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The Crackdown On Fake Service Animals Begins This Year

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A new law went into effect this week that is meant to discourage people from bringing their dogs into places that by law are limited to legitimate service dogs who are specially trained to help people with disabilities.

The crackdown on fake service dogs comes with a fine. Some say the new law may be hard to enforce.

We talk about what more can be done to protect the rights of those with service dogs and to make it clear that those pretending to need to have their pets with them are not welcomed in stores and eating establishments.

Our guests today were:

  • Senator Russell Ruderman, who represents Puna and Ka'u on the Big Island. He is credited with introducing legislation to crack down on owners of fake service dogs.

  • Francine Wai, who has long served as the Executive Director of the Disabilities Communications Access Board which advocates for people with disabilities and tracks legislation affecting our community with special needs.

  • Jim Kennedy, who is with Hawaii Fido Service dogs. A non-profit that operates a certified training center for service dogs here in the islands.




Catherine Cruz is the Host of The Conversation and a member of HPR’s news team. She has been a television reporter in Hawai‘i since 1983 and has won a number of awards and respect from a statewide audience. She spent more than thirty years at KITV, covering beats from government to education and health. Originally from Guam, Cruz is also a co-founder and former Board member and programming chair of Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC). Catherine is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
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