Service dogs now have access to all public places in Alberta

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EDMONTON — Albertans with disabilities who use qualified service dogs now have access to all public places in the province.

The Alberta government issued a news release Thursday saying they’re the same rights as given to visually impaired persons who use a guide dog.

Community Supports Minister Mary Anne Jablonski says the new act ensures owners can take their service dogs into restaurants, taxis, buses, libraries, schools and any other place where the public is allowed.

Service dogs assist persons with a variety of disabilities, some of which may not be readily apparent, such as diabetes or epilepsy.

They can help with day-to-day tasks such as carrying or retrieving items, ringing door bells, providing balance and stability, or responding to seizures or diabetic episodes.

In addition to the approximately 130 guide dogs for persons with visual impairments, it is estimated there will initially be fewer than 100 qualified service dogs for people with other types of disabilities in Alberta.