Service & Assistance Animals

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woman with her service dog

Public Service Announcement: Colorado's New Law Impacting Animals 

Do you have questions about what qualifies as a service animal?  Where you can take your service animal?  Where can you take an assistance or companion animal?

There are differences between service animals and assistance or companion animals:

  • Service Animal – This is defined by federal and Colorado law as a dog (or miniature horse) that has been individually trained to perform a specific task or service for a person with a disability.  A service animal is considered an extension of a person with a disability and is allowed in any place that is open to the public.  A service dog can only be excluded from a business or public place if it is acting aggressively or causing a nuisance.
  • Companion or Assistance Animal – Companion and assistance animals are a product of federal and state laws regarding housing and are defined as animals that help a person with a disability alleviate one or more symptoms of their disability while in their home.  This can include a dog that barks when the doorbell rings to assist a person who has a hearing impairment or a cat that provides a person with bipolar disorder a reason to get up in the morning, take her medicine and go to work.  Only people with disabilities are entitled to have companion animals and even then, companion animals are only allowed in a person’s home.  Business owners and other places of public accommodation are not required to allow companion or assistance animals into their businesses.

Click Here to Learn More 

Click Here for our Resource Guide on Service & Assistance Animals

The fact sheets and publications below provide useful information about what qualifies as a service animal and where service animals can be taken.

Success Stories

No Pet Rent for Companion Animals

Disability Law Colorado was contacted by a person with a disability who wished to have his companion animal live with him.

The landlord told him that...

Related Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

Many people with disabilities use a service animal in order to fully participate in everyday life.

Right to Emotional Support Animals in “No Pet” Housing

Can a person have a service animal in housing with a "no pets" policy?  Read this publication from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law to find out. 

Companion Animals in Housing

Companion animals are not defined in regulations, but their use is defined by case law and administrative guidance – and is more broad than the definition of “service animal”.

Service Animals vs. Companion Animals

This publication helps take a bite out of discrimination against people with disabilities. It clarifies questions such as: