Advocates Call for Accountability in Sale of Service Dog Identifiers
Posted on Aug 30, 2013
In 2011, the Department of Justice amended the Americans with Disabilities Act to restrict the type of legally protected service animals—meaning service animals who must be allowed to accompany their owner into almost all public buildings with a minimum of questions from staff—to dogs. Furthermore, the definition of a service dog was limited to one that is “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”
This came in the wake of several cases where individuals claimed that other animals, including snakes and monkeys, were assisting them with disabilities and should be afforded the protections of the ADA.
Now, Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), the largest service dog breeding and training program in the United States, is calling for the department to again revise the ADA to stop the unregulated sale and use of fake service dog products.
There are no regulations on the manufacture or sale of gear that will identify a dog as a service animal. A number of retailers offer a full range of products—including fake vests, badges, and ADA cards and documents—to any consumer who wants them. Because of this, a number of people are using fake gear to get untrained pets into airplane cabins and public buildings where they aren’t allowed.
CCI has started a petition with a goal of 10,000 signatures. To learn more about it, check out their website.
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