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it is about time! I had a friend who had a licensed service dog with papers and all and she had a terrible time with people rejecting her because of fake dogs. She has since passed on, but she worked tirelessly against fido fakes when she was here.
This story has been featured in today's Delphi Daily News http://forums.delphiforums.com/news1/messages/?msg=2857.1
Singer Lance Bass got a dogtor to say his dog was a service dog so it could travel with him. Ironically, Bass can well afford to buy a crate and a ticket for his dog. He talked about it when he was a regular on Meredith Vieira's talk show.
It isn't just dogs that were bad. It was every kind of pet under the sun that could fit on a seat.
I have a prescription for my diabetes alert dog. I will bring a copy with me to the airport when we travel. So far, we have never been questioned in public. Noelle does her job, ignores the cooing public and is ready to work. She does such a good job, businesses use Noelle as the standard of behavior they expect of every dog who walks in the store. A store manager recently told me she knew the dog was a fake because it wasn't acting like Noelle. Made me feel proud. Crack down on the fakes. Crack down hard. Fake SD's put my real dog in danger.
I wish the article mentioned ways to pursue getting the laws passed in our own state.
Slightly off topic, but related.
I live on an island, and the ferry to the mainland takes 7 hours.
18 years ago, when I moved here, a service dog not only had to be licenses* but also prebooked, to accompany its owner either in open seating areas, or private cabins. Other dogs were kept in cages, facing the stern on an open deck. This seemed cruel to me during winter time. A few years later, the cages were moved to the interior upper deck of the vehicle area. much better. However for the last two years, the ferry has a sort of enclosed pet "lounge", piped music, cages along the walls between the portholes, banks for owners to sit while visitin, and a permanent crew member, to look after them. What I have noticed is that when a person who has a service dog, not necessarily in attendance all the time, comes with a larger party, this area also accomodates the service dogs when not necessarily needed. The human campanion, simply takes the dog there for a "break" (toilet, munchies, etc.
This is easy to manage here becanuse by law, all dogs must be insured (cost based on breed) - from an anual 1€ for a typical lap dog, to over 100€ for a prisa canaria, insurance is also based on addess, for examplel the latter breed can not get a license or insurance, in some multistory apartment houses. In addition, they must have a chip implanted identifying the owner, insurance validity, and a code for ADN sample. Note that in our capital, we don´t have special police checking out feces. However if a neighborhood has complaints regarding irresponsible dog owneers, the equivalent of the humane society, does go to that neighborhood to collect samples. The fine, about 90€ is steep, so there are seldom second offenders.
I like the laws that your island put in place. One of the big problems of pet ownership is that owners sometimes do not take responsibility for their pets, from where the dog goes potty on other people's property to the dog being a danger to other dogs or to people.
I have noticed that many places outside the US also have better accommodations for dogs accompanying their owners to restaurants and while traveling. I really like your story of how dogs traveled on the ferry.
To me the major cultural difference betweeen here and the English speaking countries, is the focus on responsibility over rights, and the concept of what ever Works over absolute laws and punishments.
Take graffitti, of course the option if caught is jail, fine,, or clean up the mess.
Pretty standard, and much more effective, is the latter, where one square foot of graffitti, is balanced by 100 square feet of clean up, which is much less onorous then prison or the fine..