The Water Cooler – Service Dogs in Public

June 30, 2014 12:00 pm · 46 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

If a person has a service dog, do you think they should be required to carry some paperwork identifying that pet as a service animal, or do you think the person’s word is good enough when they bring the dog into restaurants or other place where animals are restricted?

Talk about it….

Bill June 30, 2014 at 12:07 PM

It should be just like a disabled placard.. Service animals should be regulated and licensed by the State, each animal should receive an individual tag to identify them as service animals. When the animal dies, the tag is returned and anyone caught swapping tags or using someone else’s should be severely punished. Service animals should be required to be up on all vaccinations and be regularly seen by Veterinarians to ensure maximum Public Safety!

Why not June 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

If I have to provide a drivers license if I’m pulled over then if someone complained indoors to management of said place, then person should provide proof being service animal. If I was legit I’d not be concerned. If I wasn’t I would be out spoken defending why I should be.

Documentation is provided as I have a friend who trains service dogs. Even the handicap have to provide proof with some identification on vehicle to park?

Anon777 June 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I think they should have papers; just like when you (legally) use a handicapped parking spot, you have your placard showing you can legally be there. I’m sure there are lots of folks who pretend their animal is a service animal when in fact they are not.

anon June 30, 2014 at 12:15 PM

I have seen it abused a couple of times and I do think they need to have some sort of documented proof that the animal is a service animal. You cant just put a little blue jacket on your fav buddy and call him a service dog and unfortunately some people think they can do that.

Anon June 30, 2014 at 12:17 PM

I agree with # 1,2,3. Good responses to the question.

KAD June 30, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Paperwork is easy to obtain on the Internet. A waste of time.

lardo June 30, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Wear a badge and carry an ID card.
The Dog should wear a special identifying collar

Mike "troll" Dame June 30, 2014 at 12:29 PM
RANDOM TASK June 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM

yeah the dems provide illegals paperwork every 2-4 years so they can vote for them ………same here as always

PHILTHYphresh June 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Soon we’re going to need daytime IDs to walk your animals in the daytime, nightime IDs for night, some other goverment ID to mow your lawn, a special permit to have your kids play in the front yard, and guess who’s going to collect taxes and fees off of that, you guessed it.

Dorothy June 30, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Agree with Bill #1.

And who is going to enforce these idiotic "rules"? June 30, 2014 at 12:36 PM

City? County? State? Fed?
I’m sure our taxpayer funded agencies have more important functions than handling petty gripes about whether a critter is a legitimate “service animal”. You folks need to get a life.

You see.. June 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM

that pit bull over there with his teeth clenched and foaming at the mouth, yeah the one that’s growling viciously– he’s my service dog. Bwaaahahahahaha. Just don’t illegally invade my privacy by asking me to show proof. 😉

PHILTHYphresh June 30, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Furthermore, government IDs, certificates of birth and marriage, socal security cards, are all in capitis diminutio maxima, reducing our status as human beings.

Dr. Doc, PHD June 30, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Service dogs are a protected class and wvery dog is a service dog…Just like every retarded kid is autistic, every weather phenomenon is caused by climate change, and every criticism is tantamount to bullying.

Requesting someone to justify a “service dog” status would be an invasion of privacy. Wait til the ACLU gets wind of that idea…

mutts June 30, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Prove that the yappy purse dog is a service dog! Self absorbed people can’t go out without their dog. Give us a break.

hilly June 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

absolutely the dog should have a card like people have a driving license or id.this is a
an easy fraud for lazy selfserving people to perpetrate. case in point my 48 yr old narcissist brothet mailordered the doggie vest with service emblem just so
he could take the pooch everywhere with him. not only was he not a service dog, he had to wear a muzzle because of aggression tendencies. the only service was to my brothers borderline personality. real service dogs go thru extensive training and serve a necessary purpose. it demeans the premise and intention of the animals talent and calling for any old yahoo to pay 20 bucks for the uniform and take an ill mannered mut into restaurants etc for the heck of it.

WC June 30, 2014 at 12:53 PM

What about dogs that illegally enter the country and live here. Can they get service dog papers?

Justin June 30, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Simple licensure should suffice. Certainly more than the word of the person or the little vest the dog wears, but no more than a state-issued card of some type.

CRT June 30, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Most of those disabled placards were acquired by folks who are not disabled. They are abused so much in San Francisco that the city council is talking about removing the ability to park at any meter for free if you have a disabled placard.

Well behaved dogs should be allowed in stores or restaurants. I’ve seen plenty of human children that behave far worse than most dogs, and we have to put up with those creatures in our public spaces.

Anonymous June 30, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I know a man who just loves his giant, slobbering, fur-shedding husky. This dog is poorly-behaved and aggressive towards humans and other animals, yet this guy insists on bringing his dog everywhere. He purchased one of those vest things and an embroidered badge that says “Service Animal” on the internet so he can dress up his dog and take it into stores and restaurants. Those of us who know him find his actions rather deplorable considering the danger he is putting the public in. Needless to say, he rarely receives any social invitations.

skrab June 30, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Yes. Last week a woman at McDonald’s in Martinez was carrying a dog wearing a service animal vest. She held the dog over the counter while she ordered. I’m pretty sure that a legitimate, trained service dog would not need to be held inside a business.

Just me June 30, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Honestly the whole service animal thing has been abused. I’ve seen a guy with a cage backpack that had a parakeet in it. It was a service animal for comanionship. He said it helps keep him calm.

Just recently I flew JetBlue from long beach to Oakland. This lady had a Yorker that barked the whole hour long flight. Again it was a service animal.

I think the blind people walking around with their dogs are the only legit service animal users out there. Most everyone else is just taking advantage of the service animal privileges

Anon June 30, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Too many of the dog owners are taking advantage and have ruined it for everyone.

Papers now need to be mandatory.

@#12 June 30, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I think you’re missing the point. This has nothing to do with a enforcement by a tax payer funded agency. The idea is to allow a business owner to legally tell someone to get their flea-bitten cur out of their business. The key word is “legally” because service animals are allowed places where a pet isn’t.

The Mamba June 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

It doesn’t matter what I think, they can’t be asked to show any documentation under California law. How does that feel dog haters from the Lazy Dog thread? In the face! Now bark like a dog for me!

Elwood June 30, 2014 at 2:53 PM

It is legal to ask “What service does this animal perform for you?”

If the person is unable to satisfactorily answer that question a business owner can ask them to remove the animal from the premises.

Only the blind, June 30, 2014 at 2:56 PM

With guide dogs should have the right to
go anywhere.

Rob June 30, 2014 at 3:07 PM

A major part of the problem is that businesses won’t ask (challenge) the pet owners as they don’t want to discourage business. The only way to show your feelings on this are to leave the business without making any purchases AFTER notifying the manager of your feelings on this issue. Maybe they will understand that the less than 1% with undocumented/fake animals are not worth the 99% that feel it is unsanitary/dangerous for those animals to be there.

Psycho Cat June 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

The reason why people, businesses and such are not allowed to ask about a person’s disability is because of the HIPPA law. It is private medical information.

Dr. Doc, PHD June 30, 2014 at 4:40 PM


Gus June 30, 2014 at 5:07 PM

I’m guessing since it’s hot. That’s why these posts are knee jerking half cracked.

Last month I think I saw one service dog. She was obviously blind and the dumb little hostess at PF Changs told her she had to sit outside. Her companion was deaf and couldn’t make her understand. I got the manager and he explained in very small words why she should talke the couple to the very best table.

You people act like the last time you were at the mall a golden doodle pooped on your Cinnabon. I worked in restaurants for years and the only problem we had with service dogs was everybody trying to pet them. Most have extensive skill sets and would stand in front of a speeding car to protect their handler.

Cynthia June 30, 2014 at 5:28 PM

A service dog should be identifiable by site ie collar, vest………

Blink June 30, 2014 at 6:00 PM…/1273/

Great documentary on dogs…but today they’ve become an accessory
Just weird…exception legit service dogs

@ Dr Doc June 30, 2014 at 6:09 PM

It seems as though you graduated with a doctorate, but didn’t finish 1st grade. Try using words that don’t insult genuinely disabled people. Most special needs are much smarter (and kinder) than you.

Michelle June 30, 2014 at 6:19 PM

NO such luck…too bad an owner can say his/her dog is a service dog and nothing else need be said.

Connie Dobbs June 30, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Offer the dog a treat. If it’s distracted it’s not a service dog.

a concerned neighbor June 30, 2014 at 9:20 PM

It may not make a difference to most of you here, but service dogs serve a multitude of needs. Service dogs, when they are legitimate, help to assist not just the blind, but many other disabilities. Many of these disabilities may not always be visible. Service dogs save lives everyday and help to empower many individuals to live successfully each day.

CW June 30, 2014 at 9:50 PM

It isn’t only the blind who have legitimate need for a service dog. My youngest child has a neurological disability that causes impaired safety awareness. She is getting too big to ride in a stroller or be carried, but she isn’t yet able to safely walk next to me without bolting. We are seriously considering getting her a service dog trained to keep her from running off. I would have no problem with a requirement to register the service dog.

Teacher Wannabe June 30, 2014 at 10:26 PM

@a concerned neighbor #38. You are so right. They provide a great service, providing they are legitimate service dogs. These people who bring in their yapping fur balls and claim “service animals” ruin the reputation of the real ones. If they are legit, the owners should have no problem with an ID.

Ron July 1, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Some people are completely missing the point here. There are people who are highly allergic to animal dander. There is also the issue of hygiene in a restaurant/grocery store. Legitimate Service Animals will not bother patrons nor deficate indoors. Service Animals provide a servuce, not BE SERVICED by being carried around, shoved into a purse, or set free into a shopping cart that is later to be used by another patron to fill with groceries.

RunDogRun July 1, 2014 at 8:07 AM

I’m offended.

Julio July 1, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I am tired of dogs in stores, restaurants etc that have no proof they are service dogs. What is the chance 3 dogs would be in the same grocery store at the same time? Give us a break. They should be clearly marked then I have no problem. The same people that illegally us handicap placards use service dogs improperly.

unknown July 1, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Service Dogs are for the following
I have a dog and I would love to take him everywhere, but I commute on bart to the city and then bus to my office, is it fair that I bring him on a crowed standing room only bus or train because I want him with me, no it is not. Does my dog make me happy and calm yes, but that does not give me the right to say he is a service dog – or that I have to have him with me.

It lessens the ability of folks who really need their dog with them and they are trained and the folks that have them will tell you not to go near them as they are not supposed to be touched when they are out with the folks they are helping. These folks need their dogs, the others don’t and it is selfish of dog owners to bring their animals with them to stores, and food establishments and buy fake vests. Just like disable placards other folks are ruining it for the folks that really need the placards and dogs.

They should have specific vest and ID and they should be made so that people can tell they don’t have a legitimate vest similar to how we try and protect our currency so we can tell the vests are fake.

We all have rights, and freedom, lets not ruin that for everyone who really needs the extra help.
Thank you

Aziz July 1, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Connie Dobbs, so simple – and so true! Brilliant!

unknown July 1, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Service dogs assist a lot more people than just blind and diabetic people.
Service dogs assist disabled people (those missing limbs, muscle control and wheelchair bound individuals), hearing impaired and shut ins. Therapy dogs which do nothing more than visit people in convalescent homes and spread their joy can be certified as service animals.

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