Fake and poorly trained “service dogs” – you’ve probably seen them in airports and grocery stores, on public transportation, in restaurants and hotels – can interfere with the life-saving work that legitimate Service Dogs perform for their human partners.
NEADS is committed to doing everything it can to help our working Service Dog teams navigate the world without worry. That means educating the public about what it takes to create a legitimate Service Dog and advocating to stop this epidemic of Service Dog fraud.
Here in Massachusetts, we’re doing our part through our support of H3657, An Act relative to the misrepresentation of a service animal, filed by Representative Kimberly Ferguson. We are currently requesting signatures for a petition in support of this bill.
We believe H3657 is important because it will discourage pet owners from identifying their dogs as service dogs in order to obtain special status by presenting the dog as a Service Dog or Service Dog in Training, thus allowing them to obtain the rights and privileges afforded disabled persons accompanied by Service Dogs, but unavailable to people and their pets. Plus, businesses will be better prepared to protect the public and legitimate Service Dog teams from aggressive, untrained, poorly trained and/or unsound pet dogs. Removing untrained dogs from public venues will help restore the credibility and safety of highly trained Service Dogs and their disabled partners.
If you have questions about the issue and/or the House Bill, please contact us for an interview or additional information.