Video: Vocal Critics Defeat Arizona Anti-Service-Dog Bill

We post frequently about the troubles heaped on service-dog owners by businesses that aren’t familiar with the laws regarding service dogs, and we’ve even pointed out that there are dog-owners who take advantage of the situation to sneak their own non-service dogs into places they shouldn’t go. But one Arizona lawmaker’s proposed solution was so ill-conceived that his fellow legislators ran away from it as fast as they could.

To be fair, it seems that Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, had reasonably good intentions when he proposed the bill, but service-dog activists were quick to note that his proposal would cause more, not fewer problems for those who really need canine help:

But dozens of people with disabilities ranging from blindness to epilepsy showed up on short notice to say the bill’s language was at odds with federal protections and would have isolated them from society. At least a half dozen dogs sat quietly next to their owners in a sign that the trained animals aren’t typically a nuisance in public.

Showing extraordinary good sense in not challenging dog owners, the committee abandoned the bill as soon as it came up. Let’s hope that this is the last time we try to solve a problem by making life more difficult for the victims. Perhaps legislation that seeks to educate business owners about the current laws regarding service animals would be more appropriate.

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Critics of a bill that would have banned service dogs pack a hearing room at the state Capitol Thursday.
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