Bill backs service dogs for mentally disabled
Friday, February 8, 2013
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators have passed legislation that would let people with mental disabilities be accompanied by specially trained dogs in public places.
The bill approved 32-0 on Thursday would expand the definition of “service dog” to include animals trained to prevent people with mental disabilities from becoming lost, or to search for them when they cannot be found. The legislation specifically covers people with autism.
Missouri already has legal protections for people to use service dogs if they are blind, deaf, physically impaired or have a medical condition that the dog has been trained to detect. The Senate bill specifically clarifies that people with diabetes are entitled to be accompanied by service dogs.
The legislation now goes to the House.
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