|Service Dogs Save Lives!
|A Service Dog is defined in the Americans With Disabilities Act as "any guide dog,
signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the
benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to guiding
individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to
intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a
wheelchair, or fetching dropped items."
Service Dogs must be allowed to go anywhere their handler goes, including
restaurants, schools, buses, taxis, airplanes, stores, movie theatres, concerts,
sporting events, doctor's offices, and any other public place. It is REQUIRED under
federal and state laws that they be allowed. They do not have to wear any specific
identifying gear, including vests. Many Service Dog users choose to dress their
dogs in a vest or other identifying apparel in order to make access easier, as it
avoids many questions and confrontations. This is a personal choice, and is NOT
REQUIRED UNDER THE LAW. It is illegal to ask for any special identification
from Service Dog partners. Some carry ID cards, and may present them voluntarily,
but this also is not required, and should not be expected. You may NOT ask for
"proof" or certification of the dog's training as a condition of entry into your
If a Service Dog misbehaves and places someone in danger, you as a business
owner have the right to ask the partner to get control of the animal, or please leave.
This should be only an isolated incident, and can not be used to determine future
access based upon what "might" happen or has happened in the past. A person
with a Service Dog cannot be refused entry based on the actions of another Service
animal. Example: You cannot say "Oh, that last Service Dog team that was in here
left a mess, so I'm not letting any Service Dogs into my store anymore." This is
discrimination and can be punishable by law. Remember, too, that Service Dogs are
just that, DOGS, and they can have bad days just like people can. They are not
robots, and cannot be expected to act perfectly all the time.
|Website Copyright B. Brake 2004
|Service Dog Laws
|Americans With Disabilities Act