Untrained service animals becoming a problem

1 year 11 months 1 week ago April 16, 2015 Apr 16, 2015 Thursday, April 16 2015 Thursday, April 16, 2015 6:47:00 AM CDT in News
By: Hannah Saulic, KOMU 8 News Reporter

COLUMBIA - People are increasingly passing off their untrained pets as trained service animals. 

Websites are selling false certificates and service vests to people that say their dog is a trained service animal, Dr. TerriAnn Tucker-Warhover, Puppies with Purpose Director, said.

Many of these websites ask users to personally certify they have a disability and trained their pet. This means anyone can buy materials to make it look like their pet is a service animal.

"Mainly [people] are [buying vests and certificates online] so they can take private dogs into restaurants or public places. We have a big problem in Columbia with students wanting to do it so they don't have to pay the fee for having a dog in the apartment," Tucker-Warhover said. She said regardless of pet policy, apartments are supposed to allow service dogs to live with individuals. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.

Tucker-Warhover said when people abuse the system and bring untrained pets into public places under the disguise of trained service animals, it hurts those who actually train their service dogs. 

"It's really damaging all the work that groups like Puppies with Purpose are doing," she said. 

It is illegal in Missouri to impersonate someone with a disability in order to receive accommodations related to service dogs. However, Tucker-Warhover said the underlying problem is no Missouri laws actually define standards for identifying whether service animals are trained.  

While Puppies with Purpose and their parent organization, CHAMP Assistance Dogs have their own vests, tags, and paperwork certifying the organization trained the animal, this type of documentation is not legally required. 

ADA policies specify businesses cannot insist on proof of certification for a person with a service dog. 

"We need more legislation to be able to have some guidelines that say this is a service dog...but you have to be able to do it in a way that you're not infringing upon the rights of the individual who has the disability... so it's pretty tricky," she said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum for the Columbia Public School's school board and Boone Hospital... More >>
1 hour ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:54:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is backing a contested health care overhaul proposed in the U.S. House.... More >>
2 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 6:23:27 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As students and families are preparing to go on spring break trips, the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and... More >>
3 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A confrontation between neighbors ended with a man shooting two dogs, the Camden County Sheriff's Office said.... More >>
3 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:44:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University's president, Kevin D. Rome, will resign effective June 30 and the next day take over... More >>
4 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:03:00 PM CDT in News
ST. CLAIR (AP) — Firefighters who put out a blaze in an eastern Missouri woode d area found a man's... More >>
4 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:08:16 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A man who investigators say sexually assaulted a 14-year-old female victim on Monday has been charged with... More >>
5 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:42:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A federal court convicted a Columbia man on charges related to child pornography and sexual exploitation of... More >>
5 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A packed audience learned about the connection between obesity and sleep problems Thursday in the Monsanto Auditorium at... More >>
6 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA— A bill supported by representatives on both sides of the aisle aims to change the way childcare subsidies are... More >>
6 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:24:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Residents of Mid-Missouri are accustomed to seeing the large rotunda of the Capitol building in Jefferson City... More >>
6 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Tuesday after witnesses from a deadly shooting connected him with the crime scene. ... More >>
7 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The first African-American to lead the police department in Kansas Cit y, Missouri, i s planning... More >>
7 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:08:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fraud charges have been filed against a man accused of e nrolling in a Missouri co... More >>
8 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A Missouri m an has been indicted for allegedly sex trafficking three female victims, including a minor.... More >>
8 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:26:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Police arrested a man who led officers on a short chase and had a crystallike substance in his... More >>
8 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents rallied in front of U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler's office Thursday morning, asking the Missouri congresswoman to... More >>
8 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:11:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Justice Department attorney says Ferguson, Missouri, i s making "meaningful progress" in enacting policing and... More >>
9 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:31:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
9pm 65°
10pm 65°
11pm 65°
12am 64°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld