“Josh Lewis, right, walks out of North Kansas City Hospital with his caregiver Meleana Still and service dog Bing after physical therapy. Bing has helped Josh with his walking and balancing.” (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star/TNS)
by Mark Davis, The Kansas City Star
“The unleashed dog lunged from the woman’s lap and right at Andy, Michaela Chase’s dog.
“‘It was going for blood,’ Chase said, thinking back to the narrow waiting room at her physical therapy gym in Lincoln, Neb. ‘It was in full attack mode.’
“Shielded by Chase’s wheelchair, Andy avoided the other dog, which had a tag on its collar that said ‘service dog.’ But though there was no fight, the damage was done.
“It really ruined Andy,’ Chase said of her service dog trained by Paws for Freedom Inc. in Tonganoxie, Kan. Andy — the victim of a fake service dog, Chase said — now distrusts other dogs. He’ll even bark at other service dogs.
“Fake service dogs are essentially untrained pets wearing vests or tags purchased online so Fido can tag along, too. They’ve become the bane of those who rely on trained service dogs to deal with disabilities.”