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Yes, there is an epidemic. Precisely my words when I interviewed for a recent story on ABC News.
I deal with this on an almost daily basis as a professional dog trainer and one who trains service dogs.
More and more people are claiming their pets as service dogs or emotional support dogs. Most don't know the correct names or have any idea what the law entails or what their dogs actually do for them other than provide comfort.
I get calls almost daily from imposters and people who are looking for a way around the law. Most have no idea what real service dog training entails and they want me to "certify" their pets that they say are naturals.
I also know there are many trainers now advertising on their websites that they train service dogs when they have no idea what is entailed and have never trained a service dog. Some have no education or experience as a professional dog trainer.
It is definitely out of hand, and I support legislation to close the loopholes, including service dog licensing (not to be confused with certification) at the municipal or state level.
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