Society

Colorado Veteran Reportedly Kicked Off Bus Over Service Dog

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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A Colorado veteran says he was denied a ride on the Grand Valley Transit system because of his service dog.

Richard Palmer's dog, Zipper, is a psychiatric service animal who helps him with post traumatic stress and a brain injury.

"He calms my nerves, so I don't get anxiety in crowds of people," Palmer told KJCT. "He keeps me focused and on track."

Palmer said he rode the bus with Zipper for months before the bus driver decided Zipper isn’t a service dog, but a “comfort” dog.

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"This bus driver, a female, was saying, 'He's a comfort dog. He can't get on the bus,'" Palmer said.

Grand Valley Transit General Manager Bonnie Fuchs told the news station that it was the dog’s behavior that got Palmer booted.

"The dog is not under the owner's control," Fuchs said. "Jumping up on seats, kind of walking around the bus on his own."

Palmer said his dog was never disobedient on the bus.

"Always well behaved," he said. "Always well obedient. Kids like to pet him. Other people like to pet him. He's very friendly."

Transit policy requires the service dog owner tell the bus driver what kind of service the animal provides and then it must sit on the floor under the seat in front of the rider or on the ride’s lap.

Sources: KJCT, KGTV

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Quinn Dombrowski