Wednesday, 21 August 2013 20:03

David Frei known as the Voice of The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and friend of Talkin' Pets will join Jon Saturday 8/24/13 at 5 PM EST to discuss the illegal use of service dogs Featured

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"What position if any do you think AKC should take in the growing illegal use of people saying a dog is a service dog ? when in all too many cases they are not?"

Here is my reply. It's a little long, not sure if/how they will use it. I am anxious to see the other responses, too.

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The AKC should begin by lobbying the government agency responsible for ADA enforcement and encourage them to create a system that can provide proper identification and authorization for legitimate service dogs. I know and appreciate the challenges with that, but it can not go on the way that it is.

Separately or additionally, the ADA needs to clarify the rules and principles and issues pertaining to service dogs, and after it does, the AKC can help get that information out. This would include explaining the difference between service dogs (they have rights of access) and therapy dogs (they do not).

Next, the AKC can help the government shut down these bogus websites that offer service dog vests and IDs in exchange for a couple of dog treat box tops and a few bucks.

The AKC can help educate the people who work at the airport ticket counters and security checkpoints as to what might be happening. Let's emphasize sensitivity for legitimate service dogs and their humans, but let's weed out the base stealers.

The AKC can create an internal campaign discouraging dog show people from scamming their way into airplanes (a felony, by the way) to transport a dog to a dog show. Make everyone aware that this is a crime, that it is immoral and unethical, that it is an act that jeopardizes service dogs and their human partners, and that it does not reflect well on our sport and the people in it at a time that we need all the friends we can get. Let's talk about what service dogs mean to their people and that jeopardizing their work jeopardizes the safety, health, well-being and daily functionality of their humans. Building awareness about this can create some peer pressure, perhaps, and make someone think twice about getting on that airplane under phony premises.

Next, the AKC should work with the airlines to encourage them to provide realistic fees, services and safety for carrying our dogs.

Does it really have to come to this? Do we need to suggest that someone be stationed in the airport with a camera on dog show weekends? Flying your dog as a service dog when it is not a service dog is a disgusting practice. I know all the reasons that people use to justify it, and I don't dispute them. But to have that result in bringing your dog (or your client's dog) on an airplane as a service dog can not be tolerated. By the way, I put something on my Facebook page recently about this topic, and had a response that I have never experienced before, both in volume and in stridency. This does not reflect well on the dog show world.

The AKC mantra is that we are the dog's champion, and that "we" includes all of us in the sport and those dogs that we champion include service dogs.

And one more thing: please, if you are among those dog show people doing this, do not show up on one of my flights.

David Frei

Also see this story: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/they_re_licked_H9js6NfMXjSAbkkCYu97NI
Read 6037 times Last modified on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 20:11
Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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