Some people try and pass off their regular, pet dog as a service dog so that they can bring them with everywhere, try to avoid pet fees at hotels, or have them in a ‘pet-free’ apartment. According to section 167-D:8 of Title XII in New Hampshire, it is a misdemeanor to misrepresent your dog as a service dog. Not only can you be charged with a misdemeanor, but when you falsely claim that your dog is a service dog when they’re not, you’re putting the real service dogs at risk and the people that really need them. Remember, a service dog is something that someone needs that they cannot live without, not merely a pet, but an assistive medical device just like a wheelchair or walker.
If you are not sure it is a service dog, staff may ask only two specific questions:
1.) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
2.)What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.
Service dogs do not have to have a special patch or harness, although sometimes they do have an ID verifying them as a service dog, but these can be purchased rather easily off the internet and are not an official form of verification.