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Arizona Governor Signs Service Animal Bill Into Law

It is now illegal to pass off a pet dog as a service animal in Arizona.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed the controversial bill into law earlier this week. But opponents are concerned about unintended consequences.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. John Kavanagh, told KJZZ last month that the measure is needed keep people from taking "phony" service animals out in public where they don't belong. 

But Sarah Kader with the Arizona Center for Disability Law doesn’t buy that argument. She said this law could have significant repercussions

"We know we have a lot of people with diabetes, and PTSD, a lot of veterans with mental illness who don’t have a vest on their dog and who might not look like a typical person with a disability with a service animal," said Kader. "Now the business owner may ask them a lot of questions, that are actually unlawful, and an invasion of their privacy, an invasion of federal law."

And she said the police could ultimately get involved. A person who misrepresents their dog as a service animal could face a civil penalty of up to $250. 

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.