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Texas State Service Dog Law

DEFINITIONS

Under Title 8, “Rights and Responsibilities of Persons with Disabilities:”

“Assistance animal” and “service animal” mean a canine that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability and that is used by a person with a disability .

T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.002

Accommodation Law

A state employee who is a person with a disability is entitled to a leave of absence without a deduction in salary for the purpose of attending a training program to acquaint the employee with an assistance dog to be used by the employee.

V. T. C. A., Government Code § 661.910

No common carrier, airplane, railroad train, motor bus, streetcar, boat, or other public conveyance or mode of transportation operating within the state may refuse to accept as a passenger a person with a disability because of the person’s disability, nor may a person with a disability be required to pay an additional fare because of his or her use of a service animal

No person with a disability may be denied admittance to any public facility in the state because of the person’s disability. No person with a disability may be denied the use assistance animal.

A person with a total or partial disability who has or obtains a service animal is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section.

Provisions for equal access also applies to assistance animal in training.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.003

Violation is an offense.

An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $300 and 30 hours of community service.

The person with a disability deprived of his or her civil liberties may maintain a cause of action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction, and there is a conclusive presumption of damages in the amount of at least $300 to the person with a disability.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.004

Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs

Under Title 8, Rights and Responsibilities of Persons with Disabilities:

A person may not assault, harass, interfere with, kill, or injure in any way, or attempt to assault, harass, interfere with, kill, or injure in any way, an assistance animal.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.003

Violation is an offense.

An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $300 and 30 hours of community service.

The person with a disability deprived of his or her civil liberties may maintain a cause of action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction, and there is a conclusive presumption of damages in the amount of at least $300 to the person with a disability.

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.004

Penal Code:

A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly attacks, injures, or kills an assistance animal.

A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly incites or permits an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor to attack, injure, or kill an assistance animal and, as a result of the person’s conduct, the assistance animal is attacked, injured, or killed.

An offense under this section is a:

  • Class A misdemeanor if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor attacks an assistance animal
  • state jail felony if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor injures an assistance animal
  • felony of the third degree if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor kills an assistance animal

Violators also owe restitution.

V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 42.091

Driving Law         

The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection or crosswalk where a pedestrian guided by an assistance animal is crossing or attempting to cross shall take necessary precautions to avoid injuring or endangering the pedestrian.

If at trial determined that collision caused serious bodily injury or death to a blind person, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by:

  • a fine of not more than $500; and
  • 30 hours of community service to an organization or agency that primarily serves visually impaired or disabled persons, to be completed in not less than six months and not more than one year
  • portion of the community service required shall include sensitivity training

V. T. C. A., Transportation Code § 552.010