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Substitute House Bill No. 7214

Public Act No. 17-102

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

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 46a-44 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) Any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or any person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or [a] an assistance dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person may travel on a train or on any other mode of public transportation, and may enter any other place of public accommodation which caters or offers its services or facilities or goods to the general public, including but not limited to, any public building, inn, restaurant, hotel, motel, tourist cabin, place of amusement, resort or any facility of any such public accommodation, accompanied by [his] such person's guide dog or assistance dog, and [he] such person may keep such dog with him or her at all times in any such public accommodation or facility thereof at no extra charge, provided such dog shall be in the direct custody of such person and shall be wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar.

(b) Any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or any person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or [a] an assistance dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person shall be entitled to visit any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement or a dwelling as a guest of a lawful occupant thereof, accompanied by [his] such person's guide dog or assistance dog, and [he] such person may keep such dog with him or her at all times in such public accommodation, resort, amusement or dwelling at no extra charge, provided such dog shall be in the direct custody of such person and shall be wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar. No such blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or person training a dog as a guide dog [for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person] or an assistance dog shall be charged any fee not applicable alike to all guests, provided the owner of such dog shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog. For the purposes of this subsection, (1) a "place of public accommodation, resort or amusement" means any establishment which caters or offers its services or facilities or goods to the general public, including, but not limited to, any commercial building lot, on which it is intended that a commercial property or building will be constructed or offered for sale or rent, and (2) "dwelling" means any building, structure, mobile manufactured home park or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, mobile manufactured home park or portion thereof, provided the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to (A) the rental of a room or rooms in a single-family dwelling unit, if the owner actually maintains and occupies part of such living quarters as [his] the owner's residence or (B) a unit in a dwelling containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than two families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies the other such living quarters as [his] the owner's residence.

(c) Any person who intentionally interferes with a blind, deaf or mobility impaired person's use of a guide dog or an assistance dog, including, but not limited to, any action intended to harass or annoy the blind, deaf or mobility impaired person, the person training a dog as a guide dog or assistance dog or the guide dog or assistance dog, or who denies the rights afforded to a blind, deaf or mobility impaired [persons or persons] person or person training a dog as a guide dog [for a blind person or a] or an assistance dog [to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person] under [subsections (a) and] subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor, provided such blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or person training a dog as a guide dog [for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person] or an assistance dog complies with the applicable provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

(d) For the purposes of this section, "guide dog" or "assistance dog" includes a dog being trained as a guide dog or assistance dog and "person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or [a] an assistance dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person" means a person who is employed by and authorized to engage in designated training activities by a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that complies with the criteria for membership in a professional association of guide dog or assistance dog schools and who carries photographic identification indicating such employment and authorization, or a person who volunteers for a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that authorizes such volunteers to raise dogs to become guide dogs or assistance dogs and causes the identification of such dog with (1) identification tags, (2) ear tattoos, (3) identifying bandanas on puppies, (4) identifying coats on adult dogs, or (5) leashes and collars.

Approved July 6, 2017