If the sign in the store window reads Service Dogs Only, then your dog – whether he’s wearing his therapy dog vest or not – is not allowed in the store. Your dog is welcome wherever the sign reads Dogs Welcome. In other words, your dog, as a certified therapy dog doesn’t have any special rights in public places. He does have special rights in healthcare facilities and eduational institutions where a dog is welcome only if he has been certified through a therapy dog organization.
The misunderstanding comes when people confuse the terms Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs. They are not synonymous. Simply put, Service Dogs are trained to help their owners; Therapy Dogs are trained to work with their owners to help others. Therapy Dogs are visiting dogs that make scheduled visits to healthcare facilities, assist in educational programs, and anywhere else that therapy dogs can help others.