Code of Alabama - Title 13A: Criminal Code - Section 13A-11-231 - Definitions

Section 13A-11-231 - Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) HARASS. To engage in any conduct directed toward a service dog or handler that is likely to impede or interfere with the performance of a service dog in its duties or places the health and safety of the service dog or its handler in jeopardy. Such conduct includes actions which distract, obstruct, or intimidate the service dog, such as taunting, teasing, or striking.

(2) INJURY. Physical or emotional injury to the service dog.

(3) NOTICE. An actual verbal or other communication warning that the behavior of the person or the dog of the person is harassing toward the performance of a service dog in its duty or endangering the health and safety of the service dog.

(4) SERVICE DOG. A dog that has been individually trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a physician-diagnosed physical or mental disability or medical condition of a person as that term is used in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Service dogs include, but are not limited to, guide or leader dogs for persons who are blind; dogs that assist persons with physical disabilities by providing balance support, pulling a wheelchair, or performing other tasks; dogs that provide hearing assistance by alerting individuals who are deaf to specific sounds; and dogs who alert persons to an impending potential medical crisis. The term includes a therapy dog.

(5) THERAPY DOG. A trained emotional support dog that has been tested and registered by a nonprofit national therapy dog organization that sets standards and requirements for the health, welfare, task work, and oversight of therapy dogs and their handlers. The term therapy dog includes a dog trained to visit and provide emotional support to children, the sick and disabled, the aged, and victims in the court system. A registered therapy dog is trained for public access in facilities including, but not limited to, libraries, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, hospice, courthouse facilities, funeral homes, disaster areas, and homes where visits are needed to aid in health care and emotional support. A registered therapy dog is covered under this article from the time the dog leaves its home until the time it returns while in the performance of its duties as defined herein. The handler of a registered therapy dog shall be a member in good standing of a national therapy dog organization and be clearly identified with an organization and have authorized credentials.

(6) VALUE. The value of the service dog to the service dog user as demonstrated by any of the following elements:

a. Cost of the service dog.

b. Replacement and training or retraining expenses for the service dog and the user.

c. Veterinary and other medical and boarding expenses for the service dog during a period of treatment for injury.

d. Lost wages or income incurred by the service dog user during any period the user is without the services of the service dog.

e. Any additional expenses incurred by the service dog user directly because of the loss of the use of the service dog.

(Act 2016-132, §2; Act 2017-412, §1.)

Last modified: May 3, 2021