Don’t Falsify Your Pet’s Service Animal Certification
Starting November 1, 2018, it will be illegal in Oklahoma to falsify certifications and claim that your pet is a service dog. Falsifying Your Pet’s Service Animal Certification will no longer be tolerated.
A new law that prohibits people from representing an untrained dog as a service dog has been passed by Oklahoma City officials. Those who are found violating the new law will face penalties and hefty fines.
Service dogs, which are trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability, are used by people with vision and hearing impairments, those who are prone to seizures or use wheelchairs or have impairment in mobility as well as people with autism or mental illness. The American Humane Association, which promotes the welfare and safety of animals, says there are 20,000 service dogs working in the U.S.
However, a common trend has been noted of pet owners who go online to purchase bogus certifications or a vest for a dog and pass it off as a service animal to have them in rental apartments, thus Falsifying Your Pet’s Service Animal Certification.
Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma, executive director, Deanna Fields said that the liabilities brought by these fake service dogs have been a “huge concern even in our manufactured business parks”. She added that besides penalizing the tenant for falsifying their pet as a service animal, the new law removes liability associated with dangerous breeds from being incurred by landlords who purchase liability insurance for their property.
That being said, the law is very hard to enforce. There is no certification or official national registry of legitimate service dogs, making it difficult to verify whether the dog has gone a rigorous training to become a service dog.
While the law is aimed at frauds and fakes, it is also designed to help disabled people who genuinely rely on the help of their service dogs. The long-term goal is to teach people not to put dogs in situations they are not trained for and to educate the public on the need for legitimately trained dogs.