Connecticut bill creates crime for distracting service dogs

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HARTFORD  — A proposed bill in Connecticut would make it a crime to intentionally interfere with service dogs while they’re on the job.

People who rely on guide and service dogs to help them cope with things like blindness or post-traumatic stress say they’ve had members of the public purposely try to distract the animals. It happens even if the dog is wearing a vest identifying it as a service animal.

Christine Elkins, of Bristol, has balance and mobility problems. She says she could fall and end up living life in a wheelchair if her dog is distracted.

Connecticut is one of the few states without a law on the books prohibiting the interference with or harassment of service animals. A bill moving through the legislature would make it a misdemeanor.

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