Image via iStock.com/andresr
There have been many stories of people using support and service animal laws to allow their non-service pets to have the same privileges, but this has not gone without consequence.
From airport travel to bringing pets to grocery stores, the misrepresentation of pets as service animals has become increasingly problematic. It makes it harder for people with legitimate service animals to go about their daily lives without additional hindrances.
In Washington, the Spokane City Council is hoping to deter the misrepresentation of pets as service animals by considering an ordinance proposed by council member Mike Fagan. The ordinance would institute penalties for people who misrepresent their pets.
As KXLY.com explains, “The ordinance would follow the lead of the Washington legislature, which recently amended state law regarding the subject. It would ‘provide for a class 3 civil infraction with escalating penalties for repeat misrepresentations of an animal as a service animal.’”
While law enforcement officers cannot ask a person about their disability, they are able to ask if the animal is performing a service and what types of work or tasks it has been trained to perform.
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