Debate over 'fake' service animals

4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit charity that trains service dogs for children and veterans with disabilities, will be spending Sunday, Jan. 17 from 1-5 PM celebrating the completion of its new building project by hosting an open house. Xenia Mayor, Marsha Bayless, and Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, Alan Liming, and other Chamber Board members will be attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 PM along with Hi-Five, 4 Paws staff, and major donors. 4 Paws trainer Cameron McLendon works with Laborador/Golden Retriever Ascics in the new facility. CHUCK HAMLIN / STAFF
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4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit charity that trains service dogs for children and veterans with disabilities, will be spending Sunday, Jan. 17 from 1-5 PM celebrating the completion of its new building project by hosting an open house. Xenia Mayor, Marsha Bayless, and Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, Alan Liming, and other Chamber Board members will be attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 PM along with Hi-Five, 4 Paws staff, and major donors. 4 Paws trainer Cameron McLendon works with Laborador/Golden Retriever Ascics in the new facility. CHUCK HAMLIN / STAFF

Service animals help people with disabilities lead a more independent life. But a greater number of people are taking “emotional support animals” on planes and other places to help mitigate stressful conditions.

Unlike service animals, mostly dogs that help with tasks, emotional support animals need not be trained and span a greater number of species to include cats, birds, ferrets and others — even pigs.

We are working on a story and want to hear from you if you have experienced a flight or shared a restaurant with untrained animals, or if you use an emotional support animal. Contact reporter Chris Stewart at Chris.Stewart@coxinc.com or at (937)225-2442.