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Service Dog Rights

21 December, 2019
Service dog riding in a car.

Service Dogs are protected by the Federal Government under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Information about the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ADA service animal laws.

Service Dogs are not pets and they are not emotional support animals.

Explain why a Service Dog is not the same as an Emotional Support Animal.

A service dog is a medical tool and as such have public access rights.

Service Dogs are permitted public access as they allow their handler to live a full life despite their disabilities.

Places Service Dogs have access to include:

  • Restaurants
  • Grocery Stores
  • Office or any place of work
  • Beaches
  • National Parks
  • Coffee Shops
  • Farmers Markets
  • No-pet apartments
  • Hotels
  • Movie Theaters
  • Rideshare and taxis

How to Prevent Service Dog Discrimination

Education is the most important tool to prevent Service Dog discrimination. Once you are aware of the guidelines the ADA has set out for Service Dogs, you can communicate with a Service Dog handler without accidental discrimination.

Questions that you can ask about a Service Dog –

  1. Is that a Service Dog?
  2. What Services does your Service Dog provide?

Questions you are not permitted to ask about a Service Dog –

  1. Can you have your Service Dog perform the task?
  2. What disability do you have?

You are permitted to request a Service Dog leave the property if –

  1. Service Dog is causing a disturbance and will not stop
  2. Service Dog is threatening others

You are not permitted to deny a Service Dog access, even if –

  1. Someone is scared of dogs or uncomfortable with the dog’s breed
  2. You have a no-pet policy

If you are a Service Dog handler and need to report Service Dog discrimination –

To report discrimination, you may contact the US Department of Justice directly. Contact the ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY) to schedule an appointment.

The ADA might take up to 2 weeks to get back to you so this is not to be used for causes of immediate emergency. If you or your Service Dog is being threatened, remove yourself from the premises.

To learn more about Service Dog requirements, you may find the post below helpful.

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