Therapy dogs are not in the same legal class as assistance dogs

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From: Andrew Carter

Princes Road

I was in the Arndale Centre - sorry, Beacon yesterday and saw a woman with a handbag dog trotting through on a lead.

A security guard stopped her and said dogs were not allowed in the building, but acquiesced when the woman pointed to the vest the dog was wearing that said ‘Therapy Animal.’

Apparently the security officer is unaware that by purchasing a collar and lead off eBay that proclaims your animal is a therapy dog is meaningless. As the Society for Companion Animals points out on its website: ‘An assistance dog is legally permitted to accompany its client, owner, or partner, at all times and in all places, within the United Kingdom.

‘A therapy dog does not have these same legal privileges.’

Whilst I fully support those members of society who rely on specially trained dogs to help them with everyday lives, I find it reprehensible that some people think they can flout the law by dressing their animal up in some internet tat and think they are in the same class!