I have read the story.. reviewed all the comments and based on my own experiences must say, in my opinion a service dog should always wear a vest when working.
The vest identifies the dog as a service animal much in the same way a uniform identifies a police officer. Jeff Scott would not go to work as a nursewithout his uniform.. why should a service animal work with out one?
Wearing a vest avoids unpleasant & unfortunate incidents such as this. Lets people know that the dog is working so they give it the space it needs ... since most people learn at an early age to never approach an animal wearing a vest.
Mr Scott said he doesn't want to advertise his disability? First of all.. it was stated he walks with a cane... has he figured some way to turn it invisable so it does not annouce his infirmity? Second...You think walking thru a crowded event with a forbidden animal is not going to draw attention to yourself??? A dog with a vest would have been seen.. and promptly forgotten about. Whereas, obviously, a dog on a leash with her owner was a major issue.
And lastly.. in regards to Mr Scott's statement " ... I don't want to be treated any different."
Then do the rest of us a favor & stop expecting us to treat you differently. If you walk into a store or a special event with a dog you should be stopped & questioned.. the same as I should.. my disabled husband ... or any other person in this country.
If a person parks in a handicap parking spot they can not just tell the police officer writing them a ticket that they are disabled. They must provide proof in the form of the handicap placard issued to them. If a person is going to take a dog into a place where pets are prohibited... then they should be prepared to provide proof that the dog is a service animal. Just because it is not required by law doesn't mean common sense doesn't dictate the need.
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