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Federal Regulations Regarding Assistance Dogs

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 gives the overall structure and intent for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is concerned with providing equal opportunity in housing for disabled persons. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is concerned with the rights of disabled persons and their Assistance Dogs on airlines. Brief introductory highlights are given to each of these along with links to their online pages. The Code of Federal Regulations spells out the laws regarding disabled persons and their Assistance Dogs.


Understanding and Finding Complete Code Citations

In the United States, states vary in the way they arrange their laws. Many states classify them by Title, Chapter, and Section; some states use other designations. In this booklet you will find a number of direct quotes from these laws. They are footnoted with a complete citation. In a table below the main section there is another table citing additional sections that relate to each topic. The footnotes are complete citations; the summary table gives abbreviated citations, for the most part.

For example:

Mississippi specifies penalties in Mississippi Code, Title 43, Chapter 5, Section 11 (the complete citation). The abbreviated citation for this as it appears in the table is 43-5-11.

North Carolina uses Chapter, Article, and Section. The complete citation for fees and licenses is North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 168, Article I, Section 168-4.3. The abbreviated citation is 168-I-168-4.3.

Maryland mixes the systems, using both Article and Section as well as Title, Subtitle, and Section. A number of states introduce parts or subchapters and mix a three-tiered system with a four- or five-tiered system. For clarification, these are spelled out more fully in the abbreviated citations section or are footnoted.

California is an exception in that its major divisions are by code names, which must be used to access the sections dealing with Assistance Dogs. The laws relating to Assistance Dogs are found in the Civil Code, the Food & Agricultural Code, and the Penal Code. For clarification, these designations have been included in the citation table. Similarly, New York uses names of laws.


Using the Internet

Few states have all their code sections that affect Assistance Dogs in one place. They are more likely to be scattered among several code titles, such as Civil Rights, Transportation, Agriculture, Motor Vehicles, Penal Code, etc. However, using the online links will enable the user to move quickly through different parts of the code.

Once the reader understands the way code sections are numbered or named, it should be easy to find the complete text on the Internet. The contents of this booklet can be found online at: www.adionline.org

Select the state you wish to search. A link to that state’s code appears immediately below the state’s name. Click on the link. If you plan to search more than a few sections, it is probably easiest to have a hard copy of this booklet on hand. Otherwise, it will be necessary to move back and forth from the online booklet page to the Internet code.

All states have some quotes taken directly from the code. These appear in quotations (“ ”). All quotes are cited (footnoted) with the Title, Chapter, Section (or other designators) and give the exact source citation for that part of the code. When online, the footnote appears as a small yellow icon to the right of the end quote mark. By clicking on this icon, the text of the footnote appears.

Additional code sections that are not directly quoted, but pertain to law involving Assistance Dogs, appear in a table at the bottom of each state’s page. These code sections can be accessed in the same manner as the quoted sections in the top table.

The majority of states present a list of Titles or Chapters to start the finding process. However, a few states give only the option of using a search engine, some more easily used than others. Footnotes have been introduced, in these cases, in order to help the reader find sections more easily.

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