PA 17-102—sHB 7214

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING HARASSMENT OF A GUIDE OR ASSISTANCE DOG OR THE HANDLER OF SUCH DOG

SUMMARY: This act makes it a class C misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties) to intentionally interfere with a blind, deaf, or mobility impaired person's use of a guide or assistance dog. The punishable actions include intentionally harassing or annoying a (1) blind, deaf, or mobility impaired person; (2) guide or assistance dog that accompanies such person; or (3) person training a dog as a guide or assistance dog.

A person training a guide or assistance dog includes someone who:

1. is employed, and authorized to engage in designated training activities, by a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that complies with the membership criteria for a professional association of guide or assistance dog schools, and who carries photographic identification indicating that employment and authorization, or

2. volunteers for a guide or assistance dog organization that authorizes the volunteer to raise dogs to become guide or assistance dogs and has the dog identified with ID tags, ear tattoos, bandanas on puppies or coats on adult dogs, or leashes and collars.

The law gives individuals who are blind, deaf, or mobility impaired the right to be accompanied by a guide or assistance dog while travelling on public transportation or in any place of public accommodation. This same right extends to individuals accompanied by such dogs for training purposes.

The act also makes several minor, technical, and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017