Arizona lawmaker proposes bill to crack down on fake service animals

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

From restaurants to sitting next to you on planes, it seems service animals are everywhere. 

But one state lawmaker says it's a trend that's out of control. Now he wants people to pay a hefty $250 fine if they pretend their pet is a trained service animal. 

"There is developing an epidemic of people who misrepresent their untrained and often unruly pets as service animals," said Sen. John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills.   

Pet owners would have to prove their pets are trained service animals to take them into a public business. If they can't, the business could file a complaint with authorities and potentially face a fine. 

But disability activists say current laws already give businesses the power to remove unruly service animals. 

Sarah Kader, an attorney for the Arizona Center for Disability Law, said the current proposal will create more problems than it solves. 

"We think basically this penalizes people with disabilities with legitimate service animals, and could cause a situation where a business is calling the police on them and having them interrogated and go though a court process," she said. 

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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