Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Utah eliminates accomodations for "emotional support animals" under state law

Julia Lyon
Salt Lake City Tribune
Mar. 11, 2009

The smell of raw meat or the chaos of Wal-Mart can launch Edward Carey back to a time when saving soldiers' lives in Iraq was his job. Now the former combat medic is home and Lexi, a border collie, is trying to save his.

A service dog-in-training, the 8-month old black and white puppy yanks the veteran back to reality with a tug on his pants when a panic attack begins. Often, Carey says, she knows one is coming before he does.

Plagued by anxiety, Carey hopes a new state law won't stop people like him from healing.

Lawmakers have eliminated references to emotional support animals allowed in private and public places, leaving some Utahns with disabilities concerned about what the future may hold for their service or comfort animal. They worry the law will step on the rights of the disabled, preventing them from getting the animal assistance they need.

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