- Service Dog in Colorado Definition
- How do I Register a Service Dog in Colorado
- Step 1: Identify the right service dog for your disability
- Step 2: Ensure Proper Training
- Step 3: Registering and Certifying Your Service Dog in Colorado
- Where Are Service Dogs in Colorado Permitted?
- Emotional Support Animals in Colorado
If you suffer from a disability you may be eligible to register for a Service Dog in Colorado. Consistent with federal legislation, Colorado law provides that those suffering from disabilities may utilize service dogs in their daily life and have them accompany them in all facets of the public and private realm.
Service Dog in Colorado Definition
Under the ADA, a service dog is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Pursuant to the ADA, business and public establishments may not discriminate against anyone due to a disability, which includes those who utilize service dogs to assist with their disabilities.
- Movie Theatres and Arenas
- Restaurants and Bars
- Public transportation and taxis
- Shopping Malls
Colorado restricts service animals to dogs as well as miniature horses. Despite several city specific ordinances in Colorado that ban Pit Bulls, such ban does not apply to Pit Bulls that act as Service Dogs in Colorado.
How do I Register a Service Dog in Colorado
There is not any mandatory registration identification requirements for a service dog in Colorado, however we always recommended possessing a digital ID in order avoid getting into disputes with third parties about the validity of the service dog’s registration. Any dog that meets the ADAs definition of a service dog, is by law, a true and valid service dog. Accordingly, any dog that has been individually trained to perform a specific task to assist someone living with a disability is a service dog.
We’ve distilled the requirements of how your dog can become a service dog in Colorado as follows:
- Identify the right service dog for your disability
- Ensure proper training
- Registering and certifying your service dog
Step 1: Identify the right service dog for your disability
While any dog breed is eligible to be a service dog, certain breeds have characteristics and instincts that allow them to excel at specific tasks. Service dogs may assist individuals who suffer from psychiatric disabilities such asL
- Substance Abuse and Addiction
- Eating Disorders
Service dogs in Colorado can assist those suffering with psychiatric disabilities through numerous tasks such as tactile stimulation, blocking in public spaces, assisting with taking medication and many more physical and emotional tasks.
Step 2: Ensure Proper Training
This is the most important step in having your dog become a service dog. Training and temperament are the key aspects and markers of a service dog. Colorado does not issue or require any formal training certifications. This aspect of the process is completely self-regulated by the community.
Step 3: Registering and Certifying Your Service Dog in Colorado
There is no official registry for service dogs in Colorado and service dog certificates are not a formal requirement. Any service dog registry claiming to be government operated or sanctioned is simply false information. Business operators and government officials cannot legally require proof of registration, training or licensing as a condition to enter their establishment where the public is permitted.
Pursuant to Colorado state law HB16-1426, it is a crime to misrepresent an animal as a service dog and fines can range from $50-$500. The law states that a person must have received a previous verbal or written warning prior to any charges be issued.
The only two questions that are permissible for you to be asked about your service dog in Colorado are:
- Is the animal required because of a disability?
- What task has the animal been trained to perform?
If the task your dog is trained to perform is extremely obvious, then these questions are not permissible to ask.
Once you confirm the above, businesses must make reasonable accommodations. Unfortunately, many businesses that interact with the public are unfamiliar with the laws surrounding service animals and insist on receiving physical proof of service dog registration.
As a matter of convenience and to ensure proper access as intended by the ADA, many service dog handlers choose to voluntarily register their dogs as service dogs and carry a digital ID card and/or certificate with them. This can prevent uncomfortable situations or confusion when interacting with staff at public establishments.
Where Are Service Dogs in Colorado Permitted?
Colorado and Federal laws states that business are required to allow service dogs in the same areas that the general public is permitted. The only exceptions to this are situations where there is a risk to public health that outweighs the individual benefits received from the service dog.
Under Colorado Ordinance, Section 25-4-1604, the mere presence of a service animal in a place of public accommodation shall not be grounds for any violation of a sanitary standard, rule, or regulation. This includes restaurants, dispensaries, and designated areas within medical centers.
Emotional Support Animals in Colorado
If your disability does not rise to certain thresholds or if your dog is not specifically trained to perform a specific task, you may be eligible to register your dog as an ESA in Colorado. ESAs are officially recognized as assistance animals in Colorado, however they do not get the same access of service dogs. However, there are many tangible benefits to registering an ESA, such as being able to travel to hotels without extra fees. ESAs are also permitted to live in buildings that do not otherwise allow pets.
Register your support dog online now to receive your instant Service Dog Registration, Service Dog certificate and Service Dog Certification Documents or Register your Emotional Support Animal for ESA Registration, ESA Certification and Emotional Support Animal Certificate Documents