For the past two days I’ve written about “fakers,” those who pretend their dogs are service dogs in order to take them into public businesses.
Several of you have mentioned the difficulties some people with legitimate service dogs have in public, including being denied admittance to establishments. I reminded you that just because you can’t “see” a disability doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
Let me be clear: If you refuse admittance to a person with a service animal, you are breaking the law. Doesn’t mean you’ll be prosecuted, because it seems only criminals who commit newsworthy crimes get arrested. But you should be, and you should be publicly outed for what you did.
Afraid of the dog? Doesn’t matter.
Allergic to pet dander? Doesn’t matter.
Afraid of what MIGHT happen? Doesn’t matter.
You MUST allow a person with a disability to enter your business with their service dog.
HOWEVER, if you refuse admittance to a therapy dog or emotional support dog, you are NOT breaking the law. And if the person wants to raise a stink and publicly out you, let them. Then they can show themselves for the faker that they are.
A good rule of thumb is this: If you are told the animal is a service animal, let it in. As long as the dog is under control, there’s no problem, right? If the dog isn’t under control, ask the person to get the dog under control or to remove it from your business. Then you haven’t broken the law.
This isn’t rocket science. We all want to accommodate persons with disabilities, but that doesn’t mean we have to put up with shenanigans.
Just make sure you do it legally.