PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (KPHO/KTVK/CNN) – An Arizona man said he registered a beehive as a service animal to prove a point.
An Arizona man registered a beehive as a service animal. (Source: KPHO/KTVK/USA Service Dog Registration/CNN)
David Keller and his family don’t keep bees, but Keller is still getting quite the buzz.
"A lot of people thought it was hilarious, and a lot of people were getting upset," he said.
Last month, he saw what appeared to be a service dog that was misbehaving.
"I could very easily tell that it was not a service animal, because it was pulling the owner to the parking lot," Keller said.
So, he decided to take a stand.
"I was thinking that it's just too easy to get these animals to be ‘service animals,’" he said.
Keller said he went to a website called usaservicedogregistration.com, and successfully registered a picture of a beehive as a service animal “to bring awareness to the issue that anyone could do this.”
It turns out there are many service animal registration websites out there. And with little way to verify a real service animal from a fake one, you might ask, what's the point?
"They're very silly. They don't mean anything,” service dog trainer Jaymie Cardin said about such sites. “You can go pay for a registry on one of those websites, and basically you're just paying for a piece of paper and to put a name on a list.”
Cardin said the sites do highlight a real problem: people passing off pets as service animals.
"Training is how you tell if it's a service animal or not," she said.
There are a few rules. Federal law says only dogs and miniature horses may be used as service animals.
"The law is pretty clear that a service animal is an animal that is trained to perform a specific task related to the disability," said Sey In, an attorney with the Arizona Center for Disability Law.
As it turns out, the animal doesn’t actually need to be registered anywhere.
Keller said he hopes he’s proven his point about the registration sites.
"It's making people believe that all animals are service animals when they're not, and there's a clear difference," he said.
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