By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– Delta Airlines is tightening the leash on service dogs and will be demanding more proof that a dog is really a service animal.

Daniel Reed, who owns two dogs, says he sees abuses often.

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“If you have a vest on your dog it doesn’t mean you have a service dog,” he said.

Delta is requiring proof of a vaccination, and a letter signed by a doctor or mental health professional starting March 1, 2018.

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For emotional support dogs like Bindy, Delta will require a signed document that the dog will behave.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger asked the dog’s owner,”Do people doubt Bindy is a real service dog?”

“All the time,” he answered

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The airline says customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys and other animals.

They call it a disservice to people who have documented needs.

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Phillip Kurdil has a dog that helps him with his hearing impairment.

“Hears what I cannot hear, he lets me know where the sounds are coming from,” he said.

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Zoey is not a service dog and her owner, Chris Suits, didn’t try to pass her off as one.

He said it’s costing him $400 to take his dog on the flight.

He like others could have simply gone online and easily bought a vest and credentials for his dog.

(credit: CBS)

“I had somebody tell me just do that. I have too much honor and morals in myself to do that,” he said.

Delta has posted forms on line for passengers with service animals to complete, sign and submit at least 48 hours before their flight.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

Comments (2)
  1. “I had somebody tell me just do that. I have too much honor and morals in myself to do that,” he said”

    “Morals”? I seem to remember something about that, but it was many years ago.

    As much as I agree with Delta, I’m wondering how they can legally do that.

  2. Ann Pirie says:

    People who fake their service animals also use other’s disabled parking tags. Cheaters all of them.