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Fake assistance dogs?

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Mad Murphy, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    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?
     
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  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've heard of this happening - it's difficult, because some people have emotional support dogs, meaning that they have no visible disability but genuinely need the dog.

    Maybe there should be a law that they need to carry a card they can produce if challenged, just like producing proof of age cards when buying alcohol.
     
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  3. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have also seen this and its wrong as the people who need them probably will be denied.
     
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  4. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    It cannot be doing much assistance if it's having a ride in the trolley!

    Dennis would soon be found out if he had a fake vest on. You'd see me running like mad trying to get him out of the butchers or cheese aisle :D:D
     
  5. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think Olive would be fine as Olive has been in Tesco as I needed to do some tests to see how she would react, I did ask the security guard and he was fine with it, as long as I stayed away from fresh food and also food, so it was more in the books aisle and also clothing. I have lots of experience with assistance animals as when I was younger I trained one not professionally but in a home type environment like; go get the blanket, get the water, get my black sandal etc. It was for a friend who has a disability and she required an assistance dog for around the house as her weal chair wasn't able to move freely in and out door ways, so when she needed something she was always there. I can always tell when one is a fake and I will ask and confront them if needed.
     
  6. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    so long as the dog is well-behaved & the handler is otherwise following the rules [both of which were violated by the person with the fake-SD, in the OP], i can't get too exercised about it. :oops:

    If the dog is NOT well-behaved, even if s/he is a legit SD, the handler [or trainer] can be told by Mgmt to remove that dog - they cannot cause problems for employees or customers, they cannot knock over items or mouth them, they can't leg-lift or stool on the floor, they can't put their paws onto shelves or their faces into bins [UNLESS that is done to pick-up an item for their disabled handler], they can't bark / whine, etc.
    For ex, if the dog is trained to pick-up a change purse [which is much-faster & far-safer than having the dog pick up coins with their teeth], they probly need to brace their forepaws on the side of the checkout counter in order to reach - that's permitted. Similarly, it's OK for the dog to take ONE can at a time off the shelf, as directed by the handler, & put it in the handler's cart - but mouthing every can on a shelf is a no-no.

    If the dog causes grief to other customers, even if it's merely by being overly-friendly, they can be shown the door, or even barred from returning with that dog UNLESS the handler or trainer can prove that the dog is now reliably well-behaved in public. // The handler or trainer is welcome to come back, even the same day, without the troublemaking dog - but Mgmt is allowed to tell anyone to remove a badly-behaved presumed SD.

    So badly-trained or poorly-proofed dogs, whether legit or fake, are subject to banning - while well-trained & well-proofed dogs, whether they are genuinely needed for ADLs or are just there as company for the handler, are creating no problems.

    IF THE FAKE S.D. & HANDLER ARE FLYING IN CABIN ON A COMMERCIAL FLIGHT, they're taking up space that a legit SD & handler might need, & the legit team may be denied - 'cuz domestic flights have limits on "how many pets in-cabin" on one plane. // But someone who's legitimately transporting their newly-purchased puppy, or someone moving a long distance & taking their pet cat to their new home, can also bump a legit SD & handler team.
    So the problem is not "just" the fake-SDs, it's the airline bureaucracy & unnecessary rules. No, U don't want 10 SDs on a single flight - but what if those dogs are S&R, headed to an earthquake zone? // There needs to be flexibility, & most bureaucracies are as rigid as steel.
    Most domestic US-airlines limit the # of pets per flight to just TWO in-cabin, which i think is very petty. 3 well-behaved dogs cause no more trouble than 2, surely - & God knows, wailing infants or badly-behaved children are typically a helluva lot worse trials when we're trapped on a plane with them, than any number of well-behaved dogs! :eek:

    I'm not going to cross-examine everyone with a possibly-invisible disability who *might* be taking their pet dog along in public places; if they comport themselves well & are good ambassadors for SD teams, i can't get excited about it.

    - terry

    .
     
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  7. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Agree with you both..
    This country has rules about dogs in shops for hygiene reasons service dogs regardless of their type of work are excluded. My neighbour has been a puppy walker for years so I know that they should always wear a visible id and the owner /trainer carries a card. The dog in question was sitting in a cart designed to carry foodstuffs which other customers will then use to transport their food and it barked continuously..

    IMO its the arrogant ignorant people with fake service dogs who cause trouble for genuine service dogs and the people with disabilities who are so dependent on them..
     
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  8. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Don't want to get into a row but the 'hygiene reasons' are a pretty specious and usually brought out by some dog phobic jobsworth. We've had meals in restaurants with our dog under the table- and been prevented buying timber in a DIY place with a 10week old puppy under my arm. I'd never complain about a dog in anywhere- there are too many places where dogs are banned for no good reason, making life difficult for owners. Nor do I believe any genuine disabled person with an assistance dog would be hassled- it's illegal to do so.
     
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  9. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    @merlina Specious or not its the law and its to ensure everyone health and safety.. Ive worked in retail and Im sorry but what some people let their dogs do in supermarkets is enough to turn your stomach..

    Genuine is genuine, I'm talking about people who break the law because they think they can get away with it and they are exactly the reason so many places ban dogs.
    Its the same with leash laws , we have a very tolerant forestry commission, dogs are allowed off lead in loads of nature places with exception during breeding season.. But because some people think that rule doesn't apply and allow their dogs to run wild over breeding wildlife the whole system in in jeopardy and there is now talk of a blanket ban on dogs in order to protect the wildlife.

    (note I am not in the UK and other laws apply here)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  10. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Well 'it's the law' is usually brought out by people who have another agenda and are usually ill-informed. I've certainly been in a supermarket where a baby dripping with wee was lifted out of the trolley ahead- which is why I never use the ones with the child seats! Nor is it helpful to try and extend the thread to include wildlife problems. Lets just agree that some people have less social responsibility than others...whether with regard to dogs, children, parking, litter or anything else.
     
  11. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Agreed ...
    Sadly that is all too apparent..
     
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  12. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    I might be wrong but I thought allowing a dog in a shop was up to the shop owner (or so my butcher told me,)and not actual 'law' it just seems to be common practice not to allow a dog in as people get offended and complain.
     
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  13. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    "There is no law that prevents dogs entering premises – it’s up to the owners to decide whether to allow them in. There is a misconception in the UK that dogs are not allowed in places where food is served: this is not the case. The only legal obligation on the owner is to make sure there is no risk of contamination and that all food preparation areas are up to specified hygiene standards."

    Hope this clarifies UK law...my OH is an academic specialising in Heath, Safety and Risk Management- and we're often being told the law by people who don't have a clue!
     
  14. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    the U-S, of course, worships cleanliness, & taking things to excess is our specialty. :rolleyes:

    Here, the law very often bans dogs from many commercial spaces where no food is sold, prepared, or stored in bulk - for fear that they'll "carry diseases". :p My fellow humans, meanwhile, are the odds-on favorite in the race to give me something contagious, but THEY aren't banned!

    My Akita, as a therapy-pet, got full-body baths with more attn to detail, & was bathed more often, than many of my conspecifics. // I had to clean her ears, do her claws, wash between paw-pads, brush her teeth, etc... all this after brushing her entire body tangle-free to the skin, removing all loose hair, & bathing her thoroughly.
    On average, over her 4.5-year lifespan, she got a bath every 7 to 10-days.

    When she had emergency surgery for GDV, the vet-tech thanked me for "having her so clean" - I was apologizing, b/c it had been 10-days since her most-recent bath, & the tech told me she routinely preps dogs for surgery who may not have had a real bath in a year or more, yet they live indoors with their owners. // Blecch.

    - terry

    .
     
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  15. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    How can a pet dog get on an aeroplane as an assistance dog, when assistance dogs need documentation not just a pet passport....?
     
  16. Nanny71

    Nanny71 Well-Known Member Registered

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    A bit late with this but my sister in law has bought a dog pushchair for her dog because she says if it is in a pushchair it can legally go in any shop.
    I have tried to dispute this with her but she is insistent that is the law.
     
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  17. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've never heard that before @Nanny71 :eek:
     
  18. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think she is going to get disabused of that view very rapidly!

    I'm always surprised at which places allow dogs and which don't. I was denied access to Wetherspoons recently as I had Harri with me - they were mostly empty and he's very well pub trained. Luckily the pub across the street wasn't as short sighted and did very well out of us! They were much busier too (and not just with dog owners...).
     
  19. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    We were once told we couldn't even sit outside on their terrace - access was from the street so we didn't even need to go through the interior to get to it. Tonight we will be eating at the excellent Masons' Arms at Hopperton which is super dog-friendly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
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  20. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sadly many places have a blanket ban on dogs because of the bad behaviour of some.
     
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