By Mitchell McCluskey
Anyone who falsely claims their dog is a service dog now can be fined in Virginia.
A law that went into effect July 1 makes it illegal to fit a dog with a harness or other signage "commonly used by a person with a disability" in order to represent the animal as a service dog.Marty van Duyne's service dog, Sergeant III, dressed for a baseball game.
Anyone found in violation of the law can be fined $250.
The legislation was inspired by Marty van Duyne, a Virginia woman who uses a service dog.
Van Duyne said she attended an event in 2015 at which she was asked to bring the red vest of her previous service dog, who had recently died.
At the event, someone asked if she would lend them the dog's vest. When she asked what the person's disability was, they told her that they had none.
"I was flabbergasted that someone would ask me to do that," van Duyne said. "You don't ask someone to borrow crutches to pretend to be hurt. You don't do that."
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