We post all too frequently about businesses that refuse to accommodate customers with service dogs, a problem that is especially acute when the dog owner shows no sign of physical disability. With so man veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the increasing use of service dogs to help them, we’ve seen a particular rise in confrontations between veterans and business owners.
Last Friday, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law (with the help of a four-legged friend) a bill that expands the the definition of service dog to include those who help PTSD sufferers. The new law will ensure that these veterans can bring their service animals into restaurants, stores, and other kinds of businesses. The law is backed up by fines for those who refuse entry or service because of a dog.
“For veterans suffering from PTSD, a service animal can be a strong part of their recovery and a comforting presence in the midst of what can feel like chaotic and stressful situations,” Perry said. “This bill is a smart way for us to give back and help any Texan, including our veterans, lead a healthy, productive life.”
To drive the point home, a rat terrier service dog named Boots took part in the signing ceremony, adding a paw print to Perry’s signature.
Let’s hope that we see many more such laws in other states and that we continue to educate the public about the importance of these amazing dogs.