Service Animal Information

Excerpt from the Texas Government Statues about service animals, Sec.437.023 (C)

Sec. 437.023.  SERVICE ANIMALS.  (a) A food service establishment, retail food store, or other entity regulated under this chapter may not deny a service animal admittance into an area of the establishment or store or of the physical space occupied by the entity that is open to customers and is not used to prepare food if:

(1)  the service animal is accompanied and controlled by a person with a disability; or

(2)  the service animal is in training and is accompanied and controlled by an approved trainer.

(b)  If a service animal is accompanied by a person whose disability is not readily apparent, for purposes of admittance to a food service establishment, retail food store, or physical space occupied by another entity regulated under this chapter, a staff member of the establishment, store, or entity may only inquire about:

(1)  whether the service animal is required because the person has a disability; and

(2)  what type of work the service animal is trained to perform.

(c)  In this section, “service animal” means a canine that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability.  An animal that provides only comfort or emotional support to a person is not a service animal under this section.  The tasks that a service animal may perform in order to help a person with a disability must be directly related to the person’s disability and may include:

(1)  guiding a person who has a visual impairment;

(2)  alerting a person who has a hearing impairment or who is deaf;

(3)  pulling a wheelchair;

(4)  alerting and protecting a person who has a seizure disorder;

(5)  reminding a person who has a mental illness to take prescribed medication; and

(6)  calming a person who has post-traumatic stress disorder.

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