Target: California Department of Justice
Goal: Implement harsher punishments for those falsely presenting their dogs as service animals
Dog owners love their pets and will often take their dogs with them wherever they go. This is usually not a problem, but some dog owners in Northern California are taking things out of hand by falsely claiming that their dogs are service dogs. Some individuals even go so far as to purchase fake service animal vests and ID cards for their dogs. Harsher punishments must be established to discourage pet owners from doing this.
Service dogs play an extremely important role in the lives of their owners. Most people who have service dogs rely heavily on their dogs to give them independence. Their dogs help them do everyday tasks that would be difficult to accomplish by themselves.
It is unfair and selfish for people to falsely claim that their dogs are service animals. The right to own a service dog is reserved for people who truly need those dogs to help improve their quality of life. Pet owners who do not have disabilities should not be taking advantage of someone else’s disadvantage.
Fake service dogs can be dangerous to real service dogs. Service dogs are very submissive and would have no way of defending themselves if another dog were to confront them. Also, untrained dogs can distract service dogs, making it difficult for the service dog to focus on the tasks at hand.
Unfortunately, little action has been taken against this issue because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was created to help protect the privacy of individuals with disabilities; establishments cannot interrogate an individual about their service animal even if they suspect the animal to be a “fake.”
Sign the petition below to urge the California Department of Justice to crack down on individuals who falsely present their dogs as service animals.
Dear California Department of Justice,
Numerous individuals in Northern California (and throughout California as a whole), have been falsely presenting their dogs as service animals. Some individuals have even purchased fake service animal vests and ID cards. Harsher punishments must be established in order to discourage pet owners from doing this.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it difficult to question individuals with fake service dogs, other measures can be taken to crack down on these offenders. Under the ADA, businesses and establishments cannot interrogate individuals about their service animal even if they suspect that the animal might be a “fake.” I am urging the Department of Justice to establish a knowledgeable and neutral organization in order to identify legitimate service dogs. After this organization has been established, it would be easier to take action against individuals who falsely present their dogs as service animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Pets Adviser via Flickr