It’s easier now more than ever to pass off your dog as a service animal, when it really isn’t, according to a member of a Canadian guide dog advocate.
“People are trying to pass off their dogs as being ‘service dogs,’ when they truly aren’t.”
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King said the issue comes down to accessibility, since service dogs are allowed in areas where pets are not.
“Getting on a plane, they want to carry their dog in the cabin with them, they want to go to a restaurant, they want to take their dog with them,” King said.
“We need to figure out some way of making sure the legitimate ones aren’t harassed.”
Provincial officials noted that they haven’t seen an increase in complaints about people using unqualified service dogs. In a statement, Alberta’s Community and Social Services Minister Irfan Sabir said the government is “working to increase awareness and education around public access for service dogs.”
“I’m proud that our government’s changes have increased the number of service dogs available to Albertans who need them,” Sabir’s statement read.