Many people with disabilities depend on highly trained service animals to help them navigate daily life. Their service animals are legally permitted to enter places like stores, hotels, and restaurants. The ADA grants them this right, and it limits service animals to dogs and miniature horses with special training.
However, certain people have figured out that by pretending their pet is a service animal, they can bring that pet anywhere. Fake service animal vests are easy to buy online. Some of them even come with fraudulent I.D. cards to help the owner bolster their lie.
This might seem like a harmless way to get Fluffy into restaurants, but it hurts people who rely on their real service animals. Pets aren’t trained like service animals, and many of them will bark, bite, chew on objects, and even do their business inside stores. The fake service animals sometimes even distract the real ones from doing their jobs.
When the general public sees “service animals” behaving badly, they naturally treat all service animals with skepticism. No one who needs a service animal should have to face constant questions, and no one would question real service animals if there wasn’t an epidemic of fake ones.