Massachusetts Proposes Bill to Penalize Dog Owners That Falsely Pass Their Dogs as Service Animals

State legislators in Massachusetts are proposing bill H-3657 to attempt to stop people from fraudulently presenting their pets as service animals to receive special treatment from certain businesses.

Rep. Kimberly Ferguson presented the bill which would make it a civil infraction to knowingly pass off a dog as a service dog or service-dog-in-training to bring their pets into establishments that do not typically permit them.

Ferguson said, “the bottom line is, this is a bill about fraud.”

If caught, violators would be fined up to $500 and/or receive 30 hours of community service at an organization serving people with disabilities.

To catch people who are guilty of this behavior, police officers and animals control personnel will be trained on how to spot deceitful pet owners.

As of Wednesday, the bill has garnered the support over 80 members of the 200-seat state Legislature.

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