You've probably noticed that there are a great many "service animals" on Muni and elsewhere these days, and this is due in large part to the laxness with which the City's policy on service dogs is enforced, and due to the fear of legal reprisals on the part of Muni drivers, landlords and others who don't want to end up in federal court on discrimination charges. SF Weekly's Joe Eskanazi takes a thorough look this week at the dicey issue of service dogs and the many and sundry pets masquerading as service animals on public transportation and in SROs all over town.

First we have bipolar Charles Esler whose vicious little bitch Chihuahua Tita has chased a woman across Dolores Park, lunged at a Social Security Office employee, and bit Joe Eskanazi himself while he sat in Mr. Esler's apartment. Despite being ill-trained and ill-humored, Tita is a legally recognized service animal who is a "vital component" of Mr. Esler's psychiatric treatment.