TX - Dogs, rescue - Chapter 785. Search and Rescue Dogs

Share |
Primary Citation:  V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 785.001 - .005 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  February, 2019 Alternate Citation:  Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 785.001 - .005 Date Adopted:  2013
Summary:

This chapter of laws deals with search and rescue dogs and their handlers. All search and rescue dog handlers must be certified by the National Association for Search and Rescue or another state or nationally recognized search and rescue agency. This chapter of laws allows for search and rescue dogs and their handlers equal access to all public facilities. If any person denies access to a search and rescue dog or their handler, he or she will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $300 or more than $1,000. If the search and rescue dog causes any damage while in the facility, the handler will be solely responsible.

§ 785.001. Definitions

§ 785.002. Discrimination Prohibited

§ 785.003. Penalty for Discrimination

§ 785.004. Responsibilities of Handlers; Civil Liability

§ 785.005. Canine Handler Credentials

 

 

§ 785.001. Definitions

(1) “Handler” means a person who handles a search and rescue dog and who is certified by the National Association for Search and Rescue or another state or nationally recognized search and rescue agency.
 
(2) “Housing accommodations” has the meaning assigned by Section 121. 002(3), Human Resources Code.
 
(3) “Public facility” means a facility described by Section 121.002(5), Human Resources Code.
 
(4) “Search and rescue dog” means a canine that is trained or being trained to assist a nationally recognized search and rescue agency in search and rescue activities.
 
Credits
Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., ch. 466 (S.B. 1010), § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

 

§ 785.002. Discrimination Prohibited

(a) The owner, manager, or operator of a public facility, or an employee or other agent of the owner, manager, or operator, may not deny a search and rescue dog admittance to the facility.
 
(b) The owner, manager, or operator of a public facility, or an employee or other agent of the owner, manager, or operator, may not deny a search and rescue dog's handler admittance to the facility because of the presence of the handler's search and rescue dog.
 
(c) The owner, manager, or operator of a common carrier, airplane, railroad train, motor bus, streetcar, boat, or other public conveyance or mode of transportation operating within this state, or an employee or other agent of the owner, manager, or operator, may not:
 
(1) refuse to accept as a passenger a search and rescue dog or the dog's handler; or
 
(2) require the dog's handler to pay an additional fare because of the search and rescue dog.
 
(d) The discrimination prohibited by this section includes:
 
(1) refusing to allow a search and rescue dog or the dog's handler to use or be admitted to a public facility;
 
(2) a ruse or subterfuge calculated to prevent or discourage a search and rescue dog or the dog's handler from using or being admitted to a public facility; and
 
(3) failing to make a reasonable accommodation in a policy, practice, or procedure to allow a search and rescue dog or the dog's handler to be admitted to a public facility.
 
(e) A policy relating to the use of a public facility by a designated class of persons from the general public may not prohibit the use of the particular public facility by a search and rescue dog or the dog's handler.
 
(f) A search and rescue dog's handler is entitled to full and equal access, in the same manner as other members of the general public, to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation in this state, subject to any condition or limitation established by law that applies to all persons, except that the handler may not be required to pay an extra fee or charge or security deposit for the search and rescue dog.
 
Credits
Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., ch. 466 (S.B. 1010), § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

 

§ 785.003. Penalty for Discrimination

(a) A person who violates Section 785.002 commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $300 or more than $1,000.
 
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that the actor requested the search and rescue dog handler's credentials under Section 785.005 and the handler failed to provide the actor with the credentials.
 
Credits
Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., ch. 466 (S.B. 1010), § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

 

§ 785.004. Responsibilities of Handlers; Civil Liability

(a) A handler who accompanies a search and rescue dog shall keep the dog properly harnessed or leashed. A person may maintain a cause of action against a dog's handler for personal injury, property damage, or death resulting from the failure of the dog's handler to properly harness or leash the dog under the same law applicable to other causes brought for the redress of injuries caused by animals.
 
(b) The handler of a search and rescue dog is liable for any property damage caused by the search and rescue dog to a public facility or to housing accommodations.
 
(c) A governmental unit, as defined by Section 101.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is subject to liability under this section only as provided by Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code. A public servant, as defined by Section 108.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is subject to liability under this section only as provided by Chapter 108, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
 
Credits
Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., ch. 466 (S.B. 1010), § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

 

§ 785.005. Canine Handler Credentials

A person may ask a search and rescue dog handler to display proof that the handler is a person with a certification issued by the National Association for Search and Rescue or another state or nationally recognized search and rescue agency.
 
Credits
Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., ch. 466 (S.B. 1010), § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

 

Share |