Wyoming man seeks recognition of dog as service animal - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Wyoming man seeks recognition of dog as service animal

Posted: Updated:
CODY, Wyo. -

On July 1, Wyoming put into effect a new law outlawing fake service dogs. Several other states have a similar law. But, what is a real service dog?

Meet Hank the Hardware Hound. Tom Klindt brings Hank to work with him at the hardware store. The manager doesn't mind.

"The customers really like him. He's a friendly dog. Everybody wants to pet him," Store Manager Rod Peterson said.

Hank stays close to Klindt. The dog provides emotional support, and physical support if Klindt falls, or loses his balance.

Peterson took a chance on the pair after he got a call from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.

"And she called and said she had somebody who was handicapped and wondered if I would consider bringing him on," Peterson explained. 

"My coworkers and my bosses have been so welcoming of us as a team," Klindt said.

Klindt found Hank at the animal shelter. He says his psychiatrist told him to get an emotional support animal. But, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires businesses and other public places to admit service dogs, does not consider a dog whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support, a service animal.

Klindt pointed out Hank helps him physically, too.

"He qualifies all standards under the ADA as a service dog. He remains in training, and to one degree or the other he will remain in training for the rest of our lives," he said. 

These are service dogs called "Battle Buddies."

Without their uniforms, they are playful pups. When the vest is on, they are what trainer Chris Walker calls "Bomb Proof."

Triple A Dog Training Owner Chris Walker explained, "Bomb proof means that if another dog comes up and starts barking at them, that this dog won't react."

Walker trains dogs for combat veterans.

Walker says a service dog must be under control, "All times. Dogs that you see on flexi leads, dogs that you see that are just hooked to the owner, and they have a six-foot span, that's not part of the regulations."

Walker and Klindt both say there are cases of intentional service dog fraud.

"You can Google a hundred places that you send away a small amount of money and they will send you untested, a certification for your animal as a service animal," Klindt explained.

Klindt said he plans to have Hank tested, and certified. Walker said people can train their own service animals with proper guidance.

But, Walker said people who buy the fake certifications and vests make it harder for the veterans with PTSD, who really need a service dog.

"They end up having to battle, trying to explain to people in society, that their dog is legit," he said.

Walker's trained dogs are given to combat veterans for free. Klindt is not a veteran. He said he can't afford the cost of a trained service dog: $11,000 to $15,000. 
 

  • LocalMore>>

  • Wyoming's Black Footed Ferrets introduced to new national park in Argentina

    Wyoming's Black Footed Ferrets introduced to new national park in Argentina

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:46 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:46:12 GMT

    Wyoming’s Black Footed Ferrets, and Yellowstone’s wolves may have inspired the return of wildlife to a new national park in Argentina. Organizers are calling it the largest reintroduction program in the Americas. The 2,000,000 acre park, called Ibera, is now home again to animals that had been extinct there for many years. 

    Wyoming’s Black Footed Ferrets, and Yellowstone’s wolves may have inspired the return of wildlife to a new national park in Argentina. Organizers are calling it the largest reintroduction program in the Americas. The 2,000,000 acre park, called Ibera, is now home again to animals that had been extinct there for many years. 

  • Shriners help families who can't afford to pay for medical treatment

    Shriners help families who can't afford to pay for medical treatment

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:39 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:39:28 GMT

    Shriners in Billings held a dinner event at the Al Bedoo Shrine Temple Thursday night. The event preceeds next week's free children screening clinic at Riverstone Health.

    Shriners in Billings held a dinner event at the Al Bedoo Shrine Temple Thursday night. The event preceeds next week's free children screening clinic at Riverstone Health.

  • Your money: Tips to help manage your money

    Your money: Tips to help manage your money

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:38 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:38:08 GMT
    Managing your money can be really hard to do. Are you wondering what you can do to effortlessly manage your money? We have a couple of hacks that can help you with that. First thing you can do is get the app for your bank on your phone. This makes looking at your spending super accessible. Next, make a budget spread sheet. This will allow you to be able to keep track of your spending. Lastly, changing your password on accounts can also help save you from being a victim of fraud. 
    Managing your money can be really hard to do. Are you wondering what you can do to effortlessly manage your money? We have a couple of hacks that can help you with that. First thing you can do is get the app for your bank on your phone. This makes looking at your spending super accessible. Next, make a budget spread sheet. This will allow you to be able to keep track of your spending. Lastly, changing your password on accounts can also help save you from being a victim of fraud. 
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Billings human trafficking trial continued until 2018

    Billings human trafficking trial continued until 2018

    Thursday, September 21 2017 3:25 PM EDT2017-09-21 19:25:14 GMT

    A federal judge has continued the trial of Terrance Tyrell Edwards until January 29, 2018. Edwards was arrested on Human Trafficking charges involving three minors. in Billings last year.

    A federal judge has continued the trial of Terrance Tyrell Edwards until January 29, 2018. Edwards was arrested on Human Trafficking charges involving three minors. in Billings last year.

  • Flood-Damaged Vehicle Scam Warning

    Flood-Damaged Vehicle Scam Warning

    Thursday, September 21 2017 7:05 PM EDT2017-09-21 23:05:25 GMT

    Tips on how to not fall victim to scammers who take flood-damaged vehicles and make them look like new.

    Tips on how to not fall victim to scammers who take flood-damaged vehicles and make them look like new.

  • Mountain lion spotted in Laurel

    Mountain lion spotted in Laurel

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 12:53 PM EDT2017-09-20 16:53:28 GMT

    A mountain lion has been spotted in Laurel multiple times over the past week. 

    A mountain lion has been spotted in Laurel multiple times over the past week. 

  • Police Officer Fights to Keep Service Dog

    Police Officer Fights to Keep Service Dog

    Thursday, September 21 2017 12:51 AM EDT2017-09-21 04:51:08 GMT

    A police officer in Red Lodge is suing the city tonight and is fighting to keep her K-9 companion.

    A police officer in Red Lodge is suing the city tonight and is fighting to keep her K-9 companion.

  • Helena man gets 10 years for child pornography

    Helena man gets 10 years for child pornography

    Thursday, September 21 2017 10:34 PM EDT2017-09-22 02:34:38 GMT
    29-year-old Domenick James Howard of Helena was sentenced Thursday in federal court for possession of child pornography. According to the Department of Justice, Howard entered a guilty plea on May 31st. This, after Howard was arrested for a probation violation in April of 2016. At that time, his electronic devices were seized and searched. Examiners state they found image and video files depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. At least one file showed images of a fema...
    29-year-old Domenick James Howard of Helena was sentenced Thursday in federal court for possession of child pornography. According to the Department of Justice, Howard entered a guilty plea on May 31st. This, after Howard was arrested for a probation violation in April of 2016. At that time, his electronic devices were seized and searched. Examiners state they found image and video files depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. At least one file showed images of a fema...
  • Deputies recover Gator UTV stolen from Elder Grove School

    Deputies recover Gator UTV stolen from Elder Grove School

    Thursday, September 21 2017 2:55 PM EDT2017-09-21 18:55:10 GMT
    Klebe says this is a photo of the thief.Klebe says this is a photo of the thief.

    Elder Grove Schools is asking for your help in locating their stolen Gator.

    Elder Grove Schools is asking for your help in locating their stolen Gator.

  • Shriners help families who can't afford to pay for medical treatment

    Shriners help families who can't afford to pay for medical treatment

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:39 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:39:28 GMT

    Shriners in Billings held a dinner event at the Al Bedoo Shrine Temple Thursday night. The event preceeds next week's free children screening clinic at Riverstone Health.

    Shriners in Billings held a dinner event at the Al Bedoo Shrine Temple Thursday night. The event preceeds next week's free children screening clinic at Riverstone Health.

  • SWX Live Stream

    SWX Live Stream

    Watch live SWX events from your computer.

    Watch live SWX events from your computer.

  • WyomingMore>>

  • Wyoming's Black Footed Ferrets introduced to new national park in Argentina

    Wyoming's Black Footed Ferrets introduced to new national park in Argentina

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:46 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:46:12 GMT

    Wyoming’s Black Footed Ferrets, and Yellowstone’s wolves may have inspired the return of wildlife to a new national park in Argentina. Organizers are calling it the largest reintroduction program in the Americas. The 2,000,000 acre park, called Ibera, is now home again to animals that had been extinct there for many years. 

    Wyoming’s Black Footed Ferrets, and Yellowstone’s wolves may have inspired the return of wildlife to a new national park in Argentina. Organizers are calling it the largest reintroduction program in the Americas. The 2,000,000 acre park, called Ibera, is now home again to animals that had been extinct there for many years. 

  • Your money: Tips to help manage your money

    Your money: Tips to help manage your money

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:38 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:38:08 GMT
    Managing your money can be really hard to do. Are you wondering what you can do to effortlessly manage your money? We have a couple of hacks that can help you with that. First thing you can do is get the app for your bank on your phone. This makes looking at your spending super accessible. Next, make a budget spread sheet. This will allow you to be able to keep track of your spending. Lastly, changing your password on accounts can also help save you from being a victim of fraud. 
    Managing your money can be really hard to do. Are you wondering what you can do to effortlessly manage your money? We have a couple of hacks that can help you with that. First thing you can do is get the app for your bank on your phone. This makes looking at your spending super accessible. Next, make a budget spread sheet. This will allow you to be able to keep track of your spending. Lastly, changing your password on accounts can also help save you from being a victim of fraud. 
  • Flood-Damaged Vehicle Scam Warning

    Flood-Damaged Vehicle Scam Warning

    Thursday, September 21 2017 7:05 PM EDT2017-09-21 23:05:25 GMT

    Tips on how to not fall victim to scammers who take flood-damaged vehicles and make them look like new.

    Tips on how to not fall victim to scammers who take flood-damaged vehicles and make them look like new.