News 5 Investigates

Jul 14, 2014 5:27 PM by -Ryan Kercher

News 5 investigates fake service dogs - Tuesday, at 10pm

News 5 is investigating how some people are abusing the system by dressing up untrained, household pets as service animals.

"They're just abusing it for the people who really need it," said Dale Coski, a paraplegic who has had four service dogs in the past 30 years.

It's becoming more common to see untrained dogs wearing "service dog" vests and gaining access to stores, restaurants and airplanes. Local businesses tell News 5 it's a problem, but there's little they can do about it because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, and for fear of getting sued.

"There's not a clear cut law on it, so it's hard," said Charlie Banks, manager of Gold Hill Java in Colorado Springs.

Watch for News 5's Maddie Garrett's special report on Tuesday at 10:00pm, as we take a fake service dog undercover into businesses, and uncover the loopholes in the law that allow people to get away with it.

News 5 also goes to an accredited service dog trainer, to find out how true service dogs are trained, and explain what options businesses have.

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