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.