15Mar2011… 0562h

25May2011… 1968EBA





AN ACT relative to service animals.

SPONSORS: Rep. Schlachman, Rock 13; Rep. Hunt, Ches 7; Rep. Abrami, Rock 13; Rep. Butynski, Ches 4; Sen. Barnes, Jr., Dist 17

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs


This bill defines service animals.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

15Mar2011… 0562h

25May2011… 1968EBA




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to service animals.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

170:1 Service Animals. The chapter title of RSA 167-D is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:


170:2 Service Animals. RSA 167-D:1 through RSA 167-D:9 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

167-D:1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

I. “Housing accommodation” means any publicly assisted housing accommodation or any real property, or portion thereof, which is used or occupied, or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence, or sleeping place of one or more persons, but shall not include any single family residence the occupants of which rent, lease, or furnish for compensation not more than one room therein.

II. “Public facility” means any place of public accommodation and any street, highway, sidewalk, walkway, public building, and any other place or structure to which the general public is regularly, normally, or customarily permitted or invited.

III. A “place of public accommodation” shall mean, but shall not be limited to, any tavern roadhouse, hotel, motel, or trailer camp, whether for entertainment of transient guests or accommodation of those seeking health, recreation, or rest; any producer, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retail shop, store establishment, or concession dealing with goods or services of any kind; any restaurant, eating house, or place where food is sold for consumption on the premises; any place maintained for the sale of ice cream, ice, and fruit preparations or their derivatives, soda water or confections, or where any beverages of any kind are retailed for consumption on the premises; any garage; any public conveyance operated on land or water, or in the air, or any stations and terminals thereof; any bathhouse, boardwalk, or seashore accommodation; any auditorium, meeting place, or hall; any theatre, motion picture house, music hall, roof garden, skating rink, swimming pool, amusement and recreation park, fair, bowling alley, gymnasium, shooting gallery, billiard and pool parlor, or any other place of amusement; any comfort station; any dispensary, clinic, or hospital; any public library; any kindergarten, primary and secondary school, trade or business school, high school, academy, college and university, or any educational institution under the supervision of the state board of education, or the commissioner of education of the state of New Hampshire.

IV. “Service animal” means any dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for purposes of this definition.

V. “Service animal trainer” means any person who is employed by or volunteers for an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of mobility impaired persons as reputable and competent to provide service animals with training, and who is actively involved in the training process.

VI. “Search and rescue dog” means any dog which has been trained to perform typical search and rescue operations and is certified by a competent authority or holds a title from a competent authority or organization recognized by the office of the governor, the department of safety, the department of fish and game, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency or its successor agency.

167-D:2 Service Animal Duties.

I. The work or tasks performed by a service animal shall be directly related to the handler’s disability. Work and tasks may include, but is not limited to:

(a) Assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks.

(b) Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds.

(c) Providing nonviolent protection or rescue work.

(d) Pulling a wheelchair.

(e) Assisting an individual during a seizure.

(f) Alerting individuals to the presence of allergens.

(g) Retrieving items such as medicine or a telephone.

(h) Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities.

(i) Helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

II. The crime determent effect of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this chapter.

167-D:3 Private Clubs, etc. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to include or apply to any institution, bona fide club, or place of accommodation, which is in its nature distinctly private; nor shall anything herein contained apply to any educational facility operated or maintained by a bona fide religious or sectarian institution; and the right of a natural parent or one in loco parentis to direct the education and upbringing of a child under his or her control is hereby affirmed; nor shall anything herein contained be construed to bar any private secondary or postsecondary school from using good faith criteria other than race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability in admission of students.

167-D:4 Service Animals May Accompany. It is lawful for any service animal to accompany his or her handler or trainer into any public facility, housing accommodation, or place of public accommodation to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

167-D:5 Application of RSA 167-D:4 to Search and Rescue Dogs. The provisions of RSA 167-D:4 shall also apply to dogs involved in search and rescue missions at the request of a government agency when such dogs are in the course of, or traveling to or from the scene of, their official duties.

167-D:6 Service Animal Trainer. A service animal trainer, while engaged in the actual training process and activities of such animals, shall have the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities, and the same responsibilities as are applicable to persons with disabilities using a service animal.

167-D:7 Licensing. Service animals shall be licensed as provided in RSA 466.

167-D:8 Prohibited Acts.

I. It is unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, either to prohibit, hinder, or interfere with a service animal’s handler or trainer who otherwise complies with the limitations applicable to persons without disabilities.

II. It is unlawful for any person to fit an animal with a collar, leash, or harness of the type which represents that the animal is a service animal, if in fact said animal is not and to thus use the animal to misrepresent the physical status of said person.

III. It is unlawful for any person to willfully interfere or attempt to interfere with a service animal.

167-D:9 Nonuse of Service Animal. A person with a disability not using a service animal in any of the places, accommodations, or conveyances listed in RSA 167-D shall have all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons; and the failure of a person with a disability to use a service animal in those places, accommodations, or conveyances shall not be held to constitute nor be evidence of contributory negligence.

167-D:10 Penalty. Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor

170:3 Service Animals; Emergency Plans. Amend RSA 21-P:37, VI to read as follows:

VI. To prepare a comprehensive plan and program for the evacuation of [hearing ear dogs, guide dogs,] search and rescue dogs[,] and [other] service animals, as defined in RSA 167-D.

170:4 Service Animals; Emergency Plans. Amend RSA 466:44 to read as follows:

466:44 Restaurants and Food Stores.

I. Except as provided in paragraph II, no person shall bring any animal into any restaurant or any store that sells food; and no person shall allow any animal to enter in any store that sells food, except for [guide dogs leading blind persons, and the hearing ear dog and the service dog] service animals as provided in RSA 167-D. Whoever violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a violation.

II. A restaurant owner may allow his or her properly disciplined companion dog inside his or her place of business. Such dogs shall not be allowed in food preparation or production areas. A restaurant owner allowing his or her companion dog shall prominently display a sign at all public entrances advising patrons that his or her companion dog is allowed on the premises and that such dog shall be removed from any portion of the premises where members of the public are present in the event a patron with a [service dog] service animal is present.

170:5 Service Animals; Motor Vehicles Approaching. Amend RSA 265:41-a to read as follows:

265:41-a Approaching a [Hearing Ear Dog] Service Animal. The driver of a vehicle approaching a [deaf or hearing impaired] person using a [properly identified hearing ear dog] service animal shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to that person, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused to that person.

170:6 Repeal. RSA 167-C:2, relative to guide dogs for individuals that are blind, is repealed.

170:7 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2012.

Approved: June 14, 2011

Effective Date: January 1, 2012