National Epidemic of Horrible People Pretending to Be Disabled

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This trend probably won’t do much for your faith in humanity: Around the country, an increasing number of ethically challenged human beings are faking disabilities in order to snag good parking spots, cut lines at theme parks, or just bring their dogs into restaurants. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s a federal crime to use a fake service animal to take advantage of privileges reserved for those who genuinely need the assistance of such pets. Nonetheless, according to a recent report from the Associated Press, the use of phony “dog tags” is on the rise, with owners faking papers or buying badges off the Internet just so that they can bring their pooches into restaurants, shops, and other venues that don’t usually allow dogs. Advocates of both pets and the disabled are divided as to how to police those who abuse service animal privileges, and some are calling for federal authorities to better regulate and enforce service animal rules around the country. While it’s assumed that only a small percentage of the population would even think of using a faux service dog to avoid leaving a pet outside a store or at home in order to grab a bite at a restaurant, even a single incident of phony service dog usage is enough to get people—disabled and able-bodied alike—up in arms. Outrage followed the story of a 33-year-old New Yorker named Brett David, who was featured in the New York Post over the summer. David bragged about bringing his fake “therapy dog” named Napoleon into movie theaters, restaurants, nightclubs, Whole Foods, Starbucks, and more mainly because “I was sick of tying up my dog outside,” as he put it. “Sometimes, they’ll give me a hassle and say bring the papers next time, but for five bucks, you order [a patch] off eBay, and it works 90 percent of the time,” he explained. (MORE: ‘Pet Flipping’ Is Now a Thing) People like David aren’t the only ones pretending to be disabled to take advantage of special perks. In late

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