Letter: Dog Dilemma

As a registered nurse, I have a health issue with people who bring their pretend service dogs into the market and into a cart. This is a recent phenomenon and seems to be spreading like wildfire, not just in Malibu, but everywhere.

The owners put the dogs in a shopping cart where other people put their children or fruits and vegetables. That is totally unsanitary, as fecal bacteria stays there and contaminates kids and adults who use the carts. Kids notoriously do not wash their hands and put them in their mouths, potentially ingesting fecal material.

Blankets are not a protection — they just spread the germs and dog dander around the whole cart. This practice can also adversely affect those who are allergic to dogs — some severely — and there are many out there. People who put fake service dogs into carts can trigger a severe asthma attack or hives in an allergic child or adult. 

Service dogs are to be on leashes on the floor and marked with service dog clothing. Real handicapped individuals are aware of those rules and do not game the system. They also will caution you not to touch the dog as that interferes with their job as a service dog. Real service dogs are not allowed to ride in the shopping cart or eat from a table or at table level at a restaurant. These rules will help you distinguish between a legitimate handicapped person and a selfish fake.

Susan Tellem

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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