PRESCOTT VALLEY, Arizona (CNN) — David Keller and his family don’t keep bees but he’s still getting quite the buzz after registering a beehive as an emotional support service animal.
The Arizona man said too many people are faking their need for support and he did it to prove a point.
“A lot of people thought it was hilarious and a lot of people were getting upset.”
Last month, he saw a service dog that he thought wasn’t acting right.
“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.
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,” Keller said.
“Turns out there’s a whole lot of service animal registration websites out there. And with little way to verify a real service animal from a fake one, ya might ask, what’s the point?” said Max Gorden, of Prescott Valley, Arizona.
A person who trains real service animals called the sites “silly.”
“They’re very silly. They don’t mean anything. 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,” said Jaymie Cardin, a service dog trainer.
Though these sites do highlight a real problem, people passing pets as service animals.
“Training is how you tell whether it’s a service animal or not,” Cardin said.
There are a few rules: Federal law says only dogs and miniature horses may be used as service animals, so no bees.
“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, of the Arizona Center for Disability Law.
As it turns out, the animal doesn’t actually need to be registered anywhere.
And Keller hopes he’s proven his point.
“It’s making people believe all animals are service animals when they’re not. And there’s a clear difference,” Keller said.
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