Non-Profit Service Dogs of Virginia Aims to Educate the Public on Service Dogs at 2014 Richmond Pet Expo
Richmond, VA, May 01, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- An investigation by WRIC-ABC8 News has found a shocking new trend of selling false service dog ‘tags’, badges, and vests due to lax laws across the nation. ABC8 news reported last week on the disturbing commercial online-market that allows people to purchase the vests, badges, and ‘tags’ used by service dogs. The report even noted that Virginia lawmakers were generally clueless about the ability of anyone to buy these service dog products and that lax state and national laws around how service dogs are certified and trained may be contributing to the growth of this market.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) a dog is considered a “service dog” if it has been “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” These dogs are not defined as pets, instead, they are companions and lifelines for the disabled and serve as working animals for the disabled community. Many of the websites selling service dog ‘products’ make disclaimers that all service dog owners are responsible for the training and certification of their service dogs. This then creates a loophole for anyone to purchase the vests and badges as it is illegal to demand or ask for proof or documentation from anyone using a service dog in private or public establishments.
Luckily, for the Richmond community, Service Dogs of Virginia will be on-site at the 2014 Richmond Pet Expo to educate the public on how these amazing dogs are trained, why they are necessary tools for people living with disabilities to gain independence, and to demonstrate their training abilities. The organization will also be there to answer many of the public’s questions surrounding service dogs under the ADA and why it is important for all service dogs to undergo professional training.
Amazing Pet Expos, which produces the Richmond Pet Expo, strictly prohibits the retail sale of any items related to service animal certification documents, service animal ID cards, service animal vests, and any other service animal designating item. There is no exception to this rule.
Many people who would like to purchase service animal-related items simply want to find a way to take advantage of the system by stating that their pet is a service animal. This allows them to access the same conveniences given to the disabled - whether they want to take their pet on a plane, live in housing that doesn’t allow pets, take their pet to restaurants, or avoid pet fees charged by hotels, that for people living with disabilities are necessary requirements for their own independence.
The 2014 Richmond Pet Expo will take place on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 from 10am to 6pm, at the Richmond Raceway Complex. This free, indoor and air-conditioned event will attract nearly 10,000 attendees along with their furry, feathered and reptilian pals who are looking to enjoy a new and one-of-a-kind experience where all pets are welcome. All well-behaved pets can attend, as long as they’re on a fixed lead (or in a carrier) and have proof of age-appropriate rabies vaccines.
The 2014 Richmond Pet Expo is produced by Amazing Expos, a leading event production firm that currently produces more than 39 large pet expos across the United States. For more information, call 800.977.3609, email firstname.lastname@example.org.