Service Dog Attacked on Light Rail in Sacramento by Another Dog


Service Dog Attacked on Light Rail in Sacramento by Another Dog

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento dog bite lawyer. Recently, a service dog was attacked by a fake service dog in Sacramento. This highlights how fake service dogs are causing a disservice to those with disabilities.

What Happened

A disabled man, who is blind, and his service dog, Kie, had just boarded the light rail line at the 16th and Q Street Station when a pit bull bit the dog on the muzzle. According to Kie’s owner, the pit bull did not immediately let go of Kie’s muzzle, causing him to scream in pain. The owner of the pit bull reportedly said the pit bull was also a service dog but retracted that statement after talking with Sacramento police. Kie remained calm as per his training as a service dog and resumed leading his owner.

Service Dogs

Under Title III regulations, service dogs are allowed to accompany disabled individuals into businesses and on different transportation venues such as buses, trains and subways. Many people with disabilities rely on service dogs who help them lead an active life. However, in recent years, fake service dogs have caused abuse of the law designed to protect and help those in need of service animal assistance.

What Are Service Dogs Trained to Do?

Service dogs are trained to assist in many ways from serving the blind or deaf to detecting seizures before they happen and alert diabetics when there is a problem. Some of the things that service dogs are expected to do:

  • Always focus only on their handler
  • Be able to walk on a leash without pulling unless they were trained to do that
  • Lie next to their handler
  • Remain quiet unless their task involves a warning bark
  • Not pay attention to distractions
  • Respond appropriately to the commands given by the handler

Not Allowing a Service Dog

While the majority of service dogs are properly trained and welcome at most establishments, there are times when a business owner may need to ask the dog’s handler to remove the dog from the premises. This is permitted under the U.S. Code OF Federal Regulations § 36.202(C)(2). This does not happen often, but it is legal if:

  • The handler fails to control an unruly service dog
  • The service animal is not housebroken and urinates or defecates on the premises

Under such circumstances, the animal’s owner must be given the chance to complete his or her business at the establishment or facility without the service animal.

What a Handler Can Be Asked About a Service Dog

In short, not much can be asked. The handler can be questioned only about whether or not the dog is needed due to a disability and whether the dog was trained to perform this service. Trained service dogs to aid the disabled are required to have extensive training and are not certified if they show any aggressive tendencies. However, this does not extend to emotional support dogs. If a service dog or an individual who has a fake service dog happens to attack or bite someone, the owner is still responsible for any damage that animal may inflict.

Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites can be serious and require extensive treatment. While dogs are required to receive the rabies vaccine according to the parameters set up by the state, many owners do not do that. Beside the potential for developing a serious disease if a dog was unvaccinated, dog bites can be disfiguring and leave scars, including facial scars that might require plastic surgery. In addition, a dog’s saliva carries many bacteria that are dangerous for humans, particularly if the victim is elderly or has a compromised immune system.

One such bacteria is Capnocytophaga canimorsus. This lives in the mouth of up to 75 percent of dogs. At the extreme, the bacteria can cause gangrene, sepsis, endocarditis and the need for amputation. An infection with this bacteria has a mortality rate of 30 percent in some human hosts. Treatment may require long hospital stays, appropriate antibiotics and surgery.

Related Articles by Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer Ed Smith

Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento dog bite lawyer. If you have fallen victim to a dog bite or if a family member has died due to infection or been mauled by a dog, call me for friendly advice that is free. I can be reached at (916) 921-6400 or at my toll free line (800) 404-5400.

I have helped Sacramento and Northern Californians who have suffered traumatic injury or lost family members to a wrongful death for the past 35 years as an injury lawyer. We work hard to make sure that you recover damages such as medical bills, lost wages or funeral expenses and burial costs as well as the finances the family would have received from the decedent.

I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates, a group that only allows those trial attorneys who have won $1 million in either settlements or verdicts.

If you want to know about how clients and other lawyers think about me and my practice, look at my reviews on Avvo, the legal site, or Yelp and Google Plus.

You can read about an assortment of legal topics here on You can also see what previous clients won in verdicts and settlements.

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