Important headlines for August 20th – Fake service animals & South Florida’s victim mentality
Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...
Enough with the pets in stores! Leave your darn dog at home - Sun Sentinel
Excerpt: I was at Trader Joe’s in Fort Lauderdale pondering the Greek yogurts when a woman sidled up with a small dog on a leash.
As she fiddled with something in her purse, the dog jumped up, putting its paws on the containers in the cold case.
Annoyed and disgusted, I got the oblivious woman’s attention, and asked her to please curb her dog. The cute little pooch had a red vest on that identified it as a service dog.
She scolded the animal and went about shopping. I skipped the yogurt. Who knows where those paws had been. A few minutes later, I heard the dog barking.
A service dog would be better behaved.
Hot Take: Amen. Let me start by saying that we’re animal lovers. From the rescues that are the kids we couldn’t have inside our house, to the preserve of animals we care for outside of it (pretty much any animal that dents our doorstep gets fed). That being said there’s a time and a place for everything. Increasingly businesses, most notably airlines, have been cracking down on the fake service animals claim. I thought about that as on one of our flights home a first-class ticket had been purchased for a 36-pound dog - I’m not kidding. That dog was well behaved, but I’ve also seen plenty of the opposite outcomes. From the “service dog” that pooped in the middle of the department store Ashley was at recently, to service dog that jumped into my crotch at a grocery store recently – it's abusive to say the least.
The problem is in our “victim” culture – people with legitimate needs and disabilities are crowded out by those trying to take advantage of the system and/or who enjoy playing the victim. Businesses often error on the side of allowing just about anything for the fear of being sued that it's become a free for all. Related, my wife Ashley served on a jury a couple of years ago for a case involving a local restaurant that was sued when it threw a woman and her “service dog” out when it was harassing other customers which was resulting in complaints and lost business. She sued. Thankfully Ashley was on the jury and was able to influence the outcome accordingly but that’s the risk that businesses run for simply trying to do the right thing on behalf of their business and majority of their customers.
It’s absurd and everyone loses. Those with actual disabilities and needs especially. The problem is the laws aren’t restrictive enough to empower businesses, social media is full of people trying to hurt businesses the moment the world doesn’t bend to their view of reality and way too many people are walking around waiting to be victims.