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Neptune Beach approves ordinance to crack down on fake service dogs

Councilman says 'cheating the system' hurts those who actually need service pets

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NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Neptune Beach City Council on Monday night voted to approve an ordinance to crack down on fake service dogs.

The measure calls for a civil infraction and a $500 fine for anyone caught cheating the system. 

Last month, Councilman Rory Diamond drafted the ordinance, which will now become law, because he said too many people are abusing the designation of "service pets" for their own personal gain, hurting those who really need service animals.

RELATED: Neptune Beach councilman aims to stop people abusing 'service pet' designation

Diamond told News4Jax last month that too many people are claiming their pets are service animals just so they can take them into restricted places like restaurants and doctors' offices. 

"'It's happening so much that the rights of those who actually have disabilities are being undermined," Diamond said. "All over America, people who don't have disabilities are going online, buying service dog vests and putting them on their pet. And they don't have a disability, but they go out in public with their pet with that service dog vest on and they're essentially cheating the system."