Is That a Real Service Dog? (Or Is it Just Someone’s Pet?)

Looks can be deceiving—do you know how to spot a fake service dog? In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of “Assistance Animals” turning up in public places, helping their handlers who suffer from a wide variety of disabilities and afflictions. At the same time, unfortunately, there has also been an increase in confusion about these animals, which has sparked some controversy. This can be distressing to those who legitimately depend on a service dog to help cope with everyday life.

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Pet Adoption Statistics: The Numbers Behind the Need

Each year millions of companion animals enter shelters. Hundreds of thousands are currently in need of homes. Here’s the good news: pet overpopulation has slowed dramatically since the 1970s, when it’s estimated American animal shelters euthanized between 12 and 20 million cats and dogs every year. Compare that to today, when only three to four million animals must be euthanized annually. And here’s another telling fact: in the 1970s there were 67 million pets in American homes, and today there are more than 135 million. In other words, we invite far more animals into our families these days and euthanize far fewer, perhaps suggesting a paradigm shift in how we think about animal stewardship.

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What If You’re Allergic to Your Dog?


Photo via CC0 Public Domain

Discovering you’re allergic to your dog is upsetting, but there’s no need to fret—dog allergies don’t have to undermine good times with your best friend. Unless the reaction is severe, you can take steps to make living with your beloved canine more comfortable. Here’s how to manage allergic reactions to your dog.

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