Why do so many individuals get ripped off or misinformed when buying service dog equipment?
We'll try to answer this the nicest way possible - it is easy to twist words into an "official" sounding mantra that generates sales dollars. Words like "get your dog CERTIFIED or REGISTERED" sound like they will make life easier for those with Service Dogs - it's flashy, it sounds official and it's a flat out lie. The truth is that certification and/or registration are NOT required by law for your service dog.
We are very up front with our customers in stating that our service dog gear does not imply certification. No vest, ID badge or patch we sell denotes "Certified". If you know anything about us, you know we partner with, and love, numerous non-profit K-9 Organizations. In one instance, however, we did some battle with a very large non-profit organization who wanted to lump us into this group of companies conducting business this way (we won't mention the non-profit). They were upset we sold ID badges because so many other companies that sell them try to pass the ID's off as "Certification" and said they can't endorse companies that sell IDs - the odd part is they actually list a company on their site right now that does in fact sell IDs and started carrying them long after we did. They said "anybody can buy an ID badge". We replied that anybody can also buy a brick - they may use the brick to build a home or pitch it through somebody's window - it is still a brick regardless of intent. Our service dogproducts are intended to help identify legitimate service dogs for what they are.
So, Caveat Emptor - buyer beware. It is important to point out that we are not the only "good" service dog gear manufacturer out there. We have some very honorable competitors that help keep this industry ethical and lively - we are grateful for them. We are very confident that we, along with our worthy competition, will weed out the bottom-feeders in our industry.
And what of the big organization that told us one thing about endorsing companies selling IDs and acted in a completely different way? Well, as of this writing, they are still listing them as a resource - go figure. Meanwhile, Petjoy's Wiredog brand has continued to work with many non-profit organizations and trainers to make custom service dog equipment that lasts and is guaranteed for life.