Texas Disability Law - Service Animals
- Requires public facilities and common transportation carriers to admit a person with a disability accompanied by a service dog for assistance and also to admit a trainer of service dogs accompanied by a dog for training purposes.
- Requires evacuation, transport and temporary shelter of service animals in a disaster.
- Provides a criminal penalty for those who deny access to people with disabilities because of an assistance animal. Offenses are punishable by fines of not more than $300 and 30 hours of community service.
- Provides full and equal access to housing accommodations for people with disabilities with assistance animals.
- Provides that people with disabilities may not be charged extra compensation for assistance animals, however, any damages caused by an assistance animal are the responsibility of the person with a disability using the animal.
- State employees may obtain up to ten days of paid leave to attend a training program to familiarize themselves with an assistance dog.
- Provides protection if an assistance animal is attacked, injured or killed by an individual or an individual's animal.
- Provides that people with disabilities may not be required to show proof of certification for their service animal. Public establishments may only ask if the service animal is required because the person has a disability and what type of work the service animal is trained to perform.
Texas Human Resources Code, Section 121.003 - 121.006
- Assistance Animal Defined:
Texas Human Resources Code, Section 121.002
Texas Government Code, Section 418.043
- Protection Against Attack:
Texas Human Resources Code, Section 121.003(j)
Texas Penal Code, Chapter 42, Section 42.091
- State Employees:
Texas Government Code, Section 661.910
- Food Establishments:
Health and Safety Code, Section 437.023
- Service Dog Law Related to Veterans with PTSD:
Veterans and Bootz's Law Video
Contact TWC Vocational Rehabilitation Inquiries:
- Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA
- FAQ: Service Animals and the ADA (Word)
Americans with Disabilities Act:
U.S. Department of Justice
(800) 514-0301; (800) 514-0383 (TTY)
- Fair Housing Act of 1988:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
800) 669-9777 or (202) 708-1112; (202)-708-1455 (TTY)
- Department of Transportation
(800) 778-4838 (voice) or (800) 455-9880 (TTY)
The Air Carrier Access Act, 49 U.S.C. § 41705, prohibits discrimination in airline service based on disability.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule amending the Air Carrier Access Actregulation on flying with service animals, taking effect in 2021. The rule aligns DOT's definition of a service animal with the ADA’s definition and grants individual airlines the discretion to determine whether they will treat service animals and emotional support animals in the same manner. In general, the final rule:
- Defines a service animal as a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability – including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability;
- Allows airlines to recognize emotional support animals as pets, ie, an animal prescribed by a mental health professional to provide emotional support but that has not been trained to perform specific tasks;
- Permits airlines to limit passengers to a maximum of two service animals onboard per person; and
- Allows airlines to require passengers with a disability flying with a service animal to submit a form prior to the flight attesting to the animal's training, good behavior, and good health.
- Service Animals in Health Care Facilities