Here is the official law, here is frequently asked questions about the law, and the following is a summary in our own words:
A service dog can only be owned by someone who has a disability (a rough guideline is if the person qualifies for SSI and can't work).
The penalty for "impersonating" a person with a disability is severe because it is punishable by federal law.
- A service dog must be leashed, behave appropriately in all circumstances (thunder, noisy crowds, other dogs), and the dog must be specifically trained with a task (such as a guide dog that leads a person who is blind across the street).
If you want more detail, here is our complete explanation of the rules and regulations.