Use of Phony Service Animals on the Rise Nationally


Unfortunately this is an expanding phenomena and people additionally seek to elevate “companion dogs” to the same status as “service animal.”

(From NY Post)

I borrowed my mom’s wacky golden retriever/poodle mix “Hampton’’ for a day to check out The Post’s recent report that dog lovers are decking out their pooches with phony vests and fake ID tags to get them into fancy restaurants and shops.

The first stop for our party of five — Hampton and four human pals willing to lie for him — was Orsay on Lexington Avenue.

Hampton — showing off his phony “service dog’’ patch we had specially embroidered — happily slobbered as he wolfed down an 8-ounce salmon filet.

The 3-foot-tall, 70-pound pooch showed his appreciation of the cuisine by pawing nearby tables and jumping on their occupants — as a manager nervously looked on.

“Does he have papers?” a grossed-out patron asked while Hampton strutted through the dining room, sniffing around for scraps.

But the maitre d’ couldn’t ask, because the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits businesses from demanding a canine’s credentials. It also doesn’t allow managers to ask its human companions about their “disability.’’

We then took our act to a bakery, a grocery store and a Starbucks on Lexington. where Hampton blocked entrances and jumped on customers — but he was still welcomed in.

We also learned a lot depends on the dog’s personality.

A colleague and her phony “service dog,’’ Cyo, got a warm welcome at Le Cirque, where waiters even brought a bowl with water and ice cubes.

Cyo just sat quietly under the table wagging his tail. He was also welcomed at Calvin Klein’s and Barneys, where he charmed everyone.

No one batted an eye as Cyo checked out the shops’ offerings.

But at the Juice Press on Third Avenue, a clerk at first said that dogs were not welcome. But she quickly backed off when Cyo was identified as a service dog.

Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend, Diana Taylor, criticized owners who falsely claim they’re with a service or therapy dog as she unveiled a dog run in Tribeca last week.

“It’s going to ruin it for people that actually need service dogs,’’ she said.

“It’s unfair for people to take advantage of a system put in place to really help those who need it.’’


On August 12, 2013, posted in: Latest News by
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