Service Dog?

And they wouldn’t have to.

In many cases, especially (but not only) for the blind, it is painfully obvious to even a casual observer that a service animal is performing a legitimate function. Just because we might issue a certificate or a placard does not mean that all establishments would have to actually ask to see it. It could be that, in a typical day, a disabled person might not be asked at all.

But having such proof would mean that, in cases where the establishment was uncertain, they could ask to see it, and this would reduce the instances of assholes who just want to bring their pet with them to the movies. At the very least, it would make it much easier for an establishment to remove an animal that was being disruptive or was clearly not properly trained to be in a crowded environment.

I cited a bunch of stories above showing that fake service dogs are a growing problem, and that even disability advocates are worried about the proliferation of such animals.

Sorry, that should have said “don’t” ask for your drivers license.

Do you think that disability advocate organizations have just not thought about pushing for a proof requirement?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s obvious that a dog is legit. Discriminating against disabled people actually is a thing that happens. No one should be forced to prove they are allowed somewhere. This would be used against disabled people.

Requiring people with disabilities to “prove it” would be a civil rights violation.

I’m not so sure that a “licensed” service animal would be a violation, though. It could be managed at the state level. In many cases a medical certification is required from a doctor to obtain a disabled parking permit. A similar certification from a legitimate service animal trainer, along with a medical certificate from a doctor should be sufficient for a state board to issue a certification tag issued by the state, just as the state issues driver’s licenses. Get caught with a fraudulent certification tag and the fraudster should be fed to the wolves.

Two years ago on a Portland OR city bus, a large “service” dog bit and killed a small “service” dog while the bus was moving down the street.

A good time was had by all,

No-one is being forced to prove they are allowed somewhere. They are being required to prove that their animal is allowed. Very different thing. And anyone who would use such a system against a disabled person is just as likely to discriminate under the current system.

It is not a different thing if you depend on that animal to get around.
Discriminating under the current system would be illegal, whereas if proof was required, it would be legal to discriminate. How is that just as likely?

Being disabled presents enough obstacles. Making it so people get to legally harass the disabled person and demand papers to prove their animal is legal would be enough to keep some people at home. That is not a trivial inconvenience.

No, it would not be legal to discriminate against disabled people. It would merely be legal to ensure that people who claimed that their animal provides a legitimate service were telling the truth. Nothing more, nothing less. If they can provide that proof, then everything else works just as it does now, with discrimination being illegal just as it is now. Pretty simple really. Sorry you can’t that.

There’s not really much point arguing this further with you, though. I’ve given citations showing that this is actually a problem, including actual advocates for the disabled (who, presumably, actually talk to and listen to the people they are advocating for) saying it is a problem. Some of the stories also talk to actual disabled people who say that the growing prevalence of fake service dogs is making their own lives harder. But i guess you know best.

Asking them to provide the proof IS the discrimination. Getting hassled and asked to show your papers is not nothing. I don’t think you’re really considering how that would actually go for the disabled person.
If masses of disabled people with service animals demand this ID thing, I’m sure it will happen, but so far that is not the case. Advocating “for” disabled people is not equivalent to passing along their actual opinions. Often it is well-meaning pushing for doing what someone else thinks would be best, plus most disabled people do no not have service animals anyway, and they’re the ones whose opinion on the subject would be most relevant. Before deciding this strategy is a practical way to protect them, shouldn’t you confirm that they would like for this to happen?

I’m inclined to agree with you, AnaMen. Disability advocates and people with disabilities helped to create the ADA, and it’s clear they wrote it intentionally to be as impact-less (I know, not a word, but I haven’t been caffeinated yet) on them as possible. And I can totally understand that.

I wonder if restricting the sale of the vests has been seriously considered. I know most people think that you have to have a “registered” and real service dog (yes, many things wrong with that statement) to buy the vests that identify them as service dogs. You don’t, but what if you did? What if, like certain articles of police uniforms, you had to present your dog’s license number to buy the vest? Still some burden, but not a daily burden. Still counterfeitable, but what isn’t?

I don’t want to unfairly burden those with disabilities, but it’s not really fair to burden shopowners, restraunteurs and people running public festivals, either. Some compromise is needed in a society, and the ADA doesn’t provide any meaningful compromise, as the staff is unable to verify the identity, training and vaccination status of the dog currently.

I mean, the bouncer doesn’t just take my word for it that I’m 39, he checks my ID. It’s not age discrimination when kids are kept out of nightclubs, and there’s a valid safety and legal reason why the information on my ID is needed to ascertain that.

I don’t see that it’s any less a burden than parking placards.
I have a disabled parking placard.
In California:
I have to have a doctor sign off on the application.
I have to carry the placard with me.
The placard isn’t valid unless I also have my ID papers with me.

Why shouldn’t it be the same for a service animal?
Ideally, if you are in need of a service animal, you get it from a (nationally) certified trainer* and the animal comes already registered with a vest that displays a placard. Papers can go inside the pocket with the placard.

*Or a state certified trainer and the placards are recognized by all other states.

Well, the ADA was amended in 2010 to specifically disavow “emotional support animals” – they ARE NOT service animals under federal law. That tells me there was a problem in this area. Under the ADA, a service animal is a dog (and in some cases, a horse) trained to do specific tasks. That’s it.

You cannot ask a person what their disability is or if the animal is “certified” etc. you can ask what specific tasks the dog trained to do. If the answer is “emotional support” they are not a service animal under the ADA and do not need to be accommodated. If the animal is a ferret, cat, or rabbit they are not a service animal under the ADA regardless of training. State laws may differ.

I can’t post links but if you google “ADA service animal” you should find links.

You get to hang up your placard and forget about it. Do you really not see the difference between that and being asked to present your placard on demand everywhere you go?

You don’t have to present the placard, it’s in the dog’s vest in plain sight.

The vest should have a clear pocket for the placard. Example.

I can make one of those that will pass a cursory glance by the end of today.
Obviously people are going to have to be able to examine the item up close or there’s no point.

You can do the same with a parking tag.

The thing with the parking tag is that if someone suspects you are parking illegally and have a fraudulent tag, it can be looked up. So you can get ticketed for a fraudulent tag. Right now, there is no equivalent system for service animals. What is being proposed here is a visual cue that “yep, my service animal is a properly trained service animal” - and a way for someone to double check that if behavior of the animal would lead them to believe that isn’t the case (like you might get checked on your parking tag if you get out of your car and then perform parkour all the way from your parking spot into the store - and yes, the tag and your reason might still be legal - yada yada, but the chances that the tag or your use of the tag is fraudulent go up - as does the case that your service animal is fraudulent if he takes a dump in the store).

Remember it’s to display a gov’t issued placard. if it’s similar to the parking placards, I doubt many would go to the trouble to make a fake.
There’s far more demand for parking and I haven’t found much in the way of fake placards being a problem.
Parking abuse is more a matter of fraudulently obtained or abuse of placards.

I’m not required to show my placard ID to anyone other than LEO.

Yes, this is exactly the sort of system i was proposing. This way, getting the placard would be a part of the process of getting the dog itself, thus adding virtually no time or effort at the stage of actually acquiring the placard.

I agree that, in an ideal world, where growing numbers of selfish assholes didn’t try to take their pets everywhere with them, we would not need to add this small step to the process of using a service dog. But the growing number of such assholes is evident, and is, if the stories i’ve read are to be believed, beginning to cause some problems for business owners and public accommodations, and for some members of the disabled population.


And, for these reasons, most disabled people would probably not be subjected to anything more than a cursory glance at their dog’s placard. The occasions where someone would actually ask to see the placard up close, and to verify its authenticity, would be largely restricted to cases where the animal was doing something to suggest that it was not a properly trained service animal.

One of my college students last semester had a service dog. This student had lost limbs (plural) to an IED during his time in Afghanistan. I’m not sure exactly what the dog did for him, but that was one of the best-trained animals i’ve ever seen. At the beginning of class, he would plop down by the student’s chair, and would sit there for the whole 75-minute class period without making a sound, and barely moving. It was pretty amazing.

Right, and another good way to discourage improper use is to wallop the frauds with a hefty fine. In California, or at least in the Bay Area, improper use of a disabled placard will cost you around $900.

A Bay Area reporter named Stanley Roberts does segments for the local news up there where he follows the police on various enforcement programs, and my favorites are the ones where they bust people using friends’ or relatives’ disabled placards. You can see a bunch of the videos here.

In this one, a couple of the people who get busted end up with almost two grand in fines: $935 for illegally parking in the blue zone, and $935 for improper use of the placard. And the placard gets confiscated as well. It’s truly awesome to see. One douchebag was using the placard that had been issued to his (now deceased) father.

Well,I’ve reported the “service dog” to Animal Control… Not because he’s a fake,because the dog is being dragged over the melting asphalt,not given water and truely not being treated right. 105f today,or feels like.

I agree that there are problems with a law that requires different treatment for a group while forbidding any meaningful way of verification. There may be some problems getting existing service dogs through the process, but I’m sure that could be handled.

Certifying trainers could be a bigger problem. I think it would be an important step in creating a credible and trustworthy system. But if regulation significantly reduces the number of training organizations, many disabled will have to wait much longer for dogs. :frowning:

Part of our* job as volunteer trainers is to bring the dogs into as many situations as possible, partly to desensitize the dog, and partly to “carry the flag” (educate the public, create positive feelings).

  • actually, my daughter and my wife do most of the work.

Service animals make it possible for some disabled people to function that would otherwise be forced to depend on other people. Anything that jeopardizes this is not okay.