ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A Missouri state lawmaker in St. Charles wants dogs who assist people with mental health problems designated service dogs.
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KMOX reporter Anne Keefe at her retirement party in 1993.

KMOX reporter Anne Keefe at her retirement party in 1993.


Representative Chrissy Sommers says her bill adds additional language to the existing service dog category.

The Missouri law currently states:

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go.

Sommers wants to see the word “psychiatric” added to the definition of a service dog to protect people who don’t have as visible of disabilities.

She says veterans will benefit greatly from it.

“Like if someone is having kind of like a fatal panic attack because maybe they have PTSD,” Sommers says. “and you know the social surrounding maybe that they are in or the work surrounding they are in is causing emotional distress.”

Missouri law states:

People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be charged extra fees, isolated from other patrons, or treated less favorably than other patrons.

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