Service Dog Scammers Cause Irreparable Harm to Those Who Need Help Most

While the thought of sneaking a small companion animal into a store or restaurant under the guise of a service dog might not seem like much of a crime to some, it actually causes great harm to the reputation and operation of service dogs in general.

Service dog regulations can differ between states, and a new designation for "emotional support dogs" has created a gray area as to the level of training being a service dog entails. There is no law requiring the dogs to be certified by Assistance Dogs International, Service Dogs for America, or any other organization for that matter. The Americans with Disabilities Act offers guidance with its definition for a service dog -- "a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability" -- but there is no federal oversight, leaving the system open to abuse.