In response to the Sept. 23 letter “Dogs in restaurants a hazard”: As a disabled person who uses a service dog, I can assure you that letting a dog at a restaurant eat off the dishes while at the table is not correct service-dog behavior. It is considered wrong and unacceptable.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake service dogs and people who take their pets with them. This is fraud! It is a $1,000 fine and/or six-month jail term for faking a service dog. The Americans with Disabilities Act law does not cover comfort or emotional support dogs as of March 15, 2011, and they do not have access rights.
A business owner can, by law, ask if the dog is a service dog and what tasks it does for its handler. A business can have a service dog removed if it is out of control or not housebroken.
These fakers cause a lot of problems for real service-dog teams. Real service dogs stay under the table or out of the way, and they do not bark or act aggressively. Europe has stricter laws, and thanks to fakers, the laws will become more strict, hopefully without hurting the disabled.
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