Skip to main content

It could soon be a crime to pass off your pet as a service animal

A bill unanimously gained approval in the Minnesota House.

Who would do this, right? But people trying to pass off their pets as service animals is a problem and one Minnesota lawmakers want to stop.

Minnesota is set to be the latest state to crack down on those who pretend their pets are service animals to gain favorable access to restaurants, hotels and places of business.

PBS reported last year that as many as 19 other states in the country are taking similar measures, saying it's giving service animals a bad name when owners slap a vest on their pets who don't know how to behave in public situations.

It's led to situations where untrained pets have attacked genuine service animals in public spaces, as this article by the Chicago Tribune describes.

On Monday, the Minnesota House passed by a vote of 125-0 a bill that would make it a petty misdemeanor to misrepresent an animal as a service animal in a public place to obtain rights or privileges afforded to genuine service animals.

It was sponsored by Rep. Steve Green (R–Fosston), and there's a companion bill in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Justin Eichorn (R–Grand Rapids).

According to Session Daily, Green said the law would "provide protection for businesses and those who have a true need."

Session Daily also notes that two questions can be asked of someone with "invisible" disability claiming an animal as a service animal: "Is this animal required because of a disability?" and "What work or task has that animal been trained to perform?"

Next Up


Police: Teens 'careen recklessly' in stolen BMW, Mercedes in north metro

They ended up crashing the stolen vehicles, with two arrested and two others on the run.

fire truck

Fire table sparks blaze at Edina home

The fire remains under investigation, but fire officials believe it was accidental.

money hundred dollar bills

Charges: California woman embezzled over $1M from MN employer

Mai Xiong faces several federal charges in the case.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Shot woman who sparked appeal found injured at Twin Cities hotel

Authorities began searching for Hsa Say early Monday morning.


Development may bring changes to Stonebrooke Golf Club in 2023

The popular southwest metro golf course offers scenic views of O'Dowd Lake.


Homeowners alert DNR to grouse hunting complaints in Northland

Some hunters are allegedly shooting directly in front of houses.


Charges: Teen couple tortured children while babysitting in St. Paul

A doctor called this "the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years."


New apartment proposal could spell the end for Myth Live

Myth Live in Maplewood has a spotty past with the surrounding community.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Police trying to find woman, 18, who was shot at in St. Paul

Police are looking for help finding the woman.


Is an Amazon grocery store coming to Woodbury?

There's six rumored stores in the Twin Cities.


Man sentenced to life in prison for 2021 murder of girlfriend

Lacy Jo Krube, 36, was found unresponsive at her St. Paul home, after she'd been beaten in Brooklyn Park.


Pet owners beware, there's dog flu in Minnesota

Four cases have been reported across the state.

Chuck & Don's now selling products containing cannabinoids

The Minnesota chain will carry the products at its 30 stores.

Seriously, don't leave your pet in a hot car

It's extremely dangerous to leave your pet in the car in this heat.

Seriously, don't leave your pet in a hot car

It's extremely dangerous to leave your pet in the car in this heat.

Screen Shot 2019-11-22 at 10.11.55 PM

All pets adopted after huge turnout at Mpls. 'Clear the Shelter' event

A fantastic day for Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.

2-headed deer found in MN is unique in natural history

A mushroom hunter found them near Freeburg in 2016.