The BEST way to Handle PUBLIC ACCESS ISSUES for SERVICE DOGS (Step-by-Step)

The BEST way to Handle PUBLIC ACCESS ISSUES for SERVICE DOGS (Step-by-Step)

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This video discusses what to do when you’re denied public access into a store or restaurant with your service dog. Here are step-by-step instructions on what to do when you’re told that you can’t go into a store with your service dog. Includes ADA hotline number.

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48 Comments

  1. Anna on November 14, 2022 at 11:13 am

    There’s many things about this video that I thoroughly appreciate and a few things I wish could be edited.
    Are you open to feedback privately?

  2. Tosca Tattertail on November 14, 2022 at 11:14 am

    This may be counter productive at least in theory. Doctors that are supporting the client that needs a service dog, could circumvent this "certification" nonsense by Writing a Prescription for the dog, making it a medical need like medications. On the prescription they can Identifying the service dog by name, what they are trained to do, and for what reason. then the patient laminate that so it can pass as a legitimate "certificate" of need (maybe different words). It’s official documentation that might actually stop this fake documentation nonsense.

  3. nadia on November 14, 2022 at 11:14 am

    It’s good to have a plan for when they deny access. That way you know every point to hit when explaining the law while being civilized and mature. Thanks for the great video!

  4. Goxy Eagle on November 14, 2022 at 11:16 am

    What dogs are doing in the restaurant anyways??

  5. mailen ajo on November 14, 2022 at 11:16 am

    I have never seen a sign that says no dogs Including service dogs allowed.

  6. Kijahlovex on November 14, 2022 at 11:18 am

    If you’re not a service dog handler, but just a service dog trainer, you do not have the right to take the dog into restaurants, etc. You have to be disabled and be a service dog handler (aka user).

  7. Mel L. on November 14, 2022 at 11:18 am

    If it involves food and they are already pissed off at you, just leave if you can. I wouldn’t trust them to serve me anything after they have already gotten mad about the situation. People can be hold secret grudges. It’s a shame.

  8. Bones ShrinkingCoyote on November 14, 2022 at 11:19 am

    Connecticut law does not require a person using a service dog to prove that the dog
    is being used to help with disabilities in order to be afforded the protections allowed
    to people using service dogs. Like other dogs, the service dog must be licensed and
    have a tag. If the dog has not been previously licensed, the owner must present
    documentation that the dog has been appropriately trained as a service dog to get
    a license. ( Ct is out here being discriminatory against owners that self train their service dogs, not everyone can afford 25K to have a special place train their dog for them)

  9. Lidea Barker on November 14, 2022 at 11:20 am

    I know this is an older video but I chose to watch it because of a recent (Nov. 2022) interaction I had at a health facility. I have had other issues but this one really surprised me. I had been to this facility 3 times with my service dog, once for myself and twice for my husband. The first time I was asked if she was a service dog and then what task she was trained to do. I have PTSD as well as several other mental disabilities, diagnosed 30 years ago, and receive monetary compensation for them. I said she does medication alerts and panic attack intervention. The person was ok with it and we went in to our appointment. One of the doctors claimed to be afraid of dogs so the next time we went I left my dog at home. She asked where the dog was and I said I was being courteous of her fear. The doctor said not to worry about it, the dog was fine. The next visit we were confronted by an office manager who argued with me saying my dog was just a comfort dog and therefore not allowed into the facility. I explained what she did and still was told she was an emotional support animal, not a service dog. How am I meant to deal with a situation like that?? I left the building, went to my car and had a panic attack. When it was over I went back in and cancelled the appointment. I cried most of the way home. I am 66 years old and my husband is 70 and ill. We need health care. I have used my dog Zoe for 11 years, I trained her myself. She does what a service dog is supposed to do. I am housebound without her. Not all people are well intentioned but just uninformed. She has been in hospitals, the dentist, my husbands oncologist office, restaurants, stores (walmart is always being a problem) and all my other usual places with no issues.
    The ADA does not help us by making the laws vague enough for people like this manager to be able to argue the point. PTSD is considered a disability but part of what a service dog does is PREVENT PANIC ATTACKS BY JUST BEING THERE. Once an attack occurs it can’t be turned off, the service dog helps to comfort the person to ease the panic. The word COMFORT IS USED IN THE ADA DESCRIPTION for cripes sake. Why do we not have the right to get out of our homes and function like other people. In my opinion the ADA needs to change the way these descriptions are worded. The line between an emotional support animal and a service dog is very fine one. Is PTSD not an EMOTIONAL problem?? Anxiety disorder is not an EMOTIONAL problem??? I am not capable of fighting these battles, if I was I wouldn’t need to use a service dog.

  10. FlawlessImperfection Beauty on November 14, 2022 at 11:20 am

    I have found some cultures are really resistant to having dogs in their business. This has nothing to do with race obviously, but some countries are shocked by the idea of dogs assisting people, they’ve never seen such a thing and just don’t understand their importance. Some cultures really believe dogs are “unclean” and the laws in their areas would never allow them in businesses, so they are shocked to hear someone ask to bring their dog inside. I’ve seen people really just be worried that giving access would be breaking the law and just didn’t know they were incorrect. Calm, kind and informative conversation with people usually helps diffuse the situation. If you do run into a absolute refusal, do file up with your state office who handles disability complaints, (as well as the number listed here) mine helped with educating a business in NH. I called the police first who put me in contact with the proper authority. Some businesses are still not great about admitting service dogs, and as a result I don’t eat there or only order take out. Great video!

  11. Mylee & Teddy on November 14, 2022 at 11:21 am

    Where is your German shepherds harness from that he was wearing under the table? I love it

  12. Morgan Tam on November 14, 2022 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for this vid. Being in public DOES take all kinds: recently we were in a store and a fellow shopper complain that my dog was in his way and quickly resorted to be vocally loud. Even though the dog was not really in his way – I was the culprit taking the spot in front of the thing he had also wanted to look at – we left and came back to the same aisle after a few minutes. It is important to remember we are all ambassadors of dog handlers and best to "take the high road". <3

  13. Bellatrix&Rowdy on November 14, 2022 at 11:25 am

    We’ve been denied access at Hellmart(aka Walmart) several times! Thanks for the video!

  14. BloodandHonorIreland on November 14, 2022 at 11:26 am

    So much of this would be far easier if there was an actual licence or something for real support animals. Non dog people see a dog they dont know the difference between real and fake ones and its the fake ones cause the issue. There would be nothing for them to question if there was a proper licence. It doesn’t have to give any info on disability just indicates its a properly trained/training service animal.

  15. Elizabeth & Michael cazares on November 14, 2022 at 11:28 am

    im getting my 1st service dog, wheres the website to get the information card?

  16. Susan Anderson on November 14, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Many officers won’t get involved as they say uts q civil matter.

  17. Vince Armstrong on November 14, 2022 at 11:30 am

    Now do one on law enforcement ignoring ADA protections and TRYING to get help with tickets and court appearances. My dog is for mobility issues. Due to some of my symptoms, which are intermittent,I can’t use a leash sometimes. I do leash him when i can manipulate a leash. I’ve been harassed by police (one in particular) for four months now, resulting in one warning citation and two subsequent tickets involving the courts. I’ve explained to the officer, police chief, and the town manager my disabilities (not required or suggested), the laws and protections under the ADA, the requirement that state and local governments modify their policies and procedures to accommodate the disabled. First court appearance, found guilty of ‘dog at large’. Two complaints filed with the DOJ, so far no response.
    People need to know that although the ADA is legitimate law, no funding for enforcement exists, and no one will enforce it. The ADA is no more than noise you can make when opposed with your service dog. That said, IF you can afford an expensive attorney, you can file a civil suit.

  18. Barron Leeds on November 14, 2022 at 11:31 am

    I just found your channel and subscribed. So happy! This is perfect guidance. I’m an LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) training a service dog and this is EXACTLY how it should be handled. Try to educate and inform first, escalate to management or the police if necessary and so on but above all, remain calm. You want to have a conversation, not a confrontation. As Laura mentioned, you are an ambassador to this community. Your conduct will mostly set the tone for the encounter. Most LEO’s are trained on Service Dog access in their academy. I know for sure it is here in Massachusetts. SDITs have the same access in MA. as fully trained SDs so it’s important to know your state laws as well.
    Great job Laura. As I mentioned, I am so glad I found this channel as it has been a wealth of information so far to help in my journey with Hilda.

  19. Kailie Zeeff on November 14, 2022 at 11:33 am

    Thankyou so much!!!! I’m only 17 and haven’t had a public access issue yet, but I know it’s coming. This will make it so much easier ❤️

  20. Mason Wilson on November 14, 2022 at 11:36 am

    I’m in need of a pshyciatric service dog for my ptsd/anxiety. I also have agoraphobia on top of everything else. I’m seeing a pshyciatrist this week and I just got a pup who seems like a good candidate to be a future service dog. I know this is an old video but thank you. This is one of my fears.

  21. John Dunsmore on November 14, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Very well done video. You don’t do a thing by screaming about your rights. Not sure where property owners think you have to have paperwork for a service dog.There is presently no government registry for service dogs. When challenged you can politely tell them that where a business invites the public this is called public accommodation and under the ADA you are allowed access. Even though it may be private property, that claim is waived when the public is invited with a service dog. I have had a service dog for a little under 2 years and have had no problem. If traveling I recommend when you make your reservation that you let the hotel know you have a service dog. They appreciate it an generally put it in their notes so when you check in there is no issue. Same for plane reservations, but here too airlines require a veterinarian’s letter regarding vaccinations.

  22. Scarlet and Bailey the service pups on November 14, 2022 at 11:38 am

    I’m nine haven’t had any public access issues

  23. Katelynn Palin on November 14, 2022 at 11:38 am

    I’m looking for careers but not sure what ones I could have with a service dog. I know I can’t be a surgeon or a line cook(for pups saftey) but not sure which are ok…

  24. Lara Sikora on November 14, 2022 at 11:40 am

    What is ADA

  25. Sageus Vixous on November 14, 2022 at 11:40 am

    I personally would never advise getting the cops involved they are overworked and under educated they often side with the business and refuse to take anything from you to show the law or look it up themselves. Calling the cops you risk your safety and your dogs

  26. aralitra on November 14, 2022 at 11:40 am

    I’ve been watching videos on service dogs in public and I really didn’t appreciate the confrontational attitude most of the video posters had. It’s as if they go out of their way to start something so they can look like a victim. Really glad I found this video as I was beginning to feel as though getting a service dog would be more of a problem for me than a cure.

  27. Patricia Bellah on November 14, 2022 at 11:40 am

    Thank you. Having trouble with my GS service dog when theres a squirrel or a dog. He does watch me unless in those situations. I can get him focused if I use my ecaller on him . Help.

  28. Rach D on November 14, 2022 at 11:43 am

    Gonna lists some issues I’ve had with my sdit (in my state they are allowed in public)
    1. Not plowed in ikea after being allowed in with her many times before, apparently their policy (which I couldn’t find and they wouldn’t show us) didn’t allow sdit. After the manager came over who was a little aggressive and caused me a panic attack, we were allowed in and all we needed to do was go eat since we had already finished shopping.
    2. At a ramen store (saying this because I think a lot of issues happen here where a language barrier can be an issue) they asked for a card and almost didn’t let us in. My sdit did bark at the waving cat thing so I understand if they were questioning her (she had never seen one of the waving cats so I don’t blame her, I did get her under control)
    3. At school

  29. AnimeWhisperer18 on November 14, 2022 at 11:47 am

    look i’ve been nice and have educated for so long, and you’ll learn some people shut you up before you can say anything, or straight up don’t care about what you have to say, or what your wrights are, unfortunately, I’ve found myself just having to leave and find another place to get things done most of the time when that happens,

  30. dr who on November 14, 2022 at 11:52 am

    Hi Laura I’ve been having issues with random people in stores who come up to me and my Service dog and most of them start by saying "get that dog out of the store" and "you’re Service dog is a fake" how should I handle these situations?

  31. The Hungry Duck on November 14, 2022 at 11:52 am

    Thank you for making these videos. I’m curious about the mussel on dog in public places like restaurants and airports. Is it required?

  32. River the Service Doodle on November 14, 2022 at 11:53 am

    What about if the dog actively starts alerting while the encounter is happening.

  33. Troy Spain on November 14, 2022 at 11:53 am

    Ok so I am a disabled veteran ( Parkinson’s & severe PTSD) anyone want to tell me how this s%$t is going to go down and how many times do I have to do this oh and never mind the medical device how about me.

  34. Steve and Sherry Santoyo on November 14, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Do you have a video on how to train for anxiety response for my service dog?

  35. Roms on November 14, 2022 at 11:55 am

    thank you for this! my prospect is a giant breed (male leonberger, around three feet tall.) and i just know im going to get access issues

  36. A Secret court of crows and clockwork doors on November 14, 2022 at 11:57 am

    As a future service dog handler it this video is super useful. Thanks

  37. Scott McAllister on November 14, 2022 at 11:58 am

    A great response!! and very well said

  38. Eric Sullivan on November 14, 2022 at 11:59 am

    Well said. Thank you.

  39. Trent Page on November 14, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Been getting virgil ready, testing him in public access.

  40. Kenn Yapsangco on November 14, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    Why won’t you just bring paperwork or ID? People need assurance. I’ve heard people passing thier pets as service dogs.

  41. Molly Campbell on November 14, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    Would you recommend recording the interaction?

  42. Alexander Squid on November 14, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    I have had two businesses in the last month give me issues, and trying to educate them failed.

    Both of them managers, both of them stating that I “need to have a vest if that’s a real service dog.”

    When I tried to educate them and hand them information (ADA cards), they got very upset with me and refused to let me speak.

    One of them even started yelling at me, cursing at me, saying that I “didn’t need to be so hostile.”

    I am still dumbfounded, shocked, absolutely appalled.

    They’ve both been reported to both the DOJ and their respective corporate offices.

  43. Try Again on November 14, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    How can you contact the ADA? The ADA is a law, not a government agency.

    You would file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. And the Attorney General’s office for the most part won’t do anything.

    They may send a letter to the business informing them of the law. Maybe after multiple complaints they might fine the business.

  44. Charlie Rosenthal on November 14, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    Boom! Here’s his “paperwork”. Gestapo, handled.

  45. kolem26 on November 14, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    What happens after you report and file a complaint with ADA?

  46. The Common Edit on November 14, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    I was denied access from a trolley bus at a Disney campsite. The driver asked me for prove. We were literally on our way back from the pool which we had to take a trolley to get to in the first place.

  47. Roma Farmer on November 14, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you! I’m a new handler with social anxiety, autism, and minor agoraphobia so having an access issue scares me but my dog being able to task for me is totally worth it!

  48. *ItzSköll* on November 14, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks! I’m actually going to be a future service dog handler and this video was helpful!

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