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There has been a lot of attention paid nationally to service animals and emotional support animals, and the difference between them.    Here in Iowa, two legislators have introduced bills that address service animals.

  • Rep. Guy Vander Linden (R-Oskaloosa) sponsored HF 2089, which makes it a crime to mistreat a service dog.  The bill is limited to dogs - it does not refer to other service animals.  The bill is in the House Judiciary Commitee, but it has not yet been assigned a subcommittee.
  • The first House bill introduced this year (HF 2001) was sponsored by Rep. Sandy Salmon (R-Janesville).  This bill allows the removal of service dogs from a rental property if the service animal is out of control or the owner refuses to bring the animal under control, the animal is unable to control their urination or bowel movements, or the animal is a threat to the health and safety of others.  People who misrepresent their animal as a "service animal" can be charged with a simple misdemeanor - including if they falsify documents, put on a harness or vest that misrepresents their status as a service animal, or falsely states the animal is a service animal.  This subcommittee meets on Tuesday (Feb. 6) at 11 am in the House Lounge.  Stay tuned for updates on this.