There's a huge difference between service dogs and the ones that provide a person emotional assistance. While the former is specially trained to assist one with their prevalent disability, the latter receives no training to help a person with any sort of impairment.
We are no stranger to people taking advantage of the idea of emotional support animals in order to get their pets access to places that restricts their entry. Be it planes or restaurants, these pet owners often enjoy the perks of carrying them everywhere without much hassle. However, there's a huge difference between "service dogs" and the ones that provide a person emotional assistance. Now, the former is specially trained to assist one with their prevalent disability, but the latter receives no training to help a person with any sort of impairment. Of course, many people have valid reasons for owning a pet especially to support them emotionally and we are in no way diminishing their importance, however, there exists a select few who often misuse this accomodation simply to make their lives a little easier.
Having had enough of such owners abusing such laws, and perceiving "emotional support animals" and "service dogs" as the same, one restaurant decided to distinguish between the two, further warning them from entering the premises if they don't have a valid reason for the animal accompanying them. In the notice of warning, which has now gone viral, the restaurant strictly wrote: No dogs are allowed in the restaurant. If you are bringing in your service animal be aware of the following. Explaining what "service dogs" exactly means, the letter continued, "A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability." This includes dogs who are trained to detect seizures in people suffering from epilepsy and guide visually impaired people while walking.
People are prescribed an "emotional support animal" by a psychiatrist or some other health experts, however, it doesn't change the fact that they are not trained to assist their owners with any medical emergencies. The restaurant further states that according to the law the establishment has the right to ask for proof that reveals the animal's qualifications. Unfortunately, it is far too easy to promote your pet to an ESA because it simply requires a letter from your therapist affirming that your animal contributed to your psychological wellbeing, according to The Guardian. Now, if someone does not have a therapist they can simply contact for-profit websites, known as ESA mills, which are quick to provide you with a "dubious disability appraisal by a clinician" simply over the phone and additionally provide vests and tags to make the pets look as official as possible.
Your article describes an emotional support animal but your picture appears to show an actual service or guide dog. ESA certification means little so don't conflate the two, please pic.twitter.com/X1q6bOt6MF— 👻 climate change is already here (@eepod2) 30 May 2019
According to The Guardian, only "service dogs" have the right to accompany their owners everywhere, however, a letter from one's therapist easily does the trick. One can enter into an animal-free apartment and even fly with them in the plane’s cabin without any charges if they are equipped with a letter from their therapist. Being untrained these animals could easily harm people around them there are several incidents that can vouch for it. According to a report by The Washington Post, Marlin Jackson a passenger traveling from Atlanta to San Diego was reportedly attacked by a supposed "emotional support animal." Jackson suffered 28 stitches which were said to leave permanent scarring as well.
A man attacked by another passenger’s emotional support dog on a 2017 Delta flight filed suit against the owner and the airline.— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) 30 May 2019
Marlin Jackson "bled so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the airplane,” the suit said.https://t.co/pXaJH2G4Bt
And in 2014, Patricia Marx a resident of New York wandered around with her fake ESA creatures, which included a snake, an alpaca, and a pig named Daphne, proving just how easy it is to trick others into letting such people enter restaurants, buildings, and museums that do not allow pets. When the untrained pets misbehave, they form a negative perception about actual "service dogs" as well, which is simply unfair. Sure, dogs help their owners with a myriad of health problems, especially emotionally, however, it only becomes a problem when others misuse the system having no sense of respect for legit owners who find themselves in trouble due to prior unprofessional experience with a supposed ESA.
“In 2014, the New Yorker’s Patricia Marx gallivanted freely around the city with five successive fake ESA creatures, including a snake, an alpaca, and a pig named Daphne, demonstrating how easy it is to trick bewildered staff into letting random animal…” https://t.co/Eb3Dt12OO7— Vicki Day (@MrsVickiDay) 13 August 2019