Governor McMaster Signs Service Animal Bill into Law

Columbia, SC — Governor McMaster signed Senate Bill 281 on May 16, 2019. The bill makes several changes to South Carolina law surrounding assistance animals:

Other current laws related to service animals remain in place:

A rationale offered by backers of the bill is that when owners pretend their pet is a service animal, backlash against poor animal behavior can affect people who use trained service animals. In some instances, fake service animals have even attacked real, expensively trained service dogs.  P&A is hopeful that this bill will result in fewer “fake” service animals, and that it will not inadvertently encourage harassment of people with trained service dogs. If any person with a disability who uses a service animal is asked questions outside the scope of those outlined above; is prevented from entering a place of public accommodation with their animal; or is denied housing based on their need for an assistance animal; they may contact P&A to report the violation toll-free at 866-275-7273.

Media Contact: P&A Policy Attorney Kathleen Warthen, 803-217-6703,