Bill would regulate 'comfort' animals

Bill would regulate 'comfort' animals



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Animals used purely for emotional or psychological reasons would be removed from the legal definition of a service animal under a bill proposed at the Utah Legislature.

Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, says she wants to limit the definition of service animals to those that are trained to help the blind, people in wheelchairs and people with the potential to have seizures.

Dayton, who is sponsoring Senate Bill 173, says she wants the state's legal definition to match that in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Language adding emotional service animals to the definition was added in 2007.

Dayton says most comfort animals don't have special training, but Andrew Riggle, public policy advocate for the Disability Law Center, says comfort animals have to be approved by a mental health professional.

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Information from: Deseret News

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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