Misrepresenting pets as service animals is fraud
The Republic, a newspaper in Arizona recently published an article titled “Arizona makes it Illegal to misrepresent pets as service animals”. This article discusses a new bill that was recently signed into law in April of 2018 in Arizona. This bill makes it illegal to misrepresent a pet as a service animal and creates fines for violations of up to $250.00.
This article also discusses some key factors I think are important when having conversations regarding service dogs and stopping service dog fraud. Service dog fraud is when an individual passes their pet off as a service dog with the intent of this dog having access into facilities it would not have otherwise.
Important points in this article:
Lack of education for pet owners of current law for service dogs.
Lack of education for business associates regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Lack of awareness of current law as it relates to persons with disabilities using service dogs
Unintentional discrimination due to the need to judge if a disabled person has a legitimate service dog
Need for more discussions between business owners and persons with disabilities for better understanding of the current ADA law
At Assistance Animals Consulting, we are veterinarians, recognized experts uniquely qualified to serve the community by providing resources for education, behavioral understanding, and guidance regarding working animals such as service dogs.
We provide education to pet owners to help reduce service dog fraud
We provide education to business organizations and associates to help them become compliant to the regulations of the ADA as it relates to service animals
We provide education to the public at large to bring awareness to the ADA as it relates to service animals
We have a workforce development program specific to service dogs supporting customers with disabilities to help reduce unintentional discrimination
The veterinarians at Assistance Animals Consulting are here to advocate for and serve clients with disabilities as well as educate and inform businesses about the rights and responsibilities of each.
Do you think a fine will discourage pet owners from committing service dog fraud? Is additional legislation needed to prevent service dog fraud? What are some alternative solutions to resolve service dog fraud? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.