I am on the fence with this policy in general. I do not retain ownership of the dogs that are certified through SFGSSD. Although I do not retain ownership of the dog I do have the right to not recertify any dog that no longer meets acceptable tolerances in accordance with the guidelines of this company. We do check up on our clients quarterly throughout the year and re-test for certification on an annual basis. We also encourage our clients to contact us immediately if any performance issues surface so we can address and correct them in a timely manner. If the client chooses to not heed our advice and the dog fails recertification as a result, it is the client’s responsibility to bring the dog to acceptable levels of performance for certification by SFGSSD. In either case we do not use the threat of taking the dog away from them. I feel that is to emotionally tolling on the client.
However, there are organizations that use this (*Leased* we will take the dog if you don't do what we say) clause as leverage to mask their own negligence. That is what I have a major problem with in regards to this policy. If the client is being negligent... well... I can see why this can be viewed as acceptable policy. But I do feel "taking the dog away" in most situations is to emotionally tolling on the disabled handler. This is why we will not take the dog but we will not recertify the dog if they (The handler) are the ones that messed the dog up and refuse to comply with our program guidelines. *NOTE Certification is NOT a requirement of Federal law to legally be considered a Service Dog in accordance with the ADA. I do feel that a certification process backed by the Federal Government is in order to clean up a lot of the questionable mess that goes on in regards to Service Dogs. The suggestion of a Federal (License/Certification) is met with a lot of resistance from the owner trainer crowd even with some Service Dog organizations. I guess if I had or was producing questionable Service Dogs I would not want to be accountable either.
This is getting a little off topic. I appriciate your input and there is a discussion in the Service Dog forum about policy of SD orgs Owner trainers etc. Please join us there
Very true, it does suck that they can take the dog away. But that's just a fact of life that some of them do have to do that. I think you should only do it if the person is being really negligent though, and that's probably less than 1% of service dog handlers. I'm guessing the large majority is so thankful to have the dog that they treat it better than some of us treat ours.
With regards to federal regulation...it would help, but the reason people don't want it is that the government doesn't do things well. They get input from a small minority of "experts" and then they do things the way those experts tell them. So...they would pick an organization that is doing things one way, and try to get all other organizations to do things that way. They could really care less about the cost or benefit of it. Plus...its just one more thing that the tax payers will have to pony up for and to tell you the truth, I see better ways of spending tax dollars than hiring service dog regulators for the whole entire United States that would go around testing dogs.
Don't know if you've read through the "responsible breeder" bill or whatever its called and how wrong the government was in that one on what the majority of this board would feel is a responsible breeder. They pretty much wanted to make all dogs used for breeding living like farm animals. So something that was meant to stop puppy mills, would actually just put a lot of good breeders out of business.