Service Dog Laws in Tennessee

hot dog in field

Some service dog laws in Tennessee are outlined in this article. In the United States of America, all states have laws pertaining to assistance dogs and each state has guidelines as to how the service dogs are to be taken care of. Service dog refers to any guiding dog,  signaling dog,  or a dog individually trained and/or receiving service dog certification, to work or perform tasks for the benefit of a disabled individual. The service they render is comprised of the following activities: Providing guidance to individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to sounds and intrusions, providing minimal level protection and rescue services, pulling wheelchairs and fetching dropped items for individuals.

Service dog laws in the state of Tennessee stipulate that no employee, proprietor, or any other person in charge of any public place, shall refuse to permit a blind, physically disabled or hearing impaired individual access to such place, or to make use of the accommodations therein provided, when such accommodations are available for the purpose that such blind, physically disabled or hearing-impaired individual is being led or accompanied by a dog guide, as long as such dog providing the guidance is wearing a harness and is held on a leash by the blind or otherwise disabled individual.

In almost all the states, Tennessee being included, it is specified in the motor vehicle code that special care and privileges should be given to individuals who are using the services of service dogs and extreme precautions must be taken  when approaching these individuals at an intersection or roadway of any kind.

According to federal guidelines an individual’s assistance dog or service dog is classified as “durable medical equipment”. This implies that your local animal control agency in the state of Tennessee cannot charge you a fee to license your assistance dog because, as an example, if an individual is not required to pay  a fee for his wheelchair, the same is the case for an assistance dog.

Service dog laws in Tennessee are contingent upon properly trained service dogs. Permits and completion certificates for service dogs are issued by an accredited school authorized for training service dogs. In the state of Tennessee, for one to be allowed to use a service dog, an individual has to present for inspection, upon request, credentials proving the service dog or other service animal possesses appropriate training that has been acquired via an accredited school for training dog guides.

Service dogs are very important, as they perform many essential activities for the physically disabled individuals in our society and thus Tennessee as a state is obliged to foster the accredited potential of service dogs within its physically, or otherwise, disabled individuals and appreciably increase their quality of life. In summary, service dog laws in Tennessee are contingent upon properly trained canines. With this, the importance of service dog certification cannot be stressed enough.

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