North Carolina Service Dog Laws

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Definitions

Under “Assaulting a law enforcement agency animal or an assistance animal”:
Assistance animal.–An animal that is trained and may be used to assist a “person with a disability” as defined in G.S. 168A-3. The term “assistance animal” is not limited to a dog and includes any animal trained to assist a person with a disability as provided in Article 1 of Chapter 168 of the General Statutes.

N.C.G.S.A. § 14-163.1

The term “service animal” is used in “Article 1 – Rights” law, but not defined.

Accommodation Law

Every person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal trained to assist the person with his or her specific disability in any of the places listed inG.S. 168-3, and has the right to keep the service animal on any premises the person leases, rents, or uses.

The person qualifies for these rights upon the showing of a tag, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, under G.S. 168-4.3, stamped “NORTH CAROLINA SERVICE ANIMAL PERMANENT REGISTRATION” and stamped with a registration number, or upon a showing that the animal is being trained or has been trained as a service animal. The service animal may accompany a person in any of the places listed inG.S. 168-3.

An animal in training to become a service animal may be taken into any of the places listed in G.S. 168-3 for the purpose of training when the animal is accompanied by a person who is training the service animal and the animal wears a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal in training.

N.C.G.S.A. § 168-4.2

Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs

Killing of assistance animal:

Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully kills the animal is guilty of a Class H felony.

Serious harm to assistance animal:

Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and whowillfully causes or attempts to cause serious harm to the animal is guilty of a Class I felony.

Harm or attempt at harm to assistance animal:

Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and whowillfully causes or attempts to cause harm to the animal is guilty of aClass 1 misdemeanor.

Willful interference or attempt:

Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and whowillfully taunts, teases, harasses, delays, obstructs, or attempts to delay or obstruct the animal in the performance of its duty as a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal is guilty of aClass 2 misdemeanor.
Defendant convicted of violating this section also owes restitution including:

Veterinary, medical care, and boarding expenses

Medical expenses for the person with the disability relating to the harm inflicted upon the assistance animal

Replacement and training or retraining

Expenses incurred to provide temporary mobility services to the person with a disability

Wages or income lost while assistance animal receiving training or retraining

N.C.G.S.A. § 14-163.1

Driving Law

Any blind or partially blind pedestrian shall be entitled to the right-of-way at a crossing or intersection if such blind or partially blind pedestrian is accompanied by a guide dog.

N.C.G.S.A. § 20-175.2

Fraudulent Representation

It is unlawful to disguise a dog as an assistance dog.

Violation of this section shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor.

N.C.G.S.A. § 168-4.5