New Mexico Service Dog Laws
As used in the Service Animal Act:
- “emotional support animal”, “comfort animal” or “therapy animal” means an animal selected to accompany an individual with a disability that does not work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability and does not accompany at all times an individual with a disability;
- “qualified service animal” means any qualified service dog or qualified service miniature horse that has been or is being trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability; but “qualified service animal” does not include a pet, an emotional support animal, a comfort animal or a therapy animal;
- “qualified service dog” means a dog that has been trained or is being trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and
- “qualified service miniature horse” means a miniature horse that has been trained or is being trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Under Service Animal Act:
a person with a disability who is using a qualified service animal shall be admitted to any building open to the public and to all other public accommodations and shall be allowed access to all common carriers.
In an emergency requiring transportation or relocation of the owner or trainer of the qualified service animal, to the extent practicable, accommodations shall be made for the qualified service animal to remain or be reunited with the owner, trainer or handler.
A person who violates a provision of the Service Animal Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Also under Human Rights laws:
Every totally or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, specially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog.
Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs
It is unlawful for any person, with no legal justification, to:
(1) intentionally interfere with the use of a qualified service animal by harassing or obstructing the owner or trainer of the qualified service animal or the qualified service animal; or
(2) intentionally fail or refuse to control the person’s unrestrained animal, which animal interferes with or obstructs the owner, trainer or handler of the qualified service animal.
A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished pursuant to Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978. A person convicted under this section may be ordered to pay restitution, including, but not limited to, actual damages.
The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is using a guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such blind pedestrian, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused to such pedestrian.
No license fee shall be charged for the licensure of qualified service animals who are trained to lead partially or totally blind persons, aid hearing impaired persons or assist mobility impaired persons.
A person shall not knowingly present as a qualified service animal any animal that does not meet a definition of “qualified service animal” pursuant to Section 28-11-2 NMSA 1978.
Violation is a misdemeanor.