BREAKING NEWS

RED FLAGS (programs to avoid)

A red flag is something so significantly wrong it would cause any legitimate program or trainer to cringe at the thought. Ethical programs do not operate this way.

* place puppies (even as young as 3 months old) as full service dogs
* place puppies or dogs in training in states without knowing and sharing with you the legal rights and obligations of an owner-trainer in that state (including a copy of the actual statutes that you can verify with your state's attorney general's office)
* charge the going rate for a fully trained service dog for a 3 month old puppy that you have to train yourself
* if a 501(c)(3), refuse to give you their annual financial statement on request with a break down of where the money goes and for what
* won't allow you see the contract before committing to the program (before you start fundraising)
* won't allow you to take a copy of the contract to your attorney for review
* won't allow you to review and fully consider the contract before showing up on your doorstep with the dog
* use prong collars on little puppies
* mistreat dogs
* refuse to give you a photocopy of the official AKC pedigree of any dog they claim they own that is AKC registered or of any parent of a dog or puppy they offer you that they claim is AKC registrable
* refuse to give you or your veterinarian a photocopy of the veterinary records of the dog they are placing with you
* claim their dogs can alert from miles away from his disabled partner
* claim a service dog is a reasonable SUBSTITUTE for medical treatment or monitoring (as opposed to an adjunct to medical treatment or monitoring)
* place an intact male or female dog that they intend to continue to use for breeding purposes as a working service dog
* agree to certify or register a dog they have not themselves trained OR tested/evaluated in person
* claim a 100% success rate or has no plan for what happens if a dog doesn't work out
* claim dog is trained to tolerate physical abuse from a child
* claim their dogs are 100% reliable
* uses volunteer puppy raisers but does not support the puppy raisers with regularly scheduled classes run by program trainers
* claim they can train dogs to predict seizures (this is a natural behavior that can be detected in some dogs but cannot be trained)
* place dogs as public access service dogs when the dog is not trained to perform any tasks related to the person's disability or do any "work" beyond companionship and emotional support or getting the person out of the house to walk the dog
* place large dogs as service dogs to infants or small children with the intent that the dog remain with the child even when not supervised by a parent or guardian or that the dog perform the function of a babysitter in place of parental supervision