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Service Animal Laws and Resources By State

2021-06-14


Persons with disabilities in the US can improve their living standards by employing the services of a service dog that can be trained by a professional trainer or at home. Either way, you should take the time to understand the protections and regulations enforced by feral law and local government bodies.

Service dogs can be also called — assistance animals; guide dogs; medical alert dogs; respond dogs.

The rights, privileges, and certification of service dogs are governed by Equal Access Laws, "White Cane Laws", the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The federal law trumps local regulations and defines a service animal as:

A dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. Service dogs are allowed the same unrestricted access as regular US citizens, however, some limitations apply in regards to food processing plants, zoos, and wildlife parks.

Service dog handlers are not required to pay extra fees when accessing public places and transportation vehicles (as long as their service animal does not require a seat or travel in the cargo hold). Service dogs in training are not always granted the same access rights as fully trained and certified service dogs, you will have to consult a local medical practitioner. You should note that there is such a thing a service dog fraud that is punishable by law and results in a misdemeanor charge and a fine in most cases. Let's go over every state and their service dog policy below.


Alabama


Local regulations?

Yes, a definition for SD is supported.

“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.”


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of $50 can be put on persons and businesses when access is denied to trainers and disabled persons as well as when the service dog is harmed, harassed, or otherwise obstructed in its work.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of $100 and community service of up to 6 months can be enforced.


Alaska


Local regulations?

Yes, there are several definitions depending on the local laws:

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

2) “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.”


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.

"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 facilities for service animals whose goal is to certify the animal as being able to assist physically or mentally challenged persons.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, interference with the rights of a physically or mentally challenged person is a class B misdemeanor.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Arizona


Local regulations?

You can have a service dog or a service miniature horse. "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.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, criminal charges for class 6 felony can be brought against any person that interferes, injures, and harasses the service dog handler, their animal either personally or through a proxy.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of $250 can be enforced for each violation


Arkansas


Local regulations?

No, ADA regulations apply.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have regular public access and they are exempt from fees related to their service animal.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, criminal charges for a Class D felony can be brought against any person/business. Restitution will be enforced by law when a service dog is killed or otherwise harmed.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of $250 is enforced per violation.


California


Local regulations?

Yes, a “service dog” means a 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.”


Service dog in training support?

Yes, persons that are authorized to train service dogs are allowed full access to public spaces and institutions. The dogs in training have to be on a leash, carry a tag issued by a county clerk or another agency authorized by the local government.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of $1,000 can be enforced along with the attorney fees. Injuring and killing a service dog can lead to a fine of no more than $2,500 and imprisonment for no more than 6 months. The violating party can be expected to pay for medical bills and a new service dog for the disabled person.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, you need to sign an affidavit stating your dog is a trained assistance dog and you will be granted a license.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

Yes, the service dog has to carry a tag issued by the animal control department.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment can be enforced.


Colorado


Local regulations?

No, ADA regulations apply.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, the harm and injury caused to a service animal is a violation Class 3 misdemeanor. Persons found guilty are liable to a fee that can be triple the cost of the damages plus an attorney fee.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of up to $500 per violation can be applied.


Connecticut


Local regulations?

Partial definitions are considered by the law. There is no unifying law for service animals. The state recognizes guide dogs for the blind and assistance dogs for mobility-impaired persons.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, charges for a Class D misdemeanor can be brought against violating parties. Significant injury to guide/assistance dogs leads to criminal charges and the guilty party will have to pay for medical bills, attorney fees, and potentially the training of a new animal.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by a town clerk.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

Yes, the guide/assistance dog has to carry a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Delaware


Local regulations?

Yes, the local laws state that: a “service dog” means any guide dog, signal dog, or another 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 minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, criminal charges for a Class E felony can be raised against persons/business owners that interfere with the work of service animals, deny access to disabled persons with a service dog and cause injury to the service animals.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by a county clerk. If the dog has served in some capacity as part of the US army, you will not have to pay any fees.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Florida


Local regulations?

Yes, the state recognizes service dogs as animals that help improve the quality of life of persons with physical, mental, and sensory impairments. The state includes miniature horses as certifiable service animals.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, persons and business owners that deny the rights of disabled persons and their service animal can be prosecuted to perform community service of up to 6 months. If anyone causes the injury and death of a service animal, they can be charged with a third-degree felony and pay restitution.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, violators can be sentenced to 6 months of community service.


Georgia


Local regulations?

Yes, the state recognizes mobility dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs that are trained by a certified person or an agency.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of up to $2,000 can be enforced upon persons and business owners that injure and interfere with service dogs. Also, violators can be sentenced to prison for up to 30 days.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Hawaii


Local regulations?

Yes, a definition is supported: “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.


Service dog in training support?

No, there is no recognition for service animals in training. Residents will need to acquire a trained service animal through a certified school.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of no more than $1,000 can be enforced for persons and business owners that deny access to disabled persons and their service dogs. Any person that injures and causes the death of a service dog shall be liable to criminal charges for a class C felony. Plus attorney fees.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of $100 for the first violation and up to $500 for subsequent violations.


Idaho


Local regulations?

Yes, the local laws say that: a “Service dog” means 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.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, any person that interferes with the work of a service animal is liable to a fine of up to $1500. Any person that attacks and causes injury to a service animal or their handler is liable to a fine of up to $5000 and one year in prison or both.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

You will have to carry an ID card from the dog training school. Your dog is not required to carry a vest, but it is recommended.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud. However, persons that present dogs as service animals may be charged with a misdemeanor.


Illinois


Local regulations?

Yes, the lawmakers define a “Service animal” as an animal trained in obedience and task skills to meet the needs of a person with a disability. Only dogs can be service animals.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, persons that cause significant injury to a service animal shall receive charges for class 4 felony. Persons that cause the death of a service animal or permanently disable it shall be charged with a class 3 felony. Violators will be forced to pay medical bills, the dog’s replacement, and any other costs associated with the restored aid to the disabled person.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Indiana


Local regulations?

Yes, according to the local government a “Service animal” refers to an animal trained as a hearing animal; a guide animal; an assistance animal; a seizure alert animal; a mobility animal; a psychiatric service animal; or an autism service animal.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a criminal charge for level 6 felony will be raised against any person that causes significant harm to a service animal. Any persons that interfere with the work of a service dog or causes distress to the animal shall be charged the same way.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Iowa


Local regulations?

No, ADA regulations apply, however, the state recognizes miniature horses as service animals too.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, persons and business owners that deny disabled persons and their dog's access to public spaces or cause injury to them and their animals shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders can be charged with a misdemeanor.


Kansas


Local regulations?

Yes, according to the local laws a "Service dog" means a dog that 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.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of up to $5,000 can be enforced upon persons and business owners that cause harm to service dogs as well as imprisonment for no more than 30 days.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders can be charged with a misdemeanor.


Kentucky


Local regulations?

Yes, a definition for service dogs is supported, but it is very strict and includes only: Bomb detection dog, Patrol dog, narcotic detection dog, Search and rescue dog, Accelerant detection dog, Cadaver dog, and Assistance dog.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to 30 days can be enforced on persons that deny disabled persons access to public spaces. Offenders that cause harm to a service animal shall be charged with a Class D felony.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Louisiana


Local regulations?

Yes, the state recognizes the following types of service dogs: a hearing dog; a guide dog; a seizure alert dog; a mobility dog; an autism service dog; a dog assisting in a medical crisis; a service dog assisting persons, including veterans with traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.

No, there is no recognition for service animals in training.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, business owners and persons that deny disabled persons access to public accommodation can be fined up to $500 and imprisonment for 6 months or both. If a service dog is injured, the perpetrator shall be fined up to $5000 and may spend 6 months in prison or both.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Maine


Local regulations?

Yes, a definition for a service dog is supported: 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,


Service dog in training support?

No, there is no recognition for service animals in training.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of up to $1000 can be enforced. In addition, the offender may need to pay restitution, medical bills, and the bill for a new service animal when necessary.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, a county clerk will provide a license.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

Yes, a county clerk will provide a license and a tag for the dog.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of no more than $1,000 will be enforced per violation.


Maryland


Local regulations?

Yes, a "Service animal" means a guide dog, signal dog, or another 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 an intruder or sounds; providing minimal protection or rescue work; pulling a wheelchair; fetching dropped items, or detecting the onset of a seizure.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer or a volunteer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

The local court can only issue a fine for no more than $500 to persons and business owners who have denied disabled persons access to public accommodation.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by a county clerk and you need to have a service dog certificate in advance.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Massachusetts


Local regulations?

Yes, a limited definition for a service dog is considered. The state recognizes only Hearing Dogs officially.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of up to $500 can be issued to any person that prevents disabled citizens from accessing public spaces and/or causes injury to service animals. In addition, causing the death of a service dog will result in a sentence where the guilty party shall pay the associated medical bills and pay for a new service animal that is equally trained regardless of the age of the deceased one.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Michigan


Local regulations?

ADA regulations apply and the state recognizes miniature horses as viable service animals.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 90 days or both can be enforced upon any individual who kills a service animal; causes injury; and impedes the work of such animal.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of no more than $500, imprisonment for no more than 90 days, and community service for no more than 30 days can be punishments for these types of violations.


Minnesota


Local regulations?

Yes, the state describes service animals the same way as ADA.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of $5,000 can be issued to violators. In addition, two years of imprisonment can be used as punishment if the service dog is killed. The offenders are required to pay for the medical bills, the dog’s retraining, and any transportation costs.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, persons that misrepresent animals as service dogs will be charged with a misdemeanor.


Mississippi


Local regulations?

Yes, a definition for a service animal is supported: “Support animal” means an animal 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. The work is done or task performed must be directly related to the individual's disability and may include, but not be limited to guiding individuals; alerting the handler; fetching dropped items; providing physical support; providing psychiatric support; medication help; and other specific tasks. The state recognizes as service animals – dogs and miniature horses.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of $500 and imprisonment for no more than 90 days or both are possible punishments.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Missouri


Local regulations?

Yes, the state has adopted the following definition: a "service dog" means any dog specifically trained to assist a person with a physical or mental disability by performing necessary tasks or doing work that the person cannot perform. Such tasks shall include, but not be limited to, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving items, carrying supplies, and search and rescue of an individual with a disability.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, misdemeanor class A and class B charges can be raised against persons who attack, injury, and chase service dogs. In addition, the handlers can seek damage recovery through a civil court.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a class C misdemeanor charge can be raised against offenders.


Montana


Local regulations?

Yes, a definition for a service animal is supported as such: "Service animal" means a dog or other animal individually trained to assist an individual with a disability.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

No, penalties are considered by law. However, you can seek damage recovery through a civil court.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

Yes, the service animal needs to wear a leash, a collar, cape, harness, or backpack. A written identification as a service animal should be made visible at no greater than 20 feet on the vest/backpack/cape. Including the service animals in training.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of $50 for the first offense; a fine of $75-200 for the second offense; and a fine of $100-1,000 for the third offense. Community service may be mandated in addition to the fine.


Nebraska


Local regulations?

Yes, the state describes service animals this way: 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 this definition.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, offenders are subject to class 3 misdemeanor criminal charges.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by a county clerk. You do not need to pay for it.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, offenders are subject to Class 3 misdemeanor criminal charges.


Nevada


Local regulations?

Yes, the state accepts miniature horses and dogs as service animals that are trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, criminal charges for a gross demeanor, category E and D felonies shall be raised against offenders. Plus, the injured party is owed restitution, transportation fees, and medical bills.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of up to $500 can be issued as well as a misdemeanor charge be raised.


New Hampshire


Local regulations?

Yes, the state law says: “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.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, causing a physical injury to a service animal leads to a class A misdemeanor charge when the animal is incapable of continuing its service. In addition, the veterinary costs, replacement of the animal, and the salary of the dog handler are owed to the injured party.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the governor's commission.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, violators will be found guilty of a misdemeanor before the court of law.


New Jersey


Local regulations?

Yes, a definition for a service dog is adopted by the state: “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 with epilepsy or other seizure disorders.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of no less than $100 and no more than $500 is enforced upon offenders for interference with service dogs. Killing a service dog is punished as a crime of the fourth degree. Injuring a service dog is deemed a misdemeanor.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the dog needs to be resisted in your town. A license and a tag are issued by the Department of Health.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

Yes, service dogs need to carry a metal plate tag issued by the Department of Health.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, a fine of not less than $100 and no more than $500 can be issued to offenders.


New Mexico


Local regulations?

Yes, the state recognizes the following:

1) “qualified service animal” means any qualified service dog or qualified service miniature horse that has been or is being trained to assist an individual with a disability; but “qualified service animal” does not include a pet, an emotional support animal, a comfort animal or a therapy animal;

2) “qualified service dog” means a dog that has been trained or is being trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;

3)  “qualified service miniature horse” means a miniature horse that has been trained or is being trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, the intentional harm to service animals is punished in court. Offenders will need to pay restitution, damages and will receive a criminal charge for a misdemeanor.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the local municipality.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of a misdemeanor.


New York


Local regulations?

Yes, a definition for a service dog is supported: 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. In addition, the state recognizes service animals: “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.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of up to $1000 for the first offense and of up to $2000 for subsequent offenses is available in court, plus any medical bills. Offenders may spend up to 15 days in prison in addition to the fine. The service dog handlers can seek restitution, damage recovery, and their salary as compensation in a civil court. Cruelly harming a service animal will result in a 5-year sentence.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the local municipality has to provide a license. You have to carry the license with you at all times.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are punished at the discretion of the municipality.


North Carolina


Local regulations?

Yes, the state recognizes assistance animals: an animal that is trained and may be used to assist a “person with a disability”. This is not limited to a dog.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, the murder of a service animal is a class H felony. Causing a serious injury to a service animal is a Class I felony. Causing a light injury is a misdemeanor. Offenders have to pay all medical expenses, potential replacements, associated expenses, and the wages/income lost due to the incapacitated service animal.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of class 3 misdemeanor.


North Dakota


Local regulations?

Yes, there is a definition for a “Service animal” — 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, lending balance support, retrieve dropped objects, or provide assistance in a medical crisis.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation. However, the on-premises managers need to be notified in advance. The dogs in training need to carry an ID card.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, the murder of a service animal is a class C felony. Causing a serious injury to a service animal is subject to a fine of up to $5,000 as well as interference with the working animal.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

Yes, the animal needs to wear a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of an infraction.


Ohio


Local regulations?

Yes, the state has two definitions of note:

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

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


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes. The harassment, obstruction, and assault on service/assistance dogs are deemed a first degree misdemeanor. Causing serious injury and death to the service/assistance dog can be classified as a third-degree felony or a second-degree felony depending on the severity.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the county commissioner.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

Yes, the dog has to carry a tag from the county commissioner.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of a misdemeanor.


Oklahoma


Local regulations?

Yes, the state adheres to the following definition: "Service dog" means any dog individually trained to the physically handicapped person's requirements.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the dog trainer from a recognized training center and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of $1000 and imprisonment for no more than 1 year or both are possible punishments. Subsequent offenses are punished via a $2000 fine and one year of imprisonment.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the local municipality


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of a misdemeanor and have to pay a fine of no less than $50.


Oregon


Local regulations?

Yes, the state identifies assistance animals: “Assistance animal” means a dog or other animal designated by the administrative rule that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, persons that interfere with the work of an assistance animal, attack it or injure it shall pay for veterinary care, costs of temporary replacement assistance services, and non-economic damages.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the local county.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Pennsylvania


Local regulations?

Yes, the state identifies service dogs as 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.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of $5000 will be issued to the offender and he/she will have to pay for the veterinary care as well as for a replacement animal when necessary. In addition, if the service animal is killed or incapacitated the court may impose a penalty of up to $15,000.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the local municipality.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Rhode Island


Local regulations?

Yes, a somewhat restricted definition for a service dog is employed: a dog that has been or is being specially trained to aid a particular disabled person with a disability other than sight or hearing.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, any person or their animal that causes any damage to a service animal will have to pay double the amount of damages to the service dog handler. A repeated offense will result in a triple amount of damages. In addition, the offender will have to pay for the veterinary care or replacement of the service animal.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the local municipality.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders will have to do up to 30 hours of community service.


South Carolina


Local regulations?

Yes, the state adheres to this description: "Service animal" means an animal that is trained for assisting or accommodating the sensory, mental, or physical disability of a disabled person.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, the offenders are sent to the magistrate's court and, upon conviction, are subject to the maximum fines and terms of imprisonment in magistrate's court. Significantly injuring a service dog or killing it with reckless disregard will lead to a fine of no less than $2,500 or imprisonment for no more than 6 months, or both. The intentional harm and causing the death of a service dog is punished by a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for 3 years or both.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the first offense is punished by a fine of no more than $250, the second offense for $500, and the third offense for $1,000 as well as subsequent offenses.


South Dakota


Local regulations?

No, ADA regulations apply.


Service dog in training support?

No, there is no recognition for service animals in training.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, the offenders are charged with a class 2 misdemeanor.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Tennessee


Local regulations?

Yes, the state has adopted the following recognition: any animal that is individually trained, or being trained by an employee or puppy raiser from a recognized training agency or school 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. This includes dogs and horses employed by the police, the fire department, and search and rescue teams.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation. The animals in training have to wear a harness and a leash.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, particularly serious attacks on any animal are deemed Class E felony. Interference with the work of a service animal and causing its injury is a class C misdemeanor.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Texas


Local regulations?

Yes, the state identifies assistance animals this way: “Assistance animal” and “service animal” mean a canine that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability and that is used by a person with a disability.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, persons and their animals that significantly injure or cause the death of service animals commit a third degree felony and shall owe restitution. Interference with the work of a service animal is a class C misdemeanor.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of a misdemeanor, pay a fine of no more than $300 and perform no more than 30 hours of community service.


Utah


Local regulations?

Yes, the state roughly adheres to ADA’s definition for a service animal and strictly recognizes only dogs as assistance animals.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, persons that cause injury to a service dog or interfere with its work shall be charged with misdemeanor even if their animal caused damages. They will have to pay for veterinary costs and temporary assistance work. If a person (or any animal in their care) kills a service dog shall have to pay for all economic damages that result from the attack.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of a class B misdemeanor.


Vermont


Local regulations?

Yes, the state copies ADA’s definition for a service dog.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of no more than $3,000, imprisonment for no more than 2 years, or both can be used to punish people that interfere with the work of service animals, cause them injury and their death.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Virginia


Local regulations?

Yes, the state identifies service dogs this way: a dog trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a mobility-impaired or otherwise disabled person. The work or tasks performed by a service dog shall be directly related to the individual's disability or disorder. Examples of work or tasks include 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, carrying items, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability, and preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation. The dog in training has to wear identifiers like a blaze orange leash, a harness, a backpack, or a jacket.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, persons that injure service animals and interfere with their work are found guilty of class 1 misdemeanor.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the local municipality.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry a vest, or a jacket, or a blaze orange leash.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of class 4 misdemeanor.


Washington


Local regulations?

Yes, the state adheres to ADA’s definition: “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.


Service dog in training support?

No, there is no recognition for service animals in training.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, the injury of a service animal may result in a gross misdemeanor charge in court. Causing the death of a service animal can lead to class C felony charges against the perpetrator. The offenders owe restitution that includes veterinary costs, replacement animal costs, plus wages lost during the absence of a service animal.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the local county.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are guilty of a misdemeanor.


West Virginia


Local regulations?

Yes, the local government describes service animals like so: any guide dog, signal dog, or another 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.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

No, penalties are considered by law.


Do you need a locally issued license?

Yes, the papers are issued by the local county.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders have to pay a fine of no more than $200, or spend 10 days in jail, or both.


Wisconsin


Local regulations?

Yes, the state recognizes dogs as service animals that are trained for assisting a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or accommodating such a disability.


Service dog in training support?

Yes, the trainer and handler have full access to any place of public accommodation.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, persons that directly or indirectly (via an animal in their care) interfere with a service dog are guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Killing a service dog recklessly is a class I felony and killing a service dog intentionally is a class H felony. The injured party is owed financial compensation for incurred losses as well.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

No, the state does not deal with service dog fraud.


Wyoming


Local regulations?

Yes, "Assistance animal” means an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. The state recognizes as such only dogs and miniature horses.


Service dog in training support?

No, there is no recognition for service animals in training.


Is interference with a service animal punished?

Yes, a fine of no more than $750, imprisonment for no more than 6 months, or both await perpetrators. The offenders will have to pay the veterinary care, replacement costs, and any other related costs to the service dog handler.


Do you need a locally issued license?

No, you do not need one.


Do service animals need to wear a vest or another tag?

No, there is no such requirement, but it is a good idea to carry one.


Is service dog fraud recognized and punished by law?

Yes, the offenders are found guilty of a misdemeanor and have to pay a fine of no more than $750.