Yahoo's newest sponsored Facebook post promotes fake service dog certification sites, and seems to encourage readers to certify pets as service dogs.
Yahoo is running a sponsored Facebook post that promotes fake service dog certification sites. This could potentially further the confusion over what makes a real service dog versus an emotional support animal. It also can put legitimate service dogs and their handlers at risk, as well as the general public.
Here's what the post looks like.
Now's a good time for a review of what a service dog is. Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks to help their owners and due to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are allowed anywhere. Dog owners don't decide they need a service dog because they feel bad about leaving your dog home all day and want to take them into the grocery store. If that's the case, they need to hire a pet sitter or a dog walker. Or take their dog to daycare. You get a service dog because you NEED a service dog and you need them with you for your own safety.
The Yahoo post links to this page.
If you follow the link, you'll see that the first that the first five entries, all of which fall above the fold, are for supposed service dog registration sites. It's not until you scroll down below the fold of the page that you happen onto a site called Certification Scam, which calls attention to the fact that there no government agencies that actually certify service dogs; there's absolutely no certification required for true service dogs nor is there a service dog registry...
Now, that doesn't mean that service dogs don't require training. They do - extensive training, and that's what contributes to their often overwhelming cost. But certification for trained service dogs doesn't make a difference, is an unnecessary fee, and means nothing in the long run.
So why is this such a problem?
True service dogs undergo training and testing to prepare them to serve safely in public places. If you just register a dog as a service dog, slap a service dog vest or ID tag on it, and head out into public, you're bringing an untrained dog without the necessary temperament into situations where things could get out of control - quickly. There are already countless accounts of legitimate service dogs being attacked by fake service dogs while working. In some cases, the service dogs are emotionally traumatized and are unable to return to work.
Fake service dogs and even so-called emotional support dogs may behave inappropriately in public, displaying behaviors like barking or jumping up on people that real service dogs are trained not to do. This can add to accessibility issues for legitimate service animals. In short, it gives service dogs a bad rap, making life more difficult for them and their owners - who legitimately need the assistance of a service animal.
Please, share this article to help spread the word of these fake service dog certification sites that Yahoo is promoting on Facebook.
Do you know anyone who relies on a service dog? What do you think of Yahoo's ad about these fake service dog certification sites? Tell us in the comments below.
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