AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Those who try to pass off pets as service animals in Maine now face a $1,000 fine under a new law.
The Maine Human Rights Commission says many people in the disability community are unaware of the changes, which include a new category called assistance animals. Such animals are either trained or determined to be necessary to provide comfort and support to people with physical or mental disabilities.
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Service animals, in contrast, are dogs trained to do specific tasks like pulling a wheelchair or guiding individuals who are totally or partially blind.
The law says that people with disabilities are entitled to have the help of a service animal in public places.
When it comes to housing, people with disabilities have the right to a service animal or assistance animal.