Georgia moves towards penalizing people with “fake service dogs”

“Dog owners who falsely claim a dog is a service dog so they can take it in a store, on a plane or in a restaurant don’t often understand that people with real disabilities struggled for decades to have public access for the legitimate service dogs they need to help them be more independent,” she said.

Unterman wants a Senate study committee to look into the potential need for a uniform, statewide certification process, whether Georgia should criminalize the use of what she called “fake” service animals, and if trainers need more guidelines for the therapy pets.

Nineteen states have passed laws to prevent people from passing off their pets as service animals with training or certification.