New Colorado Law Will Punish Misrepresentation of Service Animals
A new law has taken effect in Colorado surrounding service animals. You can now face fines ranging from $50 to $500 if you take your pet into a business under the guise they are a service animal.
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a service or emotional support animal as "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. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button."
Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not considered service animals according to Title II and Title III of the ADA. Animals other than dogs are also not considered service animals. To see what qualifies a dog to be a service dog, click here.
Colorado is not the only state that is cracking down on the misrepresentation of service animals. People in Michigan who falsely represent a service animal can be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to 90 days in jail. Virginia, Maine, Florida, also states that have imposed fines.