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Please Do Not Make Your Dogs Pretend To Be Service Dogs

Service Dog Hunter

Please Do Not Make Your Dogs Pretend To Be Service Dogs

Please Do Not Make Your Dogs Pretend To Be Service Dogs

Linda and Hunter shopping.

Linda and Hunter shopping.

Service Dog Registration ID

Service Dog Registration ID

Important Message

Hunter is looking you right in the eye for some straight talk because he would like to have a heart to heart conversation with you.

Hunter is pleading for your help to spread the word about an alarming issue.

Today, Hunter wants to inform the public about a growing problem that is a big concern for all properly trained and registered Service Dogs, and their owners. They do not want to offend anyone or hurt anyone's feelings, but this is an important topic that must be shared. Hunter has actually heard about and seen with his very own brown eyes, dogs who are wearing a Service Dog vest that they have not earned with training or authentic registration. Hunter is shocked when he sees these fake Service Dogs that lack animal training are acting inappropriately in public. He knows at a glance that those dogs are not qualified to wear a real Service Dog vest. He does not blame the dogs, but he would like to speak directly to the people in charge of their pets.

Hunter is aware that it is not the dogs that are responsible for this counterfeit activity. It is the owners who have found a way to bring their pets into places that they would not be allowed otherwise. It seems that if there is anything legitimate, there is an illegitimate copy that can be found. Just like people who sometimes find a way to get fake I.D's for themselves, some are getting fake I.D.'s that look real for their dogs. Pet owners also are able to purchase "Service Dog" vests, which is not against the law. However, Hunter wants you to know it is very wrong to do.

You have already seen a photo of Hunter's vest, that he only wears when on duty in public. I am including a picture of his Service Dog Registration Of America I.D., which is attached to his vest at all times. Hunter's spokesperson and "Handler", Bob, wants to remain anonymous, so I removed his name. Bob wants all the attention to go to Hunter's message. Other legitimate Service Dogs may have certification from other registries.

Hunter understands that many people love their dogs and want to keep them with them whenever possible. He knows what it is to be loved like that. He also knows that it takes some particular character traits and training to be a real Service Dog. Hunter has earned the right to go where other dogs should not go, and he is true to the assistance animal's code of ethics.

I made mention that Hunter has eyeballed dogs with wannabe Service Dog vests on that display inappropriate behaviors which make them totally unsuitable for real dog assistance duties in the public. They can be insufferably annoying, because of their lack of obedience training at best or dogs PTSD. They may be doing regular dog stuff like sniffing people, jumping on people, barking or just being silly. They may be doing things that are of greater concern, such as running about, threatening with a growl or other behaviors, biting or even urinating on the floor of a business. They may create safety issues that put the public at risk. A well-trained guide dog would never do those things while on duty. A Service Dog "Handler" is responsible for keeping their dog focused and would not think of allowing their dog to be disruptive in any way. There are times when Hunter does bark, but it is for specific reasons to keep the people he serves safe.

These pretenders are making it more difficult for Hunter and other legitimate Service Dogs. Please, listen to Hunter when he says:

"Please Don't Make Your Dog Pretend To Be A Service Dog!"

Hunter Likes To Play In The Snow

Dog playing in the snow.

Dog playing in the snow.

A Playful Dog Off Duty

Dogs has head in the snow.

Dogs has head in the snow.

He Is A Dog

Hunter the Service Dog likes to play in the snow when he and Bob go outside for chores. Hunter keeps an eye on Bob intermittently while taking time for himself to enjoy a little cool down in the snow. I watched and smiled as he would repeatedly stick his head in the snow with his rump up in the air. He was just so cute and it was plain to see that he was most definitely enjoying himself.

When this handsome hound goes to town in the winter, he often wears boots to protect his feet from the salt and other chemicals used on roads and parking lots. But, at home, Hunter prefers to go barefoot in the snow.

On a personal note, Hunter is one of those rare dogs that just naturally has chosen to “go” in the woods for his private duties. He is, however, still a dog and I noticed he did mark my tires. That made me smile too.

Hunter is trusted to have the run of the yard and lives in harmony with the birds, squirrels and even a deer that stopped by the yard. He sees everyone, but its Bob that he focuses on. It is easy to see that these guys are buddies and have a wonderful friendship, as well as a great working relationship.

Service Dogs Are Not Pets

Lap Dog

Lap Dog

Hunter Is Family

Once inside again, Hunter made his way quickly to Linda to make sure all was well with her.

Every greeting seems like its the first one of the day in this harmonious household.

It is a joy to visit this little family.

Start Seeing Service Dogs!

Start Seeing Service Dogs!

In Training

I am honored to have the opportunity to be a voice for Hunter, who has some serious things to talk about. He is living out his calling in life as a Service Dog, that he volunteered himself for, he is a natural. When he stepped up for the job, Bob and Linda decided to have Hunter become official. When that vest is on, this dog is on duty at full alert.

It is interesting that dogs know when there is going to be bad weather that could be dangerous, and Hunter is one of those furry friends that knows instinctively, and will warn his people before hand. They have learned to take his warning seriously. Hunter may have saved lives at a campground one summer. No storm was forecast, but out of nowhere a terrible storm came with strong winds and destroyed to campground knocking down most of the trees. The campers had been evacuated because of one smart dog.

Fake Service Dog Video News Report

The fight to have laws passed for people with special needs to be able to bring their service animals into public places with them was long. People's unruliness and unlawful behavior of bringing their pets places with them into public places should not be accepted, because they could potentially ruin it for people who by law have that privilege.

Thanks For Visiting

Black and White Spring Spaniel with a winter coat.

Black and White Spring Spaniel with a winter coat.

Linda has been having health problems that have either landed her in the hospital or in a nursing home. Bob and Hunter go to visit her everyday. When visiting the nursing home, Hunter does not wear his vest because the people who live there want to pet him. Hunter is trained to not allow himself to be petted while wearing the vest. So! He is being of service to many as a comfort dog or therapy dog.

Guestbook Of A Assistance Dog

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 16, 2018:

Renee, thank you for your comment. I feel the same way.

Tori Leumas on September 28, 2018:

Great article! I love when I see real service dogs out there doing their job. It pains me that some people would be so insensitive to the people with real needs for service dogs.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on April 19, 2016:

Dolores, it is amazing what some people will do to get around common sense rules and laws. Beyond the pale for sure! Thanks for visiting. - Kudos!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on March 29, 2016:

Most people are decent and honest. It always shocks me that someone would be so dishonest and pathetic like this. I've heard of people pretending to be veterans, but pretending your dog is a service dog is beyond the pale. Thanks for the information.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on November 03, 2015:

Suzanne and Audrey, I learned a great deal from Hunter's people. I got a education then about the fake service dogs out there. I was shocked to find that out. Thank you for visiting!

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on October 20, 2015:

This is so interesting, Colorfulone, and an issue that I was unaware. It is so great to have service dogs and not a good idea for fake ones to exist. I know a physician who has a service dog to make visits and help folks. It is such fun to see this dog and be able to pet her. I wish I could help with the issue. Sharing Blessings, Audrey

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on June 24, 2015:

This was an interesting topic and I hadn't heard of owners purchasing fake service dog vests for their dog. There may be some ignorance from these people, or it could be deliberate but either way, it hurts the reputation of REAL service dogs. Voted useful!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 21, 2015:

You are right, some people do not have much common sense and only think of what they want regardless of the laws, poetryman. They are doing more damage over-all then they are doing any good be pretending.

Thank you.

poetryman6969 on June 20, 2015:

Some folks need to hear that it's not always all about you and what you want.

It's too bad this message is necessary. I think that people use to have more common sense but maybe not.

Voted up.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 10, 2015:

You and me both, Patrica. I do wish that dog owners would really think about what they are doing when they make their pets pretend to be service dogs out in public. That just isn't right.

Thank you. - Kudos!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 09, 2015:

Thank you to Hunter for wanting to share this message with us ...I am appalled to think that someone would do this.

Hopefully many will read and will refrain from doing such a shameful thing

Angels are on the way this morning ps

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on March 13, 2015:

Deb, thanks for visiting Hunter's hubpage. He is adorable.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on March 13, 2015:

That is interesting that pets are allowed in public places like that, Peg. Different countries, different pet laws. Thank you for sharing that.

DebMartin on March 13, 2015:

Hunter is one smart pooch! Thanks, Hunter, for the heads-up.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 12, 2015:

When I got to visit my friend in Germany many years ago, dogs were allowed to accompany people in restaurants and I even saw a German shepherd in a department store!...and they were not seeing eye or service dogs. Most of them are well behaved. I even saw cats in a restaurant!

They obviously have different laws regarding such things and one woman who gave me permission to take a photo of her dog in a restaurant was amazed that we could not take our pets into restaurants here in the U.S. (That communication was with the translation help of my friend.)

Back to the purpose of your hub...people should definitely respect the role of service dogs and not try to abuse that role by taking their non service pets into places.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 14, 2015:

Thank you, sujaya.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 13, 2015:

Patsy, thank you so much for sharing Hunter's message.

I do appreciate that. Hunter sends you a puppy kiss!

sujaya venkatesh on February 13, 2015:

a useful hub

Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, SEMO on February 13, 2015:

This is very helpful. Mostly it's a great educational piece. Voting up, sharing tweet pin

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 08, 2015:

Peggy, it amazes me what some people will do to have their pets with them. If they are going to do that, they should have their dogs well train to be in public, at least. At any rate, it is just wrong to do either way.

Thank you for sharing and caring!

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on February 07, 2015:

I am shocked- in the UK we tend to have dogs helping blind people or dogs helping the deaf but so far as I know no abuse of it just to make sure you could take your dog into the store- It is amazing what people will stoop to

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 06, 2015:

I had no idea that people would stoop so low as to do this. What a shame! Will spread the word by tweeting, G+, pinning and sharing. This is an important message!

Shasta Matova from USA on February 03, 2015:

I can imagine people who would try to break the rules, but did not think it would happen very often. It does give service dogs a bad reputation when the imposters don't know how to behave themselves.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 30, 2015:

Sheila, you well know that I agree with you 100%. You nailed it right on the head with "stoop to this level". The love of a pet must run very deep for some ... in selfishness or something. People don't care.

Thank you for coming by, and have a nice weekend.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on January 30, 2015:

Great hub! Hunter is obviously a well trained and wonderful service dog. It's too bad that people stoop to this level to keep their dogs with them. This really does need to be stopped.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 27, 2015:

Martie, thanks for visiting. That really touched my heart for you to say this hubs is "enduring". ~ Sweet!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on January 26, 2015:

Service dogs must realise that they are special, and of course they would feel offended when seeing a fake.

Interesting and endearing hub, thank you colorfulone :)

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 24, 2015:

FlourishAnyway, thanks for coming back to read my reply to your questions. Thanks for sharing this message on Pinterest.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 24, 2015:

Catherine, a comfort dog is much different, only needing a letter from a doctor (in most cases). They usually help aid people with emotional difficulties. Service dogs are trained to guide and alert people with disabilities they serve in various ways.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 22, 2015:

Good points. I have pinned this on several boards because it's such an important message.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 22, 2015:

FlourishAnyway, I'd say its up to the store security to handle if they have a concern. Service dogs are not required to wear vests or other identifying information. If the dog was acting out in any way, its best to report what you have seen to customer assistance. It is a touchy area to tread gently in. I am a curious one and would probably strike up a conversation with the owner. I would not interact with the dog. That's just how I met Bob. He had Hunter out in public in training for his hearing loss. If it turns out to be a service dog, fine and if not....well, there's not much we can do other than report them.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 22, 2015:

Team Wiseman, I sure do appreciate you sharing this message. Hopefully, it will help all service dogs in some way. - God bless!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 22, 2015:

Dawn Rae, I'm sorry that you learned the hard way as a professional, but glad that you did. - Good to see you, and thanks m'dear!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 22, 2015:

Exactly, AliciaC. The sad thing about it is, it is a federal offence, but people get away with it because of privacy laws.

Thank you!

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on January 22, 2015:

I did not know that people would put vests on the dogs that they were not entitled to wear. I know someone who claims her little dog that she carries in an oversized handbag is a "comfort animal" and is thus entitled to go where dogs are otherwise not allowed, but I don't know if she or the dog has any paperwork.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 22, 2015:

Laurel, it would drive me crazy if I had a neighbor who was doing that with their dog, and I knew it. I feel for your friend who has to put up with that.

Thanks for visiting.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 21, 2015:

How shameful. It's funny that you write about this because just the other day I saw a woman with a large dog walk right into a grocery store. He had no identifiable service dog vest and she certainly didn't seem to need help, although I am in no place to judge (it could've been a comfort animal). What do you suggest one do in such case? it was suspicious.

Team Wiseman on January 21, 2015:

Hunter is quite the dog! We gave this article a Thumbs Way up and will help Hunter spread the word by sharing. Great Article

Dawn from Maryland, USA on January 21, 2015:

THANK YOU for this important message. I work with special needs children. I can't tell you how many times that I have people who are angry with me because I won't write them a letter that their child needs a "therapy dog". I did once.. and learned the hard way. They were trying to get around their lease to have a pet and they were trying to have a fake service dog. So many people doing this that I have started to have doubts on the few occasions that I see real service dogs. Thank you for spreading this message.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 21, 2015:

Hunter's message is very important. Thank you for sharing it. Service dogs do wonderful things to help people. It's horrible when untrained dogs give them a bad reputation!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 21, 2015:

Marlene, you are right. A well trained dog just would not do things like that when in public places, or at home where it might be okey with some pet owners. Those are pets you are talking about, not well behaved guide dogs.

Thank you!

Laurel Johnson from Washington KS on January 21, 2015:

This article really struck home with me. A friend of mine lives near a person who pretends his dog is a service dog. It bites other dogs, acts like it's gonna bite people, chases birds, squirrels, and does not mind its owner in any way. This is not the dog's fault. The owner makes no attempt to correct or train the dog. Even children know service dogs do not behave badly. I hope Hunter gets his message across.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on January 21, 2015:

I can understand what Hunter is talking about. I have seen some of these fake, wannabe service dogs in restaurants. The real service dog would not even think of begging for food from the table, but the fake service dog jumps up every time his owner takes a bite, hoping a scrap would fall to the floor. A real service dog would not jump up on people. The fake service dog is all up on people, in their face, and barking. Yeah, I'm with Hunter and hope Hunter's message is heard loudly and clearly.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 21, 2015:

Really, you do not have service dogs there? That's interesting, peachpurple. Thanks for visiting.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 20, 2015:

wow, there isn't any dog service here, we have old folks home where volunteers take care of the old folks.

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