Connecticut State Service Dog Laws

The portion of Connecticut Law which pertains to service dogs is CT GEN ST § 46. Please expand the sections below to read the full text.

Important points:

Summary – Service Dogs in Training are allowed in public places only with program trainers.

Detailed – Human Rights § 46a-44(d) For purposes of this section, “guide dog” or “assistance dog” includes a dog being trained as a guide dog or assistance dog and “person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person” means a person who is employed by and authorized to engage in designated training activities by a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that complies with the criteria for membership in a professional association of guide dog or assistance dog schools and who carries photographic identification indicating such employment and authorization, or a person who volunteers for a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that authorizes such volunteers to raise dogs to become guide dogs or assistance dogs and causes the identification of such dog with (1) identification tags, (2) ear tattoos, (3) identifying bandanas on puppies, (4) identifying coats on adult dogs, or (5) leashes and collars.

Any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person who is the owner or keeper of a dog which has been trained and educated to guide and assist such person in traveling upon the public streets or highways or otherwise shall receive a license and tag for such dog from the town clerk of the town where such dog is owned or kept.  Such license and tag shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of section 22-340, and no fee shall be required of the owner or keeper of any such dog.  When any such dog has not been previously licensed by the town clerk to whom application is being made, such town clerk shall not license such dog or issue to the owner a license and tag unless written evidence is exhibited to such clerk that the dog is trained and educated and intended in fact to perform such guide service for such applicant.  Any person who has a dog placed with such person temporarily, including for breeding purposes, by a nonprofit organization established for the purpose of training or educating guide dogs to so assist blind, deaf or mobility impaired persons shall receive a license and tag for such dog from the town clerk of the town where such dog is kept.  Such license and tag shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of section 22-340, and no fee shall be required for such license and tag, provided such person presents written evidence that such dog was placed with such person by such organization.  As used in this section and section 46a-44, “deaf person” means a person who cannot readily understand spoken language through hearing alone and who may also have a speech defect which renders such person’s speech unintelligible to most people with normal hearing.
The owner or keeper of a dog shall restrain and control such dog on a leash when such dog is not on the property of its owner or keeper and is in proximity to a blind, deaf or mobility impaired person accompanied by his guide dog, provided the guide dog is in the direct custody of such blind, deaf or mobility impaired person, is wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar which makes it readily-identifiable as a guide dog and is licensed in accordance with section 22-345.  Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall have committed an infraction.  If an owner or keeper of a dog violates the provisions of this section and, as a result of such violation, such dog attacks and injures the guide dog, such owner or keeper shall be liable, as provided in section 22-357, for any damage done to such guide dog, and such liability shall include liability for any costs incurred by such blind, deaf or mobility-impaired person for the veterinary care, rehabilitation or replacement of the injured guide dog and for reasonable attorney’s fees.
For purposes of sections 22-345, 46a-44 and 46a-64:  “Mobility impaired person” means any person, regardless of age, who is subject to a physiological defect or deficiency regardless of its cause, nature or extent that renders the person unable to move about without the aid of crutches, a wheelchair or any other form of support, or that limits the person’s functional ability to ambulate, climb, descend, sit or rise or to perform any related function.
(a) Any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or any person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person may travel on a train or on any other mode of public transportation, and may enter any other place of public accommodation which caters or offers its services or facilities or goods to the general public, including but not limited to, any public building, inn, restaurant, hotel, motel, tourist cabin, place of amusement, resort or any facility of any such public accommodation, accompanied by his guide dog or assistance dog, and he may keep such dog with him at all times in any such public accommodation or facility thereof at no extra charge, provided such dog shall be in the direct custody of such person and shall be wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar.

(b) Any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or any person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person shall be entitled to visit any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement or a dwelling as a guest of a lawful occupant thereof, accompanied by his guide dog or assistance dog, and he may keep such dog with him at all times in such public accommodation, resort, amusement or dwelling at no extra charge, provided such dog shall be in the direct custody of such person and shall be wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar.  No such blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person shall be charged any fee not applicable alike to all guests, provided the owner of such dog shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog.  For the purposes of this subsection, (1) a “place of public accommodation, resort or amusement” means any establishment which caters or offers its services or facilities or goods to the general public, including, but not limited to, any commercial building lot, on which it is intended that a commercial property or building will be constructed or offered for sale or rent, and (2) “dwelling” means any building, structure, mobile manufactured home park or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, mobile manufactured home park or portion thereof, provided the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to (A) the rental of a room or rooms in a single-family dwelling unit if the owner actually maintains and occupies part of such living quarters as his residence or (B) a unit in a dwelling containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than two families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies the other such living quarters as his residence.

(c) Any person who denies the rights afforded to blind, deaf or mobility impaired persons or persons training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person under subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor, provided such blind, deaf or mobility impaired person or person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person complies with the applicable provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

(d) For purposes of this section, “guide dog” or “assistance dog” includes a dog being trained as a guide dog or assistance dog and “person training a dog as a guide dog for a blind person or a dog to assist a deaf or mobility impaired person” means a person who is employed by and authorized to engage in designated training activities by a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that complies with the criteria for membership in a professional association of guide dog or assistance dog schools and who carries photographic identification indicating such employment and authorization, or a person who volunteers for a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that authorizes such volunteers to raise dogs to become guide dogs or assistance dogs and causes the identification of such dog with (1) identification tags, (2) ear tattoos, (3) identifying bandanas on puppies, (4) identifying coats on adult dogs, or (5) leashes and collars.

As used in section 4a-60a and this chapter:

(1) “Blind” refers to an individual whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose visual acuity is greater than 20/200 but is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than twenty degrees;

(2) “Commission” means the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities created by section 46a-52;

(3) “Commission legal counsel” means a member of the legal staff employed by the commission pursuant to section 46a-54;

(4) “Commissioner” means a member of the commission;

(5) “Court” means the Superior Court or any judge of said court;

(6) “Discrimination” includes segregation and separation;

(7) “Discriminatory employment practice” means any discriminatory practice specified in section 46a-60 or 46a-81c;

(8) “Discriminatory practice” means a violation of section 4a-60, 4a-60a, 4a-60g, 31-40y, 46a-58, 46a-59, 46a-60, 46a-64, 46a-64c, 46a-66, 46a-68, 46a-68c to 46a-68f, inclusive, or 46a-70 to 46a-78, inclusive, subsection (a) of section 46a-80 or sections 46a-81b to 46a-81o, inclusive;

(9) “Employee” means any person employed by an employer but shall not include any individual employed by such individual’s parents, spouse or child;

(10) “Employer” includes the state and all political subdivisions thereof and means any person or employer with three or more persons in such person’s or employer’s employ;

(11) “Employment agency” means any person undertaking with or without compensation to procure employees or opportunities to work;

(12) “Labor organization” means any organization which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms or conditions of employment, or of other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment;

(13) “Intellectual disability” means intellectual disability as defined in section 1-1g;

(14) “Person” means one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, limited liability companies, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers and the state and all political subdivisions and agencies thereof;

(15) “Physically disabled” refers to any individual who has any chronic physical handicap, infirmity or impairment, whether congenital or resulting from bodily injury, organic processes or changes or from illness, including, but not limited to, epilepsy, deafness or hearing impairment or reliance on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;

(16) “Respondent” means any person alleged in a complaint filed pursuant to section 46a-82 to have committed a discriminatory practice;

(17) “Discrimination on the basis of sex” includes but is not limited to discrimination related to pregnancy, child-bearing capacity, sterilization, fertility or related medical conditions;

(18) “Discrimination on the basis of religious creed” includes but is not limited to discrimination related to all aspects of religious observances and practice as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that the employer is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business;

(19) “Learning disability” refers to an individual who exhibits a severe discrepancy between educational performance and measured intellectual ability and who exhibits a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in a diminished ability to listen, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations;

(20) “Mental disability” refers to an individual who has a record of, or is regarded as having one or more mental disorders, as defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”;  and

(21) “Gender identity or expression” means a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth, which gender-related identity can be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, part of a person’s core identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose.

The failure of a blind person to use a guide dog or to carry a cane or walking stick which is predominantly white or metallic in color, with or without red tip, shall not be construed as evidence of comparative or contributory negligence in any negligence action.