service dog question

A week or so ago we had a thread, which I can’t find now, on service dogs, and yay for them, too. But I wondered what everyone thinks of this story from today’s local paper: Couple with dog denied service. AFAICT, the woman, who is handicapped, went into the store with her son. The man, who is not handicapped, entered the store with the dog and went to the food court. The dog was not wearing a harness and is not certified as a service dog, so there was no way to tell that it was a working dog. He was asked to leave and kicked up a fuss, but could not prove that the dog was working.

The couple is now planning to sue the Kmart and is apparently happy that the man was actually arrested, since it will make their case stronger.

Is it just me, or is this a blatant abuse of laws for the disabled? The couple is being staunchly defended by the local advocates for the disabled, but I can’t see their case. The dog wasn’t with the woman, it isn’t certified, and as far as Joe Schmoe at the Kmart could tell, the guy was bringing in a random pet from who-knows-where and refusing to comply with health laws. Someone please explain this to me.

Hey, Mom we can make some money by suing Kmart. Take Fido’s harness off, you go in separately from him and I’ll take him to the food court. When they throw Fido and me out we can sue for big bucks because they discriminate against the handicaped.

I think that the family is crazy and I hope they lose the lawsuit.

The besides not be certified the “service dog” wasn’t even a dog. A three month old German Shepherd is still a puppy.

AFAIK, all service dogs in training are identified as such with a brightly colored harness stating the name of the training organization. Usually, the person training the dog is identified as well.

A service dog is the priviledge of the disabled person, not an able-bodied member of the family or other companion.

Sounds like a scam to me, and it’s disappointing because it will only hurt those who use companion animals appropriately.

We’re on our third service dog in training. You do not take your
guide dog puppy into stores or restaurants without her jacket. (She’s too young for a harness.) You are also given a letter from the Health Department saying that it is okay for her to go into restaurants.

As far as I can tell, the dog in this case was not in training. I don’t quite see how a puppy is a helper, except being soft and cute. Anyhow, you do training for a reason - to teach the dog how to behave around people and other dogs.

I agree that it is a scam. The people who supported them should be ashamed of themselves.

My partner and I intend to train service dogs when we move to our farm in a couple of years. Voyager, how will it work with our own companion dogs and service dogs in training? I’d appreciate your input. We are communicating with a training program, but your experience would be so valuable.

I have to agree, this is a scam. They should be ashamed.

I have lovely customers who have service dogs who are better-behaved than most of the humans who come into the store. One young dog, Buster, just can’t resist picking up a Beanie Baby from time to time, but we forgive him.

Hi summerbreeze. We have a pet dog also, and that’s no problem.
The group we get our dogs from does a home evaluation first, and you also puppysit a few dogs for practice before you get your own. They actually like other dogs in the house, since dog distraction is a big problem for some of the dogs. We’ve never had a problem with treating them differently. Service dogs never get treats, only eat out of their bowl, and are never supposed to go up on furniture. None of our service dogs ever seemed to comprehend that they could ever get food while we are eating, since they never started.

Most of the businesses around here, especially our supermarket, are really good about our service dogs - and they have had accidents.

Hope you have a good time with yours.

From the link in genie’s OP:

Looks like he was looking for something to “use against” K-Mart and his own stupidity got the better of him. My guess is that he didn’t have any problem the last time he entered the store with the dog because (a) he didn’t take the dog into the restaurant portion of the store and (b) he didn’t start making a ruckus. The only thing the charge against him’s going to strengthen is K-Mart’s likely “no trespass” order against him!