7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill addresses therapy animals in schools.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ defines terms;
13 ▸ requires a local education agency to create a policy for the handling of a therapy
14 animal if a school within the local education agency provides animal-assisted
15 interventions through therapy animals; and
16 ▸ makes technical changes.
17 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19 Other Special Clauses:
21 Utah Code Sections Affected:
23 53G-9-210, Utah Code Annotated 1953
25 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26 Section 1. Section 53G-9-210 is enacted to read:
27 53G-9-210. Therapy animal handling -- Policy.
28 (1) As used in this section:
29 (a) "Animal-assisted intervention" means an intervention designed to promote
30 improvement in an individual's physical, social, emotional, or cognitive functioning through
31 interactions with a specially trained animal.
32 (b) "Local education agency" means a school district or charter school.
33 (c) (i) "Therapy animal" means an animal that:
34 (A) provides affection and comfort to an individual for emotional support;
35 (B) is accompanied by a therapy animal handler; and
36 (C) is trained to provide animal-assisted intervention.
37 (ii) "Therapy animal" does not include a service animal or support animal as those
38 terms are defined in Section 62A-5b-102.
39 (d) "Therapy animal handler" means an individual who is trained to handle a therapy
40 animal for animal-assisted interventions.
41 (2) (a) If a school within a local education agency provides animal-assisted
42 interventions through therapy animals, the local education agency shall adopt a policy for
43 proper handling of a therapy animal on school grounds.
44 (b) The policy described in Subsection (2)(a) shall include:
45 (i) local or national certification or registration requirements for a therapy animal and
46 therapy animal handler;
47 (ii) guidelines for when a therapy animal and therapy animal handler are allowed on
48 school grounds;
49 (iii) notice requirements for parents, students, and school faculty and staff regarding
50 the use of a therapy animal on school grounds; and
51 (iv) guidelines to prevent students and staff who have an animal allergy or are
52 uncomfortable around animals from interacting with a therapy animal on school grounds.
53 (3) This section does not require a school to allow the use of a therapy animal.