What is a service animal?

Service animals, either a dog or miniature horse, are the
only animals allowed in businesses in the state of Colorado. This includes
grocery stores, restaurants or anywhere their handlers are allowed. Service
animals have been trained to perform tasks or services for person(s) with one
or more disabilities.
Here is where it can get a little confusing: an emotional
support, or assistance animal, is not granted these same privileges. These
animals are not trained to perform a specific task, but may help with an aspect
of a person’s disability. It is true these animals are offered more “wiggle
room” than pets in terms of housing, but they are not given any special rights
outside of housing or allowed in businesses.
Although all pets make us feel good, they are not
technically emotional support animals unless registered as such.
As of 2017, it is illegal in the state of Colorado to
knowingly misrepresent an animal as a service, companion or emotional support
animal after you have been warned and doing so could result in a fine. Click
here to read more about the law.
Understand animal classification:
  • Service animals have been trained to perform a
    specific task for a disabled person.
  • Companion, assistance or emotional support
    animals may not be trained but help with an aspect of a disability.
  • Only service animals are allowed in public
    businesses.
  • As of 2017 it is a crime to misrepresent a pet
    as a service animal after having been warned.

Click here to read more on the classification of animals.

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