Throughout the world, service dogs provide so much for the humans who own and rely upon them. Service dogs provide comfort in some cases, but in others they provide mobility and safety for individuals who have a disability. For many people, dogs are like children or members of the family and you want to take them everywhere with you. This includes stores and restaurants. However, many of these locations do not allow pets, but they do allow service animals in these places. This has caused many people to take their dogs and pretend like they are service animals so they can take them to public places.
One such situation occurred recently at the Route 66 Diner. There was a patron inside the diner with what was believed to be a service dog, but the owners suspect that just was not the case. The dog jumped up on a table and began eating food, which is behavior a true service dog is trained not to do.
This is unfortunately a growing trend across the United States, where people pretend like their pets are service dogs and bring them to public establishments like stores or restaurants. This can lead to poor behavior on the animal’s part and confrontations with owners and patrons in the process. There is some sensitivity around this issue however, which means that business owners can only ask specific questions to patrons with service dogs. There are two questions a business owner can ask service dog owners in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those questions are:
Is the dog required because of a disability?
What task is the dog trained to perform?
Though it is possible respondents could lie when answering these questions and often business owners must allow these individuals and animals in their establishments even if they believe it is under false pretenses.