- There are no size or breed requirements for a service dog. However, a service animal must be a dog-- not a goat, snake, or lizard as the law previously allowed. Miniature horses may be approved in some circumstances.
- It is against the law to ban a service dog from public areas.
- There are penalties for denying them entrance or harassing a person with a service dog.
- The human does not have to have a visible disability.
- The dog does not have to wear a vest although it is better for everyone if they are identified as service dogs.
- Businesses may ask if an animal is a service animal, or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform.
- They cannot ask the nature or degree of disability or ask for certification of the animal.
- No proof that the animal has been trained or can perform any service is required.
Unfortunately there are people who don’t understand the law.
Army veteran and current San Antonio graduate student, CarrieAnn Partch, suffers from PTSD. But twice she has been harassed for having her Poodle service dog with her on campus.
Train a Dog – Save a Warrior is a non-profit organization that trains dogs for veterans. Allen Hanauer, a trainer for the organization, said this type of discrimination is happening all over the city because there’s a common misconception that service dogs can’t look like Bella and the owner has to show a physical disability instead of PTSD.
“When they get approached in public and people pretty much harass us for going out there with these dogs it puts more stress and burden on our warriors and these are people who fight for our country and come back with invisible injuries,” Hanauer said. From KENS-TV
People with service dogs do not want to be confrontational.
They want to be understood.