when Im having nightmares, and was helpful when I was taking care of her 24/7, and getting very exhausted and irritable. His presence helped me to stay calm, which then helped me to provide better care to my mother. The lady with the Chihuahua very likely did pay for the dog to travel in the cabin, otherwise she would not have had the carrier. An assistance dog of any kind is not required to be in a carrier of any kind in the airport or on the airplane. Ive seen many animals carried in the terminal then put into their carriers prior to boarding.
    My dog and I were received well everywhere we went while travelling. TSA wasnt too sure what to do with us, but thats a whole different situation!! I only encountered one negative remark of a woman who I was going to sit behind stating in a not so nice tone of voice ‘doesnt that have to be in a cage??!!’. I politely explained not when he is an assistance dog. Also, please note that I never called him a ‘service’ dog as he is not one. He is an ‘assistance’ dog. He doesn’t wear a vest that identifies him as a ‘service’ dog. He has no special ID, although I plan on making him one for safety reasons should we somehow become separated.
    The point is that Psychiatric Assistance dogs, and Emotional Assistance Dogs are new, and are becoming more common. As we become more educated in what they can and cant do. Or what they are required to do, and not required to do. Also where and when they are allowed to accompany their ‘human’ there will be less ignorance and confusion regarding this issue. Just as when “Service Dogs’ came to be, there was confusion and questions.
    I have not paid any of these websites to register my dog, and never will. I see no point in just making them more money. I followed the law in my state and the rules required by the airline I traveled on.
    So please, before you judge, get all the information. Most people with any type of assistance dog are more than happy to tell you about their dog. Although, service dogs who are identified by the special harnesses and patches should never be approached unless in an emergency as they are focused on working. ‘Assistance’ dogs are not considered ‘working’ in the same sense as ‘Service’ dogs.
    Thank you for your time. And, please, don’t bash me for utilizing a resource that helps me function better in society. PTSD and Depression are very real and can be very debilitating illnesses. If an animal (some people even have assistance cats) helps someone like me get through the day with less panic and less medication, that should be a good thing. And please, don’t judge without knowing all the information.

  9. Mary Frances
    November 17th, 2013 at 03:35 | #9

    What people are missing here amongst the declarations of sentimentality for all dogs being treated the same is this…Service and Guide dogs are WORKING DOGS. They are not pets. They have been bred and trained to provide legitimate assistance to people who can not provide the same services for themselves. When these qualified dogs are working, whether it be on an aircraft or in a grocery store, their focus is on service to their handler. If confronted by a dog that is not trained, the legitimate service dog and its’ handler are put at risk as these dogs are NOT confrontational nor are they prepared to defend themselves. In addition, the cost of a certified training dog can exceed well over $100,000 much of which is paid for by insurance or donation by the training organization. The purpose of these dogs is no different than dialysis for renal patients or oxygen for people who cannot breathe! The presence of certified animals is not out of convenience but rather, a need for survival just as any other tool or medical supply would be..

    As a twenty year crew member for a major American carrier, I can tell you that the abuse of this has gotten out of control. No one knows the laws so thy think they can abuse them willy-nilly! Emotional support are NOT covered under the protection of the ADA – LOOK IT UP! Yes, you can bring your dog or cat on board for a fee but now it is a rarity AT BEST, if we ever actually have paid pets on board. Every dog and cat is suddenly a SERVICE PET seen in an array of vests (never a harness like the real working dogs!) some even home made! People are putting their “beloved pets” at risk as not every dog is prepared to handle the restrictions placed upon it by aircraft conditions. Uncertified dogs are rarely prepared for flight in that their owners do not know restrictions prior to flight to best insure your dogs well being. All of these so called service dogs are getting on and vomiting, urinating and defecating on floors and seats and cry or incessantly during all phases of flight as NO REAL SERVICE DOG WOULD DO. Illegitimate owners are unfamiliar with the standards of real service and guide pets and their erratic behavior indicates this. The FAA is being inundated with complaints from crew and passengers alike regarding this subject and all updates indicate that unless there is an absolute resolution or compliance from passengers that ALL PETS will be put in the belly of the aircraft and the opportunity to pay for a pet in the cabin will be revoked.

    Sentimentality is no reason to LIE or CHEAT the system and put LEGITIMATE service animals at great RISK. Little knowledge is obviously a HUGE hazard and sadly the animals, qualified or not, will be left to pay the price for their owners neglect and abuse of the laws in place.

  10. Deb
    December 27th, 2013 at 13:45 | #10

    More and more people, especially vets, are suffering from PTSD. Dogs have become the most effective way of helping cope.
    I don’t mind dogs being anywhere as long as they are trained, well-mannered, and in the company of responsible handlers/owners/guardians.
    I have seen some thoroughly obnoxious dogs being passed off as service dogs when it is blatantly obvious that they serve no purpose whatsoever.
    I hope I never have to fly again myself, but putting a dog in the cargo area is often a death sentence.

  11. Lee Branscum
    February 5th, 2014 at 23:18 | #11

    I just recently got out of the army where I served two tours to Afghanistan as a medic. I saw good friends die in combat. Held one of my best friends as he bled. When people look at me they see a healthy 25 year old male. What they don’t see is my nightmares. My constant guard. My fears of people I love dying. My anxiety in crowds. My inability to connect emotionally with other people. My dog keeps me stable. My dog has been the reason I haven’t killed myself. And it’s taking a lot for me to spill my problems on this page but people like you. Red to be made aware that some people can’t function in society without their do and my dog is not just a service dog. She is my pet my friend and my companion. That dog will do anything to keep me ALIVE and I would do the same for my dog. So before you jump to your own conclusion of what is and isn’t wrong with someone, look in the mirror remind yourself that you’re not a doctor and you sure as hell have not seen the nightmares that me and my fellow soldiers have had to endure. That chihuahua might be the only thing in this entire world keeping that poor woman alive. You and your husband need to get your heads out of your asses and wake up to that fact that this world is full of pain and heartache and some of us lost our families to the life we endure and not all of us can have the white picket fence you are so blessed with. From a soldier who defended your freedom speaking on behave of soldiers who do the same everyday. Wake up.

  12. DK
    February 13th, 2014 at 07:47 | #12

    Dogs are far more emotionally connected to their families than humans are. It is something to be admired. It is the dogs who are unhappy when they are left home alone. Not the humans so much.

    The wrong doing in society in your country is that dogs are discriminated against, and kept out of restaurants, hotels and safe and comfortable airline cabins. I live in Europe and it is wonderful that my dog can go shopping with me, to any restaurant, on weekend getaways because hotels are not a problem. He is so much happier for it, because he loves to be with his family.

    As for flying, have you ever heard of a dog dying in the plane cabin..the answer is no.
    Have you heard of dogs dying in the hold? Yes. Several thousand per year sadly.

    You are a cruel and heartless person to suggest that it is wrong for anyone to find a way to keep their most loving, loyal friend safe and happy. You should feel ashamed of yourself for saying that only the most highly trained dogs should be treated with respect and love, and be guaranteed safety.
    This is Racism.
    Shame on you.

  13. MiniMouse
    February 19th, 2014 at 22:41 | #13

    Ok. So you are not fully wrong, but there are some people who go online to register there dog not knowing it’s fake who do have disabilities, and there dog is very well trained. I do not believe that the dog seen was a real service dog, but don’t think the worse of everyone just because of this one women. Sometimes it’s the only way for someone who needs a service dog to keep there TRAINED dog.

  14. March 10th, 2014 at 20:23 | #14

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  15. March 17th, 2014 at 17:26 | #15

    The problem is if she wasnt disabled she is hurting people like me that really do need and have a service animal. Thanks to people like this I’ve had local business turn me away even though the federal law states they can’t. One incident in paticular I went to a gas station and I had my service dog trainer with me at the time. Told us we could not bring our dog in and he said I had to have ID that the dog was a service dog. The dog had a vest on and he was a trained service dog. The owner then even after being educated on the fact it was a real service dog and of the federal law called the police. The police officer said that because the state law says they can refuse service to any one without reason we had to leave. Not wanting to cause any more fuss we left but later called the sheriff and told him the officers name who has been reprimand because he was in fact in the wrong and I had ever right to be there without question. I also filed a complaint with the ADA. But again it’s people that buy fake id’s or even buy a vest online and pass off their pet as a service animal that cause’s people like me to have these issues. I am glad someone is looking at for people like me and telling these stories because it does happen way to often.

  16. Dee
    March 21st, 2014 at 14:03 | #16

    I have been thinking of just using our dog as an emotional service dog for our son, who is 15 and has autism, depression, and severe anxiety. Why? Because in order to get a true service dog, we must raise a ridiculous amount of money ($14,000). I am disabled from mental illness. My son is in such bad shape this year we had to put him on medication and so are pouring money into mental health care and prescriptions. We do not have the money for a service dog, nor does my husband have the time to go somewhere and have it trained to do what? The very same thing our dog can already do-provide our son with emotional help. But I do not want to have to deal with jerks like the person who wrote the above blog, who take a look at someone and think they know what the situation is. All it would take is one nasty word from someone who thinks they know everything to set my son completely off and have the situation be even worse than it is without the dog. Why do people have to be such know-it-alls who can’t mind their own business?!

  17. Alie
    March 24th, 2014 at 21:43 | #17

    I am dumbfounded by these comments. If you need your dog for survival, then train it to be a service dog. You don’t have to pay anyone anything if you have the brains to train your own dog to perform tasks. Otherwise, you are thumbing your nose at both the law and those people with disabilities who have trained service dogs. I trained my own dog and he passed a legitimate certification test through a very reputable organization. I have never been asked for credentials because it is very obvious that he is a trained service dog. My dog has been attacked twice by fake service dogs and we have been put in jeopardy several times by untrained dogs barking and jumping at them. He is a Chihuahua mix who walks on the ground on all four legs, because he cannot perform his work in a bag . I watched a blind woman pulled down the stairs when a fake service dog went after her guide dog.

  18. Linda U
    March 31st, 2014 at 00:24 | #18

    I agree with Sharon as I have something similar. Our dog has been in cargo, it was a complete nightmare starting in trying to understand cargo rulings and where to pick up our poor dog up once we reached destination (he was covered with his own feces) which turned out 1/2 hour away from terminal but had to wait 45 min, before his crate arrived. My mom who is 92 would love to meet our new dog, and due to my trauma over a number of things, and her hospice care, it would be a blessing to arrive with our dog NOT in cargo. It’s all Sharon was explaining. I have been on flights that have had service dogs and even army dogs and I completely understand both sides. Can you believe people would NOT move on one of my flights to accommodate a dog and army guy handler just back from Afganistan except for me!! PLUS $$ wise, if I did acquire an emotional support credential for our dog, I could help my mom and not be out about $400 in kennel fees or $400 in cargo fees. It’s a catch 22 really. Heck now they allow pot belly pigs and monkeys as emotional support animals!

  19. Linda U
    March 31st, 2014 at 00:28 | #19

    PS I have looked into service dog training and emailed a number of places. In my area, they don’t offer training year round. I was so dismayed! I want to do the right thing, geez these places near me won’t even evaluate my dog anytime soon !

  20. Yo mama
    March 31st, 2014 at 18:45 | #20

    You sound like you collect social security and watch MASH. Dude play another crossword and eat your ZERO bar. U have way to much hate time to post this lame O. If your 12 year old grandson saw this he’d probably call you gay. And I will be getting one of these harness for my chihuahua because my mastiff is just a little bigger that my 3 lb chihuahua. I’m OUT Bia.

  21. Angel
    May 27th, 2014 at 19:18 | #21

    @Dee I don’t know why you cannot be prepared to train your own dog to help with support of your son. You don’t have to be physically fit to train a dog, nor do you need a degree. What certification did you get to have your son to begin with, or raise him and take care of him? Who qualified you to have children? Sounds stupid when someone asks the question that way. You didn’t need permission or a special education to get married, nor to have kids. Why would you need the same to buy a dog, raise a dog and train it? Same difference. If the dog is not aggressive, is well socialized and balanced – all you would have to do is polish up the basic commands and try for a good citizen test which are free at humane societies – they pretty much tell others by the certificate that the dog is obedience trained and knows how to be with people without being threatening or overbearing. I don’t see why people insist service dogs costs tens of thousands of dollars. We’re not talking guide dogs. We’re talking service dogs – other than guide dogs. What makes your dog not elegance to not become a service dog? If it is aggressive and has bitten then you shouldn’t be keeping it around your son or family. If it is well disciplined and well behaved then there is no reason it cannot become an ESD or service dog. A dog does not need supernatural magical powers to be able to follow direction and be a comfort to someone.

  22. July 16th, 2014 at 08:22 | #22

    Holy cow, thanks very much for posting this! It is going to be so helpful when I am thinking about going to Carmike Jefferson Pointe 18 IMAX in Fort Wayne! I am from Doylestown so I am not familiar with Fort Wayne. Next time I visit my family will be so much better! Rad!

  23. NB
    July 18th, 2014 at 03:11 | #23

    I just want to say that I completely understand that this blog is going on roughly 3 years old, but I want to post some things. Clearly, I’m like every other person on here who thinks that the blog poster is completely idiotic. You know, I would like to say that you shouldn’t judge somebody, but lets face it- we live in America, we all are quick to point others out but forget to make sure our own back porch in cleaned… However, to the blog poster- I would like to know exactly how you know that the fancy collard dog being held by the cell phone blabbing lady, was in fact not a service or support animal? As others have mentioned, a dog who assists you doesn’t have to be trained in a thousand and one different commands. And, you say she was talking on her phone like no other, ever stop to think that the lady had extreme paranoia about flying and just perhaps may have been trying to talk to a friend/relative to keep her mind off of the flight? And, just happeningly (if that’s a word) she was holding her dog while on the phone. Well I mean you should stop and consider those two facts alone. My advice, be happy I wasn’t there because I’ve been raped twice since I was 16 months old, and molested for months on end by my uncle. I grew up with daddy issues, I was a victim of bullying every single day of school from kindergarten on up, watched my uncle serve in Afghanistan and Kosovo only to come home and die for yours and your husbands freedom to sit in that airport and judge like no other… im a victim of domestic abuse from my ex husband, aunt and her ex fiancé… need I keep going more? So do you think that I’ll walk up to you, introduce myself, and we’ll be best friends? No. I’ve had a “married into the family” uncle threaten to, “beat me within an inch of my life and have no problem paying $100 to get out of jail,” as he stated it and a grandmother grab a gun and bullets and threaten to blow her brains out in front of me (and 7 other family members)– so you know… I live life free as a bird! NOT! I live my life in constant fear that I will be killed by my uncle, or somebody in general… I’m scared shitless of the night time, any window bigger that about 9″x9″, being home alone at any time of the day to the point I am brought out to the living room at 4:20 am when my fiancé has to go to work (because that’s the room that I can see all the other rooms around me in to know if I have an intruder)- and I do not move off of our couch until he gets home at about 4:15pm. I hold my urine and feces in, I don’t eat- nothing.. When people are around me, I do get on my cell phone- I call my mom or dad or fiancé, because its my comfort. It makes me think that nobody will hurt me because im on the phone, right? So if I quit responding somethings more than likely wrong- so call for help. and it makes me feel that somebody will less likely approach me for a conversation. But I also want my dog, because he does lunge at people to get them away. My fiancé and I have to crate our dog so we can hug or otherwise our dog will profusely scratch him and latch his teeth around his arm to pull him away- but we taught him that. Why? Well if I don’t want somebody around me, a bark isn’t going to do much-but if I ask you to back up, and you refuse- I just have to tell him to “Get Him” and the dog attacks. I feel its YOUR fault if you choose not to go away when I feel unsafe, I gave the warning. I also suffer from not only Paranoia- but PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, et cetera et cetera. You get my point. So in the heat of an anxiety/ panic attack- my dog licks my face repeatedly to bring me back to. In specific- he licks my nose and my mouth so that I’m forced by nature to take deeper breaths and shift my focus on figuring out how to breath rather than focus on my trigger. And I could be all smiles and looking completely normal- but all it takes is for a stranger to get way to close to me and that can send me into an attack- if I went into an attack I know for damn sure your not going to know what happened and why im acting the way I do- but if my dog is around- its seconds and hes on me trying to get me to quit. So all I have to say, is you don’t know me, and I don’t want you too- because I think your a piece of shit. You and your husband both. I think you two are a poor excuse to the human kind and I hope that one day you BOTH will need a service animal and that you are judged like no other. I hope that I can be the first one to stand in a line and laugh you both in the face. Because yes, I AM that sick and twisted and YES I do set off EASILY. And yes I do take meds, get counseling, and have been to that famous ‘ol second floor of the grand hospital 3 times. So excuse me while I put on my stiletto’s, throw my long blonde locks up into an up-do, grab my Louis Vuitton tote, put on a mini dress, and jump in my Infiniti g60 coupe and race off to the airport where I need to catch an emergency flight to an ill family member. Don’t Judge 😉 I look fine, but I’m one massively suicidal and homicidal person without my dog! Oh and did I tell you that I have a small Louis Vuitton wallet with a wrist strap that I attach to my dogs collar that I have my Ativan, Zoloft, Abilify, Trazadone, Valium&& Effexor(psych meds) in? and Don’t worry my dogs a boy and he too have a black collar with rhinestones and he’s usually wearing a Louis Vuitton bandana around his neck. So, I guess JUST because of that, he’s a fake? Right?

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  25. R. Rose
    August 26th, 2014 at 17:23 | #25

    @sara corbin You are breaking the law. Just pay the extra fee and don’t lie about having a legitimate service dog.

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  28. September 22nd, 2014 at 11:31 | #28


  29. September 22nd, 2014 at 11:33 | #29

    i have an emotional support dog because I suffer from severe anxiety in chlostrophic space. when flying i use my service dog status to bring my dog on plane with me as he is like my xanax. Putting pets in cargo is incredibly CRUEL!!!!!!!!!! However, i livein nyc and see people abusing the serrvice dog world for thier own selfish reasons. There is no law as of yet as to what is legally a service dog, but i refer to my dog as my emotional support animal and do not share the website or organiztion to swhihc i get my regustration for service dogs from as that is how it is abused
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  33. October 26th, 2014 at 13:29 | #33

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  34. mmi
    November 20th, 2014 at 11:41 | #34

    @sara corbin
    you must have a fake

  35. mmi
    November 20th, 2014 at 11:42 | #35

    you must have a fake or you wouldn’t be so defensive!

  36. mmi
    November 20th, 2014 at 11:49 | #36

    July 18th, 2014 at 03:11 | #22 This post should be removed. It’s offensive and off topic not to mention excessively long.

  37. Debby
    December 13th, 2014 at 17:15 | #37

    I bring my chihuahua everywhere and he has flown many times for a price in cabin.
    The only issue I have is that I pay a lot for him to ride under the seat and he is still classified as one of my carri-ons.
    That is so wrong!!!!!but what can you do

  38. Gayle
    December 24th, 2014 at 01:41 | #38

    Get’em girl! You have my vote!

    I am a 100% service connected disabled veteran with PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and Insomnia.

  39. Concerned
    December 29th, 2014 at 13:50 | #39

    I’m surprised at all the misinformation and irrational thinking that went into many of these comments. Small (contained) animals are allowed on the plane, for a fee. Emotional support animals are only referenced in Housing Codes: not in the Disability Act.
    What a shame that people subject their pets and subject others to situations that are not only illegal, but in many cases: uncomfortable for the pet. I would hope pet owners would treat their pets as family and attempt to provide the most appropriate, safe and loving situations.
    All of you with misinformation about Emotional Support Service Animals:

    Housing Laws provide for Emotional Support Animals; not the ADA.

    ALSO, while you’re at it, research how much training is put into a REAL service dog. Would you really want a dog at the feet of an owner (a child), in a restaurant…..growling and lunging at each passerby? Consider that the dog was a “pet” for 9 years and then, a 10 year old watched a YouTube video and trained the dog for 2-3 weeks, bought it a vest and ID card online and now takes the dog out in public.
    A disgrace to real Service Animals and the people who need them.

  40. January 16th, 2015 at 20:03 | #40

    I agree. You can bring small dogs on the plane but you have to pay for it. In fact, they are much better if they are hand carry with their owners rather than storing them into a cargo or crate somewhere below the plane. It’s unhealthy for them!

  41. uhh
    January 26th, 2015 at 18:20 | #41

    Emotional Support Animals are different than Service Dogs. ESA’s are for people with mental disabilities, as service dogs are usually for people with physical disabilities.

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  46. Sess
    June 22nd, 2015 at 00:24 | #46

    I am very concerned for the future of this country after reading these comments. Is reading comprehension really dead? ADA law is quite clearly written, with no fancy legal jargon, for the average dummy to comprehend. It’s stupid-simple to google. It hasn’t changed since (I believe) 2010 or 2011… and we’re now halfway through 2015. (Yes, I realize that early comments were made a few years ago, but if there were any changes in ADA since 2011, they were minor and revised only regarding going back to disallowing any species other than dogs to be lawful “service animals” and/or covered by ADA.)

    Only dogs can be lawful “service animals” – and those must be trained to perform tasks for a disabled person which s/he cannot to for her- / him-self. Other species than canine may qualify as “emotional support animals”, but ESAs aren’t covered by ADA. “Therapy animals” are a third and separate entity from either of the former. The latter also aren’t covered by ADA, nor are they necessarily accepted where ESAs are.

    What is wrong with fake service dogs? Besides lying (morally wrong) and committing fraud, possible perjury, and breaking public health and housing laws – ALL crimes of varying degrees – you are putting your so-called beloved dog in grave jeopardy. Yes, those who think they’re doing their dog a favor by lying to keep it out of cargo areas are, in reality, risking losing your dogs to law enforcement I confiscation from which you might, or might NOT, get it back. Guess what happens to the majority of such dogs? They get put down as “unwanted” if they aren’t re-homed in a short period of time, just like any shelter dog! Think it can’t/won’t happen to your dog? Remind yourself that when you’re crying and it’s too late. I have seen it happen! I do a lot of animal rescue work. Setting all this aside, it is still wrong because you are making it more difficult for a genuinely handicapped American who might benefit from the services of a service dog to be able to properly use one. Don’t think for a single second that all business owners follow the law; just like you lawbreakers, business owners often disregard the law, and get away with it.

    I was fortunate enough to get up out of my supposedly permanent wheelchair, after the better part of a decade of being totally wheelchair-bound. I learned, all too harshly, about life as a disabled American. Many non,-disabled Americans can be very nasty! One sicko stabbed my first service dog in her anger because the airline attendants didn’t allow her “service duck” that “[kept her] from killing people all the time” aboard our flight, but they were going to let my dog board. I had to put my dog down, and I had to maintain silence through a gag clause in order to reach a monetary settlement that came close to “making me whole” (the legal term for nearly getting enough money to hit break-even point towards getting another service dog already trained. I didn’t have time to wait a few years to find & train. one for myself. The only thing that kept ME from going postal was that, in order to make her restitution to me for another dog AND to npay my own medical bills that stemmed from her vicious attack, was that she lost her house, which was sold by Court order, to pay me. My local post office (a town with a population of 30,000) is still not handicap-accessible; neither is our City Hall. It is 2015, isn’t it? 60% of the corners in our town do not have handicap-accessible curb cuts for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Someone in our city government must have something really good on someone high up in the ACLU, because the ACLU has never deigned to return here to check up and see if the town made good on promises to remedy the situation. I can walk again, thanks to God and to the clowns who have been running this town for the past two decades. If not for being driven to a few suicide attempts by untenable life here, I would never have forced my body to walk again.

    I still need a balance dog (mobility dog), and he has been caught in crossfire that is common here, but we now will be gone in three more weeks. I can’t wait for Moving Day! My dog laid down over my body to protect me after the gunfire started and I dropped to get as flat as possible, and when it was all over, he’d been hit by a bullet, but he’s ok now. I don’t think the same institution would actually let me have a fourth dog in eight years! I’d be afraid to test that, anyhow. lol

    So, those of you asking what’s wrong with abusing the legal system so your pampered little pets can travel with you, rather than using either a good boarding kennel or a good pet-sitter, can now, hopefully, understand a bit better that it is simply wrong – both morally and legally – to be a piece of selfish human filth interested in only your own ease and totally uninterested in people who cannot live quality lifestyles without the assistance of their service dogs. Try to be decent, and not make life harder for those who are not blessed with healthy, able bodies.

  47. July 14th, 2015 at 12:52 | #47

    I have had a medical alert dog, which had seven months of obedience and scent training. I realize trained service dogs are terribly expensive (used my life savings) , but is worth every penny as she has saved me from life-threatening episodes by alerting me prior to an emergency.
    I had heard of abuses, but this site shows how prevalent it has become in the U.S. –The flight attendant above told of many examples of poor dogs behavior with no training. I’m amazed how many people openly acknowledge they lie to gain access; even when it’s against the law. The law is to protect all of us against dogs who have no obedience training and training for different environments.

    It is my hope people will take the steps and only bring thoroughly trained dogs on flights, restaurants, theaters, and other restricted areas. I am afraid all the Illegal dog’s bad behavior in restricted places will result in law abiding qualified owners losing the right, if this current non-qualified dog owner attitude continues.

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