We have posted many times about the problems posed by dog owners who try to pass their pets off as service dogs, just so the animals can have access to places where they’re not normally allowed. The number of cases of “bad” service dogs in public cases has prompted legislatures to take up the issue. On Monday, the Colorado House unanimously passed a bill that would make it a crime to misrepresent a pet as a service animal in the state:
“According to the testimony we heard in committee, it’s a pretty serious problem. It’s a particularly serious problem in supermarkets, where more and more people are bringing pets and claiming that they’re service animals,” Daniel Kagan, a Colorado state representative sponsoring the bill told the Daily Beast. . . .His bill would impose a $350 to $1,000 fine for first-time offenders, and penalties up to $5,000 and 10 hours of community service for repeat offenders.
The article linked below goes on to explain the ins and outs of both the problem and the difficulties that business owners are faced with when a customer presents fake “evidence” that their dog is a support animal of some kind. One suspects that this Colorado bill is the first of many similar ones that will try to both protect those who really need service and therapy dogs, while also giving business owners more options for denying obvious fakes. It’s a tough line to walk. . . .