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State Laws on Guide Animal & Service Access Rights
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The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees the access rights for all species of service animals and guide animals, but there are specific state laws that specifically spell-out details. This list from MSNBC is fairly comprehensive:
The rules do vary by state, but the Federal ADA statutes supersede all state laws. Violation of the American with Disabilities Act can result in fines of $50,000 for the first offense and $100,000 for each subsequent offense.
There are also licensing laws in certain states. For example, The California State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind regulates guide dog licensing, and the licensee must complete a full-time apprenticeship.
In many states, a guide animal trainer does not have legal access rights while in Florida, Indiana and New Hampshire, guide dog trainers are given the same rights as the disabled:
“Any trainer of a dog guide, while engaged in the training of such dog, has the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities. (Amendment •413.08 (7))”
The penalties for violations of guide animal’s access laws also vary by state. In California, the victim may only recovery their attorney fees:
California - Violation: The above enumerated rights are enforceable under the provisions of the California Civil Rights Code. (•54.3, •55, •55.1) The prevailing party in the action shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees.
On the other hand, in Texas, interfering with a Guide animal is a serious felony offense:
In Texas, if you or your animal harms an assistance animal, the penalties are severe:
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