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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The countdown begins...

Only 16 days left until little "M" boy comes home.  Tom's mom is even going to be here and will get to experience the joy of the puppy truck.  Who knows, maybe she will want to start raising.

I had a very scary encounter today.  I had wrote about a fake service dog back in the fall, but had not had any real run-ins these last couple months.  I did go on the radio and talk about the passing of SB173, which removed emotional support animals from the service animal definition...but that was about it.

Anyways, the story.  I went into one of the local Bagel shops in Park City to study for my microbiology exam tomorrow.  I had Millie with me.  As I walk in and order my food, the employee tells me that this woman is in there, with her dog.  I sigh and shake my head, and find a seat at the opposite end.  I start working on my online exams.  After about 15 min her dog got up, wandered over, caught sight of Millie, and went ballistic.  He started barking very aggressively and lunged towards her.  I jumped up and put my body in between him and Millie.  The manger happened to be there and was able to grab his collar.  He had so much force going at Millie that his front feet were dangling off the ground.  I was yelling for the handler to get her dog, while the manger is telling me the dog is actually really nice (WHAT?!?!).  She finally gets her dog, and I tell her she needs to have the dog on a leash.  She says she knows.  I tell her right now, and ALL the time.  She says she knows.  She goes back to knitting, and the dog goes back to wandering around without a leash, bugging customers who are eating.

At this point I called animal control.  They actually showed up very quickly and started talking to her.  The woman was very unreasonable and did not make sense.  The officer kept saying they had multiple complaints about her dog, and that it was not acting like a service animal.  The woman would say that the dog is a therapy dog, and then say it is a service dog, complain about her rights being isolated, try to say this is ok because she has lived here for 35 years, her husband died, she used to be a school teacher, its her dog's birthday (she really used all these excuses), and so on.  

She then got mad at the officer and said she was going to call the sheriff dept because I was harassing her.  They all show up and the whole show goes outside.  I stayed inside and talked to the store owner, who seemed happy that something was finally being done about this.  

I hope that now she will be charged with a misdemeanor the next time she tries to pass him off as a service dog.  It is illegal in Utah to do what she is doing.

Millie seems to have recovered, but I will be watching her closely the next couple days to make sure she has not sustained any lasting psychological damage.  If so....well in Utah you have to pay for service dogs that loose their training due to an attack by a dog you own.


7 comments:

Rhoda said...

Thanks for all you do for service dogs!!! I am so amazed that this local character still gets away with taking her un-managed animal into most establishments. Gives all good pet owners a bad name!

Anna and Vortex said...

Wow that's so horrible!!! I used your story from the last run-in in my persuasive speech in Fall Quarter. wow. Hopefully Millie won't really mind.

And yay for new Mr. "M"!! SOO SO SOON!

Emily and the Labradors said...

Can't wait to see the new little one! And good grief about that woman. I don't think I would have handled the situation remotely as well as you did!

kimtall said...

I saw this lady in Starbucks today with her dog and the animal control and sheriff were out front talking to her. Someone had called and complained about her dog. The employee running the register said that she comes in all the time and that people are afraid of her dog and sometimes won't even come in if it is there. Long story short, the sheriff and animal control let her and her huge dog stay. She sounded crazy from what I heard of her conversation with the sheriff and animal control officer. I hope someone puts a stop to her bringing her dog out in public before a person or animal gets hurt by her dog.

kimtall said...

I saw this lady in Starbucks today with her dog and the animal control and sheriff were out front talking to her. Someone had called and complained about her dog. The employee running the register said that she comes in all the time and that people are afraid of her dog and sometimes won't even come in if it is there. Long story short, the sheriff and animal control let her and her huge dog stay. She sounded crazy from what I heard of her conversation with the sheriff and animal control officer. I hope someone puts a stop to her bringing her dog out in public before a person or animal gets hurt by her dog.

Becky said...

Wow -- that is awful. I am so sorry you had to go through that and it hurts us all when someone is so irresponsible.

OSU 98 said...

Such a situation reflects badly on those of us that have therapy dogs who do good work and their owners who properly comply with their sponsoring organization. She is a hazard to her dog and those around her - she better watch out of she will find herself on the news after her dog viciously attacks some poor defenseless person.