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north carolina State Service Dog Law

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 who willfully 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 who willfully causes or attempts to cause harm to the animal is guilty of a Class 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 who willfully 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 a Class 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