Vermont Service Dog Laws

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Definitions

Under Subchapter 1, Cruelty to Animals:

“Guide dog” means a dog, whose status is reasonably identifiable individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability for purposes of guiding an individual with impaired vision, alerting an individual with impaired hearing to the presence of people or sounds, assisting an individual during a seizure, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving items, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability, and assisting with navigation.

13 V.S.A. § 355

Accommodation Law

Public accommodations law:

An owner or operator of a place of public accommodation or his or her employee or agent shall not prohibit from entering a place of public accommodation:

  • An individual with a disability accompanied by a service animal
  • An individual who is training an animal to perform as a service animal for an individual with a disability

9 V.S.A. § 4502

Unfair housing practices:

It shall be unlawful for any person to discriminate in the sale or rental of a dwelling because a person relies upon aids such as attendants, specially trained animals, wheelchairs, or similar appliances or devices but the owner shall not be required to modify or alter the building in any way in order to comply with this chapter.

9 V.S.A. § 4503

Civil action:

A person aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may file a charge of discrimination with the human rights commission or may bring an action for injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages and any other appropriate relief.

9 V.S.A. § 4506

Criminal penalty:

A person who violates a provision of this chapter shall be fined not more than $1,000.00.

9 V.S.A. § 4507

Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs

Cause death to or injure guide dog:

No person shall recklesslyinjure or cause the death of a guide dog, or recklessly permit a dog he or she owns or has custody of to injure or cause the death of a guide dog. A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both.

Interference with guide dog after notice:

No person who has received notice or has knowledge that his or her behavior, or the behavior of a dog he or she owns or has custody of; is interfering with the use of a guide dog shallrecklessly continue to interfere with the use of a guide dog, or recklessly allow the dog he or she owns or has custody of to continue to interfere with the use of a guide dog, by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog user or his or her guide dog. A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Interference with guide dog:

No person shall recklesslyinterfere with the use of a guide dog, or recklessly permit a dog he or she owns or has custody of to interfere with a guide dog, by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog user or his or her guide dog. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil offense and shall be:
(1) for a first offense, fined not more than $100.00.

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, fined not more than $250.00.

13 V.S.A. § 355

Driving Law

Whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway, guided by a guide dog, drivers approaching intersection or crossing place must bring vehicles to a full stop before arriving, and before proceeding must take necessary precautions to avoid injuring the pedestrian.

23 V.S.A. § 1057