Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service Dog

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Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service Dog

Postby DamianaRaven » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:43 pm

This fucking sucks! While I'm sure it took a certain measure of courage to come forward and admit her little scam, fuck this woman most syphilitically! People like her are even worse than the assclowns who fake food allergies to keep from having to say "no, thank you" to stuff they don't like.

I've already expressed my disgust with this practice in another thread about animals but since Cracked has done an article on the practice, I thought the subject was worth its on discussion. It's a source of personal frustration for me, because my mother is one of those people who would be all over this scam if she thought she could get away with it. Fortunately for humanity, she doesn't have her own transportation and nobody who drives her around is willing to let her bring her dog. (I certainly never would.)
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby DoglovingJim » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:34 am

Not reading deep into the article, I'll give my view then.

So... If I said I was depressed my dog could sit next to me on the plane? For free? No matter how depressed I am though I'd never admit it (I like to think people should just deal with things and keep on pushing), so my buddy has to stay behind. It makes you think though about how much depression and anxiety is over-diagnosed these times, so if that's how it is then I don't understand what's the problem with emotional support animals as long as you are not giving blind people wild dogs.

If you are diagnosing everyone with depression and anxiety, then the problem isn't that they choose to certify their pets as emotional support animals.

Wait, do police dogs count as service dogs? If I got into a K9 unit does that mean I could take the dog on planes?


For after I read article intently:
According to the Fair Housing Act, tenants are welcome to keep assistance animals, as "No pets" policies don't apply, since such animals aren't pets. Landlords can't even charge extra fees or a pet deposit. Ashley was welcome to keep it, so long as it was never documented being aggressive and required no unreasonable accommodations.

I would expect for an assistant pet that they should actually test them, not just "oh, no recorded incidents so it must be fine". Like if you keep a yappy dog inside all day, never socialising it, then it would be feral but since there was never any "recorded incidents" then it's an assistance animal.

They should do behavioral testing for the pets in different situations, so it's confirmed they are not dud animals and depending on how they act then restrictions can apply on where they would be allowed (eg, if a dog barks constantly then it wouldn't be allowed in quiet spaces). Like how you usually see really docile and calm dogs in retirement houses that are not just going crazy.


More importantly, they gotta quit the diagnosing people with every damn thing. The fact that healthy people can "fake disabilities" means that obviously there needs to be reform on what is perceived as a disability, if that woman says she is depressed and that the dog was her grandma's and that gets her in, that's not faking it. That actually is what happened if you perceive these definitions as subjective and constantly changing.

I don't know, I just think don't believe that people "faking it" is the problem and think that doctors are too easily diagnosing it.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby Tesseracts » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:39 pm

DoglovingJim wrote:Not reading deep into the article, I'll give my view then.

So... If I said I was depressed my dog could sit next to me on the plane? For free? No matter how depressed I am though I'd never admit it (I like to think people should just deal with things and keep on pushing), so my buddy has to stay behind. It makes you think though about how much depression and anxiety is over-diagnosed these times, so if that's how it is then I don't understand what's the problem with emotional support animals as long as you are not giving blind people wild dogs.

If you are diagnosing everyone with depression and anxiety, then the problem isn't that they choose to certify their pets as emotional support animals.

Wait, do police dogs count as service dogs? If I got into a K9 unit does that mean I could take the dog on planes?


For after I read article intently:
According to the Fair Housing Act, tenants are welcome to keep assistance animals, as "No pets" policies don't apply, since such animals aren't pets. Landlords can't even charge extra fees or a pet deposit. Ashley was welcome to keep it, so long as it was never documented being aggressive and required no unreasonable accommodations.

I would expect for an assistant pet that they should actually test them, not just "oh, no recorded incidents so it must be fine". Like if you keep a yappy dog inside all day, never socialising it, then it would be feral but since there was never any "recorded incidents" then it's an assistance animal.

They should do behavioral testing for the pets in different situations, so it's confirmed they are not dud animals and depending on how they act then restrictions can apply on where they would be allowed (eg, if a dog barks constantly then it wouldn't be allowed in quiet spaces). Like how you usually see really docile and calm dogs in retirement houses that are not just going crazy.


More importantly, they gotta quit the diagnosing people with every damn thing. The fact that healthy people can "fake disabilities" means that obviously there needs to be reform on what is perceived as a disability, if that woman says she is depressed and that the dog was her grandma's and that gets her in, that's not faking it. That actually is what happened if you perceive these definitions as subjective and constantly changing.

I don't know, I just think don't believe that people "faking it" is the problem and think that doctors are too easily diagnosing it.

Mental illness is diagnosed based on self reported symptoms and observations of the person's behavior. Since we don't have a mind reading machine, this is the only possible way to diagnose. So it's going to be easy to fake a mental illness.

It's much more difficult to fake having a highly trained dog. A fake service animal should be easily spotted by anyone who knows what a real service animal is supposed to act like. Breed is also a big clue. It's unlikely a terrier is an actual service animal.

Also, a lot of these fake service animals accompany people who are NOT faking their illness. For example, parents of autistic kids can use autism as an excuse to bring a pet everywhere. This doesn't mean the kids don't genuinely have autism, but the animal is a fake service animal.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby cmsellers » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:00 pm

Tess linked to this the other day. One of the comments pointed out that this article seemed intended to generate rage-clicks. So our rage-clicking is generating money for "Ashley," which does not make me happy at all.

Still, the article linked to other articles which finally clarified my understanding of "service animals" and "emotional support animals." I went from thinking that emotional support animals were service animals in college to thinking that they had no legal protections under federal law, however I still believed that helper monkeys are service animals. The articles linked from that article made it clear that the only legal service animals under federal law are dogs and in some contexts miniature horses. It also made it clear that emotional support animals actually are protected in housing and on planes.

Those articles also indicated that vests which label an animal as a service animal and certification basically demonstrate a fraud. There was a girl at UT who went around with a weiner dog in an emotional support animal in a "certified service animal" vest. When it tried to sniff me in the elevator I decided it probably wasn't a real service animal, but the fact that she always took the elevator even going down one flight of stairs made me think she might have vertigo or something. However knowing what I know now, even if she had a real disability, the vest pretty much confirms in my mind that this was a fake service animal.

About three-quarters of the comments said "it was fine when you lied to keep the dog in your apartment, but after that you're just an asshole." And I essentially agree with this, since she didn't know the law and didn't believe she had an emotional support animal. Her behavior with the restaurant who called her on her shit was particularly appalling.

The thing is, she was hospitalized for depression. Her doctor wrote her a note. So what she did with her landlord was perfectly legal, and only unethical because she thought she was getting away with something. So was her dog flying free on the airline, which many people in the comments cited as the very point she crossed the line. (And it was crossing the line, given that she didn't know it wasn't illegal.) She's revealed herself to be an absolutely terrible person. But I wonder whether, had she known about the laws, she'd have taken the same "in for a penny, in for a pound attitude" that she did.

The frustrating thing is that most fake service animals are dogs, and you're not legally allowed to ask for proof that an animal is service animal. If someone comes into a restaurant with an emotional support alligator I can call the police confident in the fact that I'm within the law. But if someone comes in with an ill-behaved dog, it's still not clear to me whether there's any recourse. If it starts pissing on your floor, barking its head off, or assaulting customers, it's clearly not a service animal. If it starts sniffing customers' butts it's not a service animal. And if the owner lets strangers pet it, it's not a service animal. But even knowing all this, if it's a dog and they say it's a service animal, is there anything you can do?
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby Tesseracts » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:14 pm

cmsellers wrote:Tess linked to this the other day. One of the comments pointed out that this article seemed intended to generate rage-clicks. So our rage-clicking is generating money for "Ashley," which does not make me happy at all.

Still, the article linked to other articles which finally clarified my understanding of "service animals" and "emotional support animals." I went from thinking that emotional support animals were service animals in college to thinking that they had no legal protections under federal law, however I still believed that helper monkeys are service animals. The articles linked from that article made it clear that the only legal service animals under federal law are dogs and in some contexts miniature horses. It also made it clear that emotional support animals actually are protected in housing and on planes.

Those articles also indicated that vests which label an animal as a service animal and certification basically demonstrate a fraud. There was a girl at UT who went around with a weiner dog in an emotional support animal in a "certified service animal" vest. When it tried to sniff me in the elevator I decided it probably wasn't a real service animal, but the fact that she always took the elevator even going down one flight of stairs made me think she might have vertigo or something. However knowing what I know now, even if she had a real disability, the vest pretty much confirms in my mind that this was a fake service animal.

About three-quarters of the comments said "it was fine when you lied to keep the dog in your apartment, but after that you're just an asshole." And I essentially agree with this, since she didn't know the law and didn't believe she had an emotional support animal. Her behavior with the restaurant who called her on her shit was particularly appalling.

The thing is, she was hospitalized for depression. Her doctor wrote her a note. So what she did with her landlord was perfectly legal, and only unethical because she thought she was getting away with something. So was her dog flying free on the airline, which many people in the comments cited as the very point she crossed the line. (And it was crossing the line, given that she didn't know it wasn't illegal.) She's revealed herself to be an absolutely terrible person. But I wonder whether, had she known about the laws, she'd have taken the same "in for a penny, in for a pound attitude" that she did.

The frustrating thing is that most fake service animals are dogs, and you're not legally allowed to ask for proof that an animal is service animal. If someone comes into a restaurant with an emotional support alligator I can call the police confident in the fact that I'm within the law. But if someone comes in with an ill-behaved dog, it's still not clear to me whether there's any recourse. If it starts pissing on your floor, barking its head off, or assaulting customers, it's clearly not a service animal. If it starts sniffing customers' butts it's not a service animal. And if the owner lets strangers pet it, it's not a service animal. But even knowing all this, if it's a dog and they say it's a service animal, is there anything you can do?

Yes, there is. There are questions you are allowed to ask, and the article mentioned this.

Those cost around $100 each. It's a great deal if your conscience doesn't object, and entirely sufficient for convincing people who don't know better. According to the ADA, you don't actually need to carry any certification. Businesses must take you at your word after asking only two questions: Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? (to root out emotional support dogs) and What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? (for further rooting out). Oddly enough, the savviest business owners know that dog owners who do carry around certificates for their dogs are the ones most likely to be fakers.


Legally, you have no right to know what disability the owner has. Aggressive people will probably point this out. You do have a right to know the purpose of the animal though. The ADA website also says the same thing.

I've heard this fake service animal thing is a big thing in California. I don't know why. It's not much of a thing where I live, but it happens. Just thought I'd mention that so you can add it to the list of bad things about California.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby cmsellers » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:19 pm

There are exactly two questions you're allowed to ask. "Is this a service animal?" And "what tasks is it trained to do?" If someone has an answer to the latter question, you're SOL.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby ghijkmnop » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:48 pm

There's a piece of me that thinks we need to tighten the definition of PTSD-- because everyone has suffered some sort of trauma in their lives. Do we ALL need a friggin purse dog in order to function in society?
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby Tesseracts » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:03 pm

ghijkmnop wrote:There's a piece of me that thinks we need to tighten the definition of PTSD-- because everyone has suffered some sort of trauma in their lives. Do we ALL need a friggin purse dog in order to function in society?

As this article established, nobody needs a purse dog to function. An emotional support animal is not a legitimate accommodation for disability. The dog needs to be trained to perform a task other than being cute. The issue isn't that too many people are diagnosed with PTSD.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby ghijkmnop » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:16 pm

I'm not saying that people are being overdiagnosed-- I'm saying that people are LYING about having PTSD (because you're not legally allowed to question it) so they can selfishly bring their living teddy bear on a plane instead of acting like a grown-up.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby iMURDAu » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:49 pm

Businesses must take you at your word.

Doesn't matter if it runs through the store without a leash or primarily resides in a purse.

I can confirm this. I'm to where I don't even bother asking because I know once I ask if it's a service animal the obvious answer is going to be "yes".

I'm a fan of canines but I don't understand the unhealthy obsession with bringing your animal everywhere. My favorite was when a customer said the dog was not only a service dog but had to come everywhere with her or else she'd destroy the house. *snaps fingers and points at screen* Service Dog.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby cmsellers » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:11 am

Jeff, PTSD dogs, as the article notes, are very different from emotional support animals. PTSD dogs perform a wide number of specialized tasks.

Businesses are only required to allow emotional support animals in two contexts: in housing and on planes. I think that housing is absolute a legitimate place to require it, especially considering that the accommodations have to be "reasonable." Presumably I still cannot have a shrieking cockatoo in a small apartment. Planes are trickier, because emotional support animals have defecated on planes, induced asthma attacks, and mauled passengers, among other things. I think that my solution would be requiring such animals be kept in carriers.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby DamianaRaven » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:39 am

cmsellers wrote:I think that my solution would be requiring such animals be kept in carriers.


I would think so too, considering that many airlines will (for a $100-125 charge) allow you to bring your personal pet on board. I don't understand why carriers aren't required for ANY animal that doesn't perform a vital function. For obvious reasons, you can't demand that a seeing eye dog be kept in a carrier, but what do you do with the person who has an emotional support ferret... or God forbid, a fucking goat? (Yes, Mother, I'm taking about you.)
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby ghijkmnop » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:31 pm

cmsellers wrote:Jeff, PTSD dogs, as the article notes, are very different from emotional support animals. PTSD dogs perform a wide number of specialized tasks.


Again, not my point, so your pedantry is wasted. I am not focusing on the animals; I'm focusing on the selfish lying assholes who own them and get away with it.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby cmsellers » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:47 am

ghijkmnop wrote:Again, not my point, so your pedantry is wasted. I am not focusing on the animals; I'm focusing on the selfish lying assholes who own them and get away with it.

I'm not trying to be pedantic and I'm not sure why you reacted so negatively to my post. I read your post as saying that people were faking PTSD to get real service dogs. And if that was what you were saying then you were misdiagnosing the problem, since this is not an issue that the article or any of the articles it linked indicated was a problem.

When it comes to planes, all you need is a note from a therapist, and your issue doesn't need to be PTSD. Even then, some of the people who do this are still clearly faking it, like the article's author, but they're faking things like depression and anxiety.

On the other hand, even people with real PTSD can have fake service animals: if it's not a trained PTSD dog and they're calling it a service animal, it's a fake service animal. Outside of planes and housing the issue is both the lying and the widespread but inaccurate belief that emotional support animals are service animals protected by the ADA.
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Re: Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service

Postby ghijkmnop » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:38 pm

I reacted negatively because I was tired of reading "the article says..."

What I'm saying is NOT that people are faking to get real PTSD dogs-- people are faking so they can bring whatever filth-ridden pet they're attached to on planes, i.e. fake PTSD, and fake service animal-- and we're not allowed to call them out.

That brings me back to my opinion that we need to tighten what constitutes PTSD, because (for example):

    My parents strapped me (for stealing from Mom's purse),
    My parents called me a variety of names, all meaning stupid, for failing to achieve "to my potential,"
    I was stabbed by (gay?) thugs who tried to rape me in Deering Oaks Park in 1977,
    My ex-wife bit me, punched me, pinched me hard enough to leave bruises, and hit me in the head with my son's rolled up and taped urine-soaked diaper, giving me a concussion,
    I watched my father die in the Emergency Room of the hospital where I worked,

and I still function just fine in regular society. I honestly don't think people are as sensitive as they're made out to be.
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