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Table of State Assistance Animal Laws



Rebecca F. Wisch



Publish Date:
2012 (updated 2013)
Place of Publication: Michigan State University College of Law

Printable Version

This table compares state assistance animal/service dog laws. The first column gives state definitions for an assistance animal, which can range from a "guide dog" in Connecticut to a "medical alert or respond dog" in Missouri. Other categories surveyed are equal access/public accommodation laws, criminal interference/harm to service animal laws, disabled pedestrian laws, dog licensing laws that address service animals, and laws concerning the fraudulent representation of assistance animals.

Equal access laws protect the rights of disabled individuals to use assistance animals in public places, modes of transportation, and housing without having to pay an extra fee. If a listed place refuses entry with an assistance animal or otherwise interferes with the rights of the individual, that entity may have to pay a fine or could even face criminal charges (usually a misdemeanor).

Nearly all states have laws that protect assistance animals from criminal interference, theft, and assault. Only Alabama, Alaska, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, and West Virginia do not appear to have such laws. Violators can face a simple misdemeanor for willfully interfering with a service animal in New Hampshire, to a one-year term of imprisonment/$10,000 fine in California for causing intentional injury to a service animal. It is important to observe the state of mind (or mens rea in legal terms) required under many of these state laws. Some laws require that a person only "recklessly" interfere with, or allow his or her dog to interfere with, a service animal. For the more serious crime of causing death or serious injury to a service animal, a person must "intentionally" cause the injury.

Some states, like California and Hawaii, require that the service animal be in the "discharge of its duties" when the assault occurs. Other states are silent on this requirement. Many laws require that, upon conviction, violators pay restitution for any veterinary bills and replacement costs of the dog if it is disabled or killed.

Laws protecting disabled pedestrians, typically known as "White Cane Laws," appear in most states. These laws mandate that drivers approaching pedestrians who are blind or visually handicapped and using guide dogs take such reasonable precautions before proceeding as may be necessary to avoid an accident or injury. Punishment typically involves a fine and possibly restitution resulting from injuries to the pedestrian and his or her assistance animal.

About half the states offer licensing fee waivers for service dogs. Sometimes proof of the dog's status as a service dog is required. In California, for instance, a person must attest to such fact in an affidavit. A person who makes a false claim on this affidavit faces a possible six months in jail and/or $1,000 fine.

Finally, about 16 states have laws that make it a crime to fraudulently represent that a person has the right to be accompanied by a service animal. This may simply involve the use of a harness, vest, or orange leash that typically identifies as a dog as a service animal. Violation is usually a misdemeanor.

It may be informational to look at the table below to compare the various state laws. The table includes links to the text of the laws discussed.

State Definition of Assistance/Service Animal Accommodation Law Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs Law Driving Law Licensing Law Fraudulent Representation of Service Animal Law
Alabama

Under Chapter 7 - Rights of Blind and Otherwise Physically Disabled Persons:

For the purposes of this section, the term service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

Ala. Code 1975 § 21-7-4.

 

Every person with a disability, including a person who is:

  • totally or partially blind
  • hearing-impaired,
  • diagnosed on the autism spectrum

shall have the right to be accompanied by a service animal in any public place, including a public or private school, and any of the places listed in Section 21-7-3.

The person may not be required to pay an extra charge for the service animal.

Ala. Code 1975 § 21-7-4.

Any person, firm or corporation, or the agent of any person, firm or corporation, who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind or otherwise disabled person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Ala. Code 1975 § 21-7-5.

 

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is using a guide dog, or a person employed by an accredited school for training guide dogs who provides notice shall take all necessary precautions prescribed by law to avoid injury to the blind pedestrian, and the dog trainer.

Any driver who fails to take all necessary precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused the pedestrian, or the guide dog trainer.

Ala. Code 1975 § 21-7-6.

 

Alaska

Under driver duty law:

"Service animal" means a dog guide or other animal that assists a physically disabled person to function as a pedestrian.

A. S. 09.65.150

Under rights interference law:

"Certified service animal" means an animal trained to assist a physically or mentally challenged person and certified by a school or training facility for service animals as having completed such training.

A.S. 11.76.130

Under interference with the training of a service animal law:

"In training to be a service animal" means being in the pre-training or training period as required under a program administered through a school, agency, or other training facility for service animals whose goal is to certify the animal as being able to assist physically or mentally challenged persons.

A.S. 11.76.133

 

Interference with rights of person using service animal:

A person commits the crime of interference with the rights of a physically or mentally challenged person if he or she intentionally prevents or restricts  a physically or mentally challenged person from being accompanied or assisted by a certified service animal in a common carrier/place of public accommodation.

Interference with the rights of a physically or mentally challenged person is a class B misdemeanor.

A. S. 11.76.130

Interference with training of service animal:

A person commits the offense of interference with the training of a service animal if he or she intentionally prevents or restricts a person who is authorized to train a service animal from being accompanied by an animal that is identified as being in training to be a service animal.

Interference with the training of a service animal is a violation.

A. S. 11.76.133

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a physically disabled pedestrian who is using a service animal must take precautions to avoid injury to the pedestrian or the service animal. A driver who fails to take necessary precautions and causes injury to the pedestrian/service animal is liable for the injury or damage caused.

A. S. 09.65.150

 

Arizona

Under rights/discrimination law:

"Service animal" means any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing assistance in a medical crisis, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

A. R. S. § 11-1024

Under criminal injury to service animal law:

"Service animal" means an animal that has completed a formal training program, that assists its owner in one or more daily living tasks that are associated with a productive lifestyle and that is trained to not pose a danger to the health and safety of the general public.

A.R.S. § 13-2910

 

Any person or entity that operates a public place shall not discriminate against individuals with disabilities who use service animals.

Any trainer or individual with a disability may take an animal being trained as a service animal to a public place for purposes of training subject to exceptions in law.

Violation is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Law has exception for zoos or wild animal parks where service animals may come into direct contact with the animals.

A. R. S. § 11-1024

 

Per A.R.S. § 13-2910, a person commits cruelty to animals if the person does any of the following:

  • Intentionally or knowingly interferes with, kills or harms a working or service animal without either legal privilege or consent of the owner (class 6 felony).
  • Intentionally or knowingly allows any dog that is under the person's custody or control to interfere with, kill or cause physical injury to a service animal (class 6 felony).
  • Recklessly allows any dog that is under the person's custody or control to interfere with, kill or cause physical injury to a service animal (class 1 misdemeanor).
  • Intentionally or knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over a service animal with the intent to deprive the service animal handler of the service animal (class 6 felony).

The driver of a vehicle approaching a legally blind pedestrian who is using a service animal shall yield the right-of-way and take reasonable precautions to avoid injury to the pedestrian and the service animal. A driver who violates this subsection is liable for damages for any injury caused to the pedestrian or the service animal. Also a class 2 misdemeanor.

A.R.S. § 13-2910

 

Arkansas

Every physically disabled person has right to be accompanied by a service animal at no extra charge in and upon all public ways, public places, and housing accommodations.

A.C.A. § 20-14-304

A blind, physically handicapped, deaf or hard-of-hearing person and his or her guide, signal, or service dog or a dog trainer in the act of training a guide, signal, or service dog shall not be denied admittance to or refused access to public places because of the dog, or charged any additional fee.

A.C.A. § 20-14-308

 

Any person who without just cause purposely kills or injures any service animal described in this section or any search and rescue dog is guilty of a Class D felony.

Any person who kills or injures any service animal described in this section or any search and rescue dog shall make restitution to the owner of the animal.

A.C.A. § 20-14-304

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a visually handicapped or hearing impaired person who is using guide or hearing ear dog shall take all reasonable precautions to avoid injury to the visually handicapped, hearing impaired, or other physically handicapped pedestrian.

A.C.A. § 20-14-306


 

California

Under public accommodation law:

"guide dog" means any guide dog that was trained by a licensed person.

"signal dog" means any dog trained to alert an individual who is deaf or hearing impaired to intruders or sounds.

"service dog" means any dog individually trained to the requirements of the individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, minimal protection work, rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 54.1

 

Every individual with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, signal dog, or service dog in any public place without being required to pay an extra charge.

A violation of the right under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 also constitutes a violation of this section, and nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the access of any person in violation of that act.

West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 54.2

Anyone who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities or otherwise interferes with the rights of an individual with a disability is liable for each offense for the actual damages up to a maximum of 3 times the amount of actual damages, but in no case less than $1,000, and attorney's fees.

"Interfere," for purposes of this section, includes, but is not limited to, preventing or causing the prevention of a guide dog, signal dog, or service dog from carrying out its functions in assisting a disabled person.

West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 54.3

It is a denial of equal access to housing accommodations to refuse to lease housing to an individual who uses an assistance dog.

West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 54.1

Trained guide dogs, signal dogs, and service dogs trained may be transported in a schoolbus when accompanied by disabled pupils enrolled in a public or private school or by disabled teachers employed in a public or private school or community college or by persons training the dogs.

West's Ann.Cal.Educ.Code § 39839

 

Interference/Harassment:

Any person who intentionally interferes with the use of a guide, signal, or service dog or mobility aid by harassing or obstructing is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail up to 6 months, or fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $2,500, or both.

West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 365.6

Injury or Causing Death to Service Dog:

Unlawful to permit any dog to injure or kill any service dog while the service dog is in discharge of its duties. Violation is  infraction punishable by a fine if the injury is caused by the person's failure to exercise ordinary care. 

Violation is a misdemeanor if the injury is caused by reckless disregard in the exercise of control over his or her dog punishable by fine of not less $2,500 nor more than $5,000, or both. Upon conviction, the defendant shall make restitution, including veterinary bills and replacement costs.

West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 600.2

Any person who intentionally causes injury to or the death of any service dog, while the dog is in discharge of its duties, is guilty of a misdemeanor is guilty, punishable by imprisonment up to 1year, or by fine up to $10,000, or by both. Upon conviction, a defendant must make restitution to the person with a disability who has custody or ownership of the dog for any veterinary bills and replacement costs of the dog if it is disabled or killed.

West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 600.5

 

A totally or partially blind pedestrian who is using a guide dog, shall have the right-of-way.

Driver must yield the right-of-way and take all reasonably necessary precautions to avoid injury to this blind pedestrian

Failure to do so is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6 months, or a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or both.

West's Ann. Cal. Vehicle Code § 21963

 

For a license, person must sign affidavit stating dog is trained assistance dog. Person who makes false affidavit faces 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine.

Upon the death or retirement of an assistance dog, the owner or person in possession of the assistance dog identification tag shall immediately return the tag to the animal control department that issued the tag.

West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 30850.


 

Any person who knowingly and fraudulently represents himself or herself, through verbal or written notice, to be the owner or trainer of any canine licensed/qualified/identified as a guide, signal, or service dog shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6 months, by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.

West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 365.7

 

Colorado

Under Rights Law:

"Assistance dog" means a dog that has been or is being trained as a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog.

Such terms are further defined as follows:

"Guide dog" means a dog that has been or is being specially trained to aid a particular blind or visually impaired person.

"Hearing dog" means a dog that has been or is being specially trained to aid a particular deaf or hearing impaired person.

"Service dog" means a dog that has been or is being specially trained to aid a particular physically disabled person with a physical disability other than sight or hearing impairment.

C. R. S. A. § 24-34-803

Under harassment provision in cruelty laws:

“Service animal” means any animal, the services of which are used to aid the performance of official duties by a peace officer, law enforcement agency, fire department, fire protection district, or governmental search and rescue agency.

C.R.S.A § 18-1.3-602(3.5))

 

A person with a disability, including but not limited to a blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or otherwise physically disabled person, has the right to be accompanied by an assistance dog specially trained for that person without being required to pay an extra charge for the assistance dog

A trainer of an assistance dog has the right to be accompanied by an assistance dog that the trainer is in the process of training without being required to pay an extra charge for the assistance dog.

Violation is a class 3 misdemeanor and shall be liable to the person with a disability or trainer whose rights were affected for actual damages for economic loss.

A court may award costs and reasonable attorney fees.

C.R.S.A. § 24-34-803

 

Harassment of assistance animals:

No person shall beat, harass, intimidate, entice, distract, or otherwise interfere with:

  • any dog on a blaze orange leash
  • any dog accompanying a person carrying a white or white tipped with red or metallic colored cane or walking stick
  • any assistance dog, accompanying a person when that dog is being controlled by or wearing a harness normally used for dogs accompanying or leading persons with disabilities

Violation of this section is a class 3 misdemeanor.

C.R.S.A. § 18-13-107

 

Driver who approaches a person with a disability (including use of a service dog) must come to a full stop to avoid accident.

Failure to do so is class A traffic offense.

C.R.S.A. § 42-4-808
 

Person with disability is exempt from any state or local licensing fees or charges in connection with owning an assistance dog.

C.R.S.A. § 24-34-803

 

No person, except one wholly or partially blind, or wholly or partially deaf, or both wholly or partially blind and wholly or partially deaf, shall use a leash blaze orange in color on any dog accompanying such person.

Violation is class 1 petty offense.

C.R.S.A. § 18-13-107

 

Connecticut

"Guide dog" or "assistance dog" includes a dog being trained as a guide dog or assistance dog and "person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person" means a person who is employed by and authorized to engage in designated training activities by a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that complies with the criteria as described.

C. G. S. A. § 46a-44.

 

Any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or any person training a dog as a guide dog may travel on a train or on any other mode of public transportation, and may enter any other place of public accommodation accompanied by his guide dog or assistance dog, provided such dog shall be in the direct custody of such person and shall be wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar.

C. G. S. A. § 46a-44

It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section to deny any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person, or any person training a dog as a guide dog, who is accompanied by his guide dog or assistance dog wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar, full and equal access to any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement.

Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than $25 or more than $100 or imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both.

C. G. S. A. § 46a-64

 

The owner or keeper of a dog shall restrain and control such dog on a leash when such dog is not on the property of its owner or keeper and is in proximity to a blind, deaf or mobility impaired person accompanied by guide dog, provided the guide dog is in direct custody and is wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar.

Violation is an infraction.

Owner or keeper liable for any damage done to such guide dog, including any costs incurred for veterinary care, rehabilitation or replacement of the injured guide dog and for reasonable attorney's fees.

C. G. S. A. § 22-364b

 

Any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person who is the owner or keeper of a dog which has been trained and educated to guide and assist such person in traveling upon the public streets or highways or otherwise shall receive a license and tag for such dog from the town clerk of the town where such dog is owned or kept at no fee.

C. G. S. A. § 22-345

 

Delaware

Under 9 Del.C. § 916, "Unauthorized acts against a service dog; penalties":

“Service dog” means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

In chapter on "Equal Accommodations" (6 Del.C. § 4502):

Support animal means any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks to meet the requirements of a physically disabled person, including, but not limited to, minimal protection work, rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

 

Under chapter on Commission for the Blind:

Any person who by reason of loss or impairment of eyesight or hearing is accompanied a “seeing eye dog,” is entitled to the full and equal accommodations and shall be entitled to take the dog into such conveyances and places.

Deprivation of this right results in a fine of not more than $100, or be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 3 months, or both.

31 Del.C. § 2117

Under chapter on Equal Accommodations:

No person being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, director, supervisor, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation, shall directly or indirectly refuse, withhold from or deny to any person, on account of disability any of the accommodations, facilities, advantages or privileges thereof. For the purpose of training support animals to be used by persons with disabilities, all trainers and their support animals shall be included within those covered by this subsection (§ 4504). Complaints is sent to State Human Relations Commission where civil penalty can range from $5,000 to $25,000 depending on how many prior discriminatory public accommodations practice have occurred.

6 Del.C. § 4504

 

No person shall intentionally interfere with the use of a service dog by obstructing, intimidating or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the user or animal (class B misdemeanor).

No person shall intentionally injure or disable a service dog that is being used by its owner or the officer teamed with the dog (class A misdemeanor).

No person shall intentionally kill a service dog owned by a private person or agency (class D felony).

No person shall intentionally steal, take or wrongfully obtain a service dog owned by a private person or agency (class E felony).

DE ST TI 9 § 916

 

Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing a person wholly or partially blind, accompanied by a guide dog, upon a roadway.

DE ST TI 21 § 4144

 

The license fee set by the county pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not be required to be paid when the dog is one which qualifies as a seeing eye, lead or guide dog or as a dog which has previously served in a branch of the United States armed forces. The county shall issue either a metal license tag or an alternative method for identification in accordance with subsection (b) of this section to such persons without the necessity of the payment of the dog license fee.

DE ST TI 9 § 902

 

D.C.
Florida

"Service animal" means an animal that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The tasks may include, but are not limited to, guiding a person who is visually impaired or blind, alerting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with mobility or balance, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, retrieving objects, or performing other special tasks.

Specifically states: "A service animal is not a pet."

West's F. S. A. § 413.08

 

An individual with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas of a public accommodation that the public or customers are normally permitted to occupy.

  • no documentation is required
  • a public accommodation may ask if an animal is a service animal or what tasks the animal has been trained to perform to determine the difference between service animal and pet
  • can remove or exclude service animal if it poses direct threat ("allergies and fear of animals are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to an individual with a service animal")

Denial or interference with these rights is misdemeanor of second degree.

Any trainer of a service animal, while engaged in the training of such an animal, has the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities and the same liability for damage.

West's F. S. A. § 413.08

 

Reckless interference with service dog:

A person who, with reckless disregard, interferes with, or permits a dog that he or she owns or is in the immediate control of to interfere with, the use of a service animal by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the service animal or its user commits a misdemeanor of the second degree for the first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree for each subsequent offense.

Reckless injuring or killing of service dog:

A person who, with reckless disregard, injures or kills, or permits a dog that he or she owns or is in the immediate control of to injure or kill, a service animal commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Intentionally killing service dog:

A person who intentionally injures or kills, or permits a dog that he or she owns or is in the immediate control of to injure or kill, a service animal commits a felony of the third degree.

A person who is convicted must make full restitution for all damages

West's F. S. A. § 413.081

 

If mobility-impaired pedestrian is using a guide dog or service animal to cross a public street, driver must bring vehicle to a full stop and take precautions to avoid injuring pedestrian.

West's F. S. A. § 316.1303

 

Georgia

Under harassment of assistance dogs law:

"Assistance dog" means a dog that is or has been trained by a licensed or certified person, organization, or agency to perform physical tasks for a physically challenged person. Assistance dogs include guide or leader dogs that guide individuals who are legally blind; hearing dogs that alert individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to specific sounds; and service dogs for individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness, which are trained to perform a variety of physical tasks, including, but not limited to, pulling a wheelchair, lending balance support, picking up dropped objects, or providing assistance in a medical crisis.

Ga. Code Ann., § 16-11-107.1

Note under equal accommodations law that allows guide or service dog to accompany blind and deaf individuals:

"The guide dog or service dog must be identified as having been trained by a school for seeing eye, hearing, service, or guide dogs."

Ga. Code Ann., § 30-4-2

 

Every totally or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, and every physically disabled person and every deaf person shall have the right to be accompanied by a service dog in public places and accommodations, and shall have full and equal access to all housing accommodations.

Every person engaged in the training of a guide dog or service dog for the purpose of accompanying a person shall have the same right to be accompanied by such dog so long as such trainer is identified as an agent or employee of a school for seeing eye, hearing, service, or guide dogs.

Denial or interference is misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000.00, imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.

Ga. Code Ann., § 30-4-2

 

Any person who knowingly and intentionally harasses or attempts to harass an assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Punishable by imprisonment for not less than 90 days or a fine not to exceed $500.00, or both.

Any person who knowingly and intentionally allows his or her dog to harass an assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Punishable by imprisonment for not less than 90 days or a fine not to exceed $500.00, or both (second violation punished as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature).

Any person who knowingly and intentionally allows his or her dog to cause death or physical harm to an assistance dog by rendering a part of the assistance dog's body useless or by seriously disfiguring the assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

Ga. Code Ann., § 16-11-107.1

 

The driver of every vehicle shall yield the right of way to any blind pedestrian who is carrying a walking cane or stick white in color or white tipped with red or who is accompanied by a guide dog.

Ga. Code Ann.§ 40-6-94

Hawaii

Under accommodation law:

“Service dog” means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, intellectual, or other mental disability. A companion or comfort animal is not a service dog unless it meets the requirements of this definition and it accompanies a person for the purpose of performing the work or tasks for which it has been trained.

H R S § 347-2.5

[Note that intentional interference with service dog law also adopts this new definition of service dog.]

 

 

Every person who is blind, deaf, visually handicapped, or otherwise disabled shall have the right to be accompanied by a service dog.

No service dog shall be considered dangerous merely because it is unmuzzled.

H R S § 347-13

Person injured by violation may bring a civil action to recover three times the person's actual damages or $1,000, whichever sum is greater, for each violation (also costs and attorney fees).

H R S § 347-13.5

Violation by person, business, agency, or any common or public carrier results in fine of not more than $1,000.

H R S § 347-14

 

1. Intentional Interference 

A person commits the offense of intentional interference with the use of a service dog if the person, with no legal justification, intentionally or knowingly:

(a) Harms a service dog; or

(b) Strikes or kicks a service dog;

while the service dog is in the discharge of its duties.

Violation is misdemeanor.

H R S § 711-1109.5

2. Causing death to service dog

A person commits the offense of causing injury or death to a service dog if:

(a) The person recklessly causes injury to or the death of any service dog while the service dog is in the discharge of its duties; or

(b) The person is the owner of a dog and recklessly permits that dog to attack a service dog while the service dog is in the discharge of its duties, resulting in the injury or death of the service dog.

Any person who commits the offense of causing injury or death to a service dog shall be punished as follows:

(a) For a first offense by a fine of not more than $2,000, imprisonment of not more than thirty days, or both; and

(b) For a second or subsequent offense by a fine of not more than $5,000, imprisonment of not more than thirty days, or both.

Also must make restitution

H R S § 711-1109.4

 

Any driver of a vehicle shall, on approaching a person who is blind or visually handicapped and using a guide dog, take such reasonable precautions before proceeding as may be necessary to avoid an accident or injury to the blind or visually handicapped person.

H R S § 347-17

Violation results in fine of not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

H R S § 347-18

 

Per H  R S § 143-4, the director of finance shall adopt rules for the licensing of guide, signal, and service dogs.

 

Idaho

Under public accommodation law:

“Assistance dog” means a dog that has been trained as a guide dog for a blind or visually impaired person, a hearing dog for a hearing impaired person, or a service dog for a physically disabled person.

I.C. § 56-701A

 

A disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog shall not be denied the use of any common carrier or public transportation facility or admittance to any hotel, motel, cafe, elevator, housing for sale or rent, or any other public place within the state of Idaho.

Any person, firm, association or corporation or agent of any person, firm, association or corporation intentionally violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

I.C. § 18-5812A

Every disabled person or person who is specially training or socializing a dog for the purpose of being an assistance dog shall have the right to be accompanied by an assistance dog, in any of the places listed in § 56-703.

I.C. § 56-704, 704A

Any person or persons, firm or corporation, or the agent of any person or persons, firm or corporation who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities enumerated in this chapter or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, or otherwise disabled person under this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

I.C. § 56-706

 

Avoid accident/intentional inference with assistance dogs:

6 month imprisonment/$50 - 1,000 misdemeanor to approach on foot or in vehicle an individual appearing to be a disabled person or lawfully using an assistance device or assistance dog and:

  • intentionally fail to stop, change course, speak or take such other action to avoid any accident or injury to the disabled person, the assistance device or dog
  • intentionally startle or frighten such person's dog
  • intentionally interfere with use of an assistance dog or assistance device by obstructing, battering or intimidating the user or the dog

I.C. § 18-5811

Battery to disabled persons and assistance dogs:

  • misdemeanor to allow any animal to cause injury/death to assistance dog or dog-in-training
  • misdemeanor punishable of jail up to 1 year/fine of up to $5,000 or both to intentionally causes injury to or the death of any assistance dog or dog-in-training
  • in addition violator must make full restitution

I.C. § 18-5812

 

Person whether a pedestrian, operating a vehicle, etc. who approaches an individual appearing to be a disabled person or lawfully using an assistance device or assistance dog, and who intentionally fails to stop, change course, speak or take such other action as is necessary to avoid any accident or injury to the disabled person, the assistance device or dog, is guilty of a 6 month/$50 - 1,000 misdemeanor.

I.C. § 18-5811

 

Any person, not being a disabled person or being trained to assist disabled persons, who uses an assistance device or assistance dog in an attempt to gain treatment or benefits as a disabled person, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

I.C. § 18-5811A

 

Illinois

Under Humane Care for Animals Act:

"Service animal" means an animal trained in obedience and task skills to meet the needs of a disabled person.

510 ILCS 70/2.01c

Under Assistance Animal Damages Act:

“Guide dog” means a dog that is trained to lead or guide a blind person.

"Hearing ear dog” means a dog that is trained to assist a deaf person.

“Assistance animal” means any animal trained to assist a physically impaired person in one or more daily life activities, including but not limited to:

  • guide dogs;
  • hearing ear dogs;
  • an animal trained to pull a wheelchair;
  • an animal trained to fetch dropped items; and
  • an animal trained to perform balance work.

IL ST CH 740 § 13/5

 

Public accommodation law:

Every totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, person who is subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders, or otherwise physically disabled person or a trainer of support dogs, guide dogs, seizure-alert dogs, seizure-response dogs, or hearing dogs shall have the right to be accompanied by a support dog or guide dog especially trained for the purpose, or a dog that is being trained to be a support dog, guide dog, seizure-alert dog, seizure-response dog, or hearing dog, in any of the places listed in this Section without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide, support, seizure-alert, seizure-response, or hearing dog; provided that he shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog.

IL ST CH 775 § 30/3

Violation is a Class A misdemeanor.

IL ST CH 775 § 30/4

Service animals in classrooms:

Service animals such as guide dogs, signal dogs or any other animal individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a student with a disability shall be permitted to accompany that student at all school functions, whether in or outside the classroom.

105 I.L.C.S. 5/14-6.02

Service animals in public swimming pools:

It is the duty of a licensee under this Act to allow the use of service animals if the service animal has been trained to perform a specific task or work in the water and the use of such animal does not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of the patrons of the facility or the function or sanitary conditions of the facility.

625 I.L.C.S. 60/15

Housing access with service animals:

It is a civil rights violation for the owner or agent of any housing accommodation to:

  • refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bonafide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny property to any blind, hearing impaired or physically disabled person because he has a guide, hearing or support dog
  • discriminate against any blind, hearing impaired or physically disabled person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental property, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because he has a guide, hearing or support dog

775 I.L.C.S. 5/3-104.1

 

70/4.04. Injuring or killing service animals:

Unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously torture, mutilate, injure, disable, poison, or kill any service animal.

Class 4 felony if the animal is not killed or totally disabled.

Class 3 felony if the animal is killed or totally disabled.

510 ILCS 70/4.04

§ 7.15. Guide, hearing, and support dogs:

A person may not willfully and maliciously annoy, taunt, tease, harass, torment, beat, or strike a guide, hearing, or support dog or otherwise engage in any conduct likely to impede or interfere with the dog's performance of its duties.

(b) A person may not willfully and maliciously torture, injure, or kill a guide, hearing, or support dog.

(c) A person may not willfully and maliciously permit a dog that is owned, harbored, or controlled by the person to cause injury to or the death of a guide, hearing, or support dog while the guide, hearing, or support dog is in discharge of its duties.

Violation is a Class A misdemeanor.

A second or subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony.

A person convicted of violating subsection (b) or (c) of this Section is guilty of a Class 4 felony if the dog is killed or totally disabled, and may be ordered by the court to make restitution to the disabled person.

510 ILCS 70/7.15

Under Assistance Animal Damages Act:

May bring an action for economic and noneconomic damages

If action causes death or if injuries sustained prevent the animal from returning to service, the measure of economic damages include:

  • veterinary medical expenses
  • replacement value of an equally trained assistance animal, without any differentiation for the age or the experience of the animal
  • costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by another assistance animal or a person

If animal returns to service, damages include:

  • veterinary medical expenses
  • costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by another assistance animal or a person
  • any other costs and expenses incurred by the physically impaired person or owner as a result of the theft of or injury to the animal

IL ST CH 740 § 13/10

 

An operator of a vehicle shall stop the vehicle before approaching closer than 10 feet to a pedestrian with a disability who is accompanied by a visibly identifiable service animal.

Must take all precautions that may be necessary to avoid an accident or injury to the pedestrian with a disability.

Any vehicle operator who fails to take such precautions shall be liable for damages for any injury caused to the pedestrian with a disability.

625 I.L.C.S. 60/15

 

Indiana

Under public accommodations law:

“Service animal” refers to an animal trained as:

  1. a hearing animal;
  2. a guide animal;
  3. an assistance animal;
  4. a seizure alert animal;
  5. a mobility animal;
  6. a psychiatric service animal; or
  7. an autism service animal.

I.C. 16-32-3-1.5

Under Interference/mistreatment of service animal law:

"Service animal" means an animal that a person who is impaired by:

  1. blindness or any other visual impairment;
  2. deafness or any other aural impairment;
  3. a physical disability; or
  4. a medical condition;

relies on for navigation, assistance in performing daily activities, or alert signals regarding the onset of the person's medical condition.

I.C. 35-46-3-11.5

 

Place of public accommodation commits Class C infraction if:

  • refuses access to a public accommodation
  • charges a fee for access to a public accommodation

to person using service dog/service animal trainer

I.C. 16-32-3-2

A person renting, leasing, or providing real property for compensation shall not refuse to accept a person with a disability as a tenant due to the fact that the person with a disability has a guide dog that assists the person with a disability in overcoming a particular disability.

I.C. 22-9-6-5

A voter who requires the assistance of a service animal is entitled to bring the animal into the polls and the voting booth.

I.C. 3-11-9-5

 

 

A person who knowingly or intentionally:

  • interferes with the actions of a service animal; or
  • strikes, torments, injures, or otherwise mistreats a service animal;

while the service animal is engaged in assisting an impaired person commits a Class A misdemeanor.

Class D felony if the act results in the serious permanent disfigurement; unconsciousness; permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ; or death of the service animal.

I.C. 35-46-3-11.5

 

A person who drives a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a blind pedestrian carrying a clearly visible white cane or accompanied by a guide dog.

I.C. 9-21-17-21

A person not totally blind who:

  1. approaches a totally or partially blind pedestrian carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color, with or without a red tip, or using a service animal; and
  2. fails to take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to the blind pedestrian

commits a Class C infraction.

I.C. 16-32-3-3

 

Iowa

Under equal accommodation law:

“Service dog” means a dog specially trained to assist a person with a disability, whether described as a service dog, a support dog, an independence dog, or otherwise.

“Assistive animal” means a simian or other animal specially trained or in the process of being trained to assist a person with a disability.

I. C. A. § 216C.11

 

A person with a disability, a person assisting a person with a disability by controlling a service dog or an assistive animal, or a person training a service dog or an assistive animal has the right to be accompanied by a service dog or an assistive animal.

A person who knowingly denies or interferes with the right of a person under this section is, upon conviction, guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

I. C. A. § 216C.11

Every blind or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog.

I. C. A. § 216C.5

A deaf or hard-of-hearing person has the right to be accompanied by a hearing dog, under control and especially trained to assist the deaf or hard-of-hearing by responding to sound.

A person who denies or interferes with the right of a deaf or hard-of-hearing person under this section is, upon conviction, guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

I. C. A. § 216C.10

Any person, firm, or corporation, or the agent of any person, firm, or corporation, who denies or interferes with the rights of any person under this chapter shall be guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

I. C. A. § 216C.7

Any driver of a vehicle or operator of a motor-driven vehicle who approaches a person wholly or partially blind carrying a cane or being led by a guide dog wearing a harness shall immediately come to a complete stop, and take such precautions as may be necessary.

I. C. A. § 321.333

The failure of a blind or partially blind pedestrian to carry a cane or to use a guide dog in any place shall not be held to constitute or be evidence of contributory negligence.

I. C. A. § 216C.6

Kansas

"Assistance dog" means any guide dog, hearing assistance dog or service dog.

"Guide dog" means a dog which has been specially selected, trained and tested for the purpose of guiding a person who is legally blind.

"Hearing assistance dog" means a dog which is specially selected, trained and tested to alert or warn individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to specific sounds.
 
"Professional therapy dog" means a dog which is selected, trained and tested to provide specific physical or therapeutic functions, under the direction and control of a qualified handler who works with the dog as a team, and as a part of the handler's occupation or profession. Such dogs, with their handlers, perform such functions in institutional settings, community based group settings, or when providing services to specific persons who have disabilities.
 
"Professional therapy dog" does not include dogs, certified or not, which are used by volunteers for pet visitation therapy.

"Service dog" means a dog which has been specially selected, trained and tested to perform a variety of tasks for persons with disabilities. These tasks include, but are not limited to: Pulling wheelchairs, lending balance support, picking up dropped objects or providing assistance in, or to avoid, a medical crisis, or to otherwise mitigate the effects of a disability.
 
The presence of a dog for comfort, protection or personal defense does not qualify a dog as being trained to mitigate an individual's disability and therefor does not qualify the dog as an assistance dog covered under the provisions of this act.

K. S. A. 39-1113

(Procedure for verification of person's right to be accompanied by assistance dog or professional therapy dog set forth in K.S.A. 39-1111).

 

Every legally blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, specially selected, trained and tested for the purpose.

K. S. A. 39-1102

Every hearing impaired person has the right to be accompanied by a hearing assistance dog, specially selected, trained and tested for the purpose of hearing assistance.

K. S. A. 39-1107

Every person with a disability shall have the right to be accompanied by a service dog, specially selected, trained and tested for the purpose which shall include, but not be limited to, pulling a wheelchair, opening doors and picking up objects.

K. S. A. 39-1108

Any professional trainer, from a recognized training center, of an assistance dog, while engaged in the training of such dog, shall have the right to be accompanied by such dog.

K. S. A. 39-1109

Any qualified handler of a professional therapy dog when accompanied by such dog and when using any conveyance of public transportation available to all members of the general public, and when renting and using accommodations in motels, hotels and other temporary lodging places shall have the right to be accompanied by such dog in such places.

K. S. A. 39-1110

Any person, firm, corporation, or the agent of any person, firm or corporation, who denies or interferes with the exercise of the rights recognized in K.S.A. 39-1101, 39-1102, 39-1107, 39-1108 or 39-1109, and amendments thereto, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

K. S. A. 39-1103

 

Inflicting harm, disability or death to a police dog, arson dog, assistance dog, game warden dog or search and rescue dog is a nonperson felony.

Penalty of not less than 30 days or more than one year's imprisonment and be fined not less than $500 nor more than $5,000. The person convicted shall not be eligible for release on probation, suspension or reduction of sentence or parole until the person has served the minimum mandatory sentence.

K. S. A. 21-6416

 

It is a class A nonperson misdemeanor for any person to:

  • represent that such person has the right to be accompanied by an assistance dog or that such person has a right to be accompanied by a professional therapy dog
  • represent that such person has a disability for the purpose of acquiring an assistance dog unless such person has such disability.

K. S. A. 39-1112

Kentucky

"Service animal" includes a:

"Bomb detection dog," which means a dog that is trained to locate bombs or explosives by scent;

"Narcotic detection dog," which means a dog that is trained to locate narcotics by scent;

"Patrol dog," which means a dog that is trained to protect a peace officer and to apprehend a person;

"Tracking dog," which means a dog that is trained to track and find a missing person, escaped inmate, or fleeing felon;

"Search and rescue dog," which means a dog that is trained to locate lost or missing persons, victims of natural or man-made disasters, and human bodies;

"Accelerant detection dog," which means a dog that is trained for accelerant detection, commonly referred to as arson canines;

"Cadaver dog," which means a dog that is trained to find human remains;

"Assistance dog," which means any dog that is trained to meet the requirements of KRS 258.500;

Any dog that is trained in more than one (1) of the disciplines specified

KRS § 258.500

 

If a person is accompanied by an assistance dog, neither the person nor the dog shall be denied:

  • admittance to/full and equal accommodations, facilities, and privileges of all public places of amusement, theater, or resort when accompanied by an assistance dog
  • full and equal accommodations on all public transportation, if the dog does not occupy a seat in any public conveyance, nor endanger the public safety
  • use of any public building, nor denied the use of any elevator operated for public use
  • any person accompanied by an assistance dog may keep the dog in his immediate custody while a tenant in any apartment, or building used as a public lodging

KRS § 258.500

Violation results in fine of not less than $250 to no more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 10 nor more than 30 days, or both.

KRS § 258.991

1. Assault on a service animal in the first degree

  • Intentionally and without legal justification or lawful authority kills or causes physical injury to a service animal to the extent that a service animal becomes physically incapable of ever returning to service.
  • Class D felony

KRS § 525.200

2. Assault on a service animal in the second degree

  • Intentionally and without legal justification or lawful authority causes physical injury to a service animal.
  • Class B misdemeanor

KRS § 525.205

KRS 525.200 and 525.205 shall apply whether or not the service animal is on duty or off duty.

KRS § 525.210

Defendant may be ordered to make restitution to the person or agency owning the animal for any veterinary bills, replacement costs of the animal if it is disabled or killed, and the salary of the animal handler for the period of time his services are lost to the agency or self-employment.

KRS § 525.215

 

The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any blind pedestrian carrying a clearly visible white cane or accompanied by an assistance dog.

KRS § 189.575

 

Assistance dogs are exempt from all state and local licensing fees.

Licensing authorities shall accept that the dog for which the license is sought is an assistance dog if the person requesting the license is a person with a disability or the trainer of the dog.

Emergency medical treatment shall not be denied to an assistance dog assigned to a person regardless of the person's ability to pay prior to treatment.

KRS § 258.500

Louisiana

"Assistance dog" means a dog who has been trained or is being trained to aid a particular physically disabled person.

LSA-R.S. 46:1951

Every physically disabled person may be accompanied by an assistance dog, especially trained to aid such person, in places like common carriers, educational institutions, lodging places, restaurants, etc. without being required to pay an extra charge for such dog.

LSA-R.S. 46:1953

Each physically disabled person who has an assistance dog, especially trained to aid such person or who obtains such a dog, shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations, and he shall not be required to pay extra compensation for such dog but shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or any person on the premises by such dog.

LSA-R.S. 46:1954

During the training of an assistance dog, any trainer or puppy raiser of such dog shall have the same rights and privileges as a physically disabled person to be accompanied by an assistance dog in any place or facility provided in this Chapter.

LSA-R.S. 46:1955

Denial or interference with full and equal accommodations results in fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

LSA-R.S. 46:1956

 

Any person who purposely or negligently injures an assistance dog or any owner of a dog who allows that dog to injure an assistance dog because he fails to control or leash the dog shall also be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100 nor more than $500or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both. Such person shall also be liable for any injuries to the assistance dog and, if necessary, the replacement and compensation for the loss of the assistance dog.

LSA-R.S. 46:1956

 

Operators of motor vehicles approaching a physically disabled pedestrian using an assistance dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such pedestrian.

Any such operator who fails to take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to a physically disabled pedestrian shall be liable in damages for any injury caused to the pedestrian and any injury caused to the pedestrian's assistance dog.

LSA-R.S. 46:1957

 

Assistance dogs shall be exempt from any state or local license fee.

LSA-R.S. 46:1958

 

Maine

Under 5 M. R. S. A. § 4553(9-E), for purposes of subchapter 4 (fair housing):

“Service animal” means:

An animal that has been determined necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability by a physician, psychologist, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner or licensed social worker; or

An animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or mental disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to intruders or sounds, providing reasonable protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items; and

For subchapter 5 (public accommodations law):

A dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting an individual who is totally or partially blind with navigation and other tasks, alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing nonviolent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or a telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability and helping a person with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

5 M. R. S. A. § 4553

Note that § 3961-A, (attack on service dog law) adopts either paragraph of the first definition.

 

Every totally or partially blind or otherwise physically or mentally disabled person has the right to be accompanied by a service dog, especially trained for the purpose.

An especially trained service dog trainer, while engaged in the actual training process and activities of service dogs, has the same rights, privileges and responsibilities described in this section with respect to access to and use of public facilities as are applicable to a blind, visually handicapped or otherwise physically or mentally disabled person.

Every blind or visually handicapped or otherwise physically or mentally disabled individual who has a service animal, such as a service dog, is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section.

17 M. R. S. A. § 1312

Violation by denial or interference with rights is a Class E crime. Violation of this section is a strict liability crime as defined in Title 17-A, section 34, subsection 4-A.

17 M. R. S. A. § 1314

A deaf or hard-of-hearing person not using a guide dog in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances listed in section 1420-A has all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons. The failure of a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to use a guide dog in those places, accommodations or conveyances does not constitute nor is it evidence of contributory negligence.

26 M. R. S. A. § 1420-B

 

A person who owns or keeps a dog that attacks, injures or kills a service animal while the service animal is in discharge of its duties commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not more than $1,000 may be adjudged.

When a person is adjudicated of a violation of this section, the court shall order the person to make restitution to the owner of the service animal for any veterinary bills and necessary retraining costs or replacement costs of the service animal if it is disabled or killed.

7 M.R.S.A. §3961-A

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind or otherwise physically disabled pedestrian who is using a service dog, shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury; any driver who fails to take such precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused the pedestrian.

17 M. R. S. A. § 1313

The driver of a vehicle approaching a deaf or hard-of-hearing person using a properly identified guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to that person and the guide dog. A driver who fails to take such precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused to that person or dog.

26 M. R. S. A. § 1420-B

 

If a service dog has not been previously registered or licensed by the municipal clerk to whom the application is being made, the clerk may not register the dog nor issue to its owner or keeper a license and tag that identifies the dog as a service dog unless the applicant presents written evidence to the municipal clerk that the dog meets the definition of “service dog.” For the purpose of this subsection “written evidence” means a service dog certification form approved by the department in consultation with the Maine Human Rights Commission.

7 M.R.S.A. §3922

A municipal clerk or a veterinary licensing agent shall issue a license upon application and without payment of a license fee required under this section for a service dog owned or kept by a person with a physical or mental disability.

7 M.R.S.A. §3923-A

 

A person who fits a dog with a harness, collar, vest or sign of the type commonly used by blind/disabled person in order to represent that the dog is a service dog  when training of the type that guide dogs normally receive has not been provided or when the dog does not meet the definition of “service dog” commits a civil violation for which a fine of not more than $500 may be adjudged.

17 M. R. S. A. § 1314-A

 

 

Maryland

"Service animal" means a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including:

  1. guiding individuals with impaired vision;
  2. alerting individuals with impaired hearing to an intruder or sounds;
  3. providing minimal protection or rescue work;
  4. pulling a wheelchair;
  5. fetching dropped items; or
  6. detecting the onset of a seizure.

“Service animal trainer” means a person who trains or raises service animals for individuals with disabilities, whether the person is a professional or volunteer.

MD Code, Human Services, § 7-701

 

Individuals with disabilities and, the parents of a minor child with a disability, and service animal trainers who are accompanied by an animal being trained or raised as a service animal are entitled to full and equal rights and privileges with respect to:

  • roads, sidewalks, public buildings, public facilities, and other public places
  • common carriers and other public conveyances or modes of transportation, places of public accommodations, and other places to which the general public is invited
  • housing accommodations

MD Code, Human Services, § 7-704

An individual with a disability or a parent of a minor child with a disability who has, obtains, or may wish to obtain a service animal is entitled to full and equal access to housing accommodations.

A mobility impaired individual may be accompanied by a service animal specially trained for that purpose in any place where a blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing individual has the right to be accompanied by a service animal.

A person may not deny or interfere with the admittance of a service animal that accompanies a blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or mobility impaired individual in violation of this section.

A person who violates is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 for each offense.

A person may not deny or interfere with the admittance of an animal being trained as a service animal that accompanies a service animal trainer.

A person who violates is subject to a fine not exceeding $25 for each offense.

MD Code, Human Services, § 7-705

 

The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a deaf or hearing impaired pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog.

MD Code, Transportation, § 21-511

 

 

If the application shall disclose and the clerk be satisfied that the dog for which the license is sought is a "dog guide", professionally trained to aid the blind or visually handicapped or deaf or hearing impaired, or mobility impaired, as the case may be, and actually in use for such purpose, the license therefor shall be issued without the payment of any fee and the clerk shall inscribe across the face of the license in red ink the words "dog guide".

The dog guide shall be issued an orange license tag in addition to the tag issued pursuant to § 11-501 of this subtitle. The orange tag shall be labeled "dog guide."

MD CODE, Art. 24, § 11-502

 

Massachusetts

Any blind person, or deaf or hearing handicapped person, or other physically handicapped person accompanied by a dog guide, shall be entitled to any and all accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public conveyances, public amusements and places of public accommodation, within the commonwealth, to which persons not accompanied by dogs are entitled.

Violation results in a fine of not more $300 and civil damages as described.

M.G.L.A. 272 § 98A

A person accompanied by and engaged in the raising or training of a service dog, including a hearing, guide or assistance dog, shall have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as those afforded to an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 et seq.

M.G.L.A. 129 § 39F

 

A physically impaired person who uses an assistance animal or the owner of the assistance animal, may bring an action for economic and non-economic damages against a person who steals or attacks the assistance animal, or whose non-assistance animal attacks an assistance animal.

If the theft or attack of an assistance animal results in the death of the animal; the animal is not returned; or if injuries sustained prevent the assistance animal from returning to service, the measure of economic damages shall include:

  • veterinary medical expenses
  • replacement cost of an equally trained assistance animal, without any differentiation for the age or the experience of the animal

A cause of action shall not arise under this section if the physically impaired individual, owner or the individual having custody or supervision of the assistance animal was engaged in the commission of a crime at the time of injury sustained by the assistance animal.

M.G.L.A. 272 § 85B

 

Driver must bring vehicle to full stop and take necessary precautions whenever a totally or partially blind pedestrian, guided by a guide dog crosses or attempts to cross a way.

A person who owns an animal shall restrain and control such animal on a leash when in proximity to a guide dog that is on a public or private way.

Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of no less than $100 nor more than $500.

M.G.L.A. 90 § 14A

 

No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog specially trained to lead or serve a blind person.

No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog professionally trained in the hearing dog business to serve a deaf person.

The office on disability shall adopt rules and regulations for the licensing of service dogs and no fee shall be charged for a license for a dog recognized as a service dog.

M.G.L.A. 140 § 139

 

Michigan

A proprietor who refuses to permit a person with disabilities to enter or use the place because the person with disabilities is being led or accompanied by a guide or leader dog, hearing dog, or service dog is guilty of a misdemeanor if:

  • the guide or leader dog is wearing a harness or
  • the hearing dog or service dog is wearing a blaze orange leash and collar, hearing dog cape, or service dog backpack

and the person with disabilities being led or accompanied has in his or her possession a pictured identification card certifying that the dog was trained by a qualified organization or trainer.

Also applies to trainers of guide, hearing, or service dogs.

MI ST 750.502c

 

An individual shall not do either of the following to a dog that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a guide or leader dog for a blind individual, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired individual, or a service dog for a physically limited individual:

  • Willfully and maliciously assault, beat, harass, injure, or attempt to assault, beat, harass or injure
  • Willfully and maliciously impede or interfere with, or attempt to impede or interfere with duties performed

Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

MCL 750.50a

 

A driver of a vehicle shall not approach a crosswalk or any other pedestrian crossing without taking all necessary precautions to avoid accident or injury to a blind pedestrian using a dog guide or walker. If driver fails to take precautions, liable in damages to blind pedestrian. Can also face investigation by peace officer for violation and possible referral to prosecuting attorney.

MCL 752.52

 

Dog is not subject to any fee for licensing if either of the following applies:

(a) The dog is used as a guide or leader dog for a blind person, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired person, or a service dog for a physically limited person.

(b) The dog is owned by a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that trains dogs for use as guide or leader dogs for blind persons, hearing dogs for deaf or audibly impaired persons, or service dogs for physically limited persons.

MCL 287.291

 

A person, except a person who is deaf, audibly impaired, or otherwise physically limited shall not use or be in possession of a dog that is wearing a blaze orange leash and collar or harness in any public place.

Violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $10.00.

MCL 752.61 - 63

 

Minnesota

Under cruelty chapter that deals with harm to service animal:

"Service animal" means an animal trained to assist a person with a disability.

M. S. A. § 343.20

 

Housing:

It is an unfair discriminatory practice for a person to deny full and equal access to real property to a person who is totally or partially blind, deaf, or has a physical or sensory disability and who uses a service animal, if the service animal can be properly identified as being from a recognized program which trains service animals to aid persons who are totally or partially blind or deaf or have physical or sensory disabilities.

M. S. A. § 363A.09

Every totally or partially blind, physically disabled, or deaf person who has a service dog, or who obtains a service dog, shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations and shall not be required to pay extra compensation for such service dog but shall be liable for any damage done to the premises by such service dog.

M. S. A. § 256C.025

Places of public accommodation/equal access:

It is an unfair discriminatory practice to prohibit a blind or deaf person or a person with a physical or sensory disability from taking a service animal into the public place or conveyance if the service animal can be properly identified as being from a recognized program which trains service animals to aid blind or deaf persons or persons with physical or sensory disabilities, and if the animal is properly harnessed or leashed so that the blind or deaf person or a person with a physical or sensory disability may maintain control of the animal.

M. S. A. § 363A.19

Every totally or partially blind, physically disabled, or deaf person or any person training a dog to be a service dog shall have the right to be accompanied by a service dog. The service dog must be capable of being properly identified as from a recognized school for seeing eye, hearing ear, service, or guide dogs.

M. S. A. § 256C.02

Any person, or the agent of any person, firm, or corporation who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind or otherwise disabled person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

M. S. A. § 256C.05

 

No person shall intentionally and without justification do either of the following to a service animal while it is providing service or while it is in the custody of the person it serves:

  1. cause bodily harm to the animal; or
  2. otherwise render the animal unable to perform its duties.

Penalty:

  • where the violation renders the service animal unable to perform its duties is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
  • where the violation results in substantial bodily harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

Mandatory restitution including the service animal user's loss of income, veterinary expenses, transportation costs, and other expenses of temporary replacement assistance services, and service animal replacement or retraining costs incurred by a school, agency, or individual.

 M. S. A. § 343.21

 

Any person operating a motor vehicle shall bring such motor vehicle to a stop and give the right-of-way to a blind pedestrian using a guide dog.

M. S. A. § 169.202

 

Mississippi

Under Chapter 6 - Rights and Liabilities of Blind and Other Handicapped Persons:

Every totally or partially blind person and every deaf person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog or hearing ear dog on a blaze orange leash, especially trained for the purpose.

Miss. Code Ann. § 43-6-7

Violation of act results in fine not exceeding $100.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 60 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Miss. Code Ann. § 43-6-11

Under Mississippi Support Animal Act:

Any blind person, mobility impaired person or hearing impaired person who uses a dog or other animal specifically trained as a guide, leader, listener or for any other assistance shall be entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public conveyances, hotels, lodging places, businesses open to the public.

Trainers of support dogs and other support animals shall have the same rights of accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges with support animals-in-training as those provided to blind, mobility impaired or hearing impaired persons with support animals under this section.

Miss. Code Ann. § 43-6-155

 

An individual shall not do either of the following to a dog that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a guide or leader dog for a blind individual, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired individual, a service dog for a physically limited individual, or a support dog for a mobility impaired person:

  • Willfully and maliciously assault, beat, harass, injure, or attempt to assault, beat, harass or injure
  • Willfully and maliciously impede or interfere with, or attempt to impede or interfere with, duties performed

Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

Miss. Code Ann. § 97-41-21

 

The driver of every vehicle approaching an intersection or crosswalk must take necessary precautions to avoid injuring or endangering a pedestrian guided by a guide dog.

Violation incurs a fine of not more than $25.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 10 days.

Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-1111

 

Missouri

Under Chapter 209, equal access law:

As used in sections 209.150 to 209.190, the term "service dog" means any dog specifically trained to assist a person with a physical disability by performing necessary physical tasks which the person cannot perform. Such tasks shall include, but not be limited to, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving items, and carrying supplies.

V. A. M. S. 209.150

Under harm to service dogs provision:

"Service dog", a dog that is being or has been specially trained to do work or perform tasks which benefit a particular person with a disability.

Service dog includes:

"Guide dog", a dog that is being or has been specially trained to assist a particular blind or visually impaired person;

"Hearing dog", a dog that is being or has been specially trained to assist a particular deaf or hearing-impaired person;

"Medical alert or respond dog", a dog that is being or has been trained to alert a person with a disability that a particular medical event is about to occur or to respond to a medical event that has occurred;

"Mobility dog", a dog that is being or has been specially trained to assist a person with a disability caused by physical impairments.

V. A. M. S. 209.200

 

Every person with a visual, aural or physical disability shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog, which is especially trained for the purpose without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog, hearing dog or service dog; provided that such person shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog.

V. A. M. S. 209.150

Any trainer, from a recognized training center, of a guide dog, hearing assistance dog or service dog shall have the right to be accompanied by such dog while engaged in the training of the dog without being required to pay an extra charge for such dog. Such trainer shall be liable for any damage done to the premise of facilities by such dog.

V. A. M. S. 209.152

Violation is a class B misdemeanor.

V. A. M. S. 209.160

It is an unlawful employment practice for any employer to discriminate against any person with a visual, aural or physical disability by interfering, directly or indirectly, with the use of an aid or appliance, including a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog by such person. Any person aggrieved by a violation of this section may make a verified complaint to the Missouri commission on human rights pursuant to the provisions of section 213.075, RSMo.

V. A. M. S. 209.162

 

Any person who knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causes substantial physical injury to or the death of a service dog is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Any person who knowingly or intentionally fails to exercise sufficient control over an animal such person owns, keeps, harbors, or exercises control over to prevent the animal from causing the substantial physical injury to or death of a service dog, or the subsequent inability to function as a service dog as a result of the animal's attacking, chasing, or harassing the service dog is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Any person who harasses or chases a dog known to such person to be a service dog is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

Any person who owns, keeps, harbors, or exercises control over an animal and who knowingly or intentionally fails to exercise sufficient control over the animal to prevent such animal from chasing or harassing a service dog while such dog is carrying out the dog's function as a service dog, to the extent that the animal temporarily interferes with the service dog's ability to carry out the dog's function is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

Can also recover civil damages.

V. A. M. S. 209.202

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a person using a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog shall yield to such pedestrian, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused such pedestrian and any injury caused to the pedestrian's guide dog, hearing dog or service dog.

V. A. M. S. 304.080

 


 

Any person who knowingly impersonates a person with a disability for the purpose of receiving the accommodations regarding service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act is guilty of a class C misdemeanor and shall also be civilly liable for the amount of any actual damages resulting from such impersonation. Any second or subsequent violation of this section is a class B misdemeanor.

V. A. M. S. 209.204

Montana

"Service animal" means a dog or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.

MCA 49-4-203

A service animal in training that is a dog shall wear a leash, collar, cape, harness, or backpack that identifies in writing that the dog is a service animal in training. Other service animals in training must also be identifiable by written identification as a service animal in training. The written identification for service animals in training must be visible and legible from a distance of at least 20 feet.

MCA 49-4-214

 

A person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal or a service animal in training with identification.

A person with a disability who has a service animal or who obtains a service animal is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations.

MCA 49-4-214

Violation is a misdemeanor.

MCA 49-4-215

 

On a way of the state open to the public, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a blind pedestrian who is accompanied by a guide dog.

MCA 61-8-516

Any person other than a person wholly or partially blind who shall fail to come to a full stop when approaching or coming in contact with a person so being led by a trained guide dog or who shall fail to take precaution against accidents or injury to such person after coming to a stop is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $25.

MCA 49-4-217

 

Nebraska

Service animal shall have the same meaning as in 28 C.F.R. 36.104, as such regulation existed on January 1, 2008.("Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition . . .")

Neb. Rev. St. § 49-801

 

A totally or partially blind person, deaf or hard of hearing person, or physically disabled person has the right to be accompanied by a service animal, especially trained for the purpose, and a bona fide trainer of a service animal has the right to be accompanied by such animal in training in any of the places listed.

Neb. Rev. St. § 20-127

Any person or agent of such person who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of public facilities or otherwise interferes with the rights of a bona fide trainer of a service animal when training such animal is guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.

Neb. Rev. St. § 20-129

Every totally or partially blind person, hearing-impaired person, or physically disabled person who has a service animal or obtains a service animal shall have full and equal access to all housing accommodations with such animal

Neb. Rev. St. § 20-131.04

 

Two types of criminal interference:

1. Violence on a service animal:

when a person (a) intentionally injures, harasses, or threatens to injure or harass or (b) attempts to intentionally injure, harass, or threaten an animal that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a service animal for a blind or visually impaired person, a deaf or hearing-impaired person, or a physically limited person.

2. Interference with a service animal:

when a person (a) intentionally impedes, interferes, or threatens to impede or interfere or (b) attempts to intentionally impede, interfere, or threaten to impede or interfere with an animal that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a service animal for a blind or visually impaired person, a deaf or hearing-impaired person, or a physically limited person.

Violence on a service animal or interference with a service animal is a Class III misdemeanor.

Neb. Rev. St. § 28-1009.01

A person commits the offense of failing to observe a blind person if when operating a vehicle, he or she fails to give special consideration to the bearer of a white cane or user of guide dog by stopping and remaining while bearer gets a safe distance beyond driving course.

Failure to observe a blind person is a Class III misdemeanor.

Neb. Rev. St. § 28-1314

 

Every service animal shall be licensed as required by local ordinances or resolutions, but no license tax shall be charged.

Neb. Rev. St. § 54-603

A person commits unlawfully using a white cane or guide dog if not blind as defined by law and carries, displays, or otherwise makes use of a white cane or guide dog.

Unlawful use of a white cane or guide dog is a Class III misdemeanor.

Neb. Rev. St. § 28-1313

Nevada

"Service animal" means an animal that has been trained to assist or accommodate a person with a disability.

N. R. S. 426.097

"Service animal in training" means an animal that is being trained to assist or accommodate a person with a disability.

N. R. S. 426.099

 

It is unlawful for a place of public accommodation to:

  • refuse admittance or service to a person with a disability because he or she is accompanied by a service animal
  • refuse admittance or service to a person training a service animal
  • refuse to permit an employee of the place of public accommodation who is training a service animal to bring the service animal
  • charge an additional fee or deposit for a service animal, service animal in training or a police dog as a condition of access to the place of public accommodation.
  • require proof that an animal is a service animal or service animal in training

N. R. S. 613.330

A landlord may not refuse to rent a dwelling subject to the provisions of chapter 118A of NRS to a person with a disability solely because an animal will be residing with the prospective tenant in the dwelling if the animal assists, supports or provides service to the person with a disability.

N. R. S. 118.105

 

A person shall not:

1. Interfere with, or allow a dog or other animal he or she owns, harbors or controls to interfere with, the use of a service animal or service animal in training by obstructing, intimidating or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the service animal or service animal in training or the person using the service animal or service animal in training (gross misdemeanor).

2. Willfully and maliciously beat a service animal or service animal in training (category E felony ).

3. Willfully and maliciously kill a service animal or service animal in training (category D felony).

Also owes restitution that must cover all costs for aides, assistance, transportation and other hardships incurred during the absence, and until the replacement, of the service animal or service animal in training.

N. R. S. 426.790

Also liable for civil damages under N. R. S. 426.820

 

Person who is blind and on foot and using a service animal or carrying a cane has the right-of-way. Driver must yield and take precautions. Violators shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or by both fine and imprisonment.

N.R.S. 484B.290

 

Any person other than a person who is blind, deaf, or a person with a physical disability who uses a service animal is guilty of a misdemeanor.

N.R.S. 426.510

Also, it is unlawful for a person to fraudulently misrepresent an animal as a service animal or service animal in training. Person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.

N.R.S. 426.805

 

New Hampshire

“Service animal” means any dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for purposes of this definition.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:1

 

It is lawful for any service animal to accompany his or her handler or trainer into any public facility, housing accommodation, or place of public accommodation to which the general public is invited.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:4

A service animal trainer, while engaged in the actual training process, shall have the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities, and the same responsibilities as are applicable to persons with disabilities using a service animal.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:6

It is unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, either to prohibit, hinder, or interfere with a service animal's handler or trainer who otherwise complies with the limitations applicable to persons without disabilities.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:8

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:10

 

It is unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, either to prohibit, hinder, or interfere with a service animal's handler or trainer who otherwise complies with the limitations applicable to persons without disabilities.

It is unlawful for any person to willfully interfere or attempt to interfere with a service animal.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:8

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:10

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a person using a service animal shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to that person, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused to that person.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 265:41-a

 

No fee shall be required for the registration and licensing of a guide dog which is used as a guide for a blind person, a hearing ear dog which is used by a deaf person, or a service dog which is used by a mobility impaired person.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 466:8

 

It is unlawful for any person to fit an animal with a collar, leash, or harness of the type which represents that the animal is a service animal, or service animal tag issued under RSA 466:8 if in fact said animal is not and to thus use the animal to misrepresent the physical status of said person.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:8

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:10

 

New Jersey

Under Civil Rights law:

“Service dog” means any dog individually trained to the requirements of a person with a disability including, but not limited to minimal protection work, rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items. This term shall include a “seizure dog” trained to alert or otherwise assist persons subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders.

N. J. S. A. 10:5-5(dd)

 

Any person with a disability accompanied by a service or guide dog trained by a recognized training agency or school is entitled, with his dog, to the full and equal enjoyment, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public facilities.

N. J. S. A. 10:5-29

A person with a disability who has a service or guide dog, or who obtains a service or guide dog, shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations.

N. J. S. A. 10:5-29.2

A service or guide dog trainer, while engaged in the actual training process and activities of service dogs or guide dogs, shall have the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities, and the same responsibilities as are applicable to a person with a disability.

N. J. S. A. 10:5-29.3

Any person who intentionally interferes with the rights of a person with a disability, who is accompanied by a guide or service dog, or the function or the ability to function of a guide or service dog, shall be fined not less than $100 and not more than $500.

N. J. S. A. 10:5-29.5

Also, person lawfully using "seeing-eye dog,” “hearing ear dog,“service dog,” or a guide or service dog trained by a recognized training agency or school may keep such animal in his or her immediate custody on public transportation.

N. J. S. A. 48:3-33

A student with a disability, including autism, shall be permitted access for a service animal in school buildings, including the classroom, and on school grounds.

N. J. S. A. 18A:46-13.3

 

No criminal interference provision, but under Civil Rights laws:

Any person who intentionally interferes with the rights of a person with a disability, who is accompanied by a guide or service dog, or the function or the ability to function of a guide or service dog, shall be fined not less than $100 and not more than $500.

N. J. S. A. 10:5-29.5

 

Under Civil Rights laws:

A person with a disability accompanied by a guide dog, or a guide dog instructor engaged in instructing a guide dog, shall have the right-of-way over vehicles while crossing a highway or any intersection.

N. J. S. A. 10:5-29.4

Also under Traffic Regulation laws:

Any blind person using as a guide a seeing-eye dog or other dog trained as a guide for the blind, equipped with a rigid "U"-shaped harness such as customarily used or any guide dog instructor engaged in instructing a guide dog shall have the right-of-way in crossing any highway or any intersection, and all drivers of vehicles shall yield the right-of-way.

N. J. S. A. 39:4-37.1

 

Dogs used as guides for blind persons and commonly known as "seeing-eye" dogs, dogs used to assist handicapped persons and commonly known as "service dogs," or dogs used to assist deaf persons and commonly known as "hearing ear" dogs shall be licensed and registered as other dogs, except that the owner or keeper of such dog shall not be required to pay any fee.

N. J. S. A. 4:19-15.3

 

Any person who fits a dog with a harness of the type commonly used by blind persons to represent that such dog is a guide dog when not trained as a guide dog shall be fined not less than $100 and not more than $500.

N. J. S. A. 10:5-29.5

 

New Mexico

As used in the Assistance Animal Act, "qualified assistance animal" means any assistance dog or other animal that has been or is being trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability and includes:

A. an assistance dog that has been or is being trained as a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog;

B. a guide dog that has been or is being trained to aid a blind or visually impaired person;

C. a hearing dog that has been or is being trained to aid a deaf or hearing-impaired person; and

D. a service dog that has been or is being trained to aid a person with a disability other than a sight or hearing impairment.

NMSA 1978, § 28-11-2

 

Under Assistance Animal Act:

A qualified assistance animal shall be admitted to any building open to the public and to all public accommodations.

In an emergency requiring transportation or relocation of the owner or trainer of the qualified assistance animal, to the extent practicable, accommodations shall be made for the qualified assistance animal to remain or be reunited with the owner or trainer

NMSA 1978, § 28-11-3

A person who violates a provision of the Assistance Animal Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

NMSA 1978, § 28-11-4

Also under Human Rights laws:

Every totally or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, specially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog.

NMSA 1978, § 28-7-3

 

It is unlawful for any person, with no legal justification, to:

(1) intentionally interfere with the use of a qualified assistance animal by harassing or obstructing the owner or trainer of the qualified assistance animal or the qualified assistance animal; or

(2) intentionally fail or refuse to control the person's unrestrained dog, and that dog interferes with or obstructs the owner or trainer of the qualified assistance animal or the qualified assistance animal.

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction may be ordered to pay restitution, including the cost of veterinary bills and replacement and training costs of a qualified assistance animal, if such costs are incurred as a result of the violation.

NMSA 1978, § 28-11-5

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is using a guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such blind pedestrian, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused to such pedestrian.

NMSA 1978, § 28-7-4

 

No license fee shall be charged for the licensure of qualified service animals who are trained to lead partially or totally blind persons, aid hearing impaired persons or assist mobility impaired persons.

NMSA 1978, § 77-1-15.1

 

New York

Under Article 7 - Licensing, Identification and Control of Dogs:

§ 108. Definitions

“Service dog” means any dog that has been or is being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, provided that the dog is or will be owned by such person or that person's parent, guardian or other legal representative.

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 108(22)

§ 123-b. Offenses against service animals and handlers:

“Service animal” shall mean any animal that has been partnered with a person who has a disability and has been trained or is being trained, by a qualified person, to aid or guide a person with a disability.

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 123-b

Under Article 4-B - Rights of Persons with a Disability:

The term “guide dog”, “hearing dog” or “service dog” shall mean a dog which is properly harnessed and has been or is being trained by a qualified person, to aid and guide a person with a disability.

McKinney's Civil Rights Law § 47-b

Under Article 242 - Offenses Against Service Animals and Handlers:

“Service animal” shall mean any animal that has been partnered with a person who has a disability and has been trained or is being trained, by a qualified person, to aid or guide a person with a disability.

McKinney's Penal Law § 242.00

 

No person shall be denied admittance to and/or the equal use of and enjoyment of any public facility solely because said person is a person with a disability and is accompanied by a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog.

Persons qualified to train dogs to aid and guide persons with a disability, while engaged in such training activities, shall have the same rights and privileges set forth for persons with a disability in this article.

McKinney's Civil Rights Law § 47-b

All common and contract carriers of passengers by motor vehicle shall permit a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog properly harnessed, accompanying a person with a disability.

McKinney's Transportation Law § 147

 

Animal interfering with/harming service animal:

It shall be a violation for the owner or custodian of any dog to fail to exercise due diligence in handling his or her dog if the handling results in harm to another dog that is a guide, hearing or service dog.

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 118

Any person who owns an animal or possesses control of such animal and who, through any act or omission, recklessly permits his or her animal to interfere with the proper working of a service animal, exposing the handler and service animal to danger or resulting in injury or death of the service animal shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 in addition to any other applicable penalties.

If previous incident, guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by a period of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment in addition to any other applicable penalties.

Service animal handler also has right to pursue any and all civil remedies available to recover damages for medical and veterinary expenses, rehabilitation or replacement of the service animal, and lost wages, transportation expenses or other expenses directly related to the temporary or permanent loss of the service animal.

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 123-b

Person interfering with, harassing, or harming service animal:

A person is guilty of interference, harassment or intimidation of a service animal when he or she commits an act with intent to and which does make it impractical, dangerous or impossible for a service animal to perform its assigned responsibilities of assisting a person with a disability.

Class B misdemeanor

McKinney's Penal Law § 242.05

Harming a service animal in the second degree:

A person is guilty of harming a service animal in the second degree when, with the intent to do so, he or she causes physical injury, or causes such injury that results in the death, of a service animal.

Class A misdemeanor

McKinney's Penal Law § 242.10

Harming a service animal in the first degree:

A person is guilty of harming a service animal in the first degree when, he or she commits the crime of harming a service animal in the second degree, and has been convicted of harming a service animal in the first or second degree within the prior 5 years.

Class E felony

McKinney's Penal Law § 242.15

 

Every driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection or crosswalk shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing or attempting to cross the roadway when such pedestrian is accompanied by a guide dog.

McKinney's Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1153

 

Municipalities may exempt from their licensing fees any guide dog, hearing dog, service dog, war dog, working search dog, detection dog, police work dog or therapy dog. Each copy of any license for such dogs shall be conspicuously marked “Guide Dog”, “Hearing Dog”, “Service Dog”, “Working Search Dog”, “War Dog”, “Detection Dog”, “Police Work Dog”, or “Therapy Dog”, as may be appropriate, by the clerk or authorized dog control officer.

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 110

 

It shall be a violation for any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag, special identification tag for identifying guide, service or hearing dogs or purebred license tag.

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 118

 

North Carolina

Under "Assaulting a law enforcement agency animal or an assistance animal":

Assistance animal.--An animal that is trained and may be used to assist a “person with a disability” as defined in G.S. 168A-3. The term “assistance animal” is not limited to a dog and includes any animal trained to assist a person with a disability as provided in Article 1 of Chapter 168 of the General Statutes.

N.C.G.S.A. § 14-163.1

The term "service animal" is used in "Article 1 - Rights" law, but not defined.

 

Every person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal trained to assist the person with his or her specific disability in any of the places listed in G.S. 168-3, and has the right to keep the service animal on any premises the person leases, rents, or uses.

The person qualifies for these rights upon the showing of a tag, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, under G.S. 168-4.3, stamped “NORTH CAROLINA SERVICE ANIMAL PERMANENT REGISTRATION” and stamped with a registration number, or upon a showing that the animal is being trained or has been trained as a service animal. The service animal may accompany a person in any of the places listed in G.S. 168-3.

An animal in training to become a service animal may be taken into any of the places listed in G.S. 168-3 for the purpose of training when the animal is accompanied by a person who is training the service animal and the animal wears a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal in training.

N.C.G.S.A. § 168-4.2

Killing of assistance animal:

Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully kills the animal is guilty of a Class H felony.

Serious harm to assistance animal:

Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully causes or attempts to cause serious harm to the animal is guilty of a Class I felony.

Harm or attempt at harm to assistance animal:

Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully causes or attempts to cause harm to the animal is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Willful interference or attempt:

Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully taunts, teases, harasses, delays, obstructs, or attempts to delay or obstruct the animal in the performance of its duty as a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Defendant convicted of violating this section also owes restitution including:

  • Veterinary, medical care, and boarding expenses
  • Medical expenses for the person with the disability relating to the harm inflicted upon the assistance animal
  • Replacement and training or retraining
  • Expenses incurred to provide temporary mobility services to the person with a disability
  • Wages or income lost while assistance animal receiving training or retraining

N.C.G.S.A. § 14-163.1

 

Any blind or partially blind pedestrian shall be entitled to the right-of-way at a crossing or intersection if such blind or partially blind pedestrian is accompanied by a guide dog.

N.C.G.S.A. § 20-175.2

 


It is unlawful to disguise a dog as an assistance dog.

Violation of this section shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor.

N.C.G.S.A. § 168-4.5

 

North Dakota

“Service animal” means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal trained to do work, perform tasks, or provide assistance for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The term includes an animal trained to provide assistance or protection services to an individual with a disability, pull a wheelchair, lend balance support, retrieve dropped objects, or provide assistance in a medical crisis.

NDCC § 25-13-01.1

 

An individual with a disability is entitled to be accompanied by a service animal in places of public accommodations, common carriers, facilities of a health care provider, and all places to which the public is generally invited, without being required to pay an extra charge for the animal; provided, that the individual is liable for any damage done to the premises or facility by the animal.

NDCC § 25-13-02

Right to be accompanied by service animal applies to trainer of service animal under § 25-13-02.1.

Class A misdemeanor to deny admittance or interfere with rights (except for trainer of service animal).

NDCC § 25-13-04

 

Class C felony and subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 if a person willfully and unjustifiably kills, shoots, tortures, torments, beats, kicks, strikes, mutilates, disables, or otherwise injures a service animal.
 
Class A misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 if a person willfully:

a. Harasses, taunts, or provokes a service animal; or
b. Interferes with a service animal while the animal is working.

NDCC § 25-13-06

 

If the driver of a motor vehicle approaches an individual who is blind or visually impaired and who is accompanied by a service animal, the driver shall take all reasonable precautions to avoid injury to the individual and the service animal.

Any driver who fails to take reasonable precautions is liable to the individual for any injury caused.

NDCC § 25-13-03

 

Ohio

"Assistance dog” means a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog that has been trained by a nonprofit special agency.

“Guide dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a blind person.

“Hearing dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a deaf or hearing-impaired person.

“Service dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a mobility impaired person.

RC § 955.01

 

When either a blind, deaf or hearing impaired, or mobility impaired person or a trainer of an assistance dog is accompanied by an assistance dog, the person or the trainer, as applicable, is entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all public conveyances, hotels, lodging places, all places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort, all institutions of education, and other places to which the general public is invited.

R.C. § 955.43

 

Assaulting an assistance dog:

No person shall knowingly cause, or attempt to cause, physical harm to an assistance dog if dog is engaged in assisting blind, deaf or hearing impaired, or mobility impaired person at the time or the person has actual knowledge that the dog is an assistance dog.

A misdemeanor of the second degree unless:

  • death of assistance animal - felony of the third degree if results
  • serious physical harm to the assistance dog other than its death - felony of the fourth degree
  • physical harm to the assistance dog other than death or serious physical harm - misdemeanor of the first degree

Harassing an assistance dog:

No person shall recklessly:

  • taunt, torment, or strike an assistance dog
  • throw an object or substance at an assistance dog
  • interfere with or obstruct an assistance dog
  • releases the dog from its area of control
  • enters the area of control of the dog without the consent of the assisted or served person, including placing food or any other object or substance into that area
  • inhibits or restricts the ability of the dog to assist the assisted or served person

Harassing an assistance dog is a misdemeanor of the second degree unless:

  • death of the assistance dog - felony of the third degree
  • serious physical harm to the assistance dog, but does not result in its death - felony of the fourth degree
  • physical harm to the assistance dog, but does not result in its death or in serious physical harm to it - misdemeanor of the first degree

RC § 2921.321

 

The driver of every vehicle shall yield the right of way to every blind pedestrian guided by a guide dog.

Violation is a minor misdemeanor.

R.C. § 4511.47

 

When an application is made for registration of an assistance dog and the owner can show proof by certificate or other means that the dog is an assistance dog, the owner of the dog shall be exempt from any fee for the registration.

R.C. § 955.011

 

Oklahoma

Under "Chapter 1, Services to the Blind. Guide Dogs:"

"Service dog" means any dog individually trained to the physically handicapped person's requirements; and

"Signal dog" means any dog trained to alert a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to intruders or sounds.

Okl. St. Ann. § 19.1

Under harming a service animal provision:

"Service animal" means an animal that is trained for the purpose of guiding or assisting a disabled person who has a sensory, mental, or physical impairment.

Okl. St. Ann. § 649.3

 

Any blind, physically handicapped, deaf or hard-of-hearing person who is a passenger on any common carrier or any other public conveyance or mode of transportation or any dog trainer from a recognized training center when in the act of training guide, signal, or service dogs shall be entitled to have with him or her a guide, signal, or service dog specially trained or being trained for that purpose, without being required to pay an additional charge.

Okl. St. Ann. § 19.1

Violation is a misdemeanor.

Okl. St. Ann. § 19.2

A landlord shall not deny or terminate a tenancy to a blind, deaf, or physically handicapped person because of the guide, signal, or service dog of such person unless such dogs are specifically prohibited in the rental agreement entered into prior to November 1, 1985.

41 Okl. St. Ann. § 113.1

 

Harm to or interference with service animal:

No person shall willfully harm, including torture, torment, beat, mutilate, injure, disable, or otherwise mistreat or kill a service animal that is used for the benefit of any handicapped person in the state.

No person shall willfully interfere with the lawful performance of any service animal used for the benefit of any handicapped person in the state.

Violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 1 year, or by both.

Harm to service animal during commission of other crime:

If violation occurs during commission of misdemeanor or felony, results in fine not exceeding $1,000.00, or by imprisonment in the Department of Corrections not exceeding 2 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Harm to service animal by another animal:

Any person who encourages, permits or allows an animal owned or kept by such person to fight, injure, disable or kill a service animal used for the benefit of any handicapped person in this state, or to interfere with a service animal in any place where the service animal resides or is performing commits misdemeanor.

Also must pay restitution.

Violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 1 year, or by both.

21 Okl. St. Ann. § 649.3

Any driver of a vehicle who knowingly approaches within 15 feet of a person who is in the roadway or at an intersection and who is wholly or partially blind and who is using a dog guide wearing a specialized harness, or who is wholly or partially deaf and is using a signal dog wearing an orange identifying collar, or who is physically handicapped and is using a service dog, shall immediately come to a full stop and take such precautions before proceeding as may be necessary to avoid accident or injury to the person wholly or partially blind, deaf or physically handicapped.

7 Okl. St. Ann. § 12

Violation is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 3 months, or by fine not exceeding $100.00, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

7 Okl. St. Ann. § 13

 

No municipality or political subdivision of the state may enact or enforce any ordinance or rule that requires any registration or licensing fee for any service animal that is used for the purpose of guiding or assisting a disabled person who has a sensory, mental, or physical impairment.

Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $50.00.

21 Okl. St. Ann. § 649.3

 

Oregon

"Dog guide" means a dog that is wearing a dog guide harness and is trained to lead or guide a person who is blind.

O. R. S. § 346.610

“Hearing ear dog” means a dog that is on an orange leash and that is trained to assist a person who is deaf.

O. R. S. § 346.640

(1) "Assistance animal" means any animal trained to assist a person with a physical impairment in one or more daily life activities, including but not limited to:

(a) Dog guides, as defined in ORS 346.610;
(b) Hearing ear dogs, as defined in ORS 346.640;
(c) An animal trained to pull a wheelchair;
(d) An animal trained to fetch dropped items; and
(e) An animal trained to perform balance work.

O. R. S. § 346.680

 

A person who is blind has the right to have a dog guide with the person, and a trainer has the right to have a dog guide or dog guide trainee with the trainer, in any place of public accommodation or on any mode of transportation so long as the person or trainer controls the behavior of the dog.

O. R. S. § 346.620

A landlord, as defined in ORS 90.100, may not refuse to rent a dwelling unit, as defined in ORS 90.100, to a person who is blind on the basis of the person's use or possession of a dog guide.

O. R. S. § 346.630

A person who is deaf has the right to have a hearing ear dog with the person, and a trainer of a hearing ear dog has the right to have the hearing ear dog or hearing ear dog trainee with the trainer, in any place of public accommodation or on any mode of transportation so long as the person or trainer controls the behavior of the dog.

O. R. S. § 346.650

A landlord, as defined in ORS 90.100, may not refuse to rent a dwelling unit, as defined in ORS 90.100, to a person who is deaf on the basis of the use or possession of a hearing ear dog.

O. R. S. § 346.660

A person with a physical impairment has the right to have an assistance animal with the person, and a trainer has the right to have an assistance animal or assistance animal trainee with the trainer, in any place of public accommodation or on any mode of transportation so long as the person or trainer controls the behavior of the animal.

O. R. S. § 346.685

A landlord, as defined in ORS 90.100, may not refuse to rent a dwelling unit, as defined in ORS 90.100, to a person with a physical impairment on the basis of the person's use or possession of an assistance animal.

O. R. S. § 346.690

 

Theft or attack on assistance animal:

A person with a physical impairment who uses an assistance animal may bring an action for economic and noneconomic damages against any person who steals or, without provocation, attacks the assistance animal (or against person who owns animal that attacks the assistance animal).

  • If attack results in death or animal not returned, damages shall include replacement costs.
  • If attack or theft results in injury and animal returns, damages shall include veterinary medical expenses, costs of temporary replacement assistance services.

O. R. S. § 346.687

Interfering with assistance or therapy animal:

A person commits the crime of interfering with an assistance, a search and rescue or a therapy animal if the person intentionally or knowingly:

  • injures or attempts to injure an animal the person knows or reasonably should know is an assistance animal, a search and rescue animal or a therapy animal
  • interferes with an assistance animal while the assistance animal is being used to provide assistance to a person with a physical impairment
  • interferes with a search and rescue animal or a therapy animal while the animal is being used for search and rescue or therapy purposes

Violation is a Class A misdemeanor.

O. R. S. § 167.352


 

A license fee is not required to be paid for any dog kept by a person who is blind and who uses the dog as a guide. A license shall be issued for such dog upon the filing by the person who is blind of an affidavit with the county showing that the dog qualifies for exemption.

O. R. S. § 609.100

Pennsylvania

Under Dog Law:

“Service dog.” Any dog which has been or is in the process of being trained as a guide dog, signal dog or has been trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

3 P.S. § 459-102

 

Policy statement in law:

"The practice or policy of discrimination against individuals or groups by reason of their . . . use of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or guide animals is a matter of concern of the Commonwealth."

43 P.S. § 952

Recognized as civil right:

"The opportunity for an individual to obtain employment for which he is qualified, and to obtain all the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any public accommodation and of any housing accommodation and commercial property without discrimination because of . . . the use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or guide animals is hereby recognized as and declared to be a civil right which shall be enforceable as set forth in this act."

43 P.S. § 953

Public accommodation discrimination:

A person is guilty of a summary offense to withhold or deny access to place of public accommodation to person who is using/training a guide, signal or service dog or other aid animal that has been certified by a recognized authority to assist a person.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7325

 

Interfering with guide, hearing or service dog:

Misdemeanor of 2nd degree if person willfully and maliciously harasses, annoys, injures, attempts to injure, molests or interferes with a dog guide for an individual who is blind, a hearing dog for an individual who is deaf or audibly impaired or a service dog for an individual who is physically limited.

Violation results in fine of not less than $500.

Person injuring/killing guide, hearing or service dog:

Misdemeanor of 1st degree if person willfully and maliciously kills, maims, mutilates, tortures or disfigures a dog guide for an individual who is blind, a hearing dog for an individual who is deaf or audibly impaired or a service dog for an individual who is physically limited. Person shall be required to make reparations for veterinary costs in treating the dog or the cost of obtaining and training a replacement dog.

Violation results in a fine of not less than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both. A subsequent conviction under this paragraph shall be a felony of the 3rd degree.

Dog injuring/killing guide, hearing or service dog:

Misdemeanor of the 3rd degree if a dog kills, maims or disfigures a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog without provocation by the guide, hearing or service dog or the individual.

A person commits an offense under this subsection only if the person knew or should have known that the dog he owns or co-owns had a propensity to attack human beings or domestic animals without provocation and the owner or co-owner knowingly or recklessly failed to restrain the dog or keep the dog in a contained, secure manner.

Violation results in fine of not more than $5,000 and reparations for veterinary costs in treating guide, hearing, or service dog/replacement costs for dog.

Civil penalty for dog attacking:

Only results if the owner or co-owner knew the dog had a propensity to attack human beings or domestic animals and he or she failed to restrain the dog or keep the dog in a contained, secure manner.

Court may then impose

  • A civil penalty of up to $15,000.
  • Reparations for veterinary costs in treating the guide, hearing or service dog and, if necessary, the cost of retraining the dog or of obtaining and training a replacement guide, hearing or service dog.
  • Loss of income for the time the individual is unable to work due to the unavailability of the guide, hearing or service dog.

18 P.S. § 5511

 

The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any totally or partially blind pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog and shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring or endangering the pedestrian.

Violation is a summary offense punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $150.

75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3549

 

License fee waiver only applies to service dogs used for aid or any municipal or State Police department or agency using a dog in the performance of the functions or duties of such department or agency.

3 P.S. § 459-217

 

Rhode Island

Under Chapter 9.1, Equal Rights of Blind and Deaf Persons to Public Facilities:

“Guide dog” means a dog that has been or is being specially trained to aid a particular blind or visually impaired person.

“Hearing dog” means a dog that has been or is being specially trained to aid a particular deaf or hard-of-hearing person.

“Personal assistance animal” means a dog that has been or is being trained as a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog.

“Service dog” means a dog that has been or is being specially trained to aid a particular disabled person with a disability other than sight or hearing.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 40-9.1-1

 

Every disabled person/trainer of assistance animal has the right to be accompanied by a personal assistance animal, specially trained for that person in any housing accommodation or in any listed public place.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 40-9.1-2

The privileges of access and transportation provided to personal assistance animals is extended to family therapy pets which are further defined as primary companions which include, but are not limited to, dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs, that are working in the provision of pet assisted therapy treatment and education.

Access and transportation privileges are only extended while the family therapy pet is on the way to or actively participating in a program.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 40-9.1-5

Violation is a misdemeanor punishable imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $100, or by both fine and imprisonment. Also liable for actual damages for any economic loss and/or punitive damages, to be recovered by a civil action in a court in and for the county in which the infringement of civil rights occurred or in which the defendant lives.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 40-9.1-3

Any blind or deaf person, who uses the services of a seeing-eye guide dog, or personal assistance animal or a hearing-ear signal dog, clearly identified as such by a yellow harness and trained by a recognized training agency or school, may enter any public facility of any public utility or common carrier in this state.

 Gen. Laws, 1956, § 39-2-13

Every person with a disability who has a guide dog or other personal assistive animal, or who obtains a guide dog or other personal assistive animal, shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 34-37-4

 

Under Dog Law:

Owner of dog who dog kills, wounds, or worries, or assists in killing, wounding, or worrying, any seeing-eye dog certified for use as a guide-dog under harness or engaged in act of guiding owner, or if that dog assaults or bites the visually impaired person, the owner of offending dog must pay the blind or visually impaired guide-dog owner double all the damages sustained.

If the act occurs again, the owner of the offending dog owes treble damages and an order must be made by the court to kill the dog.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13-16.1


Under Equal Rights Law:

It is unlawful for any person to injure a personal assistance animal and shall be liable for the injuries to the assistance animal and if necessary the replacement and compensation for the loss of the personal assistance animal.

It is unlawful for the owner of a dog to allow that dog to injure a personal assistance animal because the owner failed to control or leash the dog. The owner shall also be liable for the injuries to the personal assistance dog and if necessary the replacement and compensation for the loss of the personal assistance animal.

Purposeful or negligent violation is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $100, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Also liable for actual damages for any economic loss and/or punitive damages.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 40-9.1-3

Whenever a pedestrian is crossing/attempting to cross a public street guided by a trained seeing-eye guide dog or a hearing-ear signal dog clearly identified as such by a yellow harness, approaching drivers must bring vehicles to a full stop and before proceeding shall take any precautions that may be necessary to avoid injuring the pedestrian.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 31-18-14

Violation results in fine of fine not more than $250.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 31-18-16

 

Any city or town may waive the fee to be charged to license guide dogs used by persons with disabilities.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13-4

 

South Carolina

Under Article 15, Protection of Guide Dogs:

"Guide dog" means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.

"Service animal" means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating the sensory, mental, or physical disability of a disabled person.

Code 1976 § 47-3-920

 

Every handicapped person/trainer of assistance dog has the right to be accompanied by an assistance dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the listed public places.

Code 1976 § 43-33-20

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Code 1976 § 43-33-40

Every handicapped person who has an assistance dog, or who obtains an assistance dog, is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section.

Code 1976 § 43-33-70

Blind persons who are licensed by the Commission to operate vending facilities shall be allowed to have their guide dogs present with them while on public property.

Code 1976 § 43-26-80

 

Interference with guide or service dog:

Unlawful for person who has received notice that his or her behavior is interfering with the use of a guide dog or service animal to continue with reckless disregard to interfere with the use of a guide dog or service animal by obstructing, intimidating, or jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog or service animal or its user.

Unlawful for a person with reckless disregard to allow his or her dog that is not contained by a fence, a leash, or another containment system to interfere with the use of a guide dog or service animal by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog or service animal or its user.

Violation is a misdemeanor triable in magistrate's court and, upon conviction, is subject to the maximum fines and terms of imprisonment in magistrate's court.

Code 1976 § 47-3-930

Injury to guide or service dog:

Unlawful for a person with reckless disregard to injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog or service animal.

Unlawful for a person with reckless disregard to allow his dog to injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog or service animal.

Violation is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both.

Code 1976 § 47-3-940

Unauthorized control over guide or service dog:

Unlawful for a person to wrongfully obtain or exert unauthorized control over a guide dog or service animal with the intent to deprive the guide dog or service animal user of his guide dog or service animal.

Violation is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than $2,000 or imprisoned not less than 1 year, or both.

Code 1976 § 47-3-950

Intentional injury/cause death to guide or service dog:

Unlawful for a person to intentionally injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog or service animal, except in the case of self-defense or humane euthanasia.

Violation is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

Code 1976 § 47-3-960

Restitution:

A defendant convicted of a violation of this article may be ordered to make full restitution for damages including incidental and consequential expenses incurred by the guide dog or service animal and its user.

Code 1976 § 47-3-970

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color (with or without a red tip) or approaching a handicapped pedestrian using an assistance dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to the pedestrian. Any driver who fails to take these precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused the pedestrian.

Code 1976 § 43-33-30

Whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway guided by a guide dog, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection shall bring the vehicle to a full stop before arriving and take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian.

Code 1976 § 56-5-3200

Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $25 or imprisonment for not exceeding 10 days.

Code 1976 § 56-5-3210

 

South Dakota

Any person who is totally or partially physically disabled, totally or partially blind, or totally or partially deaf may be accompanied by a service animal in listed places of public accommodation.

Failure of any owner or employee of a listed place to comply with the provisions of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

S D C L § 20-13-23.2

No landlord may prohibit by lease or otherwise the keeping of a service animal by a person who is totally or partially physically disabled, totally or partially blind, or totally or partially deaf in an apartment or other rented or leased residential property.

A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

S D C L § 20-13-23.4

 

No person may maliciously beat, injure, attempt to injure, harass, intimidate, entice, distract, or otherwise interfere with any service animal accompanying a person with a disability if the service animal is being controlled by the person and the service animal is wearing a harness or other control device normally used for service animals accompanying or leading persons with disabilities.

A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

S D C L § 40-1-38

 

Whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street guided by a guide dog, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection must bring vehicle to a full stop before arriving at such intersection, and shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian.

A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

S D C L § 32-27-7

 

Tennessee

No proprietor, employee or other person in charge of any place of public accommodation, amusement or recreation shall refuse to permit a blind, physically disabled or deaf or hard of hearing person to enter the place or to make use of the accommodations for the reason that the blind, physically disabled or deaf or hard of hearing person is being led or accompanied by a dog guide.

Also applies to dog guide trainer.

A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

T. C. A. § 62-7-112

Every totally blind or partially blind person who has a guide dog, or who obtains a guide dog, shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations included within subsection.

T. C. A. § 66-7-104

Any legally blind person in this state whose loss of sight necessitates a guide dog for mobility purposes, which has been obtained from a recognized school of training for such purposes, may not be denied the right to lease an apartment or other types of dwellings as a consequence of having a guide dog.

Any owner, manager, landlord or agent who refuses to lease living space to any legally blind person because of a guide dog, or violates a provision of this section, commits a Class C misdemeanor.

T. C. A. § 66-7-106

 

A person who intentionally or knowingly unlawfully injures the guide dog of another and, thereby, permanently deprives the owner of the use of the guide dog's services commits theft of that animal.

In determining the value of the guide dog, the court shall consider the value of the guide dog as both the cost of the dog as well as the cost of any specialized training the guide dog received.

T. C. A. § 39-14-208

A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals when, with aggravated cruelty and with no justifiable purpose, the person intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal.

Aggravated cruelty to animals is a Class E felony.

In addition to penalty, responsible for damages to animal.

If an unlawful act resulted in the death or permanent disability of a person's guide dog, then the value of the guide dog shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, both the cost of the guide dog as well as the cost of any specialized training the guide dog received.

T. C. A. § 39-14-212

A 2012 section was added that makes it an offense to maim or harm, or attempt to do so, or permit an animal owned to harm a service animal (violation is a Class A misdemeanor).

Under the law, it is an offense to knowingly interfere with a service animal in the performance of its duties (Class C misdemeanor).

In addition to any other penalty provided by this section, a person convicted shall be ordered by the court to make full restitution for all damages that arise out of or are related to the offense, including incidental and consequential damages incurred.

T. C. A. § 39-14-216

If a person's guide dog is killed or sustains injuries that result in death or permanent disability caused by the unlawful and intentional, or negligent, act of another or the animal of another, then the trier of fact may find the individual causing the death or the owner of the animal causing the death liable for economic damages, which shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, both the cost of the guide dog as well as the cost of any specialized training the guide dog received.

T. C. A. § 44-17-404

 

Whenever any pedestrian guided by a guide dog or dog on a blaze orange leash shall undertake to cross any public street drivers must bring such vehicle to a complete stop and before proceeding shall take all precautions necessary to avoid injuring the pedestrian.

A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

T. C. A. § 55-8-180

 

Texas

Under Title 8, "Rights and Responsibilities of Persons with Disabilities:"

"Assistance animal" means an animal that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability and that:

(A) is used by a person with a disability who has satisfactorily completed a specific course of training in the use of the animal; and

(B) has been trained by an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities as reputable and competent to provide animals with training of this type.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.002

 

A state employee who is a person with a disability is entitled to a leave of absence without a deduction in salary for the purpose of attending a training program to acquaint the employee with an assistance dog to be used by the employee.

V. T. C. A., Government Code § 661.910

No common carrier or mode of public transportation may refuse to accept as a passenger a person with a disability solely because of the person's disability, nor may a person with a disability be required to pay an additional fare because of his or her use of an assistance animal.

No person with a disability may be denied admittance to any public facility in the state because of the person's disability. No person with a disability may be denied the use assistance animal.

A person with a total or partial disability who has or obtains an assistance animal is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section.

Provisions for equal access also applies to assistance animal in training.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.003

Violation is an offense.

An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $300 or more than $1,000.

The person with a disability deprived of his or her civil liberties may maintain a cause of action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction, and there is a conclusive presumption of damages in the amount of at least $100 to the person with a disability.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.004

 

Under Title 8, Rights and Responsibilities of Persons with Disabilities:

A person may not assault, harass, interfere with, kill, or injure in any way, or attempt to assault, harass, interfere with, kill, or injure in any way, an assistance animal.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.003

Violation is an offense.

An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $300 or more than $1,000.

The person with a disability deprived of his or her civil liberties may maintain a cause of action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction, and there is a conclusive presumption of damages in the amount of at least $100 to the person with a disability.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.004

Penal Code:

A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly attacks, injures, or kills an assistance animal.

A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly incites or permits an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor to attack, injure, or kill an assistance animal and, as a result of the person's conduct, the assistance animal is attacked, injured, or killed.

An offense under this section is a:

  • Class A misdemeanor if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor attacks an assistance animal
  • state jail felony if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor injures an assistance animal
  • felony of the third degree if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor kills an assistance animal

Violators also owe restitution.

V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 42.091

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection or crosswalk where a pedestrian guided by an assistance animal is crossing or attempting to cross shall take necessary precautions to avoid injuring or endangering the pedestrian.

If at trial determined that collision caused serious bodily injury or death to a blind person, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by:

  • a fine of not more than $500; and
  • 30 hours of community service to an organization or agency that primarily serves visually impaired or disabled persons, to be completed in not less than six months and not more than one year
  • portion of the community service required shall include sensitivity training

V. T. C. A., Transportation Code § 552.010

 


A person who uses an assistance animal with a harness or leash of the type commonly used by persons with disabilities to represent that his or her animal is a specially trained assistance animal when not trained as such, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Punishable by a fine of not more than $200.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.006

 

Utah

Defined under Chapter 5B - Rights and Privileges of a Person with a Disability:

“Service animal” includes any dog that:

  • is trained, or is in training, to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability
  • performs work or tasks, or is in training to perform work or tasks, that are directly related to the individual's disability, including
  • assisting an individual who is blind or has low vision with navigation or other tasks
  • alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
  • providing non-violent protection or rescue work
  • pulling a wheelchair
  • assisting an individual during a seizure
  • alerting an individual to the presence of an allergen
  • retrieving an item for the individual
  • providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability
  • helping an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors

“Service animal” does not include:

  • an animal other than a dog, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained
  • an animal used solely to provide:
    • a crime deterrent
    • emotional support
    • well-being
    • comfort
    • companionship

U.C.A. 1953 § 62A-5b-102

 

A person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal, unless the service animal is a danger or nuisance to others as interpreted under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12102.

An owner or lessor of private housing accommodations may not, in any manner, discriminate against a person with a disability on the basis of the person's possession of a service animal.

A person who is not a person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by an animal that is in training to become a service animal or a police service canine.

U.C.A. 1953 § 62A-5b-104

Any person, or agent of any person, who denies or interferes with the rights provided in this chapter is guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

U.C.A. 1953 § 62A-5b-106

 

Substantial bodily injury or death to service animal:

It is a class A misdemeanor for a person to knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly cause substantial bodily injury or death to a service animal.

It is a class A misdemeanor for a person who owns, keeps, harbors, or exercises control over an animal to knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly fail to exercise sufficient control over the animal to prevent it from causing:

  • any substantial bodily injury or the death of a service animal; or
  • the service animal's subsequent inability to function as a service animal as a result of the animal's attacking, chasing, or harassing the service animal.

U.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-307

Harassing a service animal:

It is a class B misdemeanor for a person to chase or harass a service animal.

It is a class B misdemeanor for a person who owns, keeps, harbors, or exercises control over an animal to knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly fail to exercise sufficient control over the animal to prevent it from chasing or harassing a service animal while it is carrying out its functions as a service animal, to the extent that the animal temporarily interferes with the service animal's ability to carry out its functions.

U.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-307

Restitution

In addition to any other penalty, a person convicted of any violation of this section is liable for restitution to the owner of the service animal or the person with a disability whom the service animal serves for the replacement, training, and veterinary costs incurred as a result of the violation of this section.

U.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-307

Theft/loss of service animal:

A person with a disability who uses a service animal, or the owner of a service animal has a cause of action for economic and noneconomic damages against:

  • any person who steals or, without provocation, attacks the service animal; and
  • the owner or keeper of any animal that without provocation attacks a service animal due to the owner's or keeper's negligent failure to exercise sufficient control over the animal to prevent the attack.

U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-3-702

Right to kill dog attacking service animal:

Notably, another section provides that any person may injure or kill a dog while the dog is attacking, chasing, or worrying a service animal, as defined in Section 62A-5b-10.

U.C.A. 1953 § 18-1-3

 

The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a blind or visually impaired pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog specially trained for that purpose and equipped with a harness.

A person who fails to yield the right-of-way is liable for any loss or damage which results as a proximate cause of the failure to yield the right-of-way to blind or visually impaired persons.

U.C.A. 1953 § 41-6a-1007


A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if:

(a) the person intentionally and knowingly falsely represents to another person that an animal is a service animal as defined in Section 62A-5b-102; or
 
(b) the person knowingly and intentionally misrepresents a material fact to a health care provider for the purpose of obtaining documentation from the health care provider necessary to designate an animal as a service animal as defined in Section 62A-5b-102.

U.C.A. 1953 § 62A-5b-106

 

Vermont

Under Subchapter 1, Cruelty to Animals:

“Guide dog” means a dog, whose status is reasonably identifiable individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability for purposes of guiding an individual with impaired vision, alerting an individual with impaired hearing to the presence of people or sounds, assisting an individual during a seizure, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving items, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability, and assisting with navigation.

13 V.S.A. § 355

 

Public accommodations law:

An owner or operator of a place of public accommodation or his or her employee or agent shall not prohibit from entering a place of public accommodation:

  • An individual with a disability accompanied by a service animal
  • An individual who is training an animal to perform as a service animal for an individual with a disability

9 V.S.A. § 4502

Unfair housing practices:

It shall be unlawful for any person to discriminate in the sale or rental of a dwelling because a person relies upon aids such as attendants, specially trained animals, wheelchairs, or similar appliances or devices but the owner shall not be required to modify or alter the building in any way in order to comply with this chapter.

9 V.S.A. § 4503

Civil action:

A person aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may file a charge of discrimination with the human rights commission or may bring an action for injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages and any other appropriate relief.

9 V.S.A. § 4506

Criminal penalty:

A person who violates a provision of this chapter shall be fined not more than $1,000.00.

9 V.S.A. § 4507

 

Cause death to or injure guide dog:

No person shall recklessly injure or cause the death of a guide dog, or recklessly permit a dog he or she owns or has custody of to injure or cause the death of a guide dog. A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both.

Interference with guide dog after notice:

No person who has received notice or has knowledge that his or her behavior, or the behavior of a dog he or she owns or has custody of; is interfering with the use of a guide dog shall recklessly continue to interfere with the use of a guide dog, or recklessly allow the dog he or she owns or has custody of to continue to interfere with the use of a guide dog, by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog user or his or her guide dog. A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Interference with guide dog:

No person shall recklessly interfere with the use of a guide dog, or recklessly permit a dog he or she owns or has custody of to interfere with a guide dog, by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog user or his or her guide dog. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil offense and shall be:

(1) for a first offense, fined not more than $100.00.

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, fined not more than $250.00.

13 V.S.A. § 355

 

Whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway, guided by a guide dog, drivers approaching intersection or crossing place must bring vehicles to a full stop before arriving, and before proceeding must take necessary precautions to avoid injuring the pedestrian.

23 V.S.A. § 1057

 

Virginia

Under criminal interference law:

Guide or leader dog” means a dog that:

  • serves as a dog guide for a blind person as defined
  • serves as a listener for a deaf or hard-of-hearing person as defined
  • provides support or assistance for a physically disabled or handicapped person

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6588

Under Chapter 9 - Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

“Hearing dog” means a dog trained to alert its owner by touch to sounds of danger and sounds to which the owner should respond.

“Three-unit service dog team” means a team consisting of a trained service dog, a disabled person, and a person who is an adult and who has been trained to handle the service dog.

Va. Code Ann. § 51.5-40.1

 

Every totally or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a dog, in harness, trained as a guide dog, every deaf or hearing-impaired person shall have the right to be accompanied by a dog trained as a hearing dog on a blaze orange leash, and every mobility-impaired or otherwise disabled person shall have the right to be accompanied by a dog, trained as a service dog, in a harness, backpack, or vest identifying the dog as a trained service dog, in any of the places listed in the law.

The provisions of this section shall apply to persons accompanied by a dog that is in training, at least six months of age, and is:

  • in harness, provided such person is an experienced trainer of guide dogs or is conducting continuing training of a guide dog
  • on a blaze orange leash, provided such person is an experienced trainer of hearing dogs or is conducting continuing training of a hearing dog
  • in a harness, backpack, or vest identifying the dog as a trained service dog, provided such person is an experienced trainer of service dogs or is conducting continuing training of a service dog
  • wearing a jacket identifying the recognized guide, hearing or service dog organization, provided such person is an experienced trainer of the organization identified on the jacket; or
  • the person is part of a three-unit service dog team and is conducting continuing training of a service dog.

Va. Code Ann. § 51.5-44

Every visually-impaired person who has a guide dog, any hearing-impaired person who has a hearing dog, and every mobility-impaired person with a service dog shall be entitled to full and equal access with such dog to all housing accommodations provided for in this section.

Va. Code Ann. § 51.5-45

Any circuit court having jurisdiction and venue on the petition of any person with a disability, shall have the right to enjoin the abridgement of rights set forth in this chapter and to order such affirmative equitable relief as is appropriate and to award compensatory damages and to award to a prevailing party reasonable attorneys' fees.

Va. Code Ann. § 51.5-46

 

Class 3 misdemeanor to, without just cause, willfully impede or interfere with the duties performed by a dog if the person knows or has reason to believe the dog is a guide or leader dog.
 
Class 1 misdemeanor to, without just cause, willfully injure a dog if the person knows or has reason to believe the dog is a guide or leader dog.

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6588

 

Drivers approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian using a dog guide shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury.

Driver who fail to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused such pedestrian and dog guide.

Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-932.1

Drivers approaching totally or partially blind pedestrian crossing or attempting to cross a highway guided by a dog guide must make full stop before arriving at such intersection/crossing place.

Violation is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-933

No license tax shall be levied on any dog that is trained and serves as a guide dog for a blind person, that is trained and serves as a hearing dog for a deaf or hearing impaired person or that is trained and serves as a service dog for a mobility-impaired person.

As used in this section, "hearing dog" means a dog trained to alert its owner by touch to sounds of danger and sounds to which the owner should respond and "service dog" means a dog trained to accompany its owner for the purpose of carrying items, retrieving objects, pulling a wheelchair or other such activities of service or support.

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6528

 

Washington

Under interfering with dog guide or service animal law:

"Dog guide" means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.

"Service animal" means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating a disabled person's sensory, mental, or physical disability.

West's RCWA 9.91.170

Under discrimination law:

“Dog guide” means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog that is trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.

“Service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a sensory, mental, or physical disability of a person with a disability.

West's RCWA 49.60.040


Under "White Cane Law":

For the purpose of this chapter, "service animal" means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating a disabled person's sensory, mental, or physical disability.

West's RCWA 70.84.020

For the purpose of this chapter, "service animal" means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating a disabled person's sensory, mental, or physical disability.

West's RCWA 70.84.021

The right to be free from discrimination because of the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

Any person injured by any act in violation shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages or any other appropriate remedy authorized.

West's RCWA 70.84.030

It shall be an unfair practice to commit an act which directly or indirectly results in any distinction, restriction, or discrimination on the basis of the use of a dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

A food establishment shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.

West's RCWA 49.60.218

It is an unfair practice for any person because of the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability to discriminate in real estate transactions.

West's RCWA 49.60.222

 

Interference with service animal:

Misdemeanor to continue, after notice, with reckless disregard to interfere with the use of a dog guide or service animal by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the dog guide or service animal user or his or her dog guide or service animal.

Second or subsequent violation of this subsection is a gross misdemeanor.

Also applies where person allows his or her dog to interfere with the use of a dog guide or service animal.

Reckless injury to service animal:

Any person who, with reckless disregard, injures, disables, or causes the death of a dog guide or service animal, or allows his or her dog to do so, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Intentional injury or death to service animal:

Any person who intentionally injures, disables, or causes the death of a dog guide or service animal is guilty of a class C felony.

Unauthorized control over service animal:

Any person who wrongfully obtains or exerts unauthorized control over a dog guide or service animal with the intent to deprive the dog guide or service animal user of his or her dog guide or service animal is guilty of theft in the first degree.

Restitution includes:

  • value of the replacement of an incapacitated or deceased dog guide or service animal
  • the training of a replacement dog guide or service animal, or retraining of the affected dog guide or service animal
  • all related veterinary and care expenses
  • medical expenses of the dog guide or service animal user
  • training of the dog guide or service animal user
  • compensation for wages or earned income lost by the dog guide or service animal user

West's RCWA 9.91.170

Provision also under discrimination chapter:

A person who negligently or maliciously kills or injures a dog guide or service animal is liable for a penalty of $1,000 to be paid to the user of the animal. The penalty shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other remedies or penalties, civil or criminal, provided by law.

A user or owner of a dog guide or service animal, whose animal is negligently or maliciously injured or killed, is entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred in pursuing any civil remedy.

West's RCWA 49.60.370

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian, hearing impaired pedestrian, or a person with physical disabilities using a dog guide/service animal shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such pedestrian.

Any driver who fails to take such precaution shall be liable in damages for any injury caused such pedestrian. It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to drive into or upon any crosswalk while such pedestrian using a dog guide/service animal is crossing.

West's RCWA 70.84.040

 

A county, city, or town shall honor a request by a blind person or hearing impaired person not to be charged a fee to license his or her dog guide, or a request by a physically disabled person not to be charged a fee to license his or her service animal.

West's RCWA 49.60.380

 

It shall be unlawful for any pedestrian who is not totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, or otherwise physically disabled to use a dog guide/service animal in any of the places, accommodations, or conveyances listed for the purpose of securing the rights and privileges accorded by the chapter to totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, or otherwise physically disabled people.

West's RCWA 70.84.060

 

West Virginia

A “service animal” means any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

W. Va. Code, § 5-15-3

 

Every person who is blind, every person with a hearing impairment and every person with a disability shall have the right to be accompanied by a service animal in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances specified without being required to pay an extra charge for the admission of the service animal.

The rights, privileges and responsibilities provided by this section also apply to any person who is certified as a trainer of a service animal while he or she is engaged in the training.

A service animal as defined is not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government, nor shall there be any requirement for the specific signage or labeling of a service animal.

W. Va. Code, § 5-15-4

Violation is misdemeanor with a fine of up to $50.

W. Va. Code, § 5-15-8

 

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian who is blind or who has a disability and who knows, or in the exercise of reasonable care should know, that the pedestrian is blind because the pedestrian is using a service animal or otherwise, shall exercise care commensurate with the situation to avoid injuring the pedestrian or the service animal.

W. Va. Code, § 5-15-5

 

No head tax may be levied against any guide or support dog especially trained for the purpose of serving as a guide, leader, listener or support for a blind person, deaf person or a person who is physically or mentally disabled because of any neurological, muscular, skeletal or psychological disorder that causes weakness or inability to perform any function. Guide or support dogs must be registered as provided by this section.

W. Va. Code, § 19-20-2

 

Wisconsin

Under cruelty laws:

“Service dog” means a dog that is trained for the purpose of assisting a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or accommodating such a disability.

W. S. A. 951.01

 

Public accommodation:
 
No person may refuse to permit entrance into, or use of, any public place of accommodation to person with a disability with a service animal, with exceptions.
 
Provisions only apply to service animal trainer if the animal accompanying the service animal trainer is wearing a harness or a leash and special cape.
 
 
Housing:
 
If an individual's vision, hearing or mobility is impaired, it is discrimination for a person to refuse to rent or sell housing, cause eviction, require extra compensation, or engage in harassment because he or she keeps an animal that is specially trained to lead or assist the individual with impaired vision, hearing or mobility if all of the conditions listed in the law apply.
 
 

No person, after receiving a notice, may do any of the following:

Interference with service dog:

  • Recklessly interfere with the use of the service dog by obstructing or intimidating it or otherwise jeopardizing its safety or the safety of its user (class B misdemeanor).
  • Intentionally interfere with the use of the service dog by obstructing or intimidating it or otherwise jeopardizing its safety or the safety of its user (class A misdemeanor).

Allow dog to interfere with service dog:

  • Recklessly allow his or her dog to interfere with the use of a service dog by obstructing or intimidating it or otherwise jeopardizing its safety or the safety of its user (class B misdemeanor).
  • Intentionally allow his or her dog to interfere with the use of a service dog by obstructing or intimidating it or otherwise jeopardizing its safety or the safety of its user (class A misdemeanor).

Injure a service dog:

  • Recklessly injure a service dog or recklessly allow his or her dog to injure a service dog (class A misdemeanor).
  • Intentionally injure a service dog or intentionally allow his or her dog to injure a service dog (Class I felony).

Kill a service dog:

  • Recklessly cause the death of a service dog (Class I felony).
  • Intentionally cause the death of a service dog  (Class H felony).

Steal a service dog or take possession:

Take possession of or exert control over a service dog without the consent of its owner or user and with the intent to deprive another of the use of the service dog (Class H felony).

W. S. A. 951.097

(Penalties are provided in W. S. A. 951.18)

 

An operator of a vehicle shall stop the vehicle before approaching closer than 10 feet to a pedestrian who is using a service animal, and shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid accident or injury to the pedestrian.

W. S. A. 346.26

 

Wyoming

"Service dog" means a dog which has been or is being specially trained to the requirements of a person with a disability.

W. S. 1977 § 35-13-205

 

Any blind, partially blind, deaf, hearing impaired person or other person with a disability who is a passenger on any common carrier, airplane, motor vehicle, railroad train, motor bus, boat or any other public conveyance operating within the state may have a service dog with him or her.

Any person violating this section is subject to a fine not to exceed $750.00.

W. S. 1977 § 35-13-204

 

Any person who knowingly, willfully and without lawful cause or justification inflicts, or permits or directs any animal under his or her control or ownership to inflict, serious bodily harm, permanent disability or death upon any service dog is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, a fine of not more than $750.00, or both.

Must also pay restitution, which includes:

  • related veterinary or medical bills
  • the cost of replacing the service dog or retraining an injured service dog
  • any other expense reasonably incurred as a result of the offense

W. S. 1977 § 35-13-206

 

The driver of a vehicle approaching a blind, partially blind, deaf or hearing impaired pedestrian using a guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to the pedestrian.

Any driver failing to take these precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused the pedestrian.

W. S. 1977 § 35-13-202

 

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