Federal law, however, requires that service dogs be allowed into any public establishment, and moreover it prohibits staff at such establishments from questioning any patron about his or her disability. Additionally, the Texas legislature has also opted to take further action to prevent service dog discrimination on a state level. Last June, Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that makes it a misdemeanor to refuse entry to service dogs. The law, which went into effect in January, makes service dog discrimination punishable by a minimum $300 ticket and 30 days community service. In each of the three recent cases, however, no police action has been taken.
Texas isn't the only place where disabled people who rely on service dogs face discrimination. Just this week, a New York City resident named Chris Bassat, who is partially blind and has had a service dog for nearly a decade, was kicked out of a Brooklyn post office after a postal worker announced over a microphone that no dogs were allowed. According to a U.S. Postal Service spokesperson, Bassat was not refused service because of his canine assistant. Bassat, however, told the New York Daily News that video footage will prove that isn't the case.