Demand a Crackdown on Sham Service Dogs

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Target: Dr. David S. Buckles, Ombudsman for the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA

Goal: Intensify regulations on service dog vests in order to prevent consumers from buying the vests for non-service animals

Service dogs are an essential aid to people with disabilities, and in order to protect them, it is essential to intensify the regulations of their vests. Currently, anyone in the general public is at liberty to go online and purchase a service dog vest through major retailers such as Amazon. It does not matter whether or not the dog is actually a legitimate service dog, owners are able to purchase service dog vests to be worn on their animals. The end result is that owners of ill-behaved non-service dogs can sneak their pets into businesses, at the expense of legitimate service animals. Service dogs are specifically trained to fulfill their medical duties, and interactions with ill-behaved dogs can negatively impact them and prevent them from doing their jobs. Sign this petition to increase the regulation of service dog vests and allow real service dogs to do their jobs.

While a number of measures can be taken to crackdown on sham service dogs, the most effective means would be to require a prescription in order to acquire a service dog vest. This additional regulation would be administered by the FDA and prevent individuals who do not actually have service dogs from acquiring the vests that designate them as such. This is a small change that can make a significant difference.


Dear Mr. Buckles, Ombudsman for the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA,

The problem of sham service dogs is one that has progressively intensified over the years. The complexities of the issue make it difficult to address. Currently, there is no formal certification that a service dog needs to be issued in order to prove that it is a service dog. As a result, vendors of service dog vests are legally able to sell the vests without requiring that formal certification be shown.

While a temporary solution to this problem would be to request that vendors be more mindful of whom they sell the vests to, this is not a sustainable solution. There will always be some vendors who are willing to sell the vests without checking the legitimacy of the service dog, if they are not legally bound to do so. Rather than require service dogs to undergo a certification process, or require vendors to check the legitimacy of a service dog before issuing a vest, a more effective solution would be for the FDA to require prescriptions for service dog vests to be distributed. Please consider this suggestion.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credot: Sarah Kathyn Frey via Flickr

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