There are some very genuine reasons for having support animals — it’s common to hear about people who have limited vision needing one or who are terrified of flying bringing a small animal onto a plane. But after seeing a dog not acting in accordance with expected service-animal training, David Keller of Arizona became annoyed. Really annoyed. He decided to make a statement by seeing just how far the rules for service animals can stretch.
So Keller submitted a photo of a bee hive to get the swarm registered as his emotional support animal(s). Mind you, it wasn’t actually Keller’s hive — he’s never even owned bees — but that’s kind of the point. The ridiculousness of registering a bee hive should be enough to raise red flags with any certifying agency.
Keller told WTRF that the photo was submitted to usaservicedogregistration.com, and getting the bees registered afforded him an authenticating certificate and the possibility of taking the bees into places where animals normally aren’t allow (not that he’s actually going to).
The problem is largely that there are lots of certifying websites out there with little to no oversight of them or follow through — think of it as the Wild West of emotional-support registration. Federal law, however, is much clearer on the subject, saying that only specifically trained dogs and miniature horses may be used as service animals and that they need to act in direct benefit to someone with a disability. Bees, apparently, don’t officially make the cut.
Still, it’s not a stretch to see how someone could further try to game the system and use these kinds of certifications with more dangerous animals. People like to test their boundaries, which can sometimes be serious and sometimes in good fun. Just think back to the spring when a Texan brought an African Watusi steer into a Petco in order to test the store’s leash policy.
In a piece published by Newsweek, Jaymie Cardin, a service dog trainer in Scottsdale, Arizona, had harsh words for sites like usaservicedogregistration.com.
“They’re very silly. They don’t mean anything. You can go pay for a registry on one of those web sites, and basically, you’re just paying for a piece of paper and to put a name on a list,” she said.