Veterans and Service Animals in Idaho: Know Your Rights
September 15, 2020
Second-year law students Hayden Cottle and Quindaro Frieder worked for Idaho Military Legal Alliance (IMLA) in Boise this summer, writing and creating three brochures about the rules pertaining to Veterans and Service Animals. The brochures are audience-focused and titled Service Animals: Do I Qualify?, Rights of the Business, and Rights of the Handler.
The brochures discuss what is and isn’t covered under the VA Benefit, which animals can be classified as service animals, what can be required of the handler in public, housing, and businesses, and what questions can legally be asked of the handler.
"The Americans with Disabilities Act is crucial to providing accommodation for those individuals that have qualifying disabilities,” said Hayden. Service animals are a single facet of the ADA but, with the increase in service animals, it is important to stay informed about a handler’s rights and responsibilities.
Quin and Hayden are each personally invested in this issue. Hayden has a service animal that he brings to class. Quin’s husband is a Navy veteran and she has many friends and family members who are in the military. The students also benefited from working with Cheryl Bloom of Idaho Service Dog Advocates and Matt Wolfe of IMLA, our pro bono sponsor.
“I worked at the Lebanon VA Medical Center in Pennsylvania in the Public Affairs Office and veteran issues are close to my heart,” said Quin. She noticed that Hayden brought his service animal to class and, after Matt Wolfe of IMLA approached her about the project, she knew Hayden would be the perfect teammate because of his extensive knowledge about service animals.
The brochure information will be distributed in an article in the Idaho Veterans Network newspaper to 30,000 people, shared by retired Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson. The article will also be published in the Idaho State Bar magazine, The Advocate.