"Attack Dogs" or Dogs with "Protection Training" Prohibited by ADA
The confrontation with the owner of a fake service pit bull occurred in the Walmart food section.
Sallisaw, OK - Several days ago, this stunning video came to our attention. A courageous woman in a motorized cart (also called a "Rascal scooter") films, follows and confronts the owner of a fake service pit bull in a Walmart in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. She calls out the owner multiple times, "That is not a service dog," and "Service dogs stay right by their master" and "Service dogs do not get distracted like that." All the while, the soft whirl of the motorized cart is heard in the background.
She starts out by asking the dog's owner, "Why do you have that dog in here? That's not a service dog." After being rebuffed by the dog's owner, she continues to film and follow the couple, stating, "You are lying, that is a fake service dog." As the couple winds through the aisles, she says, "He can't even walk along side of you because he is not trained well enough for that." After the couple stops, the tension really lights up. The owner states the dog is also, "My personal attack dog."
Learn why breed choice matters in service dogs and why pit bull service dogs are a bad idea.
At this stage, the woman on the mobility scooter has legal grounds to ask Walmart to throw out the fake service pit bull -- the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) explicitly does not cover "attack dogs" or dogs with "protection training" (apprehension or bite work). Further, "the Department's modification also clarifies that the crime-deterrent effect of a dog's presence, by itself, does not qualify as work or tasks for purposes of the service animal definition," states the ADA guidance.
The Department recognizes that despite its best efforts to provide clarification, the "minimal protection" language appears to have been misinterpreted. While the Department maintains that protection from danger is one of the key functions that service animals perform for the benefit of persons with disabilities, the Department recognizes that an animal individually trained to provide aggressive protection, such as an attack dog, is not appropriately considered a service animal. Therefore, the Department has decided to modify the "minimal protection" language to read "nonviolent protection," thereby excluding so-called "attack dogs" or dogs with traditional "protection training" as service animals. The Department believes that this modification to the service animal definition will eliminate confusion, without restricting unnecessarily the type of work or tasks that service animals may perform. The Department's modification also clarifies that the crime-deterrent effect of a dog's presence, by itself, does not qualify as work or tasks for purposes of the service animal definition. - Appendix A to Part 36 - Guidance on Revisions to ADA Regulation on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities
The senior citizen in the motorized cart has the "attack dog" admission captured on video, as well as the owner saying, "He [the pit bull] attacks people." Enforcement by Walmart, however, is not what happens next. Instead, the owner walks away and returns with an empty shopping cart. Our heroine seated in the Rascal stands her ground and says again, "Look at how he is distracted by everything that comes by. That is not a real service dog! You people need to get it out of the store!"
At 4:15 a Walmart employee steps in and tells our heroine, "It's none of our business," referring to whether or not the dog is a real service animal. "Yes it is," says the woman on the mobility scooter. "If someone gets attacked in here, you're going to get sued up your ass. She said it's her 'attack dog.'" Next, the employee, who lacks knowledge of the ADA guidance, blocks her from filming and states she cannot record people inside Walmart. The employee then asks her to leave the store.
Now, in a complete reversal of the ADA, a Walmart employee is ordering a senior citizen with a disability, who is navigating the store on a motorized cart, to leave the store because she called out a fake service dog. Our heroine then zigzags through the aisles to find her husband, as we hear the whirl of the cart's miniature engine. When she finally reaches her husband, she says, "James, they are going to call the police on me because I was recording one of their customers."
She also states in the video that two senior citizens in wheelchairs were killed by pit bulls in just the past few weeks, perhaps referring to 84-year old Carolyn Varanese and 60-year old Sharon Baldwin. She interestingly cuts back to the store manager in still screens as well because they are wrong. They failed to enforce the Walmart service animal policy and instead only focused on her filming, which corporate states is "prohibited" and reserves the right to enforce that policy.
Yet, the entire time she is recording unlawful conduct and the abuse of the ADA -- and is doing so in her own defense had it come to that.
Toward the end of the video, several long text screens spell out how ADA protections do not apply to attack dogs. She also asks viewers, "Does anyone else think SHE should have been told to leave the store, instead of me?" She states that she and her husband finished their shopping that day -- "the guy didn't hunt me down and we never saw the police." She also asked a police officer later that day if it’s illegal to film at Walmart. The police officer "laughed and said no," she said.
As watchers of YouTube know, the conversation continues in comments, often fiercely and tainted by trolls. YouTuber "Mud People," who recorded the video, defends herself against them and gets admiration from others. Such as, "Just when you think Walmart couldn't suck anymore" and "Good for you, enough is enough … I admire you very much" and our favorite, "Not all hero’s wear capes." We encourage readers to join comments on YouTube in support of Mud People.
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Sooo… a disabled senior in a motorized cart is told to leave the store, while the owners of the distractable “attack dog” get to check out without a word from employees? How is this protecting customers and aiding those with disabilities?
She was extremely courageous. It is a miracle from God that she wasn’t assaulted and battered. What percentage of pet dogs that are brought into commercial establishments are simply just pets, and obviously not service animals? What percentage of dogs that are passed off as service animals obviously have not received one iota of bona fide service training? The former is huge, and the latter is minuscule. Every time I report fake service dogs to management, I am ignored. Because the flood of fake service dogs in commercial establishments is something that we just have to live with. Because the vast majority of the citizenry is required to yield to federally mandated social engineering gone obviously awry. This ubiquitous federally mandated charade can be instantly terminated if federal law simply mandated that pet animals are required to be accepted at all places where goods and services are sold to the public. What we have now is effectively tantamount to such. The real victims have little to win and nothing to lose.
I would argue that the percentage of pets is close to 100%, Richard. And I hope that this lady keeps right on shooting video wherever she goes. There are a lot of fake service dogs out there.
OTOH, there’s a bar not far away from where I live. Place has a sign posted in the front window saying that it is a dog- and child-free establishment. I wish that more businesses would do this.
I was told by 2 or 3 walmart employees posting on youtube that they would have done various things to me if I had been following ‘them’ with ‘their’ dog. One said she’d have gone to jail for what she’d have done. These people use fake names on youtube but I found out who several of them were who made really nasty comments, and confronted them, and LOL told them they’d have left in an ambulance if they’d have attacked me. And I had a strap in my purse for the purpose of strangling a pit bull if I ever get attacked. Cause they don’t let go with all the other things people do, but when they can’t breathe they let go. I’ve been considering making a follow-up video with info on the people who were local residents and were nasty. I lost interest in the idea until the last few weeks, when all of a sudden I’m getting over 10 comments a day again on this video that is almost a year old. It’s got 20,000 more views in just a few weeks. I don’t know what’s going on there! LOL
You’re welcome. Keep up the good work!
So glad this woman called these fakers out. These people are gross and disgusting at the least – letting their mauler sniff and drool everything. Not to mention dangerous. The manager is an IDIOT. He REALLY wants the mauler to stay and the disabled woman to leave? Lovely. Attack dogs are NOT covered by the ADA, I hope this helps spread that word!
The ESA legislation has to change.
I know I will have people disagree with my opinion on this, but dogs have no business in walmart. It’s unhygienic and unsafe. These days so many people are bending a lot of these of these “service dog rules”, to bring pit bulls anywhere and everywhere. This is dangerous. That beast could have mauled anyone in that store, but the employees are more concerned about the disabled woman filming who is concerned for everyone’s safety???? What is wrong with those employees? There is no need for a so called attack dog in a walmart in the first place. The pit nutters should have been kicked out for bringing a living weapon into the store.
But she’s right. Once someone gets mauled and walmart gets sued, then they’ll care.
I don’t know about Oklahoma, but in California it is, of course, illegal for any live animal to be inside an establishment that handles and sells food to the public — except for service dogs (and miniature horses!!!). And things like lobsters in a lobster tank.
We move frequently due to my husband’s job, and when we moved to California in 2012 I was shocked to see dogs of every description in stores and restaurants. They were obviously pets and many unleashed. Once in a Lowe’s, I saw a pack of three unleashed German shepherds wandering around near their owner. Another time, I even had another customer in IKEA (which also serves food) complain to an employee that I had my children in the store…while she was holding a small pet dog.
Since then, I have noticed this trend in other states. Among the dangers is the potential of turning up an aisle and crashing into a large ferocious dog without any expectation that a dog would even be in the store. Although it is becoming more common to bring pets in stores, most of us are not on guard like we (sadly) have to be while walking in a neighborhood or park. There was previously a sense of trust that dogs we saw in public spaces would be well-controlled and highly trained service animals. That is no longer the case and rather than making human safety a priority, these scofflaw dog owners have an entitlement mentality, believing their fur babies or protection dogs have as much—or more—right to be in stores as human customers.
Bailey, not only do I agree with your opinion, my agreement is so big, it needs a beacon to warn passing aircraft.
Dogs and other animals are NOT people. They do not belong in supermarkets and other establishments that serve us.
Thanks for that video, Colleen! I posted some support on YouTube (see copy below). I should point out a trivial point. Your citation about “attack dogs” not being recognized as service animals under the ADA is from 28 C.F.R. Part 35 — which specifically is in reference to “public entities” (a term of art for state and local governments). The relevant law here is in 28 C.F.R. Part 36 — parallel text to Part 35 but applying to “public accommodations” (another term of art that covers retailers, restaurants, bars, theaters, hotels, gyms, etc.). Again, these are parallel texts and the law is very much the same for all of these entities.
Posted on the YouTube video:
Thanks for calling out this bullshit, Mud People. I know it can’t have been easy or fun. The Walmart staff should have promptly asked the dog owner if the dog was required because of a disability and what the dog had been trained to do (relative to that disability), as permitted by federal law. (28 C.F.R. 36.302(c).) “Attack dogs” are not recognized as a “service animal” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A). But because the Department of Justice has made it virtually impossible to enforce these laws, and hapless Walmart employees have no incentive to, all that’s left is for brave customers to confront irresponsible dog owners directly. This is a recipe for continual strife and both retailers like Walmart and the DOJ need to work toward a solution that doesn’t pander to the kind of sociopaths who would lie about being disabled and requiring a service dog. The law was intended to protect disabled people, period. Thank you for doing as much as you could in the circumstances.
The specific citation on inquiries that may be made of “service animal” owners is 28 C.F.R. 36.302(c)(6).
THIS ^^^^ A THOUSAND TIMES THIS ^^^^
(in case this post gets shuffled, in response to Mike Black about the ADA and proper response)
I’m the one that made the video – if it’s any interest, we found out 2 days later that the main manager had gone up to the front of the store (while I was finding James) and she told us that she told the dog people to leave the store. I recorded her on a body cam that she didn’t know I wore (because I didn’t want to get ‘tresspassed’ for recording. We’ve been back many many times since then and have seen management tell dog people to leave! Hurray! And we report the dogs when we see them in the store. I’ve only seen one out of about 20 that actually seemed to be a SD. When we report them, the main manager goes after them. I had sent the video to the health dept and they contacted Walmart, but she wouldn’t tell me what was said. But she is real nice to us everytime we see her in there. And the guy who stood in front of me is nice to us and we talk to him often. He teases me about my camera sometimes. So it ended well and it did seem to make a difference. Corporate walmart acted uninterested though. I wish people would speak out in every walmart (or other stores like this) and also call the health dept with video footage, and maybe this problem would get better all around. One person who commented on my video said their REAL service dog was attacked like 4 times by fake ones, and they were all pit bulls!
and I think I remember her saying they were all at walmarts
Some time back I had my service GSD in PetSmart. I have a very obvious disability, and my dog is well trained. A boy about thirteen years old had a pit bull wearing a harness and a leash. The pit bull was dragging the boy over to my dog. I yelled, “Get the dog back. It’s a damn pit bull.”
My dog and I were evicted from the store.and told to never come back. I was told they couldn’t have someone freaking out in the store. The mother grabbed the leash when I said something. The PetSmart employees never even told the people that an adult must be handling the leash. The manager and her employees love pit bulls. I even said to one employee, “Do you realize pit bulls do not show normal greeting behavior?”. He replied, “Mine doesn’t.”. Was I supposed to risk injury or death to a service animal by letting that untrained dog close to my dog?
The veterinarian working there said she had more problems with Chihuahuas than pit bulls. And she nicely petted and played with the pit bull.
There used to be a copy of a letter written by a veterinarian posted on the wall in the local shelter. It stated that no spayed/neutered pit bull kept in the house had ever mauled anyone.
I truly don’t believe that pit bulls are nearly as big of a threat to people as to animals.
However, animal attacks have often led to human bites.
You should have filed a complaint against them with the ADA.
Isn’t Walmart supposed to have security standing at all entrances? Maybe it’s regional, but each walmart I’ve been to acrosss a few states has security by the front. If that was the case here, security should have stopped her before she got in the store. If it were me, I would have told her she could not bring that dog inside. If there was no security, surely one of the employees should have had enough sense to tell her to get that beast out of their building. I can’t believe the man that told her it wasn’t their business if her dog was a service dog or not. Um, YES IT IS! Becasue if that mutant kills someone becuase YOU allowed it in the store, YOU are the ones being taken to court. Bravo to the woman who exposed this. But now I’m just terrified wondering how many other stores allow this bullcrap to happen.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. These thoughtless, self-centered people with their fake service dogs make it hard for people with real disabilities and real service dogs. I’ve read numerous accounts of service dogs being attacked, usually by pits. Most service dogs are gentle breeds and completely focused on their person. They become sitting ducks for these killers. I applaud this woman for her courage and tenacity. She is in a perfect position to call this out. Walmart will do nothing until they’re hit in the wallet. Unfortunately, an innocent person/child will pay a bigger price.
Thoughtless and self-centered people? You’ve got that one right. And they’re using the fake service dogs to draw unwarranted attention to themselves.
What do you want to bet that the pit bull in this video is a RESCUE? As in, look at those virtuous people who saved that wibble pibble from being put down?
I’m less sure of the laws there, but in Ontario, the person claiming they have a service dog *must carry* their doctor’s letter certifying that they have indeed, signed for this person to *have* a “service dog”. Service dogs do not include emotional support animals. That letter can be requested by any establishment that questions whether or not, the dog is legitimate and if the dog is causing a ruckus (barking, sniffing food) the establishment STILL has the right to turf dog and owner.
Our courageous disabled scooter-rider would have been well within her rights to request staff to demand they see pitbull owner’s letter.
The absolute stupidity of that video IMO is this. There is *clearly* a disabled woman riding a scooter and requesting safety from having to shop near a breed known to attack disabled people using scooters/walkers/disability devices and somehow SHE’S the problem and has to “prove her case” over the able-bodied young woman with a pitbull dragging her along?
Well, how about that. The pit bull fan club knows how to copy and paste.
And showing kindness and charity? While videoing someone who’s admitting that she’s in a Walmart with a dog that she admits is an attack dog?
Well, I think that being concerned about the safety of other Walmart shoppers and employees is the ultimate act of kindness and charity. Three cheers for this courageous woman!
Same thing in my town. We have a FAKE blind lady with a pit bull/blue heeler ‘guide dog’. She carries a white cane (No red tip) but doesn’t use it. The dog is on a leash not a harness and clearly not trained. She even admitted on camera that the dog barks and growls at people. I notified the local transit authority, pulled up the laws about what they can do, nothing done. Everyone’s scared sh*tless of the ADA. Nothing gets done until someone is hurt. As for me, I got my license and a car and stopped taking public transportation for good. It’s just not safe anymore.
In response to Bon,i Canada actually requires paperwork for service dogs. The world did not end, disabled people are not starving to death because they can not get groceries.
In spite of the fact that I am disabled any time I propose the US require paperwork for service dogs someone one starts crying about “Muh civil rights!” “You hate the disabled!”.
If it isn’t too big of imposition for me to see my Dr every few years to get my handicapped parking placard renewed, the people who actually need service dogs can get a letter from their Dr stating they have a disability that there are service dogs for. The way it is now you could claim you trained your dog to help with your acid reflux and they would have to let it in the store. Remember the epileptic woman who claimed she trained her pit to come over and act as a pillow when she had a seizure?
She would start fake banging her head in to the floor, grab the pit, pull it over, lift up her head (in the way you can’t if you are having a real seizure) and cram the pit under like a pillow. If she really is epileptic that pit will probably kill her.
The honor system worked when service dog meant seeing eye dog. Now that you can claim to have a service dog to help with athlete’s foot, they need to be regulated like handicapped parking.