The Spokesman-Review

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Skeptical of service animals

I don’t want to stomp on the Americans with Disabilities Act, but when is enough enough?

I met a woman at a local grocery who had a very unruly dog on a leash. I said “Really? A dog in a grocery store?” She turned around and declared her pet a “service animal.” I asked what service this pet was trained to do, and she proceeded to get nasty and tell me it was none of my business.

My problem: Anyone with a dog can claim their pet is a service animal by simply saying it is so. According to the ADA, “A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” People are within their rights to ask what work or task has the dog been trained to perform.

The Department of Justice’s ADA website has received complaints that people with impairments that wouldn’t qualify as disabilities are “claiming that their animals are legitimate service animals” to get the animals into hotels, restaurants and other public places.

It’s time people started asking questions when they see a dog in the grocery store or restaurant and stop being afraid of offending someone.

Yavett States

Airway Heights

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