Washington State Service Dog Laws
The full text of Washington law can be found here. Please expand the sections below to read more on the laws specific to Service Animals.
(b) A second or subsequent violation of this subsection is a gross misdemeanor.
(2)(a) Any person who, with reckless disregard, allows his or her dog to interfere with the use of a dog guide or service animal by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the dog guide or service animal user or his or her dog guide or service animal is guilty of a misdemeanor, except as provided in (b) of this subsection.
(b) A second or subsequent violation of this subsection is a gross misdemeanor.
(3) Any person who, with reckless disregard, injures, disables, or causes the death of a dog guide or service animal is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
(4) Any person who, with reckless disregard, allows his or her dog to injure, disable, or cause the death of a dog guide or service animal is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
(5) Any person who intentionally injures, disables, or causes the death of a dog guide or service animal is guilty of a class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(6) Any person who wrongfully obtains or exerts unauthorized control over a dog guide or service animal with the intent to deprive the dog guide or service animal user of his or her dog guide or service animal is guilty of theft in the first degree, RCW 9A.56.030.
(7)(a) In any case in which the defendant is convicted of a violation of this section, he or she shall also be ordered to make full restitution for all damages, including incidental and consequential expenses incurred by the dog guide or service animal user and the dog guide or service animal which arise out of or are related to the criminal offense.
(b) Restitution for a conviction under this section shall include, but is not limited to:
(i) The value of the replacement of an incapacitated or deceased dog guide or service animal, the training of a replacement dog guide or service animal, or retraining of the affected dog guide or service animal and all related veterinary and care expenses; and
(ii) Medical expenses of the dog guide or service animal user, training of the dog guide or service animal user, and compensation for wages or earned income lost by the dog guide or service animal user.
(8) Nothing in this section shall affect any civil remedies available for violation of this section.
(9) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Dog guide” means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.
(b) “Service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating a disabled person’s sensory, mental, or physical disability.
(c) “Notice” means a verbal or otherwise communicated warning prescribing the behavior of another person and a request that the person stop their behavior.
(d) “Value” means the value to the dog guide or service animal user and does not refer to cost or fair market value.
(a) The right to obtain and hold employment without discrimination;
(b) The right to the full enjoyment of any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement;
(c) The right to engage in real estate transactions without discrimination, including discrimination against families with children;
(d) The right to engage in credit transactions without discrimination;
(e) The right to engage in insurance transactions or transactions with health maintenance organizations without discrimination: PROVIDED, That a practice which is not unlawful under RCW 48.30.300, 48.44.220, or 48.46.370 does not constitute an unfair practice for the purposes of this subparagraph;
(f) The right to engage in commerce free from any discriminatory boycotts or blacklists. Discriminatory boycotts or blacklists for purposes of this section shall be defined as the formation or execution of any express or implied agreement, understanding, policy or contractual arrangement for economic benefit between any persons which is not specifically authorized by the laws of the United States and which is required or imposed, either directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, by a foreign government or foreign person in order to restrict, condition, prohibit, or interfere with or in order to exclude any person or persons from any business relationship on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or national origin or lawful business relationship: PROVIDED HOWEVER, That nothing herein contained shall prohibit the use of boycotts as authorized by law pertaining to labor disputes and unfair labor practices; and
(g) The right of a mother to breastfeed her child in any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement.
(2) Any person deeming himself or herself injured by any act in violation of this chapter shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages sustained by the person, or both, together with the cost of suit including reasonable attorneys’ fees or any other appropriate remedy authorized by this chapter or the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, or the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601 et seq.).
(3) Except for any unfair practice committed by an employer against an employee or a prospective employee, or any unfair practice in a real estate transaction which is the basis for relief specified in the amendments to RCW 49.60.225 contained in chapter 69, Laws of 1993, any unfair practice prohibited by this chapter which is committed in the course of trade or commerce as defined in the Consumer Protection Act, chapter 19.86 RCW, is, for the purpose of applying that chapter, a matter affecting the public interest, is not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business, and is an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce.
(1) “Aggrieved person” means any person who: (a) Claims to have been injured by an unfair practice in a real estate transaction; or (b) believes that he or she will be injured by an unfair practice in a real estate transaction that is about to occur.
(2) “Any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement” includes, but is not limited to, any place, licensed or unlicensed, kept for gain, hire, or reward, or where charges are made for admission, service, occupancy, or use of any property or facilities, whether conducted for the entertainment, housing, or lodging of transient guests, or for the benefit, use, or accommodation of those seeking health, recreation, or rest, or for the burial or other disposition of human remains, or for the sale of goods, merchandise, services, or personal property, or for the rendering of personal services, or for public conveyance or transportation on land, water, or in the air, including the stations and terminals thereof and the garaging of vehicles, or where food or beverages of any kind are sold for consumption on the premises, or where public amusement, entertainment, sports, or recreation of any kind is offered with or without charge, or where medical service or care is made available, or where the public gathers, congregates, or assembles for amusement, recreation, or public purposes, or public halls, public elevators, and public washrooms of buildings and structures occupied by two or more tenants, or by the owner and one or more tenants, or any public library or educational institution, or schools of special instruction, or nursery schools, or day care centers or children’s camps: PROVIDED, That nothing contained in this definition shall be construed to include or apply to any institute, bona fide club, or place of accommodation, which is by its nature distinctly private, including fraternal organizations, though where public use is permitted that use shall be covered by this chapter; nor shall anything contained in this definition apply to any educational facility, columbarium, crematory, mausoleum, or cemetery operated or maintained by a bona fide religious or sectarian institution.
(3) “Commission” means the Washington state human rights commission.
(4) “Complainant” means the person who files a complaint in a real estate transaction.
(5) “Covered multifamily dwelling” means: (a) Buildings consisting of four or more dwelling units if such buildings have one or more elevators; and (b) ground floor dwelling units in other buildings consisting of four or more dwelling units.
(6) “Credit transaction” includes any open or closed end credit transaction, whether in the nature of a loan, retail installment transaction, credit card issue or charge, or otherwise, and whether for personal or for business purposes, in which a service, finance, or interest charge is imposed, or which provides for repayment in scheduled payments, when such credit is extended in the regular course of any trade or commerce, including but not limited to transactions by banks, savings and loan associations or other financial lending institutions of whatever nature, stock brokers, or by a merchant or mercantile establishment which as part of its ordinary business permits or provides that payment for purchases of property or service therefrom may be deferred.
(7)(a) “Disability” means the presence of a sensory, mental, or physical impairment that:
(i) Is medically cognizable or diagnosable; or
(ii) Exists as a record or history; or
(iii) Is perceived to exist whether or not it exists in fact.
(b) A disability exists whether it is temporary or permanent, common or uncommon, mitigated or unmitigated, or whether or not it limits the ability to work generally or work at a particular job or whether or not it limits any other activity within the scope of this chapter.
(c) For purposes of this definition, “impairment” includes, but is not limited to:
(i) Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitor-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
(ii) Any mental, developmental, traumatic, or psychological disorder, including but not limited to cognitive limitation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
(d) Only for the purposes of qualifying for reasonable accommodation in employment, an impairment must be known or shown through an interactive process to exist in fact and:
(i) The impairment must have a substantially limiting effect upon the individual’s ability to perform his or her job, the individual’s ability to apply or be considered for a job, or the individual’s access to equal benefits, privileges, or terms or conditions of employment; or
(ii) The employee must have put the employer on notice of the existence of an impairment, and medical documentation must establish a reasonable likelihood that engaging in job functions without an accommodation would aggravate the impairment to the extent that it would create a substantially limiting effect.
(e) For purposes of (d) of this subsection, a limitation is not substantial if it has only a trivial effect.
(8) “Dog guide” means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog that is trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.
(9) “Dwelling” means any building, structure, or portion thereof that is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land that is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.
(10) “Employee” does not include any individual employed by his or her parents, spouse, or child, or in the domestic service of any person.
(11) “Employer” includes any person acting in the interest of an employer, directly or indirectly, who employs eight or more persons, and does not include any religious or sectarian organization not organized for private profit.
(12) “Employment agency” includes any person undertaking with or without compensation to recruit, procure, refer, or place employees for an employer.
(13) “Families with children status” means one or more individuals who have not attained the age of eighteen years being domiciled with a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals, or with the designee of such parent or other person having such legal custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person. Families with children status also applies to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of eighteen years.
(14) “Full enjoyment of” includes the right to purchase any service, commodity, or article of personal property offered or sold on, or by, any establishment to the public, and the admission of any person to accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement, without acts directly or indirectly causing persons of any particular race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or with any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, to be treated as not welcome, accepted, desired, or solicited.
(15) “Honorably discharged veteran or military status” means a person who is:
(a) A veteran, as defined in RCW 41.04.007; or
(b) An active or reserve member in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including the national guard, coast guard, and armed forces reserves.
(16) “Labor organization” includes any organization which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances or terms or conditions of employment, or for other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment.
(17) “Marital status” means the legal status of being married, single, separated, divorced, or widowed.
(18) “National origin” includes “ancestry.”
(19) “Person” includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, organizations, corporations, cooperatives, legal representatives, trustees and receivers, or any group of persons; it includes any owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, agent, or employee, whether one or more natural persons; and further includes any political or civil subdivisions of the state and any agency or instrumentality of the state or of any political or civil subdivision thereof.
(20) “Premises” means the interior or exterior spaces, parts, components, or elements of a building, including individual dwelling units and the public and common use areas of a building.
(21) “Real estate transaction” includes the sale, appraisal, brokering, exchange, purchase, rental, or lease of real property, transacting or applying for a real estate loan, or the provision of brokerage services.
(22) “Real property” includes buildings, structures, dwellings, real estate, lands, tenements, leaseholds, interests in real estate cooperatives, condominiums, and hereditaments, corporeal and incorporeal, or any interest therein.
(23) “Respondent” means any person accused in a complaint or amended complaint of an unfair practice in a real estate transaction.
(24) “Service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a sensory, mental, or physical disability of a person with a disability.
(25) “Sex” means gender.
(26) “Sexual orientation” means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. As used in this definition, “gender expression or identity” means having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.
(2) This section does not apply to food establishments, as defined in RCW 49.60.218, with respect to the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Food establishments are subject to RCW 49.60.218 with respect to trained dog guides and service animals.
(2) A food establishment shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability in accordance with subsection (1) of this section if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability. In determining whether reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures can be made to allow a miniature horse into a facility, a food establishment shall act in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
(3) For the purposes of this section:
(a) “Service animal” means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing nonviolent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks.
(b) “Food establishment” means a place of business that sells or serves food for human consumption with a North American industry classification system code within “445110,” “445120,” “445210,” “445220,” “445230,” “445291,” “445292,” “445299,” “452910,” “722110,” “722211,” “722212,” “722213,” or “722410.”
(a) To refuse to engage in a real estate transaction with a person;
(b) To discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of a real estate transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith;
(c) To refuse to receive or to fail to transmit a bona fide offer to engage in a real estate transaction from a person;
(d) To refuse to negotiate for a real estate transaction with a person;
(e) To represent to a person that real property is not available for inspection, sale, rental, or lease when in fact it is so available, or to fail to bring a property listing to his or her attention, or to refuse to permit the person to inspect real property;
(f) To discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling, to any person; or to a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is sold, rented, or made available; or to any person associated with the person buying or renting;
(g) To make, print, circulate, post, or mail, or cause to be so made or published a statement, advertisement, or sign, or to use a form of application for a real estate transaction, or to make a record or inquiry in connection with a prospective real estate transaction, which indicates, directly or indirectly, an intent to make a limitation, specification, or discrimination with respect thereto;
(h) To offer, solicit, accept, use, or retain a listing of real property with the understanding that a person may be discriminated against in a real estate transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith;
(i) To expel a person from occupancy of real property;
(j) To discriminate in the course of negotiating, executing, or financing a real estate transaction whether by mortgage, deed of trust, contract, or other instrument imposing a lien or other security in real property, or in negotiating or executing any item or service related thereto including issuance of title insurance, mortgage insurance, loan guarantee, or other aspect of the transaction. Nothing in this section shall limit the effect of RCW 49.60.176 relating to unfair practices in credit transactions; or
(k) To attempt to do any of the unfair practices defined in this section.
(2) For the purposes of this chapter discrimination based on the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person who is blind, deaf, or physically disabled includes:
(a) A refusal to permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the dwelling, except that, in the case of a rental, the landlord may, where it is reasonable to do so, condition permission for a modification on the renter agreeing to restore the interior of the dwelling to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted;
(b) To refuse to make reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability and/or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person who is blind, deaf, or physically disabled equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; or
(c) To fail to design and construct covered multifamily dwellings and premises in conformance with the federal fair housing amendments act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601 et seq.) and all other applicable laws or regulations pertaining to access by persons with any sensory, mental, or physical disability or use of a trained dog guide or service animal. Whenever the requirements of applicable laws or regulations differ, the requirements which require greater accessibility for persons with any sensory, mental, or physical disability shall govern.
Nothing in (a) or (b) of this subsection shall apply to: (i) A single-family house rented or leased by the owner if the owner does not own or have an interest in the proceeds of the rental or lease of more than three such single-family houses at one time, the rental or lease occurred without the use of a real estate broker or salesperson, as defined in *RCW 18.85.010, and the rental or lease occurred without the publication, posting, or mailing of any advertisement, sign, or statement in violation of subsection (1)(g) of this section; or (ii) rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other if the owner maintains and occupies one of the rooms or units as his or her residence.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, it shall not be an unfair practice or a denial of civil rights for any public or private educational institution to separate the sexes or give preference to or limit use of dormitories, residence halls, or other student housing to persons of one sex or to make distinctions on the basis of marital or families with children status.
(4) Except pursuant to subsection (2)(a) of this section, this section shall not be construed to require structural changes, modifications, or additions to make facilities accessible to a person with a disability except as otherwise required by law. Nothing in this section affects the rights, responsibilities, and remedies of landlords and tenants pursuant to chapter 59.18 or 59.20 RCW, including the right to post and enforce reasonable rules of conduct and safety for all tenants and their guests, provided that chapters 59.18 and 59.20 RCW are only affected to the extent they are inconsistent with the nondiscrimination requirements of this chapter. Nothing in this section limits the applicability of any reasonable federal, state, or local restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling.
(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, it shall not be an unfair practice for any public establishment providing for accommodations offered for the full enjoyment of transient guests as defined by RCW 9.91.010(1)(c) to make distinctions on the basis of families with children status. Nothing in this section shall limit the effect of RCW 49.60.215 relating to unfair practices in places of public accommodation.
(6) Nothing in this chapter prohibiting discrimination based on families with children status applies to housing for older persons as defined by the federal fair housing amendments act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 3607(b)(1) through (3), as amended by the housing for older persons act of 1995, P.L. 104-76, as enacted on December 28, 1995. Nothing in this chapter authorizes requirements for housing for older persons different than the requirements in the federal fair housing amendments act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 3607(b)(1) through (3), as amended by the housing for older persons act of 1995, P.L. 104-76, as enacted on December 28, 1995.
(7) Nothing in this chapter shall apply to real estate transactions involving the sharing of a dwelling unit, or rental or sublease of a portion of a dwelling unit, when the dwelling unit is to be occupied by the owner or subleasor. For purposes of this section, “dwelling unit” has the same meaning as in RCW 59.18.030.
(2) A user or owner of a dog guide or service animal, whose animal is negligently or maliciously injured or killed, is entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in pursuing any civil remedy.
(3) The commission has no duty to investigate any negligent or malicious acts referred to under this section.