Service Dogs in Missouri

There are currently two bills in the Missouri House Regarding Service Dogs.

HB 2031:  Introduced by Representative Chrissy Sommer from St Charles Missouri:

Summary:  This bill specifies that anyone who knowingly represents a dog as a service dog for the purpose of receiving the accommodations afforded service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act is guilty of a class C misdemeanor and liable for any actual damages resulting from the impersonation. Any subsequent violation is a class B misdemeanor.

The Commission on Human Rights must use its existing complaint hotline to receive reports of individuals impersonating a person with a disability or representing a dog as a service dog. The commission will refer an alleged violation to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.

The Department of Health and Senior Services must prepare and make available to businesses a decal, suitable for posting in a front window or door, stating that service dogs are welcome and that misrepresentation of a service dog is a violation of Missouri law.  The department must also create a brochure to help business owners with permissible questions and answers and guidelines defining acceptable behavior.

HB 1369: Introduced by Representative Chrissy Sommer from St Charles Missouri:

This bill revises the term “service dog” to include a psychiatric service dog or mental health service dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an owner with a psychiatric disability, medical condition, or developmental disability recognized in the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

This bill is the same as HB 262 (2017).

Co-Sponsors

  • Andrew McDaniel
  • Steve Lynch
  • Diane Franklin

This Bill is Currently in Committee:

Rules-Legislative Oversight on January 17th

House Bill 1398:  Introduced by Representative Bruce DeGroot from St Louis
The bill specifies that the General Assembly occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation touching in any way the control or regulation of specific breeds of dogs. However, a village, town, or city can still prohibit dogs from running at large or to further control or regulate dogs within its boundaries so long as the ordinance, order, policy, or regulation is not breed specific.
This bill is the same as HCS HB 905 (2017).
As some insurance companies will not insure property with specific breeds of dogs, MissouriPOA would rather cities have the ability to limit certain breeds of dogs in their town so we don’t have to find a way around allowing these breeds of dogs in our properties.
This Bill has been referred to the Local Government Committee

Why Just Dogs in both Bills:

Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA. In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Keep in mind that there is a broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act and a broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act. We can try to control fraud in ADA service animals (dogs) but since Fair Housing Act and ACAA allow more than dogs plus allow ESAs (which are more like pets).