Washington Service Dog Laws

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Definitions

Under interfering with dog guide or service animal law:

“Dog guide” means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.

“Service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating a disabled person’s sensory, mental, or physical disability.

West’s RCWA 9.91.170

Under discrimination law:

“Dog guide” means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog that is trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.

“Service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a sensory, mental, or physical disability of a person with a disability.

West’s RCWA 49.60.040

Under “White Cane Law”:

For the purpose of this chapter, “service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating a disabled person’s sensory, mental, or physical disability.

West’s RCWA 70.84.020

For the purpose of this chapter, “service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating a disabled person’s sensory, mental, or physical disability.

West’s RCWA 70.84.021

Accommodation Law

The right to be free from discrimination because of the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

Any person injured by any act in violation shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages or any other appropriate remedy authorized.

West’s RCWA49.60.030

It shall be an unfair practice to commit an act which directly or indirectly results in any distinction, restriction, or discrimination on the basis of the use of a dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

A food establishment shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.

West’s RCWA 49.60.218

It is an unfair practice for any person because of the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability to discriminate in real estate transactions.

West’s RCWA 49.60.222

Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs

Interference with service animal:

Misdemeanor to continue, after notice, with reckless disregard to interfere with the use of a dog guide or service animal by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the dog guide or service animal user or his or her dog guide or service animal.

Second or subsequent violation of this subsection is a gross misdemeanor.
Also applies where person allows his or her dog to interfere with the use of a dog guide or service animal.

Reckless injury to service animal:

Any person who, with reckless disregard, injures, disables, or causes the death of a dog guide or service animal, or allows his or her dog to do so, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Intentional injury or death to service animal:

Any person whointentionally injures, disables, or causes the death of a dog guide or service animal is guilty of a class C felony.

Unauthorized control over service animal:

Any person who wrongfully obtains or exerts unauthorized control over a dog guide or service animal with the intent to deprive the dog guide or service animal user of his or her dog guide or service animal is guilty of theft in the first degree.

Restitution includes:

  • value of the replacement of an incapacitated or deceased dog guide or service animal
  • the training of a replacement dog guide or service animal, or retraining of the affected dog guide or service animal
  • all related veterinary and care expenses
  • medical expenses of the dog guide or service animal user
  • training of the dog guide or service animal user
  • compensation for wages or earned income lost by the dog guide or service animal user

West’s RCWA 9.91.170

Provision also under discrimination chapter:

A person who negligently or maliciously kills or injures a dog guide or service animal is liable for a penalty of $1,000 to be paid to the user of the animal. The penalty shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other remedies or penalties, civil or criminal, provided by law.

A user or owner of a dog guide or service animal, whose animal isnegligently or maliciouslyinjured or killed, is entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in pursuing any civil remedy.

West’s RCWA 49.60.370

Driving Law

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian, hearing impaired pedestrian, or a person with physical disabilities using a dog guide/service animal shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such pedestrian.

Any driver who fails to take such precaution shall be liable in damages for any injury caused such pedestrian. It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to drive into or upon any crosswalk while such pedestrian using a dog guide/service animal is crossing.

West’s RCWA 70.84.040

Licensing Law

A county, city, or town shall honor a request by a blind person or hearing impaired person not to be charged a fee to license his or her dog guide, or a request by a physically disabled person not to be charged a fee to license his or her service animal.

West’s RCWA 49.60.380

Fraudulent Representation

It shall be unlawful for any pedestrian who is not totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, or otherwise physically disabled to use a dog guide/service animal in any of the places, accommodations, or conveyances listed for the purpose of securing the rights and privileges accorded by the chapter to totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, or otherwise physically disabled people.

West’s RCWA 70.84.060