The question of when a service dog is really a service dog is under consideration at the Colorado legislature.

Some service dog experts say people often try to pass off house pets as service animals, so that their pets can go into restaurants, stores, and near passengers on airplanes -- places the dogs would otherwise not be allowed.

"We get calls all the time from people that want a service vest- so they can keep their dog with them all the time,” said Angela Eaton, executive director of Canine Partners of the Rockies, “While the ADA does not require service dogs to wear vests, the public often associates those vests with a service dog. That’s the perception.”

This week, the state house passed a bill with the goal to make it a crime for people who misrepresent their pet as a service animal.

The bill calls for a misdemeanor charge for people improperly using a service animal vest.

But, this can be tricky.

There is no national certification for service animals, a vest isn't even a national requirement, but service animal training organizations like Canine Partners of the Rockies does have a certification process.
9NEWS talked with the house sponsor of the bill, Rep. Daniel Kagan from Arapahoe County.

Kagan said if someone complains about a possible fake service animal, it would be up to police to determine whether it was a legitimate service dog by questioning the dog's owner.

Kagan said the bill passed the house unanimously--- and is now waiting on a senate hearing.