It has been a few months now since the “anti-fake service dog” city ordinance took effect. True, nobody likes an out-of-control dog. On the other hand, I am 100% disabled with TBI seizures (many active combat military get them, as well as full-contact athletes).
Recently a drunken man chased me around a Safeway store, pointing at my trained Yorkie service dog and me, bellowing at us, “Is that a service dog?!” Something similar happened to my 100% disabled veteran husband, and some of our disabled friends, some of whom are elderly.
Now, the man’s actions may seem justified, but they are not. Washington state and federal law protects the disabled and elderly; harassing or bothering them as they try to proceed with their service dogs is very illegal, possibly even criminal.
So even if you don’t like the idea of service dogs or disabled people, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor if you treat them with common kindness and courtesy, because unless you are sworn law enforcement, your single-handed attempt to “crack down” on service dogs could get you in quite a bit of trouble.
Catherine A. Humberg