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Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Service dog regulation?

My friend recently had to bring his dog to stay at his apt. When the management found out about it they told him they were going to evict him, so naturally out of desperation he told them that it was a service dog, and purchased those tags off the Internet. The problem is now he is taking the dog everywhere with him, and impersonating someone disabled. The dog is extremly well behaved. I have tried to express the moral dilemma to him to no availe. I would like him to stop, but I know that the only thing that is going to persuade him is real tangible ENFORCEABLE penalties. I have tried to research this. I have read the ADA, but it doesn't seem like there is anyone who governs this. I have read that there are "huge fines and possible imprisonment" for this, but it seems that by law no one is allowed to ask you or make you prove that you actually have a disability. He is not stupid, so he has ligitimate answers for the three questions businesses are permitted to ask. I need to be able to give him an example of how he's going to get caught, or who is responsible for checking this, but I can't find one thing that answers this. Can anyone help me? Can the police ask you to prove that you have a disability? I read a story about a guy that had his own service dog and saw an imposter so he told the store and they called the police. But it seems they wouldn't be able to ask either. Does anyone know where i could find the actual law on this? Please help me I'm so frustrated. It's in Texas if that helps but I know federal law supersedes so?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The ADA doesn't govern housing, the FHA does. According to the FHA, the landlord can require a letter from a physician stating that he is disabled, requires a service dog and a few more details. Without the letter, he can be evicted for the dog.

    As for the penalties, they are, for the most part state, not federal. The part that is federal is that, by faking a service dog, you are lying about being disabled. This makes you not eligible for social security when you would otherwise be eligible. So, when he retires, he would not be able to collect his social security.

    As for Texas' law...

    Well, as far as penalties go, this law is one of the weakest in the country and it sucks.

    "(a) A person who uses an assistance animal with a harness or leash of the type commonly used by persons with disabilities who use trained animals, in order to represent that his or her animal is a specially trained assistance animal when training of the type described in Section 121.002(1)(B) of this chapter has not in fact been provided, is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200."

    There are other consequences. First, fakers make the life of the disabled with legit service dogs so much worse. Our dogs go through 2 years of intense training to be able to handle what the public exposure throws at them. When fakers mess up, we get denied access later. When fakers mess up enough, people try to make the law harder, making our lives harder.

    Also, tell him this...if he runs into a legitimate service dog team in public and his dog distracts the service dog and the handler gets hurt, he is financially liable for the medical bills. If his dog attacks a service dog, he is liable for the vet bills. Can he afford that?

    Not to mention, it just makes him a world class jerk!

    Source(s): I am disabled and have a service dog.
  • 5 years ago

    Well the barking and being out of control sure makes it seem these were not legit service dogs. A business does have rights under the ADA also. In the business brief it says if a service animal is being disruptive it can be removed. And the patron would be welcome to come back minus the disruptive dogs. 3 service dogs does seem a bit excessive also. This sure does not help public perception does it? .

  • 1 decade ago

    Even if your friend can jump through all the ADA hoops, you can report the person to the landlord and the landlord can evict the person. If your friend tries to fight it in court, the friend WILL have to prove that the dog is a service animal. Call the places that he frequents and tell them that the dog is not a legit service animal and tell them that they have the legal right to refuse the dog and that should the friend cause any problems, the burden of proof will be on him in a court of law.

    You can also call the U.S. Department of Justice's toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 and ask them where you report this person.

  • 1 decade ago

    Has it ever occurred to you to simply tell your friend to knock it off or you're going to report him? Its a simple as that. And yes you can report him for fraud.

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