As most of us know, guide dogs are allowed any place where their owners are, because the dog is part of its master’s travel. These particular service animals are welcome in restaurants, in stores, and on all forms of transportation. Guide dog users are also allowed to have their animals at home with them, even if the landlord forbids dogs. It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that his dog is out of everyone’s way and doesn’t cause a disturbance.
While the guide dog is purely defined to everyone’s satisfaction, there seems to be a trend in society which allows other animals to become service animals. While there are more medical diagnoses today which support the need for service animals by people who didn’t qualify for them in the past, there are those who take advantage. Recently, airlines have complained that pigs, kangaroos, and other animals have traveled on their planes, and have been passed off as service animals. Perhaps the passenger has anxiety issues, is depressed, or maybe just wants her pet with her. No one knows unless there is a proven medical reason for these additional animals.
Should we investigate this sudden increase in service animal usage, or should we as a society recognize that there are additional medical diagnoses that we have to deal with, making additional service animals a reality to accept?
I’ve heard horror stories about what some animals do, whether they are real service animals or not. Some have been known to relieve themselves in restaurants and on airplanes. Could it be that the owners didn’t apply proper training, or are these people simply passing themselves off as service animal users without knowing all there is to know? We should still continue to educate on this subject, because I feel there isn’t enough awareness.
About the Author
Bob Branco resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is a self-published author of four books. He is a community organizer, tutors persons with visual impairments, and has written columns for local and international organizations. Bob’s web site is www.dvorkin.com/robertbranco/.