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Kristy
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9,291 Posts
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We've had at least one of these 'professional' kennels mentioned here before. Pretty appalling.

"...Properly training a service dog can take up to 1 ½ years and cost upward of $50,000, depending on the tasks it is taught to perform. But the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require that a service dog be professionally trained or certified. And, according to the U.S. Department of Justice , local and state agencies are prohibited from requiring that the dogs be registered."

https://www.apnews.com/d0bb5c8e25574612869a71f3dd1a8e6a
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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1,842 Posts
This is totally insane that the states are PROHIBITED in requiring the dogs be registered but no oversight for training programs. Not to mention the damage that is caused by this to the people in need of service dogs. That girl Sobie May never trust another dog again so how will she get a service dog that could help her!?

THEN there's the girl that committed suicide. That alone he should be charged for manslaughter. I'm still picking my jaw up off the floor.

The guy is trying to protect himself with filing for bankruptcy. That will not work with criminal actions coming his way and that only protects from monetary restitution. But with criminal actions, that won't save him either way. The guy needs to rot in jail at a minimum and if they find him guilty and responsible for these girls suicide, they should sentence him with capital punishment (not sure NC had that though)
 

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Super Moderator
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1,213 Posts
It's much safer to stick with a non-profit organization that does not charge for its service dogs. But this means a substantial wait for a service dog and applicants are screened.*


*In interest of full disclosure, I am a volunteer with such an organization.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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1,842 Posts
I have a 21 year old niece with severe Cerebral Palsy. I am always shocked at the people willing to take advantage of families that are already dealing with so many struggles.
A lot of times, unfortunately, those are the easiest people to take advantage of. So much going on hard to keep track of it all.
 

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Premium Member
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18,012 Posts
I have always thought service dogs should at a minimum be required to pass a public access test, like dogs that are certified for therapy work. Whatever "service" they provide to the individual is between them and the dog, but they should at least be able to move about in public safely and calmly.

This guy needs to be charged criminally, what he has done is heinous.
 

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Super Moderator
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1,213 Posts
The worst are people trying to pass off their dogs as service dogs to gain access to public spaces when they aren't really service dogs. There should be serious fines and penalties for such behavior.
 

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Registered
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720 Posts
The worst are people trying to pass off their dogs as service dogs to gain access to public spaces when they aren't really service dogs. There should be serious fines and penalties for such behavior.
I can’t say I’ve ever noticed it in my area; however, I live in an area with a very respected service dog organization. Lots of them are out and about. I can say I am always surprised by the amount of people who tell their kids they cannot pet my puppy or people who ask if she’s in training. I guess it’s a shock of seeing a well behaved dog in a pet friendly store not pet centric and people don’t think about it. It’s sad what people will do. And sometimes I think people can’t wait and then go get a dog on their own and that’s hard. If you don’t have the right resources and training program you’ll likely have a pet you’d desired to do more (and a pet is great but you know my point).
 

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Super Moderator Leader
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47,212 Posts
Senate Bill to be Introduced

https://www.wnct.com/news/north-carolina/senate-bill-would-introduce-regulations-into-dog-training-operations-like-ry-con/1991856596?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_WNCT-TV


North Carolina
Senate bill would introduce regulations into dog training operations like Ry-Con


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - Apex non-profit Ry-Con, and its owner, Mark Mathis, allegedly sold untrained and aggressive service dogs to special needs families nationwide.

WNCN has learned that the dog training industry has no oversight or regulations anywhere in the country. A Senate bill introduced into the Massachusetts legislature could change that.

Megan Thomas has been training pet dogs for more than a decade.

She said, “There’s no governing body that’s overseeing anything that a dog trainer does. Right now, you could make a Facebook page, and you could make a website, and you could print off business cards labeling yourself as a dog trainer, and there really isn’t anyone who could tell you otherwise.”

Some argue the lack of oversight in the dog training industry has allowed scammers to slip through the cracks. More than 50 families say they paid Ry-Con big bucks for a dog that was supposed to help their special needs child, but instead, they received untrained and in many cases, aggressive dogs.

WNCN also spoke with former Ry-Con employees who say Mark Mathis promoted them to dog trainers after two weeks of cleaning the kennels.

One former trainer said she "didn't have no clue" what she was doing.

North Carolina Rep. Pricey Harrison is surprised to learn the dog training industry is unregulated.

“I’m just surprised anybody could set up shop and start selling service dogs,” Harrison said. “That’s a real problem and I would advocate for setting up a licensing authority.”

Massachusetts Senator Nick Collins filed a bill that would require dog trainers to be licensed. The bill would create a board of examiners made up of licensed dog trainers, veterinarians, Department of Agriculture members and animal rights activists. Representative Harrison says she thinks this bill could be a good thing to replicate in North Carolina.

“We are currently past our deadline for bill introduction and bill passage, but I think there’s a way to maybe get a study in and to have some legislation ready for the next short session would be in next 12 months,” Harrison said. “This is the kind of thing we need to protect those who are at risk of being preyed upon when they’ve got a disability and they need help.”

WNCN reached out to Senator Collins to find out his motivations for passing this bill, but so far has not heard back.
 
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