Service animal regulation measure passes House

Published 5:00 pm Monday, March 25, 2024

The Kentucky House of Representatives met and passed HB 335 unanimously on day 53 of the 2024 Regular Session. This measure further regulates the use of service animals and penalizes those who abuse or misrepresent the privilege of having one. This measure also adds into statute definitions of what can be a service animal as well as a clear distinction between a service animal and emotional support animal. Assistance dog is defined in this legislation as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with disabilities and is considered a service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. An emotional support animal is defined as a companion animal that may provide support to alleviate the symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.

“Legislation that protects the sanctity of service animals not only safeguards their role but also upholds the dignity of those who rely on them,” said Representative Candy Massaroni, HB 335’s primary sponsor. “By penalizing abuse and clarifying what is right and wrong, we affirm our commitment to those who utilize those animals.”

In addition to defining service animal use and privileges, HB 335 mandates that to be considered eligible for such a service animal, the patient in question must have an ongoing therapeutic relationship with a health care provider, such as a licensed psychologist. To further protect both the human and animal, HB 335 mandates that a service dog be tagged, vaccinated, and leashed.

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“This measure not only honors the bond between service animals and their partners, but also a protection against exploitation and misrepresentation. I am happy with today’s outcome, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to see that this legislation becomes law,” Representative Massaroni added.

For more information about HB 335 and to track its legislative progress, visit the Kentucky General Assembly’s website at