I waited until the fair was over. My intent is not to embarrass, but hopefully make people more aware of how demeaning their actions are to the challenged who require a service dog. Unfortunately the ACLU has, inadvertently, led to this by its overprotection of challenged individuals’ rights by limiting Grange officials to only two questions, neither being any proof the dog is a service dog.
Not allowing for a process to visibly show an animal’s certification has led to this issue. The Grange Fair does not allow dogs in certain parts of the facility. Some think it is cute or clever to say that their dogs are “service dogs,” knowing they can not be challenged and blithely making false statements.
A real service dog costs between $10,000 and $30,000 to train. One example: Two people who had their dogs in strollers claiming these pets were service dogs. This completely demeans those who invested, trained, and more importantly, genuinely need this service animal.
Ironically, there was a dog with no Grange tag on the leash, but wearing a vest that read “please do not pet me I am working,” helping a man with one leg. No one asked him to go to the office.
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If you want to bring your dog, petition the Grange, change the policy, but please, please stop this. You are not cute or clever, but showing a huge disrespect to those who need their service dogs.
Chris Potalivo, Boalsburg