Canine Companions has supported our clients on an individual basis for decades. Now, we are coming together to advocate for broader rights for people who rely on task-trained service dogs for independence, including our clients. You can help amplify the voice of Canine Companions as a volunteer grassroots advocate. Sign up to become an advocate today.
Misrepresenting a pet as a service dog is against the law and has serious consequences for people with disabilities who rely on trained service dogs for independence. Fraudulent service dogs cause confusion around the laws and can pose a serious threat to the safety of working service dogs.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service dog as a working animal trained in specific tasks that directly mitigate the effects of a handler’s disability. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort do not qualify as service animals and are not permitted in public.
Service dog teams are permitted in any location the public is allowed if they meet the definition above and are in control and behaving in a safe manner.
Service dogs must be clean, in control and behave in a safe manner. Aggression or continued misconduct, including barking, interfering with customers or toileting accidents can legally result in the dog’s removal from a business under the ADA.
“A dog in a vest growled and snapped at our Canine Companions skilled companion. Because we are a three-part team, our assistance dog was between me and my son this put my son in danger.” -Skilled Companion Facilitator
“[Being denied access] is exhausting and makes me feel more reluctant to take my assistance dog into public.” -Hearing Dog Team
“I’m so scared we will have a problem that we have avoided all air travel with our Canine Companions dog.” -Skilled Companion Facilitator
Grab an item while walking backwards to pull it
Turn a light on with nose or off with paw
Lead the handler to the source of a sound
Retrieve an item and hold it until commanded
Hold and carry an item in the mouth until commanded
Put two front feet up to deliver an item
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Canine Companions for Independence assistance dogs are there for their human partners with disabilities. Expertly trained to perform over 40 commands these dogs help children, veterans and adults with disabilities open doors, pick up dropped items and much more.
Find tips and best practices for grassroots advocacy.
Looking for materials? You can find Canine Companions’ service dog infographic, perfect for quick reference here.
We are grateful for our committed partners working with us to stop fraud and give a dog a job.
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