Fake service dogs a growing problem

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rwoman, Oct 10, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

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    NBC News: Fake service dogs a growing problem
    http://www.nbcnews.com/health/fake-service-dogs-growing-problem-8C11366537

    I know the issue does come up periodically in the FFer community.

    I undersand privacy and agree with taking steps to protect peoples rights, but still do not like the idea of those scamming the system.
     
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  2. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    I get about one fake service dog per week. It is usually fairly easy to tell. Service Dogs usually are walking rather than being carried. Service Dogs are Clean and Well Cared For. Service Dogs are aware of where their person is at all times.

    Fakes are carried and treated like babies. Fakes are usually small filthy, stinky and appear to not know where they are.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  3. delff128

    delff128 Silver Member

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    That was an incredibly frustrating article to read as I train/socialize service dogs in tandem with a great organization 4 Paws for Ability based out of Ohio.

    I currently have a 6 month old golden retriever named Amour that is a service dog in training that goes everywhere with me and will ultimately end up being a service dog for a child with a disability once training is complete.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     

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  4. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    This is a big problem. I ordered several service dogs last week (US Bank was offering 5X miles on livestock) and when they arrived, each supposed service dog turned out to be two rats in a dog costume. I can't dispute with the credit card company because I already used the miles!

    Seriously, I have an older family member who has historically abused the service dog system to bring her dog with her everywhere. The interesting thing is that after her husband died she continued to travel, with the dog, and I actually think she wouldn't have been able to make those trips without the companionship so now she's sort of in a grey area -- it's not a seeing-eye dog, or anything like that but, practically speaking, she does need it to be able to travel.
     
  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Yes, seems like some people getting creative, sometimes, it's a sad world out there. What shall we do about it? A scam is a scam, but we shouldn't forget that real service dogs are a god's end for many who really need them, plus we shouldn't forget the many who care about service dogs around the world, the many organizations who train them, place them with real needy people and help people every single day and this includes help lo let people travel, the ultimate goal is in the end that there are more people out there who need a service dog for real than scam artists who abuse the system and the dogs, at least let's hope so.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
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  6. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Interesting observation, haven't really thought about this problem before, despite it seems to pop up from time to time with the FF community.
     
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  7. Mrlasssen

    Mrlasssen Silver Member

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    What about fake disabled people. Just was Disney World, in conjunction with the Tampa meeting, and it sure seems like there are a lot of families going to the head of the lines with one member in a motorized scooter.
     
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  8. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    there was a whole expose/article up here in NY about that. It is the newest trend for the well to do Upper East and West side mom/family to have. A disabled "family" member. Disney said they are going to stop that practice.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  9. BackSlash

    BackSlash Silver Member

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    I've seen the stories about fake disabled people at DIsneyWorld, but I was under the impression (after listening to about 1100 episodes of WDW Today) that for a number of years now groups with disabled people were effectively given fastpasses to come back to the gate after waiting the equivalent amount of time as the line-up was. It's not a line-skip in the way it's publicized.

    Also, I have a dog. Who I would love to have fly with me, and when I went looking for dogs, I made sure my breed choice was likely to fit in a cabin carrier on Air Canada. I think that emotional support dogs are a crutch allowing people with emotional issues to avoid dealing with them at best, and a huge loophole for abusers more often than not.

    That being said, people who need those dogs as a crutch would be the most likely to leave them untrained and stinky.
     
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  10. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    What BackSlash said.

    While no doubt some abuse exists the article was widely discredited on blogs about Disney. It was full of total exaggerations if not outright fabrications.

    I'm also speaking here about my own observations. Usually one does NOT get to the front of the queue but waits in the queue with everyone else. In other cases you are shunted aside and still wait. It's really somewhat rare to just skip the line, but sometimes it makes sense: Just try telling your child with a form of severe autism that No, he cannot ride now although he is standing in front of it, but he must come back later or wait in a queue for an hour.

    Nevertheless, just yesterday the fastpass system for disabled guests became official at Disney World. Guests with disabilities are now given a time to return. The problem is you can't lump all disabilities into one class with one generic solution. Disabled guests have varied and sometimes unique needs. And the aholes who take advantage of the system I guess have another type of disability: lack of humanity.
     
  11. BackSlash

    BackSlash Silver Member

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    Why the heck isn't there a medication for that yet? I can picture the ad now.

    Are you finding it difficult to feel any sort of compassion for those around you? Do you suffer from the compulsion to hipcheck people on your way to the priority boarding lane which you're not even entitled to use? Do you find yourself pretending to be disabled to skip the line at Toy Story Mania? Then you may suffer from chronic lack of humanity; talk to your Doctor to see if Humanify is right for you.
     
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  12. Navysuby3

    Navysuby3 Silver Member

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    I think it is a sad state when someone uses the title of "service dog" and apply it to the normal dog. Even saw a woman on one flight try to convince the ticketing agent that her cat was a service cat.
     
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  13. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    It is trained to sniff out DB's and purr.
     
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  14. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    A couple I know moved to Hawaii this year and because they didn't want their dogs to be traumatized in the belly of the plane they scammed the airlines by purchasing "Service Dog" vests and had them ride in coach. Part of me understands the agony a pet owner goes through having their dog in a crate in the belly of the plane, but the other part knows scamming is going to screw things up for legitimate service animals and people with disabilities. The people who hire disabled folks to scam at Disney are the worst kind...do you think my friends fall into that same category? I'm conflicted on this.
     
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  15. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Yes. They knowingly deceived others to gain something to which they were not entitled.
     
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  16. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Morally speaking, probably. Practically speaking, I think it partly depends on the behavior of the dogs. If they truly behaved like well-trained service dogs then I guess there's little harm done, but I know very few non-service dogs who come even close to that behavior.
     
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  17. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    Both are high-energy dogs so I'm betting they didn't fool anyone. And yes, morally my friends were wrong to do it but I get why they did. It's just too bad there aren't many options for these sort of circumstances.
     
  18. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    It is a shame. Anyone remember Pet Airways? They started out well, I thought, but I guess they couldn't make money. I heard they were very difficult to deal with. Pity.
     
  19. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Unfortunately, I see people scamming the system with SWA all the time, by demanding and using wheelchairs to go on and off the airplane, and board the airplane before everyone else. And at times some of these folks travel with a "posse" of people who are just fine physically, but enter the plane ahead of the other passengers with the wheelchair-bound. It's always an eye-opener to see folks miraculously get out of their wheelchairs at luggage pickup and walk out of the terminal! :-(
     
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  20. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Just wait, there are now Emotional Support animals: http://servicedogcentral.org/content/ESA-flying
     
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  21. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    And the fine print at the bottom.
    "Information at this site is provided solely for the user's information and, while thought to be accurate, is provided strictly "as is" and without warranty of any kind. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for legal counsel from a qualified attorney. Service Dog Central, its agents, affiliates, employees or contractors will not be liable to you for any damages, direct or indirect, or lost profits arising out of your use of information provided at this site, or information provided at any other site that can be accessed from this site."

    So according to this site. If my Reiki Therapist, certified by the State, says that I need to travel with my ESA that happens to be a tarantula, then the airlines MUST allow it.

    Getting kinda deep in the interpretations of disabled.
     
  22. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Add this to the list of a good program that has been hijacked by the lazy and inconsiderate!
     
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  23. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    The problem isn't that fake service dogs are fake. The problem is that 99.999% of the time fake service dogs are totally untrained. If the fake service dogs were trained to the level of the real thing no one would care about them, because no one (other than their owner) would even notice them.

    If you want your dog to go everywhere with you, TRAIN IT! Than you might be able to get away with this scam. Otherwise, people ARE going to figure out the truth.
     
  24. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    +1

    and training doesn't mean that Fido sits for a treat while inside your house. Proper training is having your dog remain calm & obedient while in various settings out in public, which is very hard for many (most?) dogs unless trained.

    We took both our dogs through Good Canine Citizen training ( http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm ) Our trainer threw in a 3 minute separation, where our dogs were in a room with others in a down-stay for 3 minutes without my wife or I being around (we were out of sight). While I think my dogs are fairly well trained, I don't think they'd down-stay in an airport w/o us being right by them.

    I'll go on record by stating, in my experience, it is usually small dogs that have the worst manners as it is too easy to simply pull a small dog away from something rather than training it.
     
  25. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    It doesn't help, either, that many owners of small dogs seem to be using them as a baby substitute, and utterly refuse to acknowledge their dog's bad behavior, let alone attempt to correct it. "Oh, isn't that cute! She's so protective of me/her toy/ her couch!" said as Fifi is growling and snapping at anyone encroaching on "her" space. Now it's true that I am in no danger of having my throat ripped out by a vicious Yorkie, but even a small dog's teeth can hurt. No one but the besotted owner likes that sort of nasty small dog!

    Maybe we can compromise by letting the fake service dogs on the plane but putting the clueless owners in a crate in the hold? :D
     

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