DENVER – The group Veteran’s Puppy for Life hopes to work with Colorado lawmakers next year to create standards that organizations that train service dogs would have to meet to be certified. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that states cannot require certification of dogs or other service animals. This proposal would not certify the animals, just the organizations that train them.
“We’re not proposing to change the methodology of the training,” Veteran’s Puppy for Life founder Frank Griggs told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged. “What we’re proposing is that organizations that do train service dogs have to have certain standards they have to set in the training program, because right now anyone can say they train service dogs.”
Under the plan, groups would have to meet certain standards for things like socialization and basic canine training. The hope is that setting standards would make it easier for veterans who often are questioned about the legitimacy of their service animals.
”What causes the problem is that the fake service dogs, because they can just say it’s a service dog or an emotional support animal, it causes those with disabilities problems because they get greater pressure when they go in to places,” Griggs said. “Our veterans in training say they are challenged more now… when they go into a business. There needs to be some kind of standard set so that businesses know this is what we need to look for.”
Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver 7 and noon on K3-KCDO.