Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wired Magazine Article Encourages Service Dog Fraud

A reader brought to my attention this week  that Wired Magazine published an article, The Cheat Code to Life, encourage their readers to pass off their pets as service dogs to gain entry to places and avoid fees. 
Make every day Take Your Dog to Work Day and go everywhere—the coffee shop, the grocery store! How? Simply dress him in a vest that just happens to be bright orange and slap on a “Service Dog” patch. VIP status: confirmed.
My response: "I can't believe Wired Magazine is so desperate for content that your editorial team has decided that encouraging people to commit federal fraud by claiming that they qualify as a person with a disability under the ADA and that their dog is a service dog under the definition found in the same law. As a person living with a disability who has worked service dogs for over 12 years and has to deal with aggressive dogs, unhousebroken dogs, and off leash dogs in public all being passed off as service dogs causing  the community of legitimate service dog experience additional requirements such as current letters of medical necessity for people experiencing psychiatric disabilities to fly, the necessity to add to the definition that a service dog must be unhousebroken, under control, not aggressive and more. I urge Wired readers and editorial staff to consider the damage passing off their dog as a service dog does to people who require the assistance of a service dog to live their life considering legitimate and legal ways they can ask for their dog to accompany them and avoid fees such as developing a pet resume for them, or simply asking permission from the business they wish to enter. For a more on how serious the effects of service dog fraud have on the service dog user community visit
Melissa Mitchell
Service Dogs a Way of Life