It needs to be said. Don’t think for a minute we don’t notice because we do, we just keep it to ourselves. But that needs to stop now. The knowing glances we exchange with each other when you enter, the eye rolling we do behind your back, and the subtle head shaking we do as we pass by you. It all needs to be out in the open. Someone should grow up and say it out loud. So here it is.

We are not fooled by your fake service dog bullshit.

Now before all you animal lovers get your granny panties in a wad, let me make something perfectly clear to you. NO ONE IS AGAINST SERVICE DOGS. People understand that not everyone who uses one is blind or deaf and that some people have disabilities that you cannot see, like PTSD, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. So how can we tell your little fur ball is a fake? Especially after you went to the trouble of ordering the patch and vest and whatever else off the Internet? Because well-trained dogs behave in a certain way and real service dogs are as well trained as they come. Here is a quote from an article published several years ago in a Florida newspaper-

“The best way to tell if a service dog is legitimate is to observe its behavior, authorities say. Service dogs won’t appear restless or jump or bark. They will obey the disabled owner’s commands, perform tasks and lie down passively where instructed.”

You can see that there are particular things that service dogs do, and as importantly things they do not do, that set them apart from your little two-pound teacup poodle Fifi. They don’t jump up on the seats in a restaurant, or beg at the table while you eat. They most definitely do not drag their butts across the carpet (yes I saw it and I will NEVER eat there again). They don’t growl at small children or bark at people. They don’t wander to the ends of their leashes to check on what the people at the next table are eating.

When your “service dog” has wound it’s leash around the table legs, chairs and you until it is some sort of advanced Boy Scout knot, we can tell that he’s not there to assist you with anything other than perhaps creating a tripping hazard for unsuspecting diners.

As for all of you out there who like to claim the dogs are your “therapy” dogs and are for emotional support, companionship and whatever garbage you can come up with? While it may be true that you are self absorbed enough to think this matters, this doesn’t actually qualify Mr. Piddles as a service dog according to the law.

What is even worse is the total disrespect this shows to people who rely on service dogs to get through each day. Their dogs take years to train, cost thousands of dollars and they can wait for excessively long periods of time to get one. You, on the other hand, are the equivalent of the lazy asshole that parks in the handicapped spot for your own convenience.   People who require service dogs should be allowed to bring them anywhere they need to, without question. The problem is that you and Nippers are creating an atmosphere where every person with a dog is questioned. Because you lie. You should be ashamed.

If your little fur baby Snuggles is so fragile that she can’t be left home alone while you go out to lunch, might I suggest that you just stay home with her? That way we all can enjoy ourselves.


Melissa Coble is a mom living in Phoenix, Arizona just trying to survive the teenage years with a lot of laughs, an occasional rant, and copious amounts of wine. You can find her counting the days until her nest is empty on her blog An Unfit Parent and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  1. God bless all service dogs. I am so grateful for the dogs that help our war veterans who have PTSD.

  2. This post is amazing!! In LA there are so many “service dogs” and it’s all for the only reason to keep a chiuwawa with them at all times – it disgraces true service dogs!

    Thank you!

  3. Thanks for this post. As a person with a real service dog, I share your irritation. I get questioned a lot more often than I used to years ago, because of all the fakers. I’ve seen fake service dogs bark and lunge at my dog and even people who tried to come near their owner. It’s scary. A Chihuahua tried to attack my dog in Walmart, but when I complained, staff wouldn’t do anything because they said the person said it was a service dog. More people need to be educated on the fact that businesses have the legal right to eject a dog that is being disruptive or dangerous.

  4. Bravo. This needed to be said. I am sick of people lying. With each lie, you make it more difficult for someone who needs a true service animal. It takes 25k to train these animals. This will not end until HUD gives a better definition of emotion all support animals as well. I realize that lawmakers do not control HUD but I guarantee, if we pulled together, we could be the squeaky wheel that gets it started. Contact your lawmakers and be the burr in their side. One place to start, there is a particular “doctor” in Colorado Springs, CO. He has three companies that give validity to each other. It won’t be hard to find him as an investigative reporter debunked him. He and those like him are a large part of the problem.

  5. Service dogs should have to have government issued tags, just like cars that park in handicapped bays. This fake service dog bullshit is getting out of control.

      • ALL service animals are not “BS.” That is a snap judgement and actually pretty offensive. Highly trained animals are often of help to people with real disabilities such as limited sight and epilepsy. Please be more respectful.

      • You are correct IMO. I would immediately ban all service ANIMALS from public places with the exception of dogs for the blind and only the blind. Everyone else can go live in private with their animals in the privacy of their own homes. If people are fragile, lost, lonely, weak, troubled, I care about you and certainly committed that you get what you need in life AND you and your animal are not allowed in my home store cafe restaurant or airline.

  6. I have an emotional support animal because I have PTSD sand depression. These are severe conditions that I have had all of my life. I have a pom/chi dog that I take everywhere with me. She provides me a lot of comfort and has prob prevented me from killing myself. Why is my disability any less valid than yours? Is it because it’s mental health? Does my dog need to demonstrate some certain skill for you to get it ?

    • Is the dog properly trained to act as an emotional support animal? No one’s questioning the validity of your disability. They’re questioning the validity of your animal as a properly trained service dog. If it has received the proper training, then more power to you. If not, then it is NOT a service animal and it shouldn’t be allowed anywhere any other untrained pets are not allowed.

      • Some dogs are IN TRAINING with the person who bought them being the person that needs them and is training them

    • That’s called a pet. Get your comfort from it at home and take a person out with you if you need to. What about people who are afraid of dogs? Is their disability “any less valid than yours”????

    • Your issues may be serious, but actual service animals don’t behave badly in public. If you need a service animal get one that has been trained, or at the very least make sure yours is well trained.

    America has a class of abusers of minor privileges, of which this is one. The “my pet is a service animal” abusers are no different from those that get the handicap parking tag for a sprained ankle, and use it for three years to grab the close-in parking. One can only hope there is a special, roped-off section of hell awaiting these folks.

  8. I’m finally home.
    I am tired of fake service dogs like Poodles and other purse dogs with a home made apron. So my allergies have to flare in stores, because they have social issues. They are not babies, they are animals. What is next? Can I have a service cat or service donkey? Should a service dog be barking at people in a restaurant. I will sneeze all day due to a blind or deaf service dog and darw not say a word.

  9. Amanda John Reply

    B.S. I as a doctor was asked to write the prescriptions for service dogs, no legitimate person ever asked for one. Only those who were faking disabilities and wanted drugs would also have a service dog. These people were all perfectly normal but crooks.

  10. Amen, amen, amen to this! I often fly with my PET, non-service dog, and it’s expensive. I keep my mouth shut and pay the fee. Friends have suggested I claim he is a service dog, but the fact is the matter is he’s not, he’s not trained as one, and I’m far too big a believer in karma to think that this would be okay. There are individuals who truly need service animals and, I agree, this is very disrespectful to them. Emotional support, my ass. And this is coming from someone with clinical, documented, medically-treated depression.

  11. As an Uber driver, I occasionally get a “service animal” in my car. I am legally obligated to take the animal. Most of the times it is obvious that the animal is not needed to provide any service to the rider (a chihuahua in a handbag eg.) but, we are not allowed to ask for proof and have to take the word of the rider when they tell us it is a service animal. Also, we can not charge the rider for any cleaning fees that may occur after the animal is in the car such as fur or even bodily fluids. This is the law and even though the vehicle we are using is our own we have to accept these critters in our car. One complaint that we haven’t results in our account being deactivated pending an investigation (which will almost always favor the customer as to avoid any lawsuits). So after a dog has been in the car, I have to spend time cleaning and airing out the vehicle to make it presentable for my next rider. This costs me time and money. It’s bullshit. If the animal truly is needed (like a seeing eye dog) I understand and have compassion, but so far none have been.

    • Uber is a ride share service. You are not operating a company car. As such you may legally refuse to transport any person for any reason. The benefit of bypassing taxi regulations is you aren’t bound by them. That being said Uber may chose not to continue using you if you do refuse.

  12. Many people pull this fake service animal scam. There should be a law for the owner to prove it’s really a service animal before they can even get the credentials! (ID badge, Vest, etc.) The fakes are discrediting the real service animals. Passing off a fake should mean jail time!

  13. Great article. Just had a student bring the dog into a college classroom and then have the nerve to argue it was a service dog that keeps him from being depressed. I said no and he showed me some letter from some fake online agency. Keep in mind the student is in my class for the past 4 months and didn’t need a service dog……Ugh.

  14. Great post! I’m going to backlink to this for a blog I’m currently writing. I can’t stand people who act like their dog is a service animal for no real reason. Ridiculous.

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