New York State Service Dog Laws

The full text of New York law can be found here. Please expand the sections below to read more about the sections specific to Service Animals.

Important points:

Summary – A person training a service dog has the same public access rights as a disabled person.

Detailed – CVR § 47-b. 3. A person engaged in training a dog to guide or otherwise aid persons with a disability, while engaged in such training activities, and a person with a disability for whom the dog is being trained, shall have the same rights and privileges set forth for persons with a disability in this article.

As used in this article, unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context or subject matter requires otherwise:

1. “Adoption” means the delivery to any natural person eighteen years of age or older, for the limited purpose of harboring a pet, of any dog, seized or surrendered, or any cat.

2. Repealed.

3. “Clerk” means the clerk of any county, town, city or village where licenses are validated or issued pursuant to this article.

4. “Commissioner” means the state commissioner of agriculture and markets.

5. “Dog” means any member of the species canis familiaris.

6. “Dog control officer” means any individual appointed by a municipality to assist in the enforcement of this article or any authorized officer, agent or employee of an incorporated humane society or similar incorporated dog protective association under contract with a municipality to assist in the enforcement of this article.

7. “Domestic animal” means any domesticated sheep, horse, cattle, fallow deer, red deer, sika deer, whitetail deer which is raised under license from the department of environmental conservation, llama, goat, swine, fowl, duck, goose, swan, turkey, confined domestic hare or rabbit, pheasant or other bird which is raised in confinement under license from the state department of environmental conservation before release from captivity, except that the varieties of fowl commonly used for cock fights shall not be considered domestic animals for the purposes of this article.

8. “Euthanize” means to bring about death by a humane method.

9. “Guide dog” means any dog that is trained to aid a person who is blind and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.

10. “Harbor” means to provide food or shelter to any dog.

11. “Identification tag” means a tag issued by the licensing municipality which sets forth an identification number, together with the name of the municipality, the state of New York, contact information, including telephone number, for the municipality and such other information as the licensing municipality deems appropriate.

12. “Identified dog” means any dog carrying an identification tag as provided in section one hundred eleven of this article.

13. “Municipality” means any county, town, city and village.

14. Repealed by .

15. “Owner” means any person who harbors or keeps any dog.

16. “Owner of record” means the person in whose name any dog was last licensed pursuant to this article, except that if any license is issued on application of a person under eighteen years of age, the owner of record shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person.  If it cannot be determined in whose name any dog was last licensed or if the owner of record has filed a statement pursuant to the provisions of section one hundred twelve of this article, the owner shall be deemed to be the owner of record of such dog, except that if the owner is under eighteen years of age, the owner of record shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person.

17. “Person” means any individual, corporation, partnership, association or other organized group of persons, municipality, or other legal entity.

18. “Police work dog” means any dog owned or harbored by any state or municipal police department or any state or federal law enforcement agency, which has been trained to aid law enforcement officers and is actually being used for police work purposes.

19. “Recognized registry association” means any registry association that operates on a nationwide basis and issues numbered registration certificates.

20. “War dog” means any dog which has been honorably discharged from the United States armed services.

21. “Hearing dog” means any dog that is trained to aid a person with a hearing impairment and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.

22. “Service dog” means any dog that has been or is being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.

23. “Person with a disability” means any person with a disability as that term is defined in subdivision twenty-one of section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law.

24. (a) “Dangerous dog” means any dog which (i) without justification attacks a person, companion animal as defined in subdivision five of section three hundred fifty of this chapter, farm animal as defined in subdivision four of section three hundred fifty of this chapter or domestic animal as defined in subdivision seven of this section and causes physical injury or death, or (ii) behaves in a manner which a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to one or more persons, companion animals, farm animals or domestic animals or (iii) without justification attacks a service dog, guide dog or hearing dog and causes physical injury or death.

(b) “Dangerous dog” does not include a police work dog, as defined in subdivision eighteen of this section, which acts in the manner described in this paragraph while such police work dog is being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.

25. “Working search dog” means any dog that is trained to aid in the search for missing persons and is actually used for such purpose.

26. “Therapy dog” means any dog that is trained to aid the emotional and physical health of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes and other settings and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.

27. “Detection dog” means any dog that is trained and is actually used for such purposes or is undergoing training to be used for the purpose of detecting controlled substances, explosives, ignitable liquids, firearms, cadavers, or school or correctional facility contraband.

28. “Physical injury” means impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

29. “Serious physical injury” means physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes death or serious or protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

1. The license fee for dog licenses issued pursuant to subdivision one of section one hundred nine of this article shall be determined by the municipality issuing the license, provided that the total fee for an unspayed or unneutered dog shall be at least five dollars more than the total fee for a spayed or neutered dog.  All revenue derived from such fees shall be the sole property of the municipality setting the same and shall be used only for controlling dogs and enforcing this article and any rule, regulation, or local law or ordinance adopted pursuant thereto, including subsidizing the spaying or neutering of dogs and any facility as authorized under section one hundred sixteen of this article used therefor, and subsidizing public humane education programs in responsible dog ownership.

2. Municipalities may exempt from their licensing fees any guide dog, hearing dog, service dog, war dog, working search dog, detection dog, police work dog or therapy dog.  Each copy of any license for such dogs shall be conspicuously marked “Guide Dog”, “Hearing Dog”, “Service Dog”, “Working Search Dog”, “War Dog”, “Detection Dog”, “Police Work Dog”, or “Therapy Dog”, as may be appropriate, by the clerk or authorized dog control officer.

3. In addition to the fee charged pursuant to subdivision one of this section, all municipalities issuing dog licenses pursuant to this article are required to provide for the assessment of an additional surcharge of at least one dollar for altered dogs and at least three dollars for unaltered dogs for the purposes of carrying out animal population control efforts as provided in section one hundred seventeen-a of this article.  Such surcharges shall be submitted by municipalities to the commissioner.

4. In addition to the fee charged pursuant to subdivision one of this section, any municipality issuing dog licenses pursuant to this article is hereby authorized to provide for the assessment of additional surcharges for the purpose of:

(a) recovering costs associated with enumeration conducted pursuant to subdivision six of section one hundred thirteen of this article should a dog be identified as unlicensed during such enumeration.  Such additional fee shall be the property of the licensing municipality and shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the municipality in conducting the enumeration.  In the event the additional fees collected exceed the expenses incurred by the municipality in conducting an enumeration in any year, such excess fees may be used by the municipality for enforcing this article and for spaying or neutering animals;  and

(b) offsetting costs associated with the provision and replacement of identification tags pursuant to section one hundred eleven of this article.

1. It shall be a violation, punishable as provided in subdivision two of this section, for:

(a) any owner to fail to license any dog;

(b) any owner to fail to have any dog identified as required by this article;

(c) any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag, special identification tag for identifying guide, service or hearing dogs or purebred license tag;

(d) any owner or custodian of any dog to fail to confine, restrain or present such dog for any lawful purpose pursuant to this article;

(e) any person to furnish any false or misleading information on any form required to be filed with any municipality pursuant to the provisions of this article or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto;

(f) the owner or custodian of any dog to fail to exercise due diligence in handling his or her dog if the handling results in harm to another dog that is a guide, hearing or service dog;

(g) any owner of a dog to fail to notify the municipality in which his or her dog is licensed of any change of ownership or address as required by section one hundred twelve of this article.

2. It shall be the duty of the dog control officer of any municipality to bring an action against any person who has committed within such municipality any violation set forth in subdivision one of this section.  Any municipality may elect either to prosecute such action as a violation under the penal law or to commence an action to recover a civil penalty.

A violation of this section shall be punishable, subject to such an election, either:

(a) where prosecuted pursuant to the penal law, by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars, except that (i) where the person was found to have violated this section or former article seven of this chapter within the preceding five years, the fine may be not less than fifty dollars, and (ii) where the person was found to have committed two or more such violations within the preceding five years, it shall be punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than fifteen days, or both;  or

(b) where prosecuted as an action to recover a civil penalty, by a civil penalty of not less than twenty-five dollars, except that (i) when the person was found to have violated this section or this article within the preceding five years, the civil penalty may be not less than fifty dollars, and (ii) where the person was found to have committed two or more such violations within the preceding five years, the civil penalty may be not less than one hundred dollars.

3. A defendant charged with a violation of any provision of this article or any local law or ordinance promulgated pursuant thereto may plead guilty to the charge in open court.  He or she may also submit to the magistrate having jurisdiction, in person, by duly authorized agent, or by registered mail, a statement (a) that he or she waives arraignment in open court and the aid of counsel, (b) that he or she pleads guilty to the offense charged, (c) that he or she elects and requests that the charge be disposed of and the fine or penalty fixed by the court, (d) of any explanation that he or she desires to make concerning the offense charged, and (e) that he or she makes all statements under penalty of perjury.  Thereupon the magistrate may proceed as though the defendant had been convicted upon a plea of guilty in open court, provided however, that any imposition of fine or penalty hereunder shall be deemed tentative until such fine or penalty shall have been paid and discharged in full.  If upon receipt of the aforesaid statement the magistrate shall deny the same, he or she shall thereupon notify the defendant of this fact, and that he or she is required to appear before the said magistrate at a stated time and place to answer the charge which shall thereafter be disposed of pursuant to the applicable provisions of law.

4. Any person who intentionally refuses, withholds, or denies a person, because he or she is accompanied by an on-duty police work dog, working search, war, or detection dog as defined in section one hundred eight of this article, any accommodations, facilities, or privileges thereof shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to two hundred dollars for the first violation and up to four hundred dollars for each subsequent violation.

5. Any person who for the purpose of participating in the animal population control program shall falsify proof of adoption from a pound, shelter, duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated dog or cat protective association or who shall furnish any licensed veterinarian of this state with inaccurate information concerning his or her residency or the ownership of an animal or such person’s authority to submit an animal for a spaying or neutering procedure pursuant to section one hundred seventeen-a of this article, and any veterinarian who shall furnish false information concerning animal sterilization fees shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars where prosecuted pursuant to the penal law, or where prosecuted as an action to recover a civil penalty of not more than two hundred fifty dollars.

1. Definitions.  For purposes of this section:

(a) “Service animal” shall mean any animal that has been partnered with a person who has a disability and has been trained or is being trained, by a qualified person, to aid or guide a person with a disability.

(b) “Disability” shall have the same meaning as provided in section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law.

(c) “Handler” shall mean a disabled person using a service animal.

(d) “Formal training program” or “certified trainer” shall mean an institution, group or individual who has documentation and community recognition as a provider of service animals.

2. Any person who owns an animal or possesses control of such animal and who, through any act or omission, recklessly permits his or her animal to interfere with the proper working of a service animal, exposing the handler and service animal to danger or resulting in injury or death of the service animal shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars in addition to any other applicable penalties.

3. Any person who owns an animal or possesses control of such animal and who, through any act or omission, recklessly permits his or her animal to interfere with the proper working of a service animal, exposing the handler and service animal to danger or resulting in injury or death of the service animal, where the animal causing such injury has previously been determined to be dangerous pursuant to this article, shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars, or by a period of imprisonment not to exceed fifteen days, or by both such fine and imprisonment in addition to any other applicable penalties.

4. The handler of the service animal incapacitated, injured or killed shall have the right to pursue any and all civil remedies available to recover damages for medical and veterinary expenses, rehabilitation or replacement of the service animal, and lost wages, transportation expenses or other expenses directly related to the temporary or permanent loss of the service animal.

1. No person shall be denied admittance to and/or the equal use of and enjoyment of any public facility solely because said person is a person with a disability and is accompanied by a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog.

2. For the purposes of this section the term “public facility” shall include, but shall not be limited to, all modes of public and private transportation, all forms of public and private housing accommodations whether permanent or temporary, buildings to which the public is invited or permitted, including those maintained by the state or by any political subdivision thereof, all educational facilities and institutions, including those maintained by the state or by any political subdivision thereof, all places where food is offered for sale, all theatres, including both live playhouses and motion picture establishments and all other places of public accommodations, convenience, resort, entertainment, or business to which the general public or any classification of persons therefrom is normally or customarily invited or permitted.

Unless it can be clearly shown that a person’s disability would prevent such person from performing the particular job no person who is otherwise qualified shall be denied equal opportunities to obtain and/or maintain employment and/or to advance in position in his job solely because said person is a person with a disability and is accompanied by a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog regardless of whether the employer or prospective employer is the state or any political subdivision thereof or any other category of employer.
1. Persons with a disability accompanied by guide dogs, hearing dogs or service dogs shall be guaranteed the right to have such dogs in their immediate custody while exercising any of the rights and privileges set forth in this article, provided that in instances of employment pursuant to section forty-seven-a of this article, such dog has been trained by a qualified person.  Blind persons shall, further, have the right to carry a cane in their immediate custody while exercising any of the rights and privileges set forth in this section.

2. No person or legal entity, public or private, shall attempt to impose or maintain any direct or indirect additional charge for the admittance of a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog accompanying a person with a disability, nor shall any conditions or restrictions not specifically set forth in this article be imposed on the person’s rights as set forth herein.

3. A person engaged in training a dog to guide or otherwise aid persons with a disability, while engaged in such training activities, and a person with a disability for whom the dog is being trained, shall have the same rights and privileges set forth for persons with a disability in this article.

4. The term “guide dog”, or “hearing dog” shall mean a dog that is under the control, consistent with federal regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title III, at 28 CFR 36.302(c), of the person using or training it and has been or is being trained to guide or otherwise to aid a person with a disability.

5. For the purposes of this article the term “disability” shall have the same meaning as provided for in subdivision twenty-one of section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law.

6. Any law, rule, or regulation conflicting with any provision of this article is, to the extent of said conflict only, deemed to be superseded by the provisions of this article.

7. “Service dog” means any dog under the control, consistent with federal regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title III, at 28 CFR 36.302(c), of the person using or training it, and that has been or is being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.

1. Any person or legal entity, public or private, violating any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation.

2. Any person or legal entity, public or private, violating section forty-seven and/or subdivision one or two of section forty-seven-b of this article two or more times within a two year period shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of one thousand dollars.

For purposes of this article:

1. “Service animal” shall mean any animal that has been partnered with a person who has a disability and has been trained or is being trained, by a qualified person, to aid or guide a person with a disability.

2. “Disability” shall have the same meaning as provided in section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law.

3. “Handler” shall mean a disabled person using a service animal.

4. “Formal training program” or “certified trainer” shall mean an institution, group or individual who has documentation and community recognition as a provider of service animals.

A person is guilty of interference, harassment or intimidation of a service animal when he or she commits an act with intent to and which does make it impractical, dangerous or impossible for a service animal to perform its assigned responsibilities of assisting a person with a disability.

Interference, harassment or intimidation of a service animal is a class B misdemeanor.

A person is guilty of harming a service animal in the second degree when, with the intent to do so, he or she causes physical injury, or causes such injury that results in the death, of a service animal.

Harming a service animal in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

A person is guilty of harming a service animal in the first degree when, he or she commits the crime of harming a service animal in the second degree, and has been convicted of harming a service animal in the first or second degree within the prior five years.

Harming a service animal in the first degree is a class E felony.

Subject to such rules and regulations as the commissioner may prescribe, all common and contract carriers of passengers by motor vehicle shall permit a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog as defined in section forty-seven-b of the civil rights law accompanying a person with a disability, as defined in subdivision twenty-one of section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law, to accompany, to guide, or otherwise to aid such person, to ride on all vehicles operated for transportation and no charge shall be made for the transportation of such dog.