Fur flies over new no-dog rule in the Missouri House

(KTVO file)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri House officials are putting a tight leash on which state representatives and staff members can bring animals to work.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a revised policy handbook says pets are antithetical to maintaining "a professional and respectful work environment free from unnecessary distractions or impediments."

The exceptions are service animals and committee approved "emotional support" animals. Animals also will be permitted for Department of Conservation presentations and in hearings if legislation deals with the particular species.

Democratic Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, of University City, is among at least two lawmakers who object. She regularly brought her terrier/Chihuahua mix named Lily Freedom to her office. The dog came from a litter of puppies that joined the homes of various Ferguson protesters. She says the pet restrictions are "disturbing."

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