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Show Dogs passed as Service Dogs

1379 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  scannergirl
It is a problem that seems to be growing and for some reason acceptable by a segment in the show world. Purchase a cape and claim the dog is a SD so it can fly in the cabin with the owner. The reason for this and one I was told directly, "It is too valuable of a dog to be treated like a common pet."

This topic is on my mind at this time as on another post the subject of PSDs and flying came up (and yes a PSD is a real SD and thus can fly in the cabin) and an incident that happened to me just recently.

About 3 weeks ago I spent a couple of hours on and off on the phone making sure that a PWD had all in place so that she could fly with two dogs -- her SD and a SDIT. The SD flew in the cabin with her and we put the SDIT in a crate and flew it as a pet. I would like to mention that the airline personal that I dealt with were very very helpful and if fact even went so far as to waive the cost of the SDIT flying both ways. And again yesterday, I recontacted the airline to confirm that all was in place for her return flight.

I helped this individual gather up current Health Certs., rabies certs, and documentation for both dogs and additional showing the ongoing training and evaluations of the SDIT. We had all the t's crossed and i's dotted for sure. And then come along people that go on-line and order a vest with a patch that says Service Dog and waltz onto a plane like it is their due. To make it worse they then laugh about how they get away with it and encourage their show buddies to do the same.

And now just this week I was approached by an "upstanding wellknown" member of the community who is involved with showing dogs and he wanted me to help him so that his show dogs could fly in cabin with him and his family. He didn't see the harm in it as his dogs are well behaved and "many people do it."

I tried to keep calm but he was hitting a sore spot with me. I have had money offered to me "just to sign a little piece of paper" to those just expecting me to agree to help them out because they have special dogs or that Fu-Fu doesn't like to be alone. They can not understand why I get upset. What part of illegal / against the law / not a nice thing to do in my answer don't they understand?

And yes, people doing such things does make it harder for real SD teams. Just a couple of years ago most of the airlines were planning on charging PWDs a whole adult fare for their SDs to fly in cablin with them and in some cases wanting a SD to fly in cargo because of so many problem "service dogs" that were showing up.
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I agree. You should have to show more than just a vest with SD on it to have a dog fly in the cabin. There should be more formality and paperwork involved with claiming you have a SD.
* It is recommended that persons using an animal for assistance carry appropriate identification. Identification may include: cards or documentation, presence of a harness or markings on the harness, or other credible assurance of the passenger using the animal for their disability.

TSA Website link on Service Dogs

If certain individuals keep passing off their dogs as SDs and yes the word is getting back to the airlines then the part of "credible assurance" may soon be gone. And we all know of fake services, such as S---, over the Internet that will register in their worthless registry a dog as a Service Dog, SAR Dog, etc. for a fee of $35 - $50. sight unseen. Just send in the money and you will receive an ID card and a certificate. Of course they will also for a price assist you in purchasing a cape and patch or a harness.

People will continue abusing the system and making things harder for real teams until the penalties are enforced more frequently.
That's just plain rude. Like parking illegally in a handicap spot.
I wonder too since service dogs are so well trained and would not pose a problem on a flight.... if other, fake service dogs might, and cause a problem for everyone else.
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