Service Dog Fraud

Fake and poorly trained “service dogs” can interfere with the life-saving work that legitimate Service Dogs perform for their human partners. NEADS is committed to doing everything it can to help our working Service Dog teams navigate the world without worry.

Spectrum News: NEADS service dogs applauds Walmart over decision to remove fake service dog vests from stores and online

Ana Bottary | Spectrum News:  NEADS World Class Service Dogs is applauding Walmart over its decision to remove fake service dog vests from its stores and online.

Cathy Zemaitis, NEADS director of development, said they received a photo of the fake service dog vests on display inside a Walmart from one of their clients and they took immediate action. They contacted Assistance Dogs International, who wrote a letter to Walmart on their behalf stating their displeasure with these items being sold. Watch the story here.

KSHB: Tips for finding a service dog

Interview with NEADS staff offer advice for finding a Service Dog. The growing crackdown on fake service animals

by Steve Friess

NEADS Director of Development, Cathy Zemaitis, was interviewed for this article about fake Service Dogs on

"In Connecticut last week, a state legislative committee heard testimony about a proposal to slap a $150 fine on anyone who misrepresents their pet as a service animal.

That would be a bargain compared to the $500 punishment the states of Hawaii and Washington began enforcing last month or the $250 that Arizona fraudsters have been at risk of paying since last summer. And it’s certainly a better deal than what Minnesota lawmakers approved last year – $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail for a second offense... " Read the full article here.



CBS6 Investigates: Service dog fraud

Torie Wells, CBS6, NY, interviews NEADS Director of Development, Cathy Zemaitis, for this news story about the issue of service dog fraud. Watch the report here or below.

Is That Dog (or Pig) on Your Flight Really a Service Animal?

Christopher Mele, The New York Times: NEADS CEO, Gerry DeRoche, and Director of Development, Cathy Zemaitis, were quoted in this New York Times article about Service Dog Fraud. Full Story

WebMD: Pets on Planes: Emotional Support or Sham?

NBC Boston: Impostor Service Animals Prompt Legislative Proposal

Pew Charitable Trusts: Tightening the Leash on Fake Service Dogs

BU Daily Free Press: Proposed state bill cracks down on fake service dogs

Soon, however, this manipulation of federal law could be banned by the state government, with a bill calling for the misrepresentation of a pet dog as a service animal to be a civil offense. Full Story

The Boston Globe: A hard look at the special role of service animals

CBS Boston: Bill Would Penalize People For ‘Fake’ Service Dogs

WCVB-TV: New push to keep people from taking advantage of service animal program