Friday, February 26, 2016

Maine Veterans Plead For Help With Fake Service Dogs

'There are no requirements': Service dog misrepresentation a growing problem 

Veterans plead for fakers to stop as task force looks into issue 
WMTV News 
By David Charns 
UPDATED 6:11 PM EST Feb 25, 2016
PORTLAND, Maine —The misrepresentation of service dogs in Maine has become such a large issue that the Legislature tasked a panel to find a way to resolve it.

"I said he's not a pet, he's a service dog,” Christopher Henry, of Auburn, said. “’And he then asked me, "for what?’”

It’s just one time someone has asked Henry if his service dog, Brewsky, is legitimate. The 17-year-old combat veteran has post-traumatic stress disorder. Brewsky is there to keep Henry calm and keep strangers a good distance away.

"We're hearing about it all the time,” said Jennifer Norris, of Bethel. Norris, a 15-year veteran, is a sexual assault survivor and her dog, Onyx, helps her with her PTSD.

Both dogs underwent rigorous training. Their owners said the animals keep them from isolating, something they said is common with veterans with PTSD.

"She helped pulled me out of the deepest darkest depression I've ever been in my life,” Morris said.

But some Mainers are faking it.
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