Bill Would Ensure Service Dog Access

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 13, 2017

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New Jersey Statehouse
New Jersey Statehouse

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a measure to help make sure people with disabilities are allowed to take a service dog into public places.

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt says her bill calls for fines up to a thousand dollars for denying that access.

“The American Disabilities Act allows for service dogs to be with their owner to various locations, be it a restaurant, be it department store. However, those within the general population don’t always understand where service dogs can reside.”
16-year-old Cherry Hill resident Ben Shore urged lawmakers to pass 'Charlie's law', named for the service dog that helps him deal with panic attacks and other problems.

"If I wasn't able to have Charlie, I would be very limited in what I could do every day, and just having Charlie has been a big difference to me. Right now it's very hard to go certain places because most people will look at him and just say no."

Ben has been prevented from taking the dog with him to school.
“Unfortunately the only thing I can do at this point is wait months and months for any action to happen. But if I can just have a single law enforcement officer say the law is the law, please do this, I know that they would cooperate and do the right thing.”
Money from the fines would be used for programs to raise public awareness about the rights of people with service dogs.


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