I’ve once read somewhere that the state of Tennessee had passed a law which prohibits business owners and managers of properties, that the general public has access to, from requesting documentation that verifies the authenticity of a service animal. Now! Speaking as somebody who has had three Seeing Eye Dogs over the last twenty-six years; I’ve got to say that, “This is the stupidest law I’ve ever heard of!”
I think it is totally foolish to deny the owner of a business, manager of an organization or even an employee of an operation the right to ask if an individual has brought an authentic service animal into their building, premises, etc. I don’t think it’s a bright idea. It just blows my mind, too, that anyone else would think it’s a bright idea, either.
That identification that we carry (at least graduates of the Seeing Eye carry) protects, business owners, the general public and us from some rather unpleasant things that could otherwise occur if the employees and owners of an establishment weren’t able to verify who’s legitimate and who isn’t. Personally; I’ve been told many times over the years, “You don’t look like a blind person.” So if people are confused as to what my status is when they look at me with my dog and everything; just imagine how easy it is for other people that don’t have service dogs (or other type animals) to bring said animals into an establishment under fraudulent circumstances; claiming that their animal is a service animal when it really isn’t.
It’s happened! It goes on all of the time. I’ve personally witnessed it.
If government restricts even the ability of the people at the Post Office to question which animals should be in a building where animals are commonly not allowed, “It’s a hazard to everyone!” Not just on the insurance end with the liability but on the physical end, as well.
Anybody who has ever been a part of a dog attack knows exactly what I’m talking about. Things can get really nasty really fast, especially if the person who has brought their dog into a building fraudulently isn’t a very good handler of said animal.
I don’t know if such a law has ever been passed in the state of New Jersey. Quite frankly; it is irrelevant to me if it has. If any business owner ever asks me to show documentation that I am in fact handling an authentic Seeing Eye Dog, “They are going to see it.”
Some laws are useful. However, I can honestly say, based on my own personal experience; other laws like the one passed in the state of Tennessee aren’t useful “to anyone” at all.