New Law Targets Minnesotans Pretending Their Pets are Service Animals

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(St. Paul, MN) – A new law that took effect in Minnesota this month targets those who knowingly misrepresent a dog or other animal as an assistance animal.

The law is aimed at people who pretend their pets are service animals, with fake vests or paperwork, so they can take them wherever they want, places like restaurants, hotels and stores.

First-time violations are petty misdemeanors and subsequent offenses are misdemeanors.

“It had become clear something needed to be done to address this growing problem and public safety concern,” said State Rep. Steve Green. “The danger that can be posed by bringing personal pets into public spaces maybe had been under the radar, not to mention all of the unintended consequences that some bad actors may cause for legitimate service animals.”

Also under the new law, businesses are allowed under the law to post a “conspicuous sign” near entrances, stating that real service animals are welcome but fakes are illegal.

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