Illinois State Service Dog Laws

The Illinois Law can be found here. Please expand the sections below to read the full text.

Important points:

Summary – Service Dogs in Training are allowed in public places with a trainer.

Detailed – Human Rights § 30/3 Every totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, person who is subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders, or otherwise physically disabled person or a trainer of support dogs, guide dogs, seizure-alert dogs, seizure-response dogs, or hearing dogs shall have the right to be accompanied by a support dog or guide dog especially trained for the purpose, or a dog that is being trained to be a support dog, guide dog, seizure-alert dog, seizure-response dog, or hearing dog, in any of the places listed in this Section without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide, support, seizure-alert, seizure-response, or hearing dog;  provided that he shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog.

§ 11-20-14.  Companion dogs;  restaurants.  Notwithstanding any other prohibition to the contrary, a municipality with a population of 1,000,000 or more may, by ordinance, authorize the presence of companion dogs in outdoor areas of restaurants where food is served, if the ordinance provides for adequate controls to ensure compliance with the Illinois Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act, the Sanitary Food Preparation Act, and any other applicable statutes and ordinances.  An ordinance enacted under this Section shall provide that:  (i) no companion dog shall be present in the interior of any restaurant or in any area where food is prepared;  and (ii) the restaurant shall have the right to refuse to serve the owner of a companion dog if the owner fails to exercise reasonable control over the companion dog or the companion dog is otherwise behaving in a manner that compromises or threatens to compromise the health or safety of any person present in the restaurant, including, but not limited to, violations and potential violations of any applicable health code or other statute or ordinance.  An ordinance enacted under this Section may also provide for a permitting process to authorize individual restaurants to permit dogs as provided in this Section and to charge applicants and authorized restaurants a reasonable permit fee as the ordinance may establish.

For the purposes of this Section, “companion dog” means a dog other than a service dog assisting a handicapped person.

§ 32.  Service animals.  It is the duty of a licensee under this Act to allow the use of service animals as defined and prescribed in 28 C.F.R. 35.104, 28 C.F.R. 35.136, 28 C.F.R. 35.139, 28 C.F.R. 36.104, 28 C.F.R. 208, and 28 C.F.R. 302(c) if the service animal has been trained to perform a specific task or work in the water and the use of such animal does not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of the patrons of the facility or the function or sanitary conditions of the facility.  Any use of a licensed swimming facility by an animal other than a service animal as authorized under this Section is prohibited.
§ 2.01c.  Service animal. “Service animal” means an animal trained in obedience and task skills to meet the needs of a disabled person.
§ 4.03.  Teasing, striking or tampering with police animals, service animals, accelerant detection dogs, or search and rescue dogs prohibited.  It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and maliciously taunt, torment, tease, beat, strike, or administer or subject any desensitizing drugs, chemicals, or substance to (i) any animal used by a law enforcement officer in the performance of his or her functions or duties, or when placed in confinement off duty, (ii) any service animal, (iii) any search and rescue dog, (iv) any police, service, or search and rescue animal in training, or (v) any accelerant detection canine used by a fire officer for arson investigations in the performance of his or her functions or while off duty.  It is unlawful for any person to interfere or meddle with (i) any animal used by a law enforcement department or agency or any handler thereof in the performance of the functions or duties of the department or agency, (ii) any service animal, (iii) any search and rescue dog, (iv) any law enforcement, service, or search and rescue animal in training, or (v) any accelerant detection canine used by a fire officer for arson investigations in the performance of his or her functions or while off duty.

Any person convicted of violating this Section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.  A second or subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony.

§ 4.04.  Injuring or killing police animals, service animals, accelerant detection dogs, or search and rescue dogs prohibited.  It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously torture, mutilate, injure, disable, poison, or kill (i) any animal used by a law enforcement department or agency in the performance of the functions or duties of the department or agency or when placed in confinement off duty, (ii) any service animal, (iii) any search and rescue dog, (iv) any law enforcement, service, or search and rescue animal in training, or (v) any accelerant detection canine used by a fire officer for arson investigations in the performance of his or her functions or while off duty.  However, a police officer or veterinarian may perform euthanasia in emergency situations when delay would cause the animal undue suffering and pain.

A person convicted of violating this Section is guilty of a Class 4 felony if the animal is not killed or totally disabled;  if the animal is killed or totally disabled, the person is guilty of a Class 3 felony.

§ 7.15.  Guide, hearing, and support dogs.

(a) A person may not willfully and maliciously annoy, taunt, tease, harass, torment, beat, or strike a guide, hearing, or support dog or otherwise engage in any conduct directed toward a guide, hearing, or support dog that is likely to impede or interfere with the dog’s performance of its duties or that places the blind, hearing impaired, or physically handicapped person being served or assisted by the dog in danger of injury.

(b) A person may not willfully and maliciously torture, injure, or kill a guide, hearing, or support dog.

(c) A person may not willfully and maliciously permit a dog that is owned, harbored, or controlled by the person to cause injury to or the death of a guide, hearing, or support dog while the guide, hearing, or support dog is in discharge of its duties.

(d) A person convicted of violating this Section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.  A second or subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony.  A person convicted of violating subsection (b) or (c) of this Section is guilty of a Class 4 felony if the dog is killed or totally disabled, and may be ordered by the court to make restitution to the disabled person having custody or ownership of the dog for veterinary bills and replacement costs of the dog.

§ 5.  Definitions.  For purposes of this Act:

“Mobility device” means a support cane, walker, crutches, wheelchair, scooter, or other device, which may be necessary for use by a pedestrian with a disability when traveling.

“Pedestrian with a disability” means a person with a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, who may require the use of a mobility device, service animal, or white cane to travel on the streets, sidewalks, highways, and walkways of this State.

“Service animal” means a service animal as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations (28 CFR 36.104).

“White cane” means a cane that is predominantly white or metallic in color, with or without a red tip, that is held in an extended or raised position.

§ 15.  Mobility device;  service animal;  white cane.

(a) An operator of a vehicle shall stop the vehicle before approaching closer than 10 feet to a pedestrian with a disability who is using a mobility device, accompanied by a visibly identifiable service animal, or carrying or using a white cane, and shall take all precautions that may be necessary to avoid an accident or injury to the pedestrian with a disability.  Any vehicle operator who fails to take such precautions shall be liable for damages for any injury caused to the pedestrian with a disability.

(b) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to deprive any person with a disability who is not using a mobility device, not accompanied by a visibly identifiable service animal, or not carrying or using a white cane of the rights of other pedestrians, nor shall such an occurrence be conclusively held to constitute evidence of contributory negligence.

(c) Qualified professionals involved in the training of visibly identifiable service animals including training a person with a disability in the use of an animal, orientation and mobility instructors who are providing instruction to persons with disabilities or receiving training to enable them to provide that instruction, or any otherwise qualified person providing instruction to a person with a disability in the proper use of a mobility device or white cane shall be covered by the provisions of this Section.

§ 5.  Definitions.  As used in this Act:

“Blind person” means a person who has vision of 20/200 or less with the best correction or has a visual field of 20 degrees or less.

“Guide dog” means a dog that is trained to lead or guide a blind person.

“Deaf person” means a person whose hearing disability precludes successful processing of linguistic information through audition with or without a hearing aid.

“Hearing ear dog” means a dog that is trained to assist a deaf person.

“Assistance animal” means any animal trained to assist a physically impaired person in one or more daily life activities, including but not limited to:

(1) guide dogs;

(2) hearing ear dogs;

(3) an animal trained to pull a wheelchair;

(4) an animal trained to fetch dropped items;  and

(5) an animal trained to perform balance work.

“Daily life activity” includes but is not limited to:

(1) self-care;

(2) ambulation;

(3) communication;

(4) transportation;  or

(5) employment.

“Physically impaired person” means any person who is permanently physically impaired, whose physical impairment limits one or more of daily life activities and who has a record of impairment and is regarded by health care practitioners as having such an impairment, requiring the use of an assistance animal including but not limited to blindness, deafness and complete or partial paralysis.

§ 10.  Damages recoverable for harm or theft of assistance animal.

(a) In addition to and not in lieu of any other penalty provided by State law, a physically impaired person who uses an assistance animal or the owner of an assistance animal may bring an action for economic and noneconomic damages against any person who steals or, without provocation, attacks the assistance animal or exposes the assistance animal to any chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal;  however, an action against a person for exposing an assistance animal to a chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal may be brought under this Act only if the person against whom the action is brought knew or reasonably should have known that the assistance animal was present and that the chemical was hazardous to the assistance animal.  The physically impaired person or owner may also bring an action for such damages against the owner of any animal that, without provocation, attacks an assistance animal.  The action authorized by this subsection may be brought by the physically impaired person or owner even if the assistance animal was in the custody or under the supervision of another person when the theft, attack, or exposure occurred.

(b) If the theft of or unprovoked attack on an assistance animal or exposure of the assistance animal to any chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal described in subsection (a) of this Section results in the death of the animal or the animal is not returned or if injuries sustained prevent the animal from returning to service as an assistance animal, the measure of economic damages shall include, but need not be limited to, the veterinary medical expenses and the replacement value of an equally trained assistance animal, without any differentiation for the age or the experience of the animal.  In addition, the physically impaired person or owner may recover any other costs and expenses, including, but not limited to, costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by another assistance animal or a person, incurred as a result of the theft of or injury to the animal.

(c) If the theft of or unprovoked attack on an assistance animal or exposure of the assistance animal to any chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal described in subsection (a) of this Section results in injuries from which the animal recovers and returns to service, or if the animal is stolen but is recovered and returns to service, the measure of economic damages shall include, but need not be limited to, the veterinary medical expenses, costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by another assistance animal or a person, and any other costs and expenses incurred by the physically impaired person or owner as a result of the theft of or injury to the animal.

(d) No cause of action arises under this Section if the physically impaired person, owner or the person having custody or supervision of the assistance animal was committing a criminal or civil trespass at the time of the theft of or attack on the assistance animal or exposure of the assistance animal to any chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal.

(e) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing plaintiff in an action under this Section.  The court may award reasonable attorney’s fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails in the action if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no objectively reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court.

§ 3-104.1.  Refusal to sell or rent because a person has a guide, hearing or support dog.  It is a civil rights violation for the owner or agent of any housing accommodation to:

(A) refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bonafide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny property to any blind, hearing impaired or physically disabled person because he has a guide, hearing or support dog;  or

(B) discriminate against any blind, hearing impaired or physically disabled person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental property, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because he has a guide, hearing or support dog;  or

(C) require, because a blind, hearing impaired or physically disabled person has a guide, hearing or support dog, an extra charge in a lease, rental agreement, or contract of purchase or sale, other than for actual damage done to the premises by the dog.

§ 3.  The blind, the visually handicapped, the hearing impaired, persons who are subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders, and the otherwise physically disabled have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities and other public places.

The blind, the visually handicapped, the hearing impaired, persons who are subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders, and the otherwise physically disabled are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, street cars, boats or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation, hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

Every totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, person who is subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders, or otherwise physically disabled person or a trainer of support dogs, guide dogs, seizure-alert dogs, seizure-response dogs, or hearing dogs shall have the right to be accompanied by a support dog or guide dog especially trained for the purpose, or a dog that is being trained to be a support dog, guide dog, seizure-alert dog, seizure-response dog, or hearing dog, in any of the places listed in this Section without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide, support, seizure-alert, seizure-response, or hearing dog;  provided that he shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog.