Kentucky State Service Dog Laws

The Section of Kentucky Law which addresses service animals is KY REV ST § 258. Please expand the sections below to read other applicable sections of the law.

The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any blind pedestrian carrying a clearly visible white cane or accompanied by an assistance dog.
(1)  (a) A health officer or his agent shall have the authority to quarantine for a period not to exceed:

1. One hundred eighty (180) days any animal bitten by another animal known or suspected to have rabies;

2. Ten (10) days any dog, cat, or ferret which has bitten a human being;  or

3. Ten (10) days any dog, cat, or ferret which exhibits symptoms of rabies.

(b) In lieu of the quarantines provided in paragraph (a) of this subsection, a health officer or his agent may order an animal to be destroyed and tested for rabies.

(c) If a wild or exotic animal bites a human being or exhibits symptoms of rabies, that animal shall be destroyed and tested for rabies.

(d) Service animals, as defined in KRS 525.010, and service animals in training, that are vaccinated in accordance with KRS 258.015, are under the control of a law enforcement agency, and are acting in the line of duty, shall be exempt from the quarantine described in paragraph (a)2. of this subsection.

(2)  If an animal dies with rabies, is suspected of having died with rabies, or is destroyed because of having been suspected of being rabid, the owner, if known, whether the animal had been previously quarantined or not, shall send the head of the animal to a laboratory approved by the secretary for health and family services to be tested for rabies.

(3)  (a) The owner of any animal quarantined or tested under this section shall be liable for any expenses incurred as a result of the quarantine or testing.

(b) Any owner who destroys or disposes of an animal that has bitten a human being shall be liable for any rabies postexposure treatment if the animal is destroyed or disposed of in a manner that does not allow for rabies testing or quarantine.

(1)  As used in subsections (1) to (11) of this section, “person” means a “person with a disability” as defined by KRS 210.770.  “Person” also includes a trainer of an assistance dog.

(2)  If a person is accompanied by an assistance dog, neither the person nor the dog shall be denied admittance to any hotel, motel, restaurant, or eating establishment, nor shall the person be denied full and equal accommodations, facilities, and privileges of all public places of amusement, theater, or resort when accompanied by an assistance dog.

(3)  Any person accompanied by an assistance dog shall be entitled to full and equal accommodations on all public transportation, if the dog does not occupy a seat in any public conveyance, nor endanger the public safety.

(4)  No person shall be required to pay additional charges or fare for the transportation of any accompanying assistance dog.

(5)  No person accompanied by an assistance dog shall be denied admittance and use of any public building, nor denied the use of any elevator operated for public use.

(6)  Any person accompanied by an assistance dog may keep the dog in his immediate custody while a tenant in any apartment, or building used as a public lodging.

(7)  All trainers accompanied by an assistance dog shall have in their personal possession identification verifying that they are trainers of assistance dogs.

(8)  The provisions of this section shall not apply unless the person complies with the legal limitations applicable to nondisabled persons and unless all requirements of KRS 258.015 and 258.135 have been complied with.

(9)  Assistance dogs are exempt from all state and local licensing fees.

(10) Licensing authorities shall accept that the dog for which the license is sought is an assistance dog if the person requesting the license is a person with a disability or the trainer of the dog.

(11) Emergency medical treatment shall not be denied to an assistance dog assigned to a person regardless of the person’s ability to pay prior to treatment.

(12) No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with an assistance dog or the dog’s user.

The following definitions apply in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:

(1)  “Desecrate” means defacing, damaging, polluting, or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover his action.

(2)  “Public” means affecting or likely to affect a substantial group of persons.

(3)  “Public place” means a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access and includes but is not limited to highways, transportation facilities, schools, places of amusements, parks, places of business, playgrounds, and hallways, lobbies, and other portions of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence.  An act is deemed to occur in a public place if it produces its offensive or proscribed consequences in a public place.

(4)  “Transportation facility” means any conveyance, premises, or place used for or in connection with public passenger transportation by air, railroad, motor vehicle, or any other method.  It includes aircraft, watercraft, railroad cars, buses, and air, boat, railroad, and bus terminals and stations and all appurtenances thereto.

(5)  “Riot” means a public disturbance involving an assemblage of five (5) or more persons which by tumultuous and violent conduct creates grave danger of damage or injury to property or persons or substantially obstructs law enforcement or other government function.

(6)  “Service animal” includes a:

(a) “Bomb detection dog,” which means a dog that is trained to locate bombs or explosives by scent;

(b) “Narcotic detection dog,” which means a dog that is trained to locate narcotics by scent;

(c) “Patrol dog,” which means a dog that is trained to protect a peace officer and to apprehend a person;

(d) “Tracking dog,” which means a dog that is trained to track and find a missing person, escaped inmate, or fleeing felon;

(e) “Search and rescue dog,” which means a dog that is trained to locate lost or missing persons, victims of natural or man-made disasters, and human bodies;

(f) “Accelerant detection dog,” which means a dog that is trained for accelerant detection, commonly referred to as arson canines;

(g) “Cadaver dog,” which means a dog that is trained to find human remains;

(h) “Assistance dog,” which means any dog that is trained to meet the requirements of KRS 258.500;

(i) Any dog that is trained in more than one (1) of the disciplines specified in paragraphs (a) to (h) of this subsection;  or

(j) “Police horse,” which means any horse that is owned, or the service of which is employed, by a law enforcement agency for the principal purpose of aiding in detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, and apprehension of offenders.

(1)  A person is guilty of assault on a service animal in the first degree when he intentionally and without legal justification or lawful authority kills or causes physical injury to a service animal to the extent that a service animal becomes physically incapable of ever returning to service.

(2)  Assault on a service animal in the first degree is a Class D felony.

No person shall be convicted of assault on a service animal when:

(1)  He has also been convicted of a violation of KRS 525.125, 525.130, 512.020, 512.030, or 512.040 arising out of the same incident;  or

(2)  He has destroyed or treated a service animal that is injured, diseased, or suffering or that constitutes a hazard to public safety if not destroyed;  or

(3)  He has used physical force against the service animal in protection of himself or a third person;  or

(4)  He has used physical force without knowledge that the animal was a service animal.