This week I tried to further my research of service dogs and further my knowledge about my driver for the project: people are faking having service dogs.
In order to do this I reached out to three different organizations in Ohio that help train service dogs. One of the organizations, 4 Paws for Ability, posted my message on their group page. Here is my e-mail:
I had several responses from people who either have a service dog for themselves or have a service dog living in their home for one of their family members. Each person had either personally experienced someone faking a service dog or knew someone who had experienced it. Each one also thought that education was extremely important because through education people will be able to better understand why faking service dogs is such a bad thing.
I also created a Survey Monkey survey this week to understand the general publics understanding on service dogs. I asked three questions in this survey:
1. What do you think of when you hear “service dog”?
2. What should you do when you see a service dog?
3. What types of service dogs are there?
Through the results, I have been able to see that many people don’t actually know what a service dog is or have a limited view on what a service dog is. Most people mentioned seeing eye dogs but not many people mentioned other types of service dogs. One person even said that a service dog is just a well trained pet. Many people knew there were many types service dogs but were not able to name the different kinds. All of this information really helped me verify my problem.
The last thing I did this week was to make a Do/Don’t list of what I want my project to be and what I don’t want it to be. Here is my list:
– inform on what a service dog is
– make people realize the importance of service dogs
– have an interactive piece
– subconsciously make people realize the importance of not faking service dogs
– show the distinction between service dogs, emotional support dogs, therapy dogs, etc.
– inform about the ADA law
– inform on how to react to a service dog (maybe?)
– educate on the different between a service dog and a pet
– have a print piece
– have a motion piece
– throw in people’s faces that people are faking service dogs
– recommend if someone needs a service dog
– make it sad (i.e. make people feel bad for the people who need service dogs)
– take how to train a service dog
– educate on how to get a service dog
– come to conclusions (i.e. if talking about what diseases benefit from service dogs put etc. so no one is left out)