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West Virginia Service Dog Laws

West Virginia Service Dog Laws

No Comments January 2, 2016

Definitions

A “service animal” means any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

Va. Code, § 5-15-3

Accommodation Law

Every person who is blind, every person with a hearing impairment and every person with a disability shall have the right to be accompanied by a service animal in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances specified without being required to pay an extra charge for the admission of the service animal.

The rights, privileges and responsibilities provided by this section also apply to any person who is certified as a trainer of a service animal while he or she is engaged in the training.

A service animal as defined is not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government, nor shall there be any requirement for the specific signage or labeling of a service animal.

Va. Code, § 5-15-4

Violation is misdemeanor with a fine of up to $50.

Va. Code, § 5-15-8

Driving Law

The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian who is blind or who has a disability and who knows, or in the exercise of reasonable care should know, that the pedestrian is blind because the pedestrian is using a service animal or otherwise, shall exercise care commensurate with the situation to avoid injuring the pedestrian or the service animal.

Va. Code, § 5-15-5

Licensing Law

No head tax may be levied against any guide or support dog especially trained for the purpose of serving as a guide, leader, listener or support for a blind person, deaf person or a person who is physically or mentally disabled because of any neurological, muscular, skeletal or psychological disorder that causes weakness or inability to perform any function. Guide or support dogs must be registered as provided by this section.

Va. Code, § 19-20-2

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