Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time to Improve Laws for Service Dogs

For more information, please review the press release below.  Encourage your legislators to improve laws not just for guide dogs but for all service dogs.  


December 19, 2011

CONTACT: Kevin King

(727) 552‐1380


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Bipartisan legislation has been filed to revise the law related to service animals, providing more rights to Floridians with disabilities and to individuals who train guide dogs.

State Rep. Rick Kriseman (D‐St. Petersburg) has filed House Bill 1077, which prohibits discrimination of guide dog owners as it relates to housing accommodations, allows for the use of guide dogs in public and private schools, and provides a punishment to those who knowingly and fraudulently represent themselves as the owner or trainer of a guide dog.

“Our current laws related to service animals and guide dogs are woefully inadequate and out of step with recently revised federal regulations. Passage of House Bill 1077 will give needed protections to our most vulnerable citizens and their beloved guide dogs," said Representative Kriseman, who is the Florida House Democratic Policy Chair.

"The more exposure to real‐world experiences the dogs get during their training, the better prepared they will be when given the responsibility of serving as someone’s eyes. By ensuring full access rights for the tireless trainers, these dogs will no doubt go on to become unflappable guides, leading their handlers to an independent life," said Titus Herman, the CEO of Southeastern Guide Dogs, whose mission is to create and nurture a partnership between a visually impaired individual and a guide dog, facilitating life's journey with mobility, independence and dignity.

The companion to HB 1077 will be filed by State Senator Mike Bennett (R‐Bradenton).


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