it's a federal crime to have a service dog that you named a service dog on your own.
This is not correct.
First, the ADA is a Federal Civil Rights Law.
Under the section dealing with Persons with Disabilities it states the rights of those individuals. Since it is a Civil Rights Law, not a law under a Criminal section, there are no punitive decrees given.
Criminal notice and punitive actions
are under State Statutes
. As of this date not all states have addressed such.
Secondly, the Dept. of Justice recognizes owner trainers
and those OTs decide when their dog meets the requirements set out by the definition give by the Dept.
The bolding in the following quote was put in by myself to highlight points.
Published September 15, 2010
Effective Date March 15, 2011
Signed by Attorney General Eric Holder
July 23, 2010
Revised definition of “service animal.”
“Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability
, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability
. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”
Also quotes from the following document,
SERVICE ANIMALS PER THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TITLE II PRIMER
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section
June 8, 2015
The ADA does not require service animals to be certified, licensed, or registered as a service animal. Nor are they required to wear service animal vests or patches, or to use a specific type of harness. ... Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.
Elsewhere there are requirements that are in place for pet dogs that must also be met by a working SD such as required vaccinations.
The above documents state what a SD must do by training. Once those requirements are meet an OT who trained completely on their own or with help of a professional trainer may claim their animal is a SD.