Letters to the Editor

Psychologists are breeding bogus service dogs | Letters

Websites from companies like Service Dogs America and Service Dogs Canada sell vests as part of an identification package for service dogs. - Courtesy of servicedogscanada.org
Websites from companies like Service Dogs America and Service Dogs Canada sell vests as part of an identification package for service dogs.
— image credit: Courtesy of servicedogscanada.org

Your April 12, 2012, article on fake service dogs raised an important issue.

Dr. J. Lawrence Thomas and I have written an article in the Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice about letters psychologists write on behalf of patients who have service animals.

Unfortunately, just like bogus service dog vests that can be purchased by anyone, too many medical and mental health professionals are signing boilerplate letters for patients saying they have service animals. Since more and more businesses, airlines, landlords, etc., know that service dog vests don’t really prove anything, people who want to upgrade their pets to service or support animals are getting psychologists to do it for them.

John Ensminger, Stone Ridge, N.Y.

 

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