RadioBDC Logo
Let It Happen [Driscoll Mix] | Tame Impala Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

Dog owners seek VIP treatment with service dog scam

Posted by Kristi Palma  March 5, 2014 11:51 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

A service dog scam that gives dog owners VIP treatment at airports and businesses is enraging the service dog community and has resulted in an online petition to the Department of Justice.

It turns out it's pretty easy to go online and order a fake service dog vest for your dog, put it on him, and then enjoy all the perks that come with it -- bringing your dog to animal-free places such as restaurants, cutting security lines at the airport, flying the dog for free, etc.

Find out more in this WTMJ video.

Mobile users unable to view the video, click here.

How is this happening?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you cannot legally ask someone for proof of a disability or for proof that their service dog is legitimate, according to the WTMJ report.

The scam is frustrating the service dog community, which worries that pets posing as service dogs who act badly are creating a stigma for the disabled. A dog trainer in the above video calls the scam a threat to public safety as well, since the untrained dogs could pose a threat to people or other animals.

Judging from this Florida woman's tweet, she has felt threatened:

Businesses in California say the service dog scam is a growing problem, reports

An online petition to stop the sale of counterfeit service dog vests and certifications has been launched by Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that provides trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities.

The organization wants federal regulators to block the "alarming number of Internet companies that sell assistance dog vests and identification to anyone who wants to purchase them."

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

About Pet Chatter

Fun information about pets of all kinds as well as tips for keeping your pet happy, healthy, and safe. Let's talk pets!
> Pets is the place where Boston-area pet owners can connect, featuring local pet news, pet-friendly services across New England, discussions, your pet photos, and more.

Browse this blog

by category

More community voices

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street