2021 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 28 - Human Rights
Article 11 - Service Animal
Section 28-11-5 - Findings and purpose; interference with qualified service animals prohibited; criminal and civil penalties.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 28-11-5 (2021)

A. The legislature finds that unrestrained animals constitute a danger to qualified service animals and public safety. The purpose of this section is to protect persons with disabilities and qualified service animals from attack by unrestrained animals.

B. It is unlawful for any person, with no legitimate reason, to:

(1) intentionally interfere with the use of a qualified service animal by harassing or obstructing the owner, trainer or handler of the qualified service animal or the qualified service animal; or

(2) intentionally fail or refuse to control the person's unrestrained animal, which animal interferes with or obstructs the owner, trainer or handler of the qualified service animal.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to unrestrained animals on private property not open to the public.

D. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished pursuant to Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978. A person convicted under this section may be ordered to pay restitution, including, but not limited to, actual damages.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude any other remedies otherwise available pursuant to common law or the NMSA 1978.

History: Laws 1999, ch. 113, § 1; 2005, ch. 224, § 5; 2013, ch. 57, § 5.

ANNOTATIONS

Cross references. — For definition and degrees of cruelty to animals, see 30-18-1 NMSA 1978.

For the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, see 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.

The 2013 amendment, effective June 14, 2013, expanded the application of the section to include animals in addition to dogs; in the title of the section, deleted "assistance" and added "service"; in Subsection A, deleted "assistance" and added "service" before "animal", and deleted "dogs" and added "animals"; in Subsection B, in the introductory sentence, after "with no", deleted "legal justification" and added "legitimate reason"; in Paragraph (1) of Subsection B, deleted "assistance" and added "service" before "animal", after "obstructing the owner", deleted "or", and after "trainer", added "or handler"; in Paragraph (2) of Subsection B, deleted "assistance" and added "service" before "animal", after "person's unrestrained", deleted "dog, and that dog" and added "animal, which animal", after "obstructs the owner", deleted "or", after "trainer", added "or handler", and after "service animal", deleted "or the qualified assistance animal"; in Subsection C, after "unrestrained", deleted "dogs" and added "animals"; and in Subsection D, in the second sentence after "to pay restitution, including", deleted "the cost of veterinary bills and replacement and training costs of a qualified assistance animal, if such costs are incurred as a result of the violation" and added "but not limited to, actual damages".

The 2005 amendment, effective June 17, 2005, deleted the former provision of Subsection B, which defined "assistance dog" as a dog that has been trained for persons with a hearing, sight or other physical disability or impairment; provided in Subsection B(1) that it is unlawful for a person to interfere with the use of a qualified assistance animal by harassing or obstructing the owner or trainer of the animal, or the animal; provides in Subsection B(2) that it is unlawful for a person to fail or refuse to control that person's unrestrained dog and that dog interferes with or obstructs the owner or trainer of a qualified assistance animal or the animal; provided in Subsection C that this section does not apply to unrestrained dogs on private property; and deleted former Subsection G, which defined "assistance animal" to mean an animal recognized as a service animal pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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