NO. 17.  AN ACT RELATING TO PERMITTING SERVICE DOGS IN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.

(H.320)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  9 V.S.A. § 4502(k) is added to read:

(k)  A police officer, a firefighter, or a member of a rescue squad, search and rescue squad, first response team, or ambulance corps who is accompanied by a service dog shall be permitted in any place of public accommodation, and the service dog shall be permitted to stay with its master.  For the purposes of this section, “service dog” means a dog owned, used, or in training by any police or fire department, rescue or first response squad, ambulance corps, or search and rescue organization for the purposes of locating criminals and lost persons, or detecting illegal substances, explosives, cadavers, accelerants, or school or correctional facility contraband.

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. § 4502(b) is amended to read:

(b)  An owner or operator of a place of public accommodation or his or her employee or agent shall not prohibit an from entering a place of public accommodation:

(1)  An individual with a disability accompanied by a service animal. 

(2)  An individual who is training an animal to perform as a service animal for an individual with a disability.

Approved:  May 6, 2003