Defined under Chapter 5B – Rights and Privileges of a Person with a Disability:
“Service animal” includes any dog that:
- is trained, or is in training, to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability
- performs work or tasks, or is in training to perform work or tasks, that are directly related to the individual’s disability, including
- assisting an individual who is blind or has low vision with navigation or other tasks
- alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
- providing non-violent protection or rescue work
- pulling a wheelchair
- assisting an individual during a seizure
- alerting an individual to the presence of an allergen
- retrieving an item for the individual
- providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability
- helping an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors
“Service animal” does not include:
- an animal other than a dog, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained
- an animal used solely to provide:
- a crime deterrent
- emotional support
A person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal, unless the service animal is a danger or nuisance to others as interpreted under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12102.
An owner or lessor of private housing accommodations may not, in any manner, discriminate against a person with a disability on the basis of the person’s possession of a service animal.
A person who is not a person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by an animal that is in training to become a service animal or a police service canine.
Any person, or agent of any person, who denies or interferes with the rights provided in this chapter is guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs
Substantial bodily injury or death to service animal:
It is a class A misdemeanor for a person to knowingly, intentionally, or recklesslycause substantial bodily injury or death to a service animal.
It is a class A misdemeanor for a person who owns, keeps, harbors, or exercises control over an animal to knowingly, intentionally, or recklesslyfail to exercise sufficient control over the animal to prevent it from causing:
- any substantial bodily injury or the death of a service animal; or
- the service animal’s subsequent inability to function as a service animal as a result of the animal’s attacking, chasing, or harassing the service animal.
Harassing a service animal:
It is a class B misdemeanor for a person to chase or harass a service animal.
It is a class B misdemeanor for a person who owns, keeps, harbors, or exercises control over an animal to knowingly, intentionally, or recklesslyfail to exercise sufficient control over the animal to prevent it from chasing or harassing a service animal while it is carrying out its functions as a service animal, to the extent that the animal temporarily interferes with the service animal’s ability to carry out its functions.
In addition to any other penalty, a person convicted of any violation of this section is liable for restitution to the owner of the service animal or the person with a disability whom the service animal serves for the replacement, training, and veterinary costs incurred as a result of the violation of this section.
Theft/loss of service animal:
A person with a disability who uses a service animal, or the owner of a service animal has a cause of action for economic and noneconomic damages against:
- any person who steals or, without provocation, attacks the service animal; and
- the owner or keeper of any animal that without provocation attacks a service animal due to the owner’s or keeper’s negligent failure to exercise sufficient control over the animal to prevent the attack.
Right to kill dog attacking service animal:
Notably, another section provides that any person may injure or kill a dog while the dog is attacking, chasing, or worrying a service animal, as defined in Section 62A-5b-10.
The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a blind or visually impaired pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog specially trained for that purpose and equipped with a harness.
A person who fails to yield the right-of-way is liable for any loss or damage which results as a proximate cause of the failure to yield the right-of-way to blind or visually impaired persons.
A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if:
(a) the person intentionally and knowingly falsely represents to another person that an animal is a service animal as defined in Section 62A-5b-102; or
(b) the person knowingly and intentionally misrepresents a material fact to a health care provider for the purpose of obtaining documentation from the health care provider necessary to designate an animal as a service animal as defined in Section 62A-5b-102.