Karcher Bill Would Protect Rights of Those with Guide Dogs

TRENTON – The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved legislation today that would clarify the rights of blind and deaf people when accompanied by service or guide dogs.

“For individuals with disabilities, service dogs are not just pets or companions, they are a critical part of that individual’s ability to be an active part of his or her community,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer and Vice Chair of the Committee. “Anyone who interferes with another’s necessary use of a service dog needs to be appropriately admonished and fined.”

The bill, S-2868, would amend current law to prohibit an individual from intentionally interfering with the rights of a person with a disability, who is accompanied by a service or guide dog, or the function or ability to function of a guide or service dog. A person who violates these prohibitions would be subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500.

“Never should any person be allowed to act in a way that would limit the ability of a disabled person to live a full and productive life,” added Senator Karcher.

S-2868 was approved by a vote of 7-0 and will now go to the full Senate for their approval

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