|Barked: Wed Sep 11, '13 9:06pm PST |
|Correct, the law does not require a vest, but it is extremely rude to business owners and the public not to vest.
First, if your dog is unvested in a place where dogs are not allowed, you should be approached by employees telling you dogs are not allowed. This is putting employees in the position of doing extra work, and it's simply polite not to do that when taking literally 15 seconds to put on a vest would avoid that. Additionally, why anybody would want to explain themselves a gazillion times each outing is beyond me. (Plus, if you're unvested, you do NOT get to get huffy when you're asked to leave and have to explain that your dog is actually a SD.)
From the public's perspective, they see an unvested dog in a place where you normally don't see dogs, and then they think that pets are allowed. So they will bring their dog with them next time. This creates problems for both the employees/business owners and the customers as the employees will have to deal with an influx of pet dogs and customers who bring their dog thinking it is legal will be very inconvenienced when they cannot continue with their shopping/watch the parade/do whatever.
The reason vesting is not law is because there may be an extreme circumstance where you are separated from your vest. I think one poster mentioned that during Katrina evacuations s/he was with his/her SD and was separated from the vest. In this case, the handler should still be able to access public places. But short of 9/11 or Katrina, your SD should be vested even though it's not required.
Under the law you're allowed to advocate for the assassination of the president or stand on a street corner and scream at people as they're walking to work or do any number of things that are simply inappropriate. Just because something is *legal* doesn't mean it's a good practice.
Harley, I really respect you as a handler, but I have to respectfully disagree with your position on vests. I think not vesting is extremely selfish and shows a blatant disregard for other people.
We are already having other people accommodate us by allowing us in stores. Yes, it is required by law, but that doesn't minimize the impact our presence has on other people. People with allergies to dogs may have to cut their shopping trip short, or people who are deathly afraid of dogs can be thrown for a loop, never expecting to see one in the "safe zone" of a store. Sure, it doesn't compare to living with a disability, but let's show the compassion for others that we wish to have shown to us. For us to add another layer of complication onto the imposition we place on others when simply vesting the dog would avoid this imposition is, to me, simply unconscionable.
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