Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Squealing Pups and Shameless Fraud

I must share this video of a 4-day old litter of future service piglets puppies and their wonderful mama (thanks to the doting grandma for sharing).  Who knew the milk bar would be so noisy?

I also want to share this article about service dog fraud (thanks to Elin for sharing).  In addition to the problems mentioned in the article, I would add that the fraudulent service dogs are actually endangering the public and the legitimate service dogs.  What's the solution, though?  Should the policy that prohibits asking for proof of service dog legitimacy be revoked to protect those who actually have proof, which would simultaneously intrude on their privacy?  What are some other alternatives?


  1. haha, that video always makes me smile, no matter how many times I see it. Siena is a great mom and pups are gaining weight like gangbusters!

    As for the service dog fraud - how about a universal "badge" or jacket that a service dog could wear? Something easily recognizable and non-duplicable - visible to the public, so the person who is disabled would not be questioned? Tough one - I think I'll go back to looking at puppies :-)

  2. It is such a great video. I'm so glad you took it! I watched this morning and Sophie totally freaked out and ran all over the apartment trying to figure out where the noise was coming from. It sounds more like murder than itty bitty puppies.

  3. I don't think it sounds like murder at all, they sound very happy, and that is one pretty mommy!

    Regarding the article, I agree with Maria that there should just be a simple, universal badge/ID that can either be worn by the dog in a visible fashion, or worn by the person in a visible fashion. Of course, such IDs are always subject to being illegally fabricated themselves, but I don't think that would be a major issue.

    To me it feels a lot like having a driver's license and getting carded for buying alcohol. Security guards can use their best judgment to determine if they think a particular dog belongs or not, and if they need to they just would have to ask, "May I see your dog's ID" or w/e. I don't think it would be particularly rude or intrusive, it wouldn't have to have revealing information about the person's disability or anything, just an ID that says "Yeah, I need a dog here."

  4. Difficult subject to find a solution for.....the ID badge may sound simple, for those who get school dogs...The difficulty comes in for those who train their own dogs. Do they really want the government involved in regulating what qualifies as a service dog, the breeds that can be used, what the dog can be trained for, if the person is qualified to train their own dog etc.. etc.Not from what I've heard...

    But then I wrote about this a while ago on my blog...What Does a Service Dog Look Like

  5. Erin, I read your post too. I totally agree with you that not all service dogs are "Lab size." It totally depends on what is required to mitigate the disability.

    But I think there should still be some sort of service dog registration. How hard can that be? Maybe it can be through the localities - where I live, one has to go to town hall for either a dog license or a handicap parking permit. I don't see service dog registration as any different. As a matter of fact, a handicap parking permit requires a doctor's note. I think registration of a service dog should require the same - a doctor's note stating that the service dog mitigates the disability by doing x, y and z for the disabled partner. I don't think there actually needs to be any certification process - but all parties - doctor and disabled person - should sign that what they are attesting to is the truth and that they could be liable for fraud/prosecution if they knowingly lie.

    Then getting back to my original idea, registered dogs should be issued some sort of universal publicly visible service dog insignia that they are required to wear - just like they are required to wear a rabies tag or dog license. Something on the order of a handicap parking permit - it is visible and universally recognized - only obviously something that a dog would be able to wear. We don't want to hang anything like a handicap parking permit around any dog's neck!

  6. Maria, I totally agree with you. All dogs in NYC need to be registered with the Department of Health, which means showing proof of vaccinations and spay/neuter. In return, the DOH keeps track and helps find lost dogs wearing their ID tag. You could have a similar registration procedure for service dogs, that required physician proof of service dog need.