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State Makes It a Crime to Have a Fake Service Animal

Violators face fines and community service.

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Alabama is instituting criminal penalties for anyone who misrepresents a pet as a service animal.

The legislation takes effect Sept. 1. It makes such representation a Class C misdemeanor that leads to a $100 fine and 100 hours of community service, Al.com reports.

Under Alabama law, only dogs and miniature horses can qualify as service animals. They have to be trained specifically to help people with disabilities — emotional support animals do not count.

The law allows for signs to be posted in public places with this wording: “Service animals are welcome. It is illegal for a person to misrepresent an animal in that person’s possession as a service animal.”

According to Al.com, Alabama is one of 25 states with laws related to misrepresentation of service animals.

Read more at Al.com

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These 10 Attendees Won a Free Night at the PETS+ Wellness Summit Hotel

Find out who won a free night at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel on us!

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Leading up to the PETS+ Wellness Summit happening Oct. 1 and 2 at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, we gave away 10 free nights to 10 lucky attendees. Picked at random, they are:

  • Kelly Donnel, Pet Central Station, Lincoln, NE
  • Kimberly Aspenleiter, Moore Equine Feed & Supply, Southern Pines, NC
  • Patricia Boden, Animal Connection, Charlottsville, VA
  • Justin Dowling, Pet Supply Port, Saukville, WI
  • Brianna Swanberg, Mutts & Meows, Nashville, TN
  • Christine McCoy, The Natural Pet Enrichment Center, North Royalton, OH
  • Annabell Bivens, The Dog Store by Your Dog’s Best Friends, Alexandria, VA
  • Hernando Umana, Beautify the Beast, Lutz, FL
  • Trace Menchaca, Flying M Feed Co, Houston, TX
  • Chris Guinn, Dog Krazy, VA

Thinking of making last-minute travel plans to attend the PETS+ Wellness Summit? Friday, Sept. 20, is the last day to get the conference rate at the Lowes Chicago O’Hare Hotel. Get more info about the summit.

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Tinder-Like Dog App Acquired

The new owner of Tindog plans to change its focus.

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GARDENA, CA — Innovet Pet announced that it has acquired Tindog.co, an app that helps dog owners expand their social circle and find new friends.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company plans to redirect the website’s goal by “placing a much greater focus on its healthy living features and how to have a healthy active lifestyle with dogs in all environments,” according to a press release.

Tindog “experienced a burst of popularity in 2015 as an app that connected dogs and their owners to others to build new friendships and even make love connections,” the release notes. “In a similar fashion to Tinder’s swipe right/left design, owners could create a short profile for their dog that included their age, sex, and a picture of them.”

Innovet Pet says that in changing Tindog’s focus, the website will no longer be used to help dogs find their new park friend. Instead, Tindog will be a website that focuses on providing online access to health services, such as living with a psychological disability.

“You can feel the excitement in the room,” says co-founder Dave Louvet. “This is a big step for our company because it opens a major facet in the way we operate.

“By redirecting Tindog’s focus to providing online access to living a healthy life physically and mentally with your pet, we are building a closer bond between our customers, their pets, and us. It furthers our goal of transparency, it furthers our goal in proving complete health to our customers, and it furthers our goal to show we care.”

Upon its relaunch, Tindog.co will offer tools and information to pet owners who want to embark on a healthier life for both themselves and their pets, from small motivational tips to complete health guides. Tindog will relaunch by the first week of October, according to Innovet Pet.

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Another State Targets Bogus Service Animal Claims

States that have already cracked down include Arizona and Alabama.

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Proposed legislation in Massachusetts targets people who falsely claim their pet is a service dog in order to get special treatment.

State Rep. Kimberly Ferguson says some people are using the ploy so they can bring their dog into restaurants and other places where they normally aren’t allowed, the Boston Herald reports.

Breaking the proposed law would be a civil infraction. Penalties would include a fine up to $500 and a community service sentence of up to 30 hours.

The bill was recently heard by the judicial committee, the Herald reports.

Other states that have cracked down on fake service animals include Arizona and Alabama.

Read more at the Boston Herald

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