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. Service Dog fraud (people trying to pass their pets off as trained Service Dogs in public) makes the world harder for both people with legitimate disabilities and the trained animals who work for them. Because there’s widespread misinformation about what kind of legal protections exist around service animals, the scam is easy to get away with.
Fake service dogs can endanger public safety. Worse yet, by distracting legitimate Service Dogs, they may even harm the very people the legal protections for service animals are meant to help. Recognizing places that are welcoming and accessible and educating businesses about their rights and the rights of people with legitimate Service Dogs through the Red Vest Accessible program can help alleviate this situation.