Woman’s shock after ‘fake service dog’ attacks her trained cardiac alert animal – World News

A woman has been left shocked after her service dog was ‘attacked’ by a ‘yappy’ pooch that the owner was ‘passing off as an emotional support animal’.

Haylee Graves was walking through a supermarket when she claims a woman’s ‘fake’ support dog lunged for her service animal Jake.

The unapologetic woman assured Haylee that the dog was still in training and was needed for her ‘anxiety’.

But Haylee, who has Jake to help with a heart condition, panic disorder, anxiety, low blood pressure and PTSD, stood her ground insisting that only service animals were allowed in the store – and not emotional support animals.

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Haylee Graves with her service dog Jake


Kennedy News and Media)

Footage shows the small dog barking aggressively at Haylee and Jake and yanking on its lead in an apparent bid to lunge at them – prompting Haylee to tell the woman that the dog should not be in the store and that without the right training the dog is not has ‘animal service’.

The 28-year-old was out shopping with a friend, who also uses a service dog, and the pair made their way to the front of the Walmart store in Hadley, Massachusett – only to find the furious customer followed them to confront them.

When the store manager intervened and asked the woman to leave, Haylee claims the customer swore at her and made rude gestures before leaving the store.

Haylee, who runs a pet gear store, said she’d seen a myriad of animals in shops on previous occasions including snakes, horses and even ducks there under the guise of ‘support animals’.

She’s now shared the altercation on social media to highlight the risks that untrained animals can pose to service dogs in public settings.

Haylee has a heart condition, panic disorder, anxiety, low blood pressure and PTSD


Kennedy News/Haylee Graves)

He is a highly-trained cardiac alert dog


Kennedy News/Haylee Graves)

Haylee, from Hadley, Massachusetts, US, said: “I’d gone into Walmart to buy some fabric for a collar I was going to make. I was there with Jake and this other girl and her service dog.

“We were walking towards the exit of the store, when this girl and her boyfriend came walking around the end of the aisle with their dog.

“The dog didn’t seem to notice us at first, he was just chilling at first. But as we got closer he started lunging, barking and snarling at my dog.

“We stepped as far right as we could, so we could walk around them.

“The girl who had the dog yelled to us, before we had even said anything, ‘don’t worry, it’s fine. He’s my emotional support animal’.

“As we were walking, I spoke to her. I said ‘just so you know, emotional support animals aren’t service animals, they’re not allowed in the store’.

“She turns around and goes ‘well, I have him for my anxiety and panic’.

Jake accompanies Haylee everywhere she goes


Kennedy News/Haylee Graves)

Haylee has shared the altercation on social media


Kennedy News/Haylee Graves)

“I was just like ‘okay, whatever.’ I didn’t want to deal with it and I didn’t want to get too close to her dog.

“We just walked to a corner at the front of the store to get away from them.”

Haylee’s attempt to avoid confrontation was unsuccessful, as the woman followed them to continue the dispute.

Haylee said: “A minute or two later, she followed us up to the front of the store and started going off at us. It was uncomfortable.

“Having Jake for as long as I’ve had him, I’ve been in situations like this before. Not to this extent, but I’ve been in situations with people before with fake service animals.

“I kind of knew how to handle it, but the friend I was with – her service dog is only eight months.

“She’s new to the whole thing and this caused her to go into a medical episode.

“She sat down and her dog was doing deep pressure therapy on her to help her calm down.

“This other woman was going on about how her dog was four months old and was in training, and how she needed him because she has a fear of people.

“She said that by petting him it makes her feel more comfortable. I was just trying to explain to her that emotional support is not a service dog.

“It doesn’t have the same legal value, they’re not allowed in stores that don’t allow pets.

“And even if it was a service dog in training, if the dog was aggressive and reactive to other dogs, they can’t be there.

“I was trying to stay calm and tell her about the law. I was telling her to stick to pet-friendly stores if she’s trying to train him.

“She just kept saying he was an emotional support animal. It didn’t matter what I said, she was just being non-compliant.”

Eventually, Hayley says the store manager stepped in and asked the woman to leave.

Haylee said: “The manager ended up coming over after overhearing the situation and she ended up asking the lady to leave.

“The manager told her she would call the police if she kept arguing, and the girl ended up flipping me and the manager off, said ‘eff you’ and left.

“The manager apologized to me and my friend. I was kind of worked up about it all, [but] not to the extent of my friend who was in a medical episode.”

Haylee claims that the manager told her that people bringing their pets into the store and claiming them as emotional support animals had been an ongoing issue.

Haylee said: “The manager said they’d had issues with people bringing pets into the store and threatening to sue after being asked to leave.

“It’s really unfortunate that people bring their pets into the store and try to pass them off as service animals.

“People will put fake vests on their dogs when they’re clearly not service animals and they’ll pretend to be disabled.

“It’s so frustrating to me. Jake is a medical cardiac alert dog and he does all types of medical alerts.

“I’ve heard of people’s guide dogs being attacked and dogs lunging at seizure alert dogs causing the person to have a seizure and end up in the hospital.

“There’s so many problems that can come about because somebody wants to bring their untrained dog into the store.”

Haylee has postural tachycardia syndrome, which means she has a higher heart rate than other people.

Haylee said: “Because of the sudden blood pressure change it actually often makes people pass out. Any type of exercise or light exercise is near impossible for me to do.

“I also have asthma so this can trigger my asthma.

“Jake alerts me to the point when my heart rate gets too high. He is scent trained to know when my heart rate gets above 125.

“He alerts me by nose bumping me or jumping up on me if I don’t listen.

“He does that and then I sit down and he will do Deep Pressure Therapy on top of me that helps bring my heart rate down quicker.

“This stops me from passing out. I also have panic disorder, anxiety, low blood pressure, and PTSD and it helps with all of that as well.

“He’s amazing I don’t know what I would do without him.”

Haylee shared the video to TikTok, where it has racked up more than 16 million views and 3,000 comments.

She said: “When I shared the video, I just wanted to help spread awareness on the whole situation.

“I want people to know the difference between emotional support dogs and service animals, because there is a massive difference.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t understand. A lot of people think it’s harmless to bring an untrained pet into a store but it does so much harm to those who need service dogs.

“Their lives get put at risk, their dogs’ lives get put at risk.

“[I have seen supermarkets that] let in cats, dogs, goats and horses. It’s obscene. I remember seeing a guy trying to pass off a duck as a service animal.

“I’ve seen people with snakes in supermarkets before.”

Walmart has been contacted for comment.

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