How Do You Find Service Dog Laws by State?


Quick Answer

State laws concerning assistance animals can be found at Michigan State University's Animal Legal & Historical Center, as noted on its official website. The compiled data is current for 2014 and includes several categories, such as service animal definitions, criminal interference laws, service animal misrepresentation laws and laws governing disabled pedestrians.

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Full Answer

Some states define service animals as guide dogs, while others include broader language to recognize their use as medical alert dogs and rescue dogs, notes the Animal Legal & Historical Center. Few states do not have laws pertaining to the consequences of interfering with or abusing service animals. Sixteen states have laws that make it a crime to misrepresent the use of a service dog. Most states have some sort of law that outlines the responsibilities of drivers interacting with pedestrians who use guide dogs.

Additional categories available in the data provided by the Animal Legal & Historical Center include equal access laws. Disabled individuals have the right to use their service animals in public places, and all states have laws outlining how this right is applied and any possible exceptions to it. Some states require service dogs to be licensed, but roughly half of these states offer waivers. Proof of a dog's status and training is required by some states.

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