Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: service animals

More emotional support animal ranting

Posted in Birds, Cats, Dogs, Other animals, Reptiles
I’ve written (ok… ranted) about fake service and support animals for years. Beyond frustration with the self-centred and/or “look at me!” aspects, my main concern with the proliferation of fake service animals and questionable emotional support animals is the potential negative impacts on the “real” service and support animals, and the people who actually need… Continue Reading

Dog bites, irony and injured kids

Posted in Dogs
If it wasn’t for the injured child, this would be a funny story. There was a hearing in Hillsborough County, Florida about a proposed ordinance requiring dog trainers to be licensed. Not surprisingly, that didn’t go over well with all trainers. One of the main opponents was waiting in line to get into the hearing,… Continue Reading

BC fake service dog crackdown

Posted in Dogs
It’s great to see some places taking service dog fraud seriously. I’ve ranted about this before because I’m a strong believer in the need for service dogs to have full access, and the need to make sure that’s not screwed up by selfish people who don’t actually have a service dog. Too many people are… Continue Reading

Fake service animals in action

Posted in Other animals
I go on periodic rants about people abusing service animal rules to take their pets places they cannot normally go (while potentially compromising the critically important need for true service animals to have unfettered access). Sometimes, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. A recent article (pointed out by a writer from the VIN… Continue Reading

More on fake service dogs

Posted in Dogs
This one’s not very surprising since it’s the typical fake service dog scam, but it made me laugh. While on a completely unrelated website, I saw an ad on the page that said something like "Trouble walking on the beach with your service dog? Check us out." Unfortunately, I did. The website sells the typical "service… Continue Reading

More on fake service dogs

Posted in Dogs
I’ve written (whined, lamented, and complained) about this before, but it’s rearing its ugly head again: fake service dogs. Essentially, it comes down to self-centred people who think they should be able to do whatever they want, and the inevitable fallout that can occur for people that truly rely on service animals. It goes like… Continue Reading

Another “service dog” problem

Posted in Dogs
Another recent incident highlights yet again problems with untrained or inadequately trained service dogs. The incident in question occurred in March, when Ava, a 14-month-old German Shepherd "service animal," lunged at a six-year-old child who lived next door. It sounds like the dog was roaming free and attacked the girl on her property. There’s some… Continue Reading

Another service animal scam

Posted in Reptiles
An Ocean City, Maryland man was told that he couldn’t take his pet iguana on the Boardwalk because of a town ordinance banning "undomesticated" pets in public places. Instead of accepting the ruling, he "registered" his pet iguana as a "service animal". Protection of true service animals is critical but the very broad nature of… Continue Reading

New service dog scam?

Posted in Dogs
Miami-Dade County, like some other regions, has banned pit bulls. We have the same ban here in Ontario. While there’s a lot of debate over the quality and usefulness of such bans, the law is the law… until you find a loophole.  That appears to be the case in Miami-Dade, where a growing number of… Continue Reading

Guide dog attacks

Posted in Dogs
Attacks on guides dogs… not by guide dogs. The June 19th edition of Veterinary Record (Brooks et al 2010) contains a study that investigated the incidence and impact of 100 dog attacks on guide dogs in the UK. Here are some highlights: 61% of attacks occurred while the guide dog was harnessed and working with an… Continue Reading

Service dog training silliness

Posted in Dogs
I often write about service dogs, and I’m often fairly critical. It’s not that I dislike them – on the contrary, they’re incredibly important to people who need them. However, when people do stupid things with service dogs, it can ultimately hurt the people who actually depend on these animals. I was at the grocery store… Continue Reading

Service animal scrutiny

Posted in Dogs
Two recent news reports highlight some challenges that people with service dogs face, and some of the controversies that exist. In one report, a Winnipeg woman was kicked out of a McDonald’s restaurant because staff did not want her seeing-eye dog in the restaurant. McDonald’s head office has apologized profusely, probably an indication both of… Continue Reading

‘Registered’ service dog scam

Posted in Dogs
I’ve written a few times in the past about the need for better definitions and guidelines for service dogs. Service animals are incredibly beneficial for some people, but there is great potential for abuse of the "service animal" designation by people who don’t really need a service animal and/or are using completely untrained and sometimes… Continue Reading

Service animal stink in Yonkers

Posted in Dogs
A Yonkers, New York school has barred a service dog from a school. On the surface, that sounds like a problem and an invitation for a lawsuit (particularly in the US considering the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)), but when you hear the details is seems like an entirely logical response. The "service dog" is a… Continue Reading

Service dogs in classrooms

Posted in Dogs
A friend recently asked me about having service dogs in classrooms. Her sister, who is a learning resources teacher, told her about an autistic child who will be attending her school with a dog. The dog prevents the child from bolting and helps reduce anxiety. She thought this was an interesting topic because of the… Continue Reading

More on service animals and access

Posted in Dogs, Other animals
Recently, I wrote a commentary about the need to better define what service animals are because of potential abuse of regulations regarding service animals and the possibility that illegitimate use of the term could impact true service animals. Here are some good comments from a reader. As a service dog user and trainer who sometimes… Continue Reading

A need for a better definition of service animals

Posted in Animals, Dogs
Because service animals are so important to the people they assit, they have much greater access to various venues than other animals. In the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically addresses service animal access issues. It was a landmark act that ensured appropriate access for these animals so that people who require them… Continue Reading