Last Friday, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into a law a bill that expands the definition of a service dog to include those that help with PTSD. The new law will ensure that veterans can bring their service animals into restaurants and other businesses. Perry received help from a four-legged friend in signing the bill.
Too often we hear about veterans being denied access to businesses because of their PTSD service dogs. Texas is hoping to change that with their new law. Sponsored by state Rep. Jose Menedez the law ensures that veterans and their service dogs are allowed in public places.
The law will take effect on September 1st and includes a penalty of a $300 fine and community service for those who discriminate against a disabled person by either denying them access or asking questions other than what the dog is trained to do. There are also penalties for those who falsely claim to have a disability.
Perry signed the law at a VFW hall in San Antonio and had help signing the law from a 3-year-old rat terrier named Boots. Boots is a service dog for veteran Adan Gallegos, who served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.
“For veterans suffering from PTSD, a service animal can be a strong part of their recovery and a comforting presence in the midst of what can feel like chaotic and stressful situations,” said Perry. “This bill is a smart way for us to give back and help any Texan, including our veterans, lead a healthy, productive life.”