I was in my local Lidl on Thursday and the whole time I could hear a dog barking.. I mentioned to my daughter that it seemed to be coming from inisde the shop but we couldnt see anything. As we rounded the aisle near the cash desks sitting in a trolley among the shopping was a largish dog! I would guess the size of a 6 month lab..It had no vest or working harness on just an ordinary collar and lead and was with a perfectly able bodied woman.(here all assistance dogs owners/trainers have to carry a pass and the dog must wear a recognisable approved vest while working) I spoke to one of the lads on the tills pointing at the dog and saying 'sorry but thats not allowed' His reply was curt 'yes it is its an assistance dog' I said 'ok but it still shouldn't be in the trolley with the food' He just rolled his eyes at me and by this time I was getting the stink eye from other customers ,a 'how dare you say anything about an assistance dog' kind of thing. So I walked away but at home I looked up the rules for assistance dogs and although they cannot be denied entry to shops except butchers shops, I was right they are not allowed to ride in the trolley. I contacted Lidl NL and they have been very good in their answer confirming that the dog should not have been in the trolley and that they will be having words with the staff at this shop about how to recognize an assistance dog and the rules surrounding them. I was shocked when I was looking up the rules to see the amount of incidents concerning fake assistance dogs and people who order assistance dog vests online (yes they are available) and pretend their dog is a assistance dog just so they can get away with taking their dog everywhere with them! I know there are more assistance dogs around now than there used to be simply because its recognised how helpful it can be to have a dog in all sorts of situations, (my grandson is severely autistic and he responds really well to their cat and their dog.) So Im not against assistance dogs just the fakers.. I never realised before now how widespread the problem is. I know we would all love to take our dogs with us to all sorts of places where they normally cant go but is it ever justified to fake assistance dog status to achieve it?