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Dollar general won't read or understand the service dog ADA laws.

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    Dollar general won't read or understand the service dog ADA laws.

    Iv taken in copies of the laws, and explained there is no such thing as legal certification of a service dog.
    that anyone can go buy ID or "certificate" but it isn't a legal document. Nor is it required or recognized by the ADA.
    their policy is that a dog must have this fake ID and fake certificate and a red vest to go into their stores.

    they wont even read the copies of the laws I took in.
    they state that only seeing eye dogs are allowed in their store. well I asked them if a blind man came in your store and his dog didn't have a red vest and Made up ID tags on, would you throw him out?

    they said no.
    I asked, have you ever seen a red vest or fake ID tags on a seeing eye dog.


    Iv been a customer for four years so they know im handicapped.

    I asked them, if a veteran comes in with a service dog and he has a working harness like my dog has, would you throw him out?


    though I didn't have to, I demonstrated my dog's tasks. hand his behavior.

    I can easily go order those fake ID and a red harness instead of the leather one I prefer however Id rather go home and copy the law for you so you can educate your employee's, so that other people with working dogs can avoid this crap. and so that you can understand and know that there is no legal "Certified" service dog certificate, and Id. There should be in my opinion.

    I can have my dog pass obedience tests, but the certificate I get is basically a novelty item provided by whatever facility has a dog training school and prints them out. or I can pretend im a "certified" dog trainer, and make them up myself, But that does nothing for the problem of businesses pretending they know the law, and denying access to a disabled person and their dog.

    Since we are a new team and I am the one training my dog, iv provided the laws and left.

    What do other people do?

    they tried to tell me pet smart would kick me out too.

    I go to petsmart at least once a week, and they always compliment my dog and I on our teamwork. we were there yesterday and it was packed with people and animals, because it was an adoption fair, and my dog did his job very well.
    I was surprised how well he did his job. There was another service dog there with the required "certified" Id tag and vest, and I asked where they got theirs, and they said Amazon.

    when Amazon sells their ID and "certified" ID and vests there is a disclaimer that this is not a legal ID and that the ADA does not recognize or require this ID as a legal document.

    Id like to help educate the public on the matter, and also maybe get few larger dogs a chance at a job and a life by telling my dogs story.

    if he'd ended up in a kill shelter they would have just killed him, but a vet assistant where I volunteer found him, and I adopted him after two other families took him and brought him back.

    He is now a working dog. not a shelter dog who is too big to have in a house.

    I love him and he loves me. In fact he chose me.
    the people at the shelter said he could hear my truck five minutes before I pulled in and he would go nuts making yodeling noises and jumping all over.

    they can't believe I trained him to behave so well in so short a time.
    Im hoping other potential service dogs can get the same chance my dog got.

    It was only his silly behavior when he heard my truck going down the highway, that gave me the courage to try training him.
    He was much bigger than the dog I was looking for. but like I said, he chose me.

    Have you spoken to the manager? Their corporate offices?? If so, and you are not getting anywhere, you can file a DOJ complaint. You may have to do this. Do you know other service dog owners in your area who have had this problem too?? An organized picket/demonstration in front of the store may also get their attention.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      I trained my dog, Sky, to pull me so I have no certification papers.

      I only invoked her "service dog" status once when I needed to stay at a particular hotel that accepted service dogs but not pets. They said I would have to have certification papers and an id vest. I emailed them a copy of the Q&A off the ADA site. They didn't respond. So I called them in a couple of days and said I wanted to complete my reservation, and they did it without any more questions. I ultimately did buy a service dog collar for Sky. I actually like it now.

      I don't take Sky into stores since I don't need her service there. Actually, it would be harder for me to shop if I had her with me. I think that's the test. If your dog actually makes shopping easier, then you should be able to take your dog into the store. If not, no.

      If you file a complaint, let us know the results.
      TM 2004 T12 incomplete


        Here is that page, which is good to print out and carry with you when you are out with your service dog:

        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


          Thank you.
          yes, that's exactly what I provided.
          I'v shopped at dollar general right around the corner from my home for the last four years, so they know I have a physical disability. It's pretty obvious apparently from the way people stare around here.

          I asked for the corporate number and address.
          you see, the manager pretended to call their corporate office and ask about their policy of denying access to all dogs except "seeing eye" dogs.
          She came back each time and stated the red vest, certification, and ID requirements.
          I said, you didn't bother to read the ADA laws did you?

          I explained why I used a heavy working harness, with a handle on it, and that a vest wouldn't provide for my needs. a vest wouldn't fit under or over his working harness.
          she answered she called the corporate office and that's their policy. I said ok thank you, I'll be giving them a call and writing them a letter enclosing the ADA law just to be sure they understand them.

          the manager and another employee followed me the door, and blamed the whole thing on a new employee, and asked me not to complain about their store.

          Said I only wanted them to review the ADA laws and educated their employee's about public access to people with disabilities and working dogs, and I also let her know that I didn't think she called anyone at all in the three times I came in and was refused entry.

          the manager said her sister has a service dog, and I said well then you should know the Americans with disabilities act allows disabled people to use a trained dog to assist them in their daily life. "well my sisters dog has a red vest and ID".

          she'd told me a few minutes before though, that in the five years she'd worked there no one has ever come in with a service dog.

          the day before that, she said she had to kick someone out because they had a little fake service dog and they were rubbing the dogs butt on everything.

          this time I was the one staring.

          I don't think I want to shop there now.
          I found another dollar general to shop at. it's a few miles out of my way, and I have to pass the one right by my house to get there.

          Im not going to get a fake certification. I think it will only solidify the false policies of denying access, and encourage anyone disabled or not to buy high priced made up certificates, that are not legal documents and are not approved or required by the ADA.

          they are expensive, and it isn't right that places can sell these made up Certified service dog ID tags. even if they place a disclaimer that they are not legal documents and not required by the ADA.

          He does have a tag that says service dog, Im paying my landlord an extra 25 bucks a month to keep him, even though I don't have to, just to keep the landlord happy.
          my vet who owns the shelter he was staying at, has him listed as a service dog, and when he gets his microchip he will be listed as a service dog with the chip company.


          I waited five years for my name to come up with Susquehanna service dogs. I was approved for a mobility dog, but just before I was to meet my puppy, my husband went crackerdog, I lost my house, had to divorce and file restraining orders on threat of retaliation from my now ex husband.
          he'd stolen my Cairn Terrier who I loved dearly, and that really broke my heart. It took a long time to get over that. I don't think I got over the dog my employer stole and resold. she was a standard long coat dachshund, id trained to compete in agility.
          And there was the fire, which killed my cats, and then I was homeless.

          Susquehanna service dogs would not place a dog with me under those conditions, so I let them know the situation, and I was taken off of their list.

          After I got knocked over at Walmart By a customer, last year, I no longer felt safe going out. Iv had extreme anxiety in public ever since. Its been pretty lonely, and since anxiety isn't very good for socializing,
          I decided it was time to consider a service dog again. Im home alone, and Id like to at least feel safe.

          It's almost uncanny how I got my dog. I almost decided he'd been too beat up to be dependable. he was pretty fearful despite his size. it was apparent he'd been beaten up pretty badly. I think we just understand each other, and now we're a team.

          he's pretty much just awesome.


            he does make it easier if I drop something, which I do a lot. also he allows me to balance down stairs. pauses at each step and lets me use the handle on his harness to get up each step.

            I use him to pull up off the ground, or out of a chair.
            he prevents people from bumping into me, and no one is going put their hands on me and knock me over with him there. he did prevent me from losing my balance a few times, but he's learned to lean a counter balance on his own.

            he is learning to pull a chair but I don't usually need a wheelchair. He loves to trike, and can mush up a hill I cant quite trike up on my own.
            he is learning how to get things off of a low shelf that I can't bend over to reach. that task isn't very solid yet. he can pick up paper money if I drop it, and almost anything else I might drop. so far, he can't pick up a coin yet though.

            He's learning how to play with other dogs at a dog park. he got between me and another dog that kept jumping on me.
            Im hoping as he learns more tasks, he will understand my needs more too.


              no I don't really know anyone in this state. I know the people at the shelter were I volunteer, My Drs, my vet, and my roommate/sweetie.
              I used to go fishing before I got tachycardia and started fainting but I went alone, and stopped because I couldn't drive if I was fainting.

              now that I have that under control maybe I'll meet people. people want to meet my dog.

              id wouldn't mind training other dogs for people who might need a dog. apparently im still pretty good at training a dog.


                1. Contact corporate yourself: Their CEO is Richard W. Dreiling, 100 Mission Rdg, Goodlettsville TN 37072, tel. (615) 855-4000.

                2. Also send a message through their website to their Customer Service department.


                3. File a DOJ complaint if they do not correct the situation.

                You are not doing this just for yourself, but for others who may be in the same situation as well.

                The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


                  wow, thank you, that isn't the address they gave me.
                  I did find a website, but I don't want to complain, just make them aware of ADA public access, and that iv been denied access at the store nearest me.

                  I have not tried to go into a restaurant. one with seating outside, just to see how he would do. He's pretty good, but since he's been in training for only five weeks, Im adding new public situations one at a time.

                  There are a lot of working dogs in Pennsylvania. Its unusual here in south Carolina.
                  when I go into petsmart, they recognize he's a working dog though.


                    This is a problem here too. Why can?t there be some type of registry that all service dogs/animals have to be identified in? It could list only the animals that have been authorized as service animals by some qualifying organization or medical professional. Then access to the registry could only be given to the police or people who would essentially enforce the law. It wouldn?t have to include any medical information about the owners, so no privacy issues would be compromised. It might not solve the problem completely, but it may help some, especially if huge fines were given to the owners whose dogs are not listed on the registry.

                    It is really terrible that legitimate service dogs are forced out of businesses because there is so much abuse of the system. I am sorry this happened to you.


                      they do have registry's but it's people trying to sell you their certificate and "certified Id package.

                      I tried to register here, and since I didn't buy their stuff, my account isn't reachable.
                      Iv emailed them explaining a problem with accessing after registering, and they are very nice about changing passwords and all that but if there is nothing in your cart, you cant access the account more than once.

                      they've sent emails telling me I can't fly or stay in a hotel unless I buy their ID and vest package.
                      so, I called the Greenville south Carolina airport, and the Philadelphia international airport and Allentown airport, which are the ones I would be using.

                      Some of the hotels do require these false documents. but most know the ADA doesn't require certification and that it isn't a legal document.

                      it's just a way for someone to profit off of disabled people.

                      You need current shot records, your dog needs to be clean, and well behaved, the only thing a business can demand is,
                      they can ask:
                      do you have a disability?
                      Is your dog trained to assist with your disability?

                      There are Obedience tests you can pass and your dog can graduate from a private program or organization that can give you their certificate or diploma, but it isn't a legal document accepted recognized or required as a legal document.

                      anyone can buy the stuff and put it on their dog. and you can buy them in assorted colors, they don't have to be red.

                      the reason is because each dog is trained for the persons disability and each personal need may be different for each dog.

                      A dog in training and a dog trainer is also allowed the same public access to most places the public is allowed to go.

                      For me personally, a vest wouldn't allow me to use my dog, like his heavy leather harness allows.

                      The website link for Dollar General was very nice to use, and It saved me the trouble of mailing a letter.
                      I didn't complain, but only stated my individual situation.

                      I let them know (I) am a registered member of the south Carolina spinal cord injury association, and the Pennsylvania spinal cord injury association.
                      also what my dog helps me with, and that the information their managers and employee's have about ADA public access is not correct, and I asked them to please review the ADA information on the subject of service dogs for disabled people. And I provided a link for their convenience.


                        There is a fine for using a service animal if you are not really disabled and if the dog doesn't really provide you with any task that might help you with your disability.

                        a dog paid for by insurance, or prescribed by a Dr usually comes from an organization of some kind, but those organizations aren't governed in any way and are privately owned.

                        the price of a dog and it's training is also subject to the individual organization providing the service dog.

                        I feel for the safety of my dog, and the public, he should be well trained, and should wear Identification.
                        there are many incidents of police shooting service dogs not properly leashed and not Identified as a service animals.
                        My dog is noted as a service dog with the microchip company his chip is registered with, and I carry his vaccination papers, and he wears a current vaccination tag.
                        our vet also recognizes him as a service dog as does my landlord.
                        he meets all the requirements of a service dog, though we are a new team and he does make mistakes. he's still a puppy even if he weighs over a hundred pounds.

                        I observe the leash laws and I pick up after my dog as a courtesy to the public.
                        And as a responsible dog owner.

                        the general feeling is that our working dogs are not pets, but he's my buddy too so I have to do everything possible to protect his safety.

                        the manager of Dollar General manager stated that people complained about the size of my dog, but there was no chance for anything like that.
                        I asked to see the incident report, and there was none.
                        Last edited by jody; 17 Feb 2014, 12:55 PM. Reason: typo's



                          I got him this. It fits very well, and the handle is strong enough for maintaining balance. the patches on the bags are velcro'ed so Im going to sew one on a collar for him.

                          that should satisfy everyone. I ordered Orange but got red. if you search you can find assorted colors.
                          it is easier to get on than his leather harness. the other removable patch is going on his heavy leather harness, so all bases are covered.

                          getting him this for his ID when I figure out how order the custom information that goes on it.

                          I just don't think it's right for places to sell certified papers and ID that are not really legal and not actually a certification.
                          the price is reasonable compared to the "certified ID" and im satisfied Im not encouraging the myth that these things are required if you use a working dog. The harness is ok for pulling but I prefer the heavy leather with a sheepskin lining. The bags are good and sturdy, and the dog is comfortable wearing it for long periods of time. I can put enough supplies in the bags to not need a purse, including poo bags (for the dog), caths (for me), a phone, treats, his rabies papers and a copy of the ADA regulations concerning service dogs. and a few other small essentials.
                          Last edited by jody; 18 Feb 2014, 2:31 PM. Reason: typo


                            Hi Jody,
                            This is a late reply, but it might help you anyway. I'm pretty new here and I'm still finding things to read,

                            I trained dogs for more than 40 years, all sorts of breeds, mixes, temperaments, for obedience, Schutzhund etc. Dabbled in agility and flyball, and a little freestyle in my living room. When the health issues started, I had to retire from teaching classes, but still took an occasional private client.. And I have always charged nothing for advice. Around the same time, I got a Rottweiler puppy. Having to teach here obedience anyway, I thought ahead and taught her things to help me, in case my leg ulcers did lead to amputation. (They didn't, but I'm permanently chair bound.)

                            Lexi was smart, quick and loved to learn and work. The next year, I acquired a male Rottweiler 18 months old. He also learned a few tasks, but anything that Lexi did wasn't allowed <G> She would shove Axl out of the way and give him her "THIS is how you do it look.) So, I crated her to work with him. Long story short, Lexi knew over 100 words and commands and could, pick up what I dropped, get shoes, get slippers, put laundry into washer, dryer and take out of dryer, put things in the sink, carry things for me (like a hammer) and more that I'm not remembering. She was just always there and figured out some things on her own to help me. Axl was my get me off the floor, brace and balance dog, help me stand from a chair, toilet, bed etc.

                            All of the tasks are just expanded obedience commands. You seem to have some knowledge of training a dog, so it shouldn't be too hard to teach "untraditional" commands. Your dog hasn't been "in training" for very long, I would think it's a little too soon for public access. At first I would stick to stores where pets are allowed. Petsmart, Petco, and whatever else you have in your state. I would also take him to obedience classes for the exposure and distractions. Are there any obedience clubs in your area? That's usually the best place to go. Even AKC Obedience clubs are offering classes using only PP methods, because that's what the general public wants. Everything warm and fuzzy! Ask for a traditional training class that uses balanced training. Your dog MUST be reliable and PP classes don't give it to you.

                            Then maybe go for his Canine Good Citizen, or better yet, his CD degree. Having that CD shows your dog has more training than a CGC dog has. Another good thing to have is a prescription from your doctor. You will have to explain this to him. I had sample scripts from different doctors that people put on a service dog forum, but I've lost them. Mine was written on a letterhead paper and stated that I was disabled and that a service dog was needed to mitigate my disabilities. I took it to Staples, had it shrunk down, but still readable, and laminated it. I also always had access cards in the pocket of Lexi's vest. I got mine from LDS Leather, but I just went there and they sell them, but have no picture of what front and back says. In fact they don't have guide dog harnesses, the balance and mobility handles and a ton of stuff. They still might do those things if you call them and tell them your needs. They're a bit pricey, but the workmanship is outstanding. The owners and workers all use service dogs, so that's helpful in getting what you need.

                            I've never heard of anybody getting a dog that was paid for by insurance, although Medicare considers dogs to be durable medical equipment. Wonder if they increase you disability checks to include food and care LOL!
                            No, the prescription from the doctor is similar to what mine said. It's not like a script for a wheelchair or other needed items.

                            Some other things that may help. Always carry access cards. Somebody confronts you, hand them one and keep going. FYI, it isn't the dog that has any rights, it's the PWD's right to have a dog accompany them wherever they go.
                            A dog must be able to perform 3 tasks that help you to be called a service dog. (That's crazy to me...only 3 things? I would think more.)
                            If you wear medical alert jewelry, make sure to include: "Service Dog, Do Not Separate." If you were to pass out, fall or whatever when out in public, that will hopefully assure that your dog is not taken to a shelter. Also have available somewhere a phone number of the person who is allowed to take and care for your dog. They SHOULD put the dog in the ambulance with you, but the dog has to be calm and non-threatening.
                            Also, on your dogs ID tag, if he wears one, instead of his name, put Service Dog. Somewhere put the do not seperate thing (probably right under "Service Dog") mine was on the back. Also on the back was "If I'm alone, I'm lost. My person needs my help.

                            This is what my access cards say, since I can't find a picture:

                            On the front: What is a Service Animal?
                            A service animal is any animal individually trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability (PWD)
                            Such as to guide a person who is blind, alert a person who is deaf, pull a wheelchair or pick up dropped items, alert or protect
                            a person with seizures or provide balance and mobility assistance, among other tasks
                            A PWD may be asked what tasks the service animal performs but may not be asked for
                            special certification or ID cards for the animal and may not be asked about his disability.
                            A PWD may not be charged additional fees to be accompanied by a service animal.
                            A PWD accompanied by a service animal must be admitted and may not be isolated, segregated or treated less favorably than other patrons.

                            And my favorite is the back:
                            The Americans With Disabilities Act
                            If you are an employee or owner of any business open to the public including, but not limited to,
                            restaurants, hotels, taxis, shuttles, stores, medical facilities, theaters, parks, health clubs, or zoos and you are being given this
                            card, you have probably violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the civil rights of the card-holder. Violators
                            of the ADA can be required to pay money damages and penalties.
                            For more information about the rights of persons with disabilities with service animals, please contact:
                            The United States Department of justice at

                            Remember that the ADA has been changed as far as animals that can be used. I believe they even removed Helper Monkeys from the list.

                            Sorry this turned out so long. for tags that are well made and very reasonable, I go to Boomerang Tags .com. Some other places that may help are:

                            Also, each state is different when it comes to "dogs in-training" access. In Ohio, where I am, dogs in-training are not allowed access. I worked around that by training the dog to a very high level before taking her to
                            some places. California does allow access to dogs in-training. Probably because CCI is there So, check with your state, make sure he is almost flawless and never mention he's in-training. Myself and other SD owners are furious about
                            all of the phony ID crap. That is going to ruin it for those of us that truly need a service dog and have well trained reliable dogs. Don't these people stop and think that it is fraudulent to try and pass off plain old Fido as being a service dog?!

                            Good luck to you, Jody! Maybe there should be a forum just for service dog training and other training problems that pets have. If you have any questions, just ask. If I don't know, I have resources and professional people that can give me an answer for you.

                            K9 (Julie)
                            Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 7 Mar 2014, 7:35 PM. Reason: The huge font!
                            Ban the DEED,Not the BREED!


                              Thank you for your reply.
                              As it turns out, even dogs wearing the made up "certified service dog" Id, and wearing a vest, are turned out of dollar general, or they are harassed.

                              A man saying he was a general manager claims to have seen me in the store with my dog, and that people ran out in fear. This was a complete lie, as My dog was never inside their store. He claims to have been there to witness me in the store.
                              Im not sure what the heck that is all about, what his motivation is.

                              I have not been to a dollar general since. When I am up to a confrontation I may go ahead and and tell them go ahead call the police then. I have no problem shopping other places, but it's about the principal of the matter.
                              They are breaking the law, not I.

                              I looked online and found a few video's
                              this is one. this is about what I experienced. My dog was not in their store however. I began shopping at that store on the very day it opened in 2009. They know me well as iv been shopping there for four years.

                              this is the trainer going to the same store.
                              their dogs were wearing the vests and Id that they want my dog to wear. I have a vest, but my dog doesn't wear it, he wears a working harness which is clearly labeled service dog wit two large patches. he has all the proper health papers and vaccination records, and it's very obvious he is working, and that I have mobility issues.

                              anyway they have a class action law suit or had because the managers still kicked the man out.
                              I don't see the video of the man calling the police, but it did come to that.

                              I think more people should visit dollar general with their service dogs.

                              even after this it's still a problem.

                              this is in south Carolina.
                              Last edited by jody; 10 Mar 2014, 12:25 AM.