Mom Asks If Her Child Can Pet Service Dog, Gets Combative

A mother became extremely upset when her two-year-old daughter was not allowed to interact with a service dog that was on duty. The mother faced significant criticism when a video of her expressing anger towards the dog handler went viral on social media.

Megan Stoff and her service dog, Nala (Credit: Screenshot)

Service dog handlers who are actively working with their highly trained canines find it difficult to turn people away. However, Megan Stoff found herself in a situation when she encountered a mother and her child while she was out with her service dog Nala at a local mall. A video captured the incident.

According to Stoff, the woman in the video came up to her service dog while she was with her two-year-old daughter. She crouched down near the dog and kindly inquired if her daughter could pet it. Stoff mentioned that she turned down the offer because interacting with a service dog can interfere with its training. The woman reportedly left the scene before returning to the dog handler after 10 minutes, which is when the footage starts.

The upset mother continues to blast Megan Stoff over the incident. (Credit: Screenshot)

Upon the mother’s return, Stoff made the decision to document the situation after witnessing her extreme distress. “It was quite rude the way she spoke to me,” the upset mom tells Stoff in the clip. First, it would be helpful to have a sign indicating that the dog should not be touched. Additionally, it would have been better if she had responded differently. She should have apologized and explained that the dog is currently being trained. That would have been more pleasant.

Stoff attempts to engage in a rational conversation with the furious woman. She highlights that Nala’s vest is clearly labeled with instructions not to pet or touch her. According to Stoff, it is against the law to bother or disturb a service dog, and he advises the woman to leave the situation immediately. Suddenly, the mother’s attention is drawn to a video camera capturing the scene. She exacerbates the situation by threatening to contact her lawyer. Could you provide more details about your inquiry? The mother strongly objects to the recording being made without her consent. “This is against the law, and I will immediately contact my lawyer!”

The upset mother continues to blast Megan Stoff over the incident. (Credit: Screenshot)

Megan Stoff shared with Pittsburgh Action News that people who have service dogs often face frequent requests from the public to engage with their dogs. She pointed out that many people are not aware of the importance of avoiding conversations and distractions. “They believe they can approach the dog and try to engage with it, even though we have tried to teach them to ignore such distractions.”

Stoff emphasized the significance of the public’s understanding regarding the wide-ranging benefits of service dogs, extending beyond individuals with apparent physical disabilities. Many individuals rely on service dogs to assist with conditions that may not be immediately apparent, such as seizures, diabetes, and PTSD,” she explained.

The mom becomes incensed when she realizes she is being videoed. (Credit: Screenshots)

The mother portrayed in the video presented a contrasting perspective on the events in a written statement. She wrote about how she and her daughter were walking behind a group of people with dogs. I approached a woman and inquired if my daughter could interact with her dog. Her response was quite impolite, as she simply said, “No.” While on our way to the Starbucks line for coffee after receiving a negative response, my friend and I were surprised when a woman from the group abruptly told us to leave in a rude manner.

The mother continued, “I was holding my daughter when she used profanity.” “I left the Starbucks line to discuss my concerns about her profanity and clarification. After that, the woman started recording me as shown. In a Facebook post, the owner of catydidtraining replied that it was a former employee who used profanity.”

During the interview, the mother confessed to reporters that she was unaware that the canines were not meant to be touched. “Dogs are on the floor, and people like me are five feet seven. Normal height,” she explained. “You can see people eye to eye, you can’t see patches on dogs that are at floor level,” she added. “These vests were not bright yellow, they were black.”

The mom also feels that she has been treated poorly and unfairly judged. She mentioned that the negative response from online users was extremely strong, to the point where she felt the need to conceal her identity when venturing out in public. She was concerned that individuals might identify her from the video. She exclaimed that she had been completely overwhelmed. “It’s not acceptable.” They blew it out of proportion, making a big deal out of something so simple. My side of the story went unheard.

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