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.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

(1) comment

Mamma Griz

If only some children could be as well behaved as the service dogs I have seen. The dogs behave themselves and don't run around like some of the children I have seen. Children should be as well behaved as service dogs! But service dogs are trained and kept on a leash. BTW, this does NOT mean that everybody's mutt can be taken to places! Now watch some people take advantage of this.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.