Service animals at Linfield

Emma Knudson, Staff writer

If there’s one thing that really seems to have taken the world by storm to the point of a near cult-like obsession, it’s dogs. People react at the sight of a dog like the people of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition do when they first see their new house. One would think that dogs are living deities.

One of the great things about dogs is their ability to help people: healing those who suffer from mental illness, their intelligence in aiding the blind, detecting illness and oncoming seizures, and so on. With all they do to help us, they might as well be walking deities. Which is why service animals are a wonderful thing to add to campus.

I have nothing against people with service animals here at Linfield. I would never say anything against anyone having a service animal, because I feel it’s not my place to tell someone they can or can’t have a service animal. The only thing that upsets me about people with service animals is that I can’t pet them. However, I feel like some people game the system when it comes to service animals.

It’s unfortunate that some people would take advantage of the system in obtaining a service animal simply to have the ability to bring their dog everywhere. But people do it quite often.

When I asked around about it, at least a handful of the known people with service animals (out of the many people that do) didn’t really need one. When I attempted to do research on how to obtain a service animal, the results page of my Google search was inundated with advertisements from different service animal companies. They all claimed to be fast, easy, and reliable, as all companies tend to say in their advertisements.

That kind of availability is great for those in need for an animal. I’d hope that these dogs wouldn’t be difficult to get for anyone needing them. However, for those simply wanting to hang out with their dog everywhere where pets are restricted, it seems a bit too easy for them. Which leaves fewer animals for those who really need them. Which is taking advantage of not only a part of the mental health care system and those seeking its services, it’s taking advantage of what those dogs were trained to do.

Which is, for how much people obsessively love dogs, not good.