DENVER (CBS4) – House lawmakers will consider on Tuesday whether to pass a bill that would make it a crime to pretend a pet is a service animal.

Supports say it isn’t fair to those who actually need a service animal, and those trying to get away with a fake service animal are able to do so.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor to make up a reason for having a service animal.

Lawmakers also say the false claims are hurting businesses that are pet free, but unable to question someone that may not have a real service animal. Currently a business can only ask what the animal is trained for or what service it helps its owner with.

Lawmakers say this is like having a driver take the last handicapped spot from someone who actually needs it.

“This is an affront to those with legitimate uses and legitimate disabilities,” said Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton.

If it passes, business owners will be able to contact police, have them investigate and ask more questions to determine if the animal is actually a service animal.

Tuesday is the third reading of the bill for final passage.


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