Dogs & Laws

New Florida Law Makes Faking a Service Dog a Criminal Offense

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new law into place that, beginning July 1, 2015, will make faking a service dog a criminal offense.

Anyone caught misrepresenting a pet as a service animal could face up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Because service dogs are legally and rightfully granted access to places, like restaurants, retail stores, and on-board airplanes where dogs aren’t typically allowed, and because of the prevalence of service dog vests and fraudulent “service dog certifications” available online, fake service dogs are becoming a common occurrence.

But, proving whether a service dog is genuine is going to be difficult, especially for businesses that, under the new law, will face second degree misdemeanor charges if they prevent a disabled person from bringing a service dog into the establishment.

“The only questions that can really be asked of them are: is this a service animal and if so, what is this service animal trained to do?” lawyer Jason Quick explained to WINK. “Once the person asserts this is a service animal, there’s really no way for a business owner to verify whether or not this is true.”

The hope is that having the law in place will deter people from faking service dogs. But, people charged with falsifying a service animal will likely only be caught when an incident, such as the dog acting out, destroying property, or attacking/biting someone, occurs and is investigated.

It’s a step in the right direction, but a viable solution to a growing nationwide problem is still needed.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Frank Porter

    Jun 24, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    My comment, there are to many dogs in public place, grocery, any stores, restaurants. I m serverly allergic to dogs. My eye swell and nasal passages clog, can not breath. I cn no be close to them, no because of these laws, I don't like to shop or go to a resturant.Dogs dander is very unheathy it causes severe reations. For 3 months I could not taste or smell my food and could not breath. Dogs dander is everywhere, stays air borne for a long time. AND it's I their urine and on their tongue. THIS IS A VERY REAL HEALTH ISSUE for Children and adults with asthma or allergies. This is not fair. Why are dogs, pets protected?

  2. paul maria

    Jul 13, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    i tryed asking you before if it would be braking the law if you used a id card or a bage saying your dog is a service alart dog if you trained the dog your slef.i all so asked disabilty rights florida as you said the same quastion. they did not know as well. they said i could try ada.i have a email in to them now but have not heard back as of yet.and there is a video on u tube showing the a person being ask to live the store with he service dog. and the man telling it is a service dog but the store owned will not let hime in with the service dog so he called the police and the police offer said he could not help as he did not any thing about the ada law and told the man with the service dog to go home and do not go bak in to the store. the police man asked the man with the service dog if he had any id for the service dog os some thng to prove it was a service dog.the man said no he did not need any thing like that . under the ada law.if he had a id card or a vest saying service dog and it is a trained service dog and not a fake. there may have not been any problems with the store owned. i do carry the ada laws in my walet but a lot of ploce dont know wnay thing about the ada laws.thank you

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