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Louisiana

Consolidated Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: LA R.S. 46:1951 - 1959; LA R.S. 21:52; LA R.S. 32:217

Citation: LSA-R.S. 46:1951 - 1959; LSA-R.S. 21:52; LSA-R.S. 32:217


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   The following comprise Louisiana's assistance animal/guide dog laws.


Statute in Full:

West's Louisiana Statutes Annotated. Louisiana Revised Statutes. Title 46. Public Welfare and Assistance. Chapter 23. Louisiana White Cane Law.

§ 1951. Statement of policy

§ 1952. Definitions

§ 1953. Use of public facilities; equal accommodations; assistance dogs

§ 1954. Housing accommodations; full and equal access; degree of care; assistance dogs

§ 1955. Assistance dog trainers and puppy raisers; rights; liability

§ 1956. Violation of rights; injury or interference with an assistance dog; penalties; civil action; damages; cost and attorney fees

§ 1957. Precautions for operators of motor vehicles approaching physically disabled pedestrians

§ 1958. Exemption from license fee; assistance dog

§ 1959. Scope of Chapter

Title 21. Hotels and Lodging Houses. Chapter 2. Offenses by Guests. Part II. Animals and Pets

§ 52. Guide or service dog, rights and privileges of owners and trainers; penalties for violations

Title 32. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation. Chapter 1. Louisiana Highway Regulatory Act. Part IV. Traffic Regulations. Subpart H. Pedestrians' Rights and Duties

§ 217. Blind and incapacitated pedestrians; use of canes; persons in wheelchairs; vehicles

 

 

§ 1951. Statement of policy

It is the policy of this state to encourage and enable a physically disabled person to participate fully in the social and economic life of the state and to engage in remunerative employment. In addition, it is the policy of this state that a physically disabled person shall be employed by the state, political subdivisions of the state, public schools, and all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as an able-bodied person, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.

 

§ 1952. Definitions

As used in this Chapter,

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

(2) "Housing accommodations" means any real property, or portion thereof, which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied as the home, residence, or sleeping place of one or more human beings, but shall not include any single family residence the occupants of which rent, lease, or furnish for compensation not more than one room therein.

(3) "Physically disabled person" means a person who is blind, visually handicapped, deaf, hearing impaired, or otherwise physically disabled.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.

 

§ 1953. Use of public facilities; equal accommodations; assistance dogs

A. Every physically disabled person shall have the same right as an able-bodied person to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, and other public places.

B. Every physically disabled person shall be entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges in the following, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons:

(1) Common carriers, including taxis, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, streetcars, boats, or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation operated on land or water, in the air, or any stations and terminals thereof.

(2) Educational institutions, including but not limited to kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, trade or business schools, high schools, academies, colleges, and universities.

(3) Hotels, lodging places, restaurants, theaters, places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort.

(4) Other places to which the general public is invited.

C. Every physically disabled person may be accompanied by an assistance dog, especially trained to aid such person, in any of the places provided in Subsection B of this Section without being required to pay an extra charge for such dog. However, he shall be liable for any damage done to the premises, facilities, operators, or occupants by such dog.

D. Nothing in this Section shall require any person who owns, leases, or operates any public conveyance or modes of transportation, educational institutions, hotels, restaurants, theaters, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, to modify his property or facility in any way or provide a higher degree of care for a physically disabled person than for a person who is not physically disabled.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.

 

§ 1954. Housing accommodations; full and equal access; degree of care; assistance dogs

A. Every disabled person shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation in this state, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

B. Nothing in this Section shall require any person renting, leasing, or providing for compensation real property to modify his property in any way or to provide a higher degree of care for a physically disabled person than for a person who is not physically disabled.

C. 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 as defined in R.S. 46:1952(2), 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.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.

 

§ 1955. Assistance dog trainers and puppy raisers; rights; liability

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 without being required to pay an extra charge for such dog. However, during the training of an assistance dog, he shall be liable for any damages done to any person, premises, or facility by the assistance dog.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.

 

§ 1956. Violation of rights; injury or interference with an assistance dog; penalties; civil action; damages; cost and attorney fees

A. Any person, firm, or corporation, or the agent, representative, or employee of any person, firm, or corporation who: withholds, denies, deprives, or attempts to withhold, deny, or deprive; intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to threaten, intimidate, or coerce; punishes or attempts to punish a physically disabled person or a trainer or puppy raiser of an assistance dog, during the training of such dog, or for exercising his right to be admitted to or enjoy the places and facilities provided in this Chapter; or otherwise interferes with the rights of a physically disabled person under this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

B. 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 one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six 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.

C. For every offense, such person shall pay for actual damages for any economic loss to any person aggrieved thereby, to be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction in the parish where such offense was committed or where the aggrieved person resides.

D. In an action brought under this Section, the court may award costs and reasonable attorney's fee to the prevailing party.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.

 

§ 1957. Precautions for operators of motor vehicles approaching physically disabled pedestrians

A. Operators of motor vehicles approaching a physically disabled pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white in color, with or without a red tip, or a physically disabled pedestrian using an assistance dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such pedestrian.

B. 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.

C. No operator of a motor vehicle shall drive into or upon any crosswalk while a physically disabled pedestrian is on the crosswalk or crossing or attempting to cross the crosswalk if such pedestrian indicates his intention to cross or to continue to cross the crosswalk. Failure by the pedestrian to signal his intention to cross the crossway shall not deprive him of the right of way given to him by other applicable law or regulation.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.

 

§ 1958. Exemption from license fee; assistance dog

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

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.

 

§ 1959. Scope of Chapter

Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to amend, repeal, conflict with, or supersede any federal or state law, rule, or regulation or local ordinance mandating full and equal access in the use of public facilities or places, common carriers, public conveyances, or other modes of transportation, or housing accommodations for a physically disabled person.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1993, No. 482, § 1.


Title 21. Hotels and Lodging Houses. Chapter 2. Offenses by Guests. Part II. Animals and Pets

§ 52. Guide or service dog, rights and privileges of owners and trainers; penalties for violations

A. Any blind person, visually handicapped person, deaf person, hearing impaired person, or otherwise physically disabled person who is accompanied by a properly controlled dog which such person has been taught to use as a guide or for service at a qualified dog guide or service school, or any person who is qualified to provide training for a guide dog or service animal and is accompanied by a guide dog in training, is entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all public accommodation, amusement, or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, and shall be entitled to take such dog into such conveyances and places, subject only to the accommodations and limitations applicable to all persons not so accompanied, provided that the dog shall not occupy a seat in any public conveyance.

B. Any person, firm, or corporation, or agent, representative, or employee of any person, firm, or corporation who deprives any blind person, visually handicapped person, deaf person, hearing impaired person, or otherwise physically disabled person, or any person who is accompanied by a guide dog in training of any right conferred by Subsection A of this Section, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined a sum not to exceed five hundred dollars, or be imprisoned in the parish jail for a period not to exceed ninety days, or both, within the discretion of the judge; and for every such offense such person shall forfeit and pay a sum not to exceed five hundred dollars to any person aggrieved thereby, to be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction in the parish where such offense was committed.

C. The provisions of Subsections A and B of this Section shall be inapplicable unless the person, as described in Subsections A and B of this Section, accompanied by a guide or service dog, shall furnish evidence as to the training of the dog, which evidence shall be obtained from the training agency or school by which the dog has been trained. If the person is accompanied by a guide dog in training as described in Subsection A of this Section, that person shall furnish evidence of his qualifications to provide training for a guide dog, or the provisions of Subsections A and B of this Section shall be inapplicable.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Acts 1954, No. 83, § 1. Amended by Acts 1962, No. 33, § 1; Acts 1981, No. 407, § 1; Acts 1993, No. 763, § 1; Acts 2009, No. 373, § 1.

 

Title 32. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation. Chapter 1. Louisiana Highway Regulatory Act. Part IV. Traffic Regulations. Subpart H. Pedestrians' Rights and Duties

§ 217. Blind and incapacitated pedestrians; use of canes; persons in wheelchairs; vehicles

A. It is unlawful for any person, unless totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated, while on any public street or highway, to carry in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is metallic or white in color or white tipped with red.

B. Whenever a pedestrian guided by a guide dog, or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is metallic or white in color, or white tipped with red, or a pedestrian who requires a wheelchair or motorized wheelchair for transportation is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway, at or near an intersection or crosswalk, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection or crosswalk shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring or endangering such pedestrian, and if injury or danger to such pedestrian can be avoided only by bringing his vehicle to a full stop, he shall bring his vehicle to a full stop.

C. Nothing contained in this Section shall be construed to deprive any totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person, not carrying such a cane or walking stick or not being guided by a dog, of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon pedestrians crossing streets or highways, nor shall the failure of such totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person to carry a cane or walking stick, or to be guided by a guide dog upon the streets, highways or sidewalks of this state, be held to constitute nor be evidence of contributory negligence.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1962, No. 310, § 1. Amended by Acts 2004, No. 242, § 1.


  



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