February 12, 2016

Senate approves service dog law expansion (AUDIO)

An effort to let more people take their service dogs anywhere is halfway into state law.

The most well-known service dogs are guide dogs for the blind, but many other people use them to head off seizures or the onset of other physical conditions.  

The State Senate has approved a plan to let people with mental disabilities and diabetes take their service dogs everywhere that blind people can take theirs — which is everywhere. Sen. John Lamping (R-St. Louis), the bill’s sponsor, calls the services dogs “extraordinary.” He tells the senate, “They sense a biologic change prior to an incident occurring and they will be able to alert others and the disabled person themselves.”

The bill also expands the definition of “service dog” to include search and rescue dogs trained to help someone with physical or mental disabilities keep from becoming lost — or to find them when they do. 

AUDIO: Senate debate (11:48)