By Cheri Carlson, Ventura County Star/MCT 4/29/2014
Service dogs, and in some cases miniature horses, may be welcome in national parks, even when other animals are not.
That’s according to a National Park Service proposal to update regulations regarding service animals.
Officials are seeking public comment through June 17 on the proposed regulations.
The National Park Service “protects park resources and visitors by regulating pets and other domestic animals within park areas,” the agency says.
While service animals are allowed in parks now, the regulations have not been updated in some time. Officials said the agency proposed changes to provide “the broadest possible” accessibility to those with disabilities.
The regulations would define a service animal as a dog or a miniature horse trained to perform tasks directly related to a person’s disability.
A dog used solely for comfort or emotional support would not be considered a service animal and would be subject to regulations governing pets, the proposed rule states.
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