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North Carolina

Consolidated Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: NC ST 14-163.1; 168-1 - 13; 20-175.1 - 175.4

Citation: N.C.G.S.A. 14-163.1; 168-1 - 13; 20-175.1 - 175.4


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2013

Summary:  

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.



Statute in Full:

West's North Carolina General Statutes Annotated. Chapter 14. Criminal Law. Subchapter VI. Criminal Trespass. Article 23. Trespasses to Personal Property.

§ 14-163.1. Assaulting a law enforcement agency animal or an assistance animal

Chapter 168. Persons with Disabilities. Article 1. Rights.

§ 168-1. Purpose and definition

§ 168-2. Right of access to and use of public places

§ 168-3. Right to use of public conveyances, accommodations, etc

§§ 168-4, 168-4.1. Repealed by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1

§ 168-4.2. May be accompanied by service animal

§ 168-4.3. Training and registration of service animal

§ 168-4.4. Responsibility for service animal

§ 168-4.5. Penalty

§ 168-4.6. Donation of dogs for training

§ 168-5. Repealed by S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005

§ 168-6. Repealed by Laws 1985, c. 571, § 3

§§ 168-7, 168-7.1. Repealed by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1

§ 168-8. Right to habilitation and rehabilitation services

§ 168-9. Right to housing

§ 168-10. Eliminate discrimination in treatment of persons with disabilities

§§ 168-11 to 168-13. Reserved

Chapter 20. Motor Vehicles. Article 3. Motor Vehicle Act of 1937. Part 11A. Blind Pedestrians -- White Canes or Guide Dogs

§ 20-175.1. Public use of white canes by other than blind persons prohibited

§ 20-175.2. Right-of-way at crossings, intersections and traffic-control signal points; white cane or guide dog to serve as signal for the blind

§ 20-175.3. Rights and privileges of blind persons without white cane or guide dog

§ 20-175.4. Repealed by Laws 1973, c. 1330, § 39

 

 

West's North Carolina General Statutes Annotated. Chapter 14. Criminal Law. Subchapter VI. Criminal Trespass. Article 23. Trespasses to Personal Property.

§ 14-163.1. Assaulting a law enforcement agency animal or an assistance animal

(a) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Assistance animal.--An animal that is trained and may be used to assist a “person with a disability” as defined in G.S. 168A-3. The term “assistance animal” is not limited to a dog and includes any animal trained to assist a person with a disability as provided in Article 1 of Chapter 168 of the General Statutes.

(2) Law enforcement agency animal.--An animal that is trained and may be used to assist a law enforcement officer in the performance of the officer's official duties.

(3) Harm.--Any injury, illness, or other physiological impairment; or any behavioral impairment that impedes or interferes with duties performed by a law enforcement agency animal or an assistance animal.

(3a) Search and rescue animal.--An animal that is trained and may be used to assist in a search and rescue operation.

(4) Serious harm.--Harm that does any of the following:

a. Creates a substantial risk of death.

b. Causes maiming or causes substantial loss or impairment of bodily function.

c. Causes acute pain of a duration that results in substantial suffering.

d. Requires retraining of the law enforcement agency animal or assistance animal.

e. Requires retirement of the law enforcement agency animal or assistance animal from performing duties.

(a1) Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully kills the animal is guilty of a Class H felony.

(b) Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully causes or attempts to cause serious harm to the animal is guilty of a Class I felony.

(c) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully causes or attempts to cause harm to the animal is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(d) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully taunts, teases, harasses, delays, obstructs, or attempts to delay or obstruct the animal in the performance of its duty as a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(d1) A defendant convicted of a violation of this section shall be ordered to make restitution to the person with a disability, or to a person, group, or law enforcement agency who owns or is responsible for the care of the law enforcement agency animal or search and rescue animal for any of the following as appropriate:

(1) Veterinary, medical care, and boarding expenses for the law enforcement agency animal, the assistance animal, or the search and rescue animal.

(2) Medical expenses for the person with the disability relating to the harm inflicted upon the assistance animal.

(3) Replacement and training or retraining expenses for the law enforcement agency animal, the assistance animal, or the search and rescue animal.

(4) Expenses incurred to provide temporary mobility services to the person with a disability.

(5) Wages or income lost while the person with a disability is with the assistance animal receiving training or retraining.

(6) The salary of the law enforcement agency animal handler as a result of the lost services to the agency during the time the handler is with the law enforcement agency animal receiving training or retraining.

(6a) The salary of the search and rescue animal handler as a result of the search and rescue services lost during the time the handler is with the search and rescue animal receiving training or retraining.

(7) Any other expense reasonably incurred as a result of the offense.

(e) This section shall not apply to a licensed veterinarian whose conduct is in accordance with Article 11 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes.

(f) Self-defense is an affirmative defense to a violation of this section.

(g) Nothing in this section shall affect any civil remedies available for violation of this section.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1983, c. 646, § 1. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 108, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994, (1st Ex.Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 258, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 1995; S.L. 2001-411, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2001; S.L. 2005-184, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2005; S.L. 2007-80, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2007; S.L. 2009-460, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2009.
 


Chapter 168. Persons with Disabilities. Article 1. Rights.

§ 168-1. Purpose and definition

The State shall encourage and enable persons with disabilities to participate fully in the social and economic life of the State and to engage in remunerative employment. For purposes of this Article, the term “person with a disability” shall have the same meaning as set forth in G.S. 168A-3(7a).

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1973, c. 493, § 1. Amended by S.L. 2000-121, § 33, eff. July 14, 2000; S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

 

§ 168-2. Right of access to and use of public places

Persons with disabilities have the same right as persons without disabilities to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, and all other buildings and facilities, both publicly and privately owned, which serve the public. The Department of Health and Human Services shall develop, print, and promote the publication ACCESS NORTH CAROLINA. It shall make copies of the publication available to the Department of Commerce for its use in Welcome Centers and other appropriate Department of Commerce offices. The Department of Commerce shall promote ACCESS NORTH CAROLINA in its publications (including providing a toll-free telephone line and an address for requesting copies of the publication) and provide technical assistance to the Department of Health and Human Services on travel attractions to be included in ACCESS NORTH CAROLINA. The Department of Commerce shall forward all requests for mailing ACCESS NORTH CAROLINA to the Department of Health and Human Services.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1973, c. 493, § 1. Amended by Laws 1991, c. 672, § 4; Laws 1991, c. 726, § 23; Laws 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 959, § 84; S.L. 1997-443, § 11A.118(a), eff. July 1, 1997, eff. July 1, 1997; S.L. 2004-203, § 61, eff. Aug. 17, 2004; S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

 

§ 168-3. Right to use of public conveyances, accommodations, etc

Persons with disabilities are entitled to accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, streetcars, boats, or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation; hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1973, c. 493, § 1. Amended by S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

 

§§ 168-4, 168-4.1. Repealed by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1

 

§ 168-4.2. May be accompanied by service animal

(a) Every person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal trained to assist the person with his or her specific disability in any of the places listed in G.S. 168-3, and has the right to keep the service animal on any premises the person leases, rents, or uses. The person qualifies for these rights upon the showing of a tag, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, under G.S. 168-4.3, stamped “NORTH CAROLINA SERVICE ANIMAL PERMANENT REGISTRATION” and stamped with a registration number, or upon a showing that the animal is being trained or has been trained as a service animal. The service animal may accompany a person in any of the places listed in G.S. 168-3.

(b) An animal in training to become a service animal may be taken into any of the places listed in G.S. 168-3 for the purpose of training when the animal is accompanied by a person who is training the service animal and the animal wears a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal in training. The trainer shall be liable for any damage caused by the animal while using a public conveyance or on the premises of a public facility or other place listed in G.S. 168-3.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1. Amended by Laws 1987, c. 401, § 1; Laws 1995, c. 276, § 1; S.L. 1997-443, § 11A.118(a), eff. July 1, 1997; S.L. 2004-203, § 62(a), eff. Aug. 17, 2004; S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

 

§ 168-4.3. Training and registration of service animal

The Department of Health and Human Services, shall adopt rules for the registration of service animals and shall issue registrations to a person with a disability who makes application for registration of an animal that serves as a service animal or to a person who is training an animal as a service animal.

The rules adopted regarding registration shall require that the animal be trained or be in training as a service animal. The rules shall provide that the certification and registration need not be renewed while the animal is serving or training with the person applying for the registration. No fee may be charged the person for the application, registration, tag, or replacement in the event the original is lost. The Department of Health and Human Services may, by rule, issue a certification or accept the certification issued by the appropriate training facilities.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1; Laws 1987, c. 401, § 2; S.L. 1997-443, § 11A.118(a), eff. July 1, 1997. Amended by S.L. 2004-203, § 62(b), eff. Aug. 17, 2004; S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

 

§ 168-4.4. Responsibility for service animal

Neither a person with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal, nor a person who is training a service animal, may be required to pay any extra compensation for the animal. The person has all the responsibilities and liabilities placed on any person by any applicable law when that person owns or uses any animal, including liability for any damage done by the animal.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1. Amended by S.L. 2004-203, § 62(c), eff. Aug. 17, 2004; S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.
 

§ 168-4.5. Penalty

It is unlawful to disguise a dog as an assistance dog, or to deprive a visually impaired person, a hearing impaired person, or a mobility impaired person of any rights granted the person pursuant to G.S. 168-4.2 through G.S. 168-4.4, or of any rights or privileges granted the general public with respect to being accompanied by dogs, or to charge any fee for the use of the assistance dog. Violation of this section shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1. Amended by Laws 1987, c. 401, § 3; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 1120, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.
 

§ 168-4.6. Donation of dogs for training

Dogs impounded by a local dog warden that are not redeemed shall be donated to a nonprofit agency engaged in the training of assistance dogs, upon the agency's request.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1.
 

§ 168-5. Repealed by S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005

 

§ 168-6. Repealed by Laws 1985, c. 571, § 3

 

§§ 168-7, 168-7.1. Repealed by Laws 1985, c. 514, § 1

 

§ 168-8. Right to habilitation and rehabilitation services

A person with a disability shall be entitled to such habilitation and rehabilitation services as available and needed for the development or restoration of their capabilities to the fullest extent possible. Such services shall include, but not be limited to, education, training, treatment and other services to provide for adequate food, clothing, housing and transportation during the course of education, training and treatment. A person with a disability shall be entitled to these rights subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1973, c. 493, § 1. Amended by S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.


§ 168-9. Right to housing

Each person with a disability who is a citizen shall have the same right as any other citizen to live and reside in residential communities, homes, and group homes, and no person or group of persons, including governmental bodies or political subdivisions of the State, shall be permitted, or have the authority, to prevent any person with a disability who is a citizen from living and residing in residential communities, homes, and group homes on the same basis and conditions as any other citizen. Nothing herein shall be construed to conflict with provisions of Chapter 122C of the General Statutes.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1975, c. 635. Amended by Laws 1985, c. 589, § 61; S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005. 

 

§ 168-10. Eliminate discrimination in treatment of persons with disabilities

Each person with a disability shall have the same consideration as any other person for individual accident and health insurance coverage, and no insurer, service corporation, multiple employer welfare arrangement, or health maintenance organization subject to Chapter 58 of the General Statutes solely on the basis of the person's disability, shall deny such coverage or benefits. The availability of coverage or benefits shall not be denied solely because of the disability; however, any such insurer may charge the appropriate premiums or fees for the risk insured on the same basis and conditions as insurance issued to other persons, in accordance with actuarial and underwriting principles and other coverage provisions prescribed in Chapter 58 of the General Statutes. No insurer, service corporation, multiple employer welfare arrangement, or health maintenance organization subject to Chapter 58 of the General Statutes shall be prohibited from excluding by waiver or otherwise, any preexisting conditions from coverage as prescribed in G.S. 58-51-15(a)(2)b.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1977, c. 894, §§ 1, 2. Amended by Laws 1991, c. 720, § 80; S.L. 1999-219, § 3.1, eff. June 25, 1999; S.L. 2005-450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.
 


§§ 168-11 to 168-13. Reserved

Chapter 20. Motor Vehicles. Article 3. Motor Vehicle Act of 1937. Part 11A. Blind Pedestrians -- White Canes or Guide Dogs


§ 20-175.1. Public use of white canes by other than blind persons prohibited

It shall be unlawful for any person, except one who is wholly or partially blind, to carry or use on any street or highway, or in any other public place, a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1949, c. 324, § 1.


§ 20-175.2. Right-of-way at crossings, intersections and traffic-control signal points; white cane or guide dog to serve as signal for the blind

At any street, road or highway crossing or intersection, where the movement of traffic is not regulated by a traffic officer or by traffic-control signals, any blind or partially blind pedestrian shall be entitled to the right-of-way at such crossing or intersection, if such blind or partially blind pedestrian shall extend before him at arm's length a cane white in color or white tipped with red, or if such person is accompanied by a guide dog. Upon receiving such a signal, all vehicles at or approaching such intersection or crossing shall come to a full stop, leaving a clear lane through which such pedestrian may pass, and such vehicle shall remain stationary until such blind or partially blind pedestrian has completed the passage of such crossing or intersection. At any street, road or highway crossing or intersection, where the movement of traffic is regulated by traffic-control signals, blind or partially blind pedestrians shall be entitled to the right-of-way if such person having such cane or accompanied by a guide dog shall be partly across such crossing or intersection at the time the traffic-control signals change, and all vehicles shall stop and remain stationary until such pedestrian has completed passage across the intersection or crossing.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1949, c. 324, § 2.


§ 20-175.3. Rights and privileges of blind persons without white cane or guide dog

Nothing contained in this Part shall be construed to deprive any blind or partially blind person not carrying a cane white in color or white tipped with red, or being accompanied by a guide dog, of any of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon pedestrians crossing streets and highways, nor shall the failure of such blind or partially blind person to carry a cane white in color or white tipped with red, or to be accompanied by a guide dog, upon the streets, roads, highways or sidewalks of this State, be held to constitute or be evidence of contributory negligence by virtue of this Part.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1949, c. 324, § 3.


§ 20-175.4. Repealed by Laws 1973, c. 1330, § 39

 



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