SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Fake service dog certifications are increasing and it’s starting to cause problems.
More and more dogs are being called service dogs, but not all are being trained properly.
This happens when some get fooled by illegitimate trainers.
And that’s what happened to Jessica Young, who ended up having to rehome her dog after getting a service dog “training.”
“He basically was like, since you’re military, we can make her a service dog, and that way whenever you move, you can take it with you, you don’t need to worry about pet deposits, you can take it on airplanes, Bla Bla Bla,” said Young.
Young said she received a certificate at the end of the training.
“His way of thinking was I could use it, but, I couldn’t be questioned about it because he said that there was a law that they could ask me if she was a service dog,” Young explained, “and I could say yes, and they could ask for what for, and I could say she’s mobility assistance dog, but they couldn’t ask me why she’s a mobility assistance dog.”
However, it wasn’t the results she expected, “and basically at the end of all this work and all this money, she was worse than what she was before. It was just, so bad.”
“People are getting ripped off of thousands and thousands of dollars,” said Cindy Ludwig, a professional dog trainer, “so the paper’s legitimate, the certification is fake. That dog was not trained to be a service dog, so service dog is only a service dog if it’s paired, individually trained and paired with someone with a disability that that dog mitigates by performing certain trained tasks.”
Ludwig explained what a “fake” certificate means, “so when I say fake, what I mean is it says that she and her dog are a service dog team, in other words, the certification is fake.”
She said a big problem with dogs being represented as service dogs, but aren’t trained, is that it affects actual service dogs.
“They’re not appropriately trained, and they tend to attack the legitimate service dogs, ruining their career, and ruining the life of the person who has the legitimate service dog, they can also attack people,” Ludwig said.
Plus, it diminishes the importance of service dogs.
“So people look at service dogs with skepticism or judgment,” Ludwig said.
Young said it’s important to do your research beforehand, “don’t just jump head in and make them a service dog like I did.”