Service animals need regulation

September 30th, 2015 by Ken

I was in Fred Meyer in Lacey the other day and a woman had a dog on a leash inside the store.   The dog crapped on the floor and the woman just ignored it and hurried out the door.

It’s fairly common now to see animals – – usually dogs – – in the shopping carts of customers – – or someone carrying a dog wrapped in a baby blanket and even pushed around  in a baby stroller.

I was in a local restaurant recently when a couple came into the place, both carrying a dog.   They sat down in a booth near me and placed their dogs on the seats.

I asked the waitress to tell them that animals were not allowed in restaurants.  She replied – that company policy forbid them to say anything about animals – because the company was concerned about getting sued if the animals were service  animals.

So, I approached the couple and asked about their dogs.   I started out by saying, I noticed you brought your dogs into a place where people eat.   Do you think that’s wise?

They replied – – fairly friendly – that the dogs were service animals.   That each of them had heart problems and that the dogs warned them if people were approaching  – so they wouldn’t be startled.

And that folks, is the problem.

The rules and regulations regarding service animals is left up to the interpretation of the individual.    Business owners are afraid to say anything and customers are usually intimidated.

We need better rules and regulations regarding the use of service animals.   They need to be licensed and each animal needs a tag – – or the owner must show proof that the animal is a medically approved service animal.

I’m tired of sharing my public space – designed for humans – – with animals.

Posted in Business, The Real News

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