SANTA ROSA (KCBS) — A Bay Area-based non-profit group that trains service dogs is calling on the federal government to crack down on the online sale of fake assistance dog vests.
Canine Companions, located in Santa Rosa is gathering signatures for a petition that will be sent to the Department of Justice later this month. Many pet owners, they claim, are cheating the system and making life more difficult for people with actual disabilities.
Instructor Angie Shacht said the issue is the alarming number of internet companies selling fraudulent service dog vests and identification.
“This certification allows people to claim that their untrained pet dogs are service dogs so that they will be permitted inside grocery stores, restaurants and other public place where family pets are otherwise not allowed,” she said.
Because of untrained dogs causing trouble in businesses, Shacht said that business owners are sometimes denying legitimate service dogs as well, which is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We’re concerned that if this trend continues of people bringing in their inappropriate dogs in the public that that right—that all assisted currently have—could be jeopardized.”
The group’s goal for the petition to stop the sale of fake products is to start a dialogue with the government about how to handle the issue.
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