"Pet owners who misinterpret the law, or worse intentionally mislead retailers so they may bring their dogs into places of business, jeopardize the access rights that guide dog handlers worked so hard to establish beginning seventy years ago."
No other charity excites more sympathy than dogs assisting disabled people, combining as it does the beauty and nobility of the animals with the needs of challenged individuals. And no other assistance programs create so much controversy.
In the 1940s, before the organization of the California State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind, a consumer affairs licensing agency whose mission is to maintain the professional threshold of guide dog training, the guide dog field suffered from many of the same problems the service dog industry is experiencing today. Besides considerable public confusion as to the role and function of service dogs in public places, a long list of scandalous activities historically characterized our field. Providing dogs with no training, raising funds with no plans to produce trained dogs, selling dogs, accepting people for training and not providing any, and selling unauthorized certification papers were significant features of many of the “guide dogs schools” operating in California.