Slapping a cute little service dog vest on your furry friend could get you in hot water in Texas if he isn't a genuine, fully trained service pup.

During the recent, 88th regular session, lawmakers in the lone star state passed a bill upping the penalties for having a fake service animal.

Those who just want to take the family dog everywhere they go could lose money and time if they're found out.

During the regular session, Texas lawmakers passed HB-4164, which makes it a misdemeanor for someone to intentionally fake a service dog, it increases the fine from $300 to $1,000 and adds 30 hours of community service to a nonprofit or government agency serving people with disabilities.

This law will not change anything regarding emotional support animals, they are still legal in Texas. - kltv

The new law kicks in September 1st, 2023.

There are two types of service animals and the laws are different for each.  A true "service" animal is trained to provide a service such as notifying a deaf owner that the doorbell is ringing.

An "emotional support" animal is there to comfort its owner who may suffer from anxiety or PTSD for example.

To verify the legitimacy of an animal, the ADA says business owners can ask only two questions. The first would be "Is the dog a service animal required due to a disability"? the second is, "What work or task is the dog trained to do"?

Service animal owners can, of course, also carry the dogs paperwork as proof of the animals training and/or purpose.

Krazy Arrow Ranchette in Chaparral, NM.

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