This week something extremely important happened here in Hawaii. The “Fake Service Dog” bill (SB 2461 CD1) quietly became law! It’s effective date is January 1, 2019.
This would make it a civil violation when one poses their pet as a service dog when it is not and make Hawaii one of the states that recognizes that people faking their pets as service dogs.
This is wonderful for the protection and respect of legitimate service dog teams. Now the real work must begin to help educate about what a service dog really is and understanding the real intention behind the ADA law that requires service dog access accommodations for those with disabilities.
This would not have been possible without the help of a lot of people! Sen. Ruderman, the bill sponsor. Rep. Nishimoto and Sen. Taniguchi who worked hard to come to a compromise in their Conference Committee. There were many other legislators and legislative aids who also helped behind the scenes.
But as importantly, there were all the service dog teams and puppy raisers who faithfully showed up for legislative committee hearings to voice and show their support. You wrote letters, sent emails and some of you were even able to testify before our legislature’s hearing committees. In a very real way, YOU helped make this happen!! Huge mahalos to all of you!!