New Law Provides Protections for Service Dogs and Their Owners

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Advocates for the disabled are celebrating a legislative victory with the passage of H.B. 165, signed into law this week.

The bill provides authorities with options for charging pet owners with a third-degree misdemeanor if their animal injures a service dog and they had prior knowledge of aggression issues.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed H.B. 165 into law. Introduced by state Rep. John Evans, R-5, the bill will increase the protection of service dogs by ensuring that those responsible for harming, endangering or allowing their pets to harm a service dog must pay the full cost of retraining or replacing the dog: they could also face criminal penalties.

Service dogs are highly trained animals tasked with assisting people with disabilities ranging from blindness to seizures. These dogs are highly sensitive to their environment and require constant monitoring to ensure they are able to guide and protect their guardians.

“This new law is an important part of protecting the service animals who play a critical role in helping people with physical limitations live a more fulfilling life,” said Rep. John Evans. “These animals—which undergo a vast amount of training and preparation—are trained not to fight back in an attack with another animal, and that’s why it’s necessary to have appropriate consequences in place. I’d like to thank The Humane Society of the United States as well as animal advocates all over Pennsylvania who fought for this new law.”

“On behalf of our more than 650,000 members and supporters The Humane Society of the United States heartily thanks Governor Tom Corbett for signing HB 165, and Representative John Evans for introducing this important bill to increase protections for service dogs in Pennsylvania,” said Sarah Speed, The HSUS’ Pennsylvania state director.

0 thoughts on “New Law Provides Protections for Service Dogs and Their Owners”

  1. A drop in the desperate-needs bucket but I suppose those of us in other states will have to be happy with the tiny increases in protection for the disabled. I do not understand why tougher FEDERAL legislation has not been introduced when there are so many people these days who are denied even basic services because of their service dogs. I note that there are stores in my area now posting at store entrances that they “require documentation” of a service animal and such document “must be available for inspection upon request”. It is my understanding that such documentation is not required to be carried even though it probably is a good idea for a service dog to wear identifying harness and vest. Every day the news media has yet another story about a disabled person denied food or housing or access to medical care with the reasoning or excuse being their service dog is not acceptable. This is wrong and the situation needs very strong laws to protect our most vulnerable citizens especially the ones who have laid their lives on the line in combat and need service animals to help them in their new civilian lives.

    • any place of bussince or place you rent and they denied you you can take them to court and sue them also you can sue the place you rent for free rent as long as you live in this part you will never have to pay rent.
      My friend had this problem to and she got free rent for as long as she lived in this apartment and they had to also pay her $260 dollars.
      This made the landlord learn the law.


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