States Are Cracking Down on ‘Fake’ Service Animals


A growing number of pet owners are trying to pass off their furry friends as service animals designed to help those with disabilities, and some states are trying to stop the practice.

Nineteen states are cracking down on people who try to use their pets as service animals when they do not have a medical condition that warrants one, USA Today reports.

The trend began over the past few years in state legislatures amid growing calls to regulate how to define a service animal that is allowed to be brought into certain public places where animals are usually banned.

Virginia’s state legislature passed a law in July 2016 that makes it illegal for dog owners to fit their pet with harnesses commonly used by service dogs for people with disabilities. Those who violate the law face a $250 fine.

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