Should People Be Fined for Misrepresenting Service Animals?
Should pet owners be fined for misrepresenting their pets as service animals? You might have seen someone trying to sneak their dog into a store, only say that the dog is not a 'pet' but a service dog.
Are they really a service animal? Has that peacock been trained to not be aggressive and able to help their person in a situation that would call for it?
Business owners have reported an increase in "but it's a service animal" when telling customers that their facility is pet-free. As a person who has paid fees to fly with her small dog and been treated by airline staff as if I was a horrible person simply because I was flying with a dog in a carrier (when on multiple occasions I have seen dogs less well-behaved and flight crews do zero about it), let's just say this is a polarizing issue.
Massachusetts officials are wanting to make it a law that if a person is misrepresenting their animal as a service animal that they would be a civil infraction. What does that mean fine-wise? Up to $500 for the first offense and 30 hours of community service in an organization that helps persons with disabilities.
Do you think that this is something that needs to happen in New York? Let us know.
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