Misrepresenting a pet as a service animal will soon be a crime in Alabama
You may wish your pet could go everywhere with you but there are many places where only service animals are allowed.
A new law in Alabama is cracking down on owners who try to misrepresent their pets as service animals.
Al.com reports it will soon be a criminal act to claim your pet is a service animal when it is not. That includes anyone who misrepresents a pet as a service animal or an animal-in-training in public spaces or housing.
If someone knowingly and willingly misrepresents themselves as an owner or trainer of a service animal they will be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. The fine is $100 and 100 hours of community service with an organization that serves individuals with a disability.
The new law will also protect businesses and their employees from being charged if someone pretending to have a service animal is caught on their premises. If a service animal is removed for being a direct threat to others at a public place they must provide the person with a disability the option of returning without having the service animal on the premises.
According to state and federal laws, the term service animal only applies to a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability.
Allergies and fear of animals are still not valid reasons for refusing service to an individual with a service animal.
Governor Kay Ivey signed the law in June, it goes into effect September 1st.