|The Guide Horse
A non-profit charity dedicated to providing free guides for visually impaired individuals.
New Ohio Law protects guide dogs and horses
According to this article a new law has been signed to protect guide dogs in Ohio:
The bill is dog-centric, and unlike the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, it specifies guide "dogs", and may not cover Guide Horses:
"The bill created definitions for harassment, theft and different degrees of physical harm to service dogs, as well as penalties ranging up to third degree felonies."
The article mentions a common issue with guide dogs, there easy distraction and the problems that may follow. This is one of the reason cited by Guide Horse users for preferring a Guide Horse because the horse does not get easily distracted by other animals:
"But as Yarman, says "they're dogs first," and therefore can be distracted. Labs like Roosevelt love people and welcome attention, so when people go to pet them or even speak cooingly to them, it can really be a problem. Yarman said she had people start out by saying "I know I'm not supposed to pet him," and then do so anyway. While the dog receives all that attention, the human companion is no longer his focus, and can end up walking into an obstacle or end up in a dangerous situation."
This new law was a response to problems from unleashed dogs which menace both guide dogs and Guide Horses. Guide Horse users always carry a small aerosol tube of mace to fend-off nasty dogs:
"Still, things were going along pretty well when Yarman started hearing about guide dogs being attacked by other, unleashed dogs. In one instance, a friend of hers had her guide dog seriously attacked in a park in Chicago. The other dog's owner told her friend the other dog was a German shepherd and gave her a bogus phone number.
Thanks to other witnesses, the woman and dog were finally tracked down; the dog turned out to have been a chow. The dog was euthanized, and the owner
punished for the attack."
This new Ohio law takes parts from other service animal protection laws (Pennsylvania and Texas) and add additional features:
"The new law, which will go into effect in 90 days, combines the best and most effective parts from other states' such laws. The specific definitions of different unlawful actions, Collier said, along with the strength of the penalties makes Ohio's legislation somewhat unique.
The Ohio bill also expanded existing regulations on unlawful actions against police dogs and horses, which are also often misunderstood and mistreated by the public."
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