Starting Sept. 1, residents with physical or mental disabilities, including war veterans suffering from PTSD, who use service animals, will be able to take their animals into all Texas establishments without having to show paperwork on the animal.
Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 489 on Friday. The bill allows residents with disabilities to use service animals in all public places, including retail businesses and restaurants, without having to show the qualifications or certifications of the assistance animal.
This is good news for those who use a service animal to help cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the governor.
“For veterans suffering from PTSD, a service animal can be a strong part of their recovery and a comforting presence in the midst of what can feel like chaotic and stressful situations,” Perry said in a news release. “This bill is a smart way for us to give back and help any Texan, including our veterans, lead a healthy, productive life.”
The legislation was created to prevent discrimination. Businesses and public facilities may inquire about the type of assistance provided by the animal for admittance, but cannot deny entry to the animal.
“I am pleased that the governor saw the importance of this bill for so many of our returning wounded warriors,” said Rep. Jose Menendez, the bill’s author, in a news release. “This bill is an important step in helping the growing number of disabled veterans, as well as others, who depend on service dogs in their daily lives, to have the same right of access to businesses and other public places that all citizens enjoy.”