Advocates fight against fake service dogs

The problem is that now that people bring their "Service dogs" into public, blind people can't get into places they normally would be able to 10 years ago. Not without all sorts of hassle.

Sorry to ask, but exactly how is this happening? With the ADA business/property owners and employees are required to allow the SA in; the only questions allowed are "Are you disabled?" and to name two things the animal is trained to do to help with the disability. That's it, they can't event ask you to have the dog perform those tasks. The ADA is so lax like this to prevent that sort of hassle, embarrassment, or discrimination, is it not?

So now when blind people go into public with a super highly trained dog, people start questioning whether or not that person is actually blind!

That's ridiculous. Why would people doubt an extremely well-trained service dog, especially for someone with a generally obvious disability such as blindness? I'd only be suspicious if the dog wasn't trained.

Seems like we would benefit from a national or international certification that would require passing a PAT - with a registration for the SA that would not include the owner's disability, but instead the certification signed by a reputable source that has verified the animal/owner's SA team status (such as the owner's doctor, a trainer certified in SA training such as yourself, whoever witnessed the passing of the PAT and issued certificate - someone that would be held responsible in addition to the owner in the event of a forged certification).

As someone who works in the industry of guide dogs, what direction to you think we should move toward to help prevent the increasing abuse of the ADA? More penalties to those who pass their pup for false SAs, penalties to companies that provide current, unregulated, and unofficial registration - despite the fact that real SA teams can also utilize these services under the current act (such as getting simple vests, etc.) - or work toward a regulated, official certification and registration program?

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