This message comes from our friends over at Canine Companions for Independence (CCI).
A growing number of people think it’s OK to strap a “service animal” vest on their family pet and enjoy the benefits that people with disabilities were given under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
But that’s service dog fraud. And, as you know, when untrained pets behave badly, the people who actually need assistance dogs wind up suffering the most. I think you’ll agree: Enough is enough!
You’ve already shown your support for this issue by signing our action alert. Today, I hope you will spread the word by telling three friends about our Pledge To Stop Service Dog Fraud. Ask them to go to www.cci.org/stopfraud to sign on. And, click here to access a sample message you can easily post to your social networks.
Today is National Graduation Day, the day when puppies who are raised and trained for two years by Canine Companions for Independence become official assistance dogs and live full-time with their human companions. It reminds us that service dogs require years of expert training to perform specific commands, provide calm and reliable assistance, and help people with disabilities to increase their independence.
Pet owners who try to pass off their untrained family pets as assistance dogs devalue that training and threaten the safety of dog and owner. Impersonating someone with a disability to obtain benefits that don’t belong to you is a crime—and it’s punishable in many states by fines and jail time.
Kevin, we had this graduating class in mind when we launched this pledge. Please help ensure that our graduates and people with disabilities will be welcome everywhere. And help us put an end to the problems caused when untrained dogs are in places they don’t belong. Please spread the word—tell at least three friends and ask them to sign the pledge today!
Chief Executive Officer
Canine Companions for Independence