TONIGHT AT 11: Phony service pets

Posted at 5:13 AM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 10:33:32-04

At 80 years young, Ken Miles has found his footing again thanks to a 4 ½-year-old named Marty.

"He gets me around anywhere I want to go." 15 years ago, an optical stroke left Ken in the dark.

“Basically, I'm legally blind,” he said.

Marty is helping him see again.

“He gives me mobility and go anywhere I want to go,” explains Ken.

A professionally trained service dog, Marty, is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which means Marty can go anywhere Ken goes.

"Oh, he's the real thing,” jokes Marty.

“A service animal is not a pet, it's a working dog.  It's part of medical equipment,” said service dog trainer, Nick Kutsukos of Elite K-9 Academy.  Kutsukos is concerned not all so-called service dogs, really are.

“We can't go up and say your dog isn't a service dog,” he said.

The Contact 5 Investigators go on the hunt for phony service pets.

“Somebody has to challenge whether or not it’s a service dog. People are afraid, they're afraid,”

See the results of our investigation and what we discovered about the Florida law designed to stop phony service pets in their tracks.

Tonight at 11 only on NewsChannel 5.