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Service Dog Law Hand-out

In the heat of the moment or when you need clear, concise information the most, it can be difficult to remember the most important details, especially with a topic as full of “legalese” as federal Service Dog law. Keep this handy Service Dog Law Hand-out readily available for those times when you need it the most.

Formatted as a one-page guide to the most pertinent parts of federal Service Dog law and the ADA, the Service Dog Law Hand-out directly references the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Code of Federal Regulations § 36.202. Definitions for “Service Dog,” “person with a disability,” “major life activity” and “public accommodation” are excerpted, and the the remainder of the hand-out covers the requirements for Service Dogs to be in public, access rights, exceptions to the law, questions businesses may ask concerning a Service Dog team and applicable fees/charges (none). The Service Dog Law Hand-out is U.S. federal Service Dog law in a nutshell.

To download a PDF copy of the Service Dog Law Hand-Out, simply click on the guide itself or on the link below the picture. Consider passing the Service Dog Law guide out to small business, keeping a copy in your partner’s vest or including a copy with your partner’s vet, training or registration records.

Service Dog Law Hand-out

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD COPY OF SERVICE DOG LAW HAND-OUT AS A PDF

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Comments

  • Robin Jackson September 15, 2013

    Speaking just for myself, I’d prefer to use the official ADA handout on service animals. Granted, it’s two pages, not one, but is official, it covers everything accurately, and it includes the contact information for the ADA infoline so store or restaurant managers can call for themselves and verify the information.

    http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

    My primary concern with the handout shown is the statement that “Federal law mandates complete access at no charge for all service dog teams.” That’s just not true–there are a number of important exceptions. For example, religious organizations are specifically exempt from the ADA even when they welcome the general public, so that includes churches, etc. Any business where the presence of the dog disrupts the essential nature of the business, such as a cat grooming salon that bars all dogs, can also bar service dogs. Zoos have to let service dog teams into most areas, but can bar them from walk through aviaries, petting zoos, and tiger and lion areas. Military property and Native American properties (including casinos and hotels) follow their own policies, and can limit access. Any place where humans have to take infectious disease precautions like scrubdowns/masks/gloves, including, for example, visiting an ICU, may be able to bar a service team, it just depends on the specific details of the case. Any place which requires special safety equipment for humans, including safety harnesses, can bar service dogs, which is why service dogs are allowed in amusement parks but not generally on roller coasters. Hygiene is also taken into consideration, which is why service dogs are allowed to the water’s edge at public pools, but not in the pool itself, and why service dogs should not occupy seats intended for humans including on buses and in restaurants.

    This is why the official handout says “generally must allow” which is legally very different from this blog’s handout which says “mandates complete access.” “Generally” allows for the various exceptions.

    The ADA infoline can answer any specific questions: http://www.ada.gov/infoline.

    BTW–the ADA was updated in 2008 through the ADAAA. The ADA itself was not updated in 2010, but the enabling regulations were. It’s a minor point, but another example of why it’s probably best to leave legal language to the official documents.

    • Jason August 19, 2015

      I prefer these cards from Amazon. Three inches by 2 inches: Service Dog Cards – 2X Size 50 Service Dog Information Cards State Your Rights
      Link: http://amzn.com/B00CDT83V4

      I’ve handed them out to places that have tried to deny access, especially in restaurants. A person was complaining that my service dog laying on the floor next to my power chair could get hair in her food 7 booths away from me where she was dining. I gave the manager one of these cards and he showed it to her as well. She shut up and the manager offered to comp my meal which I declined since there was no real issue and the manager wasn’t actually asking me to leave. The general public and many business owners are so in the dark on service animals and these help educate. These also have the ADA phone number and information. Quality cards too. They have business card sizes too but the print is very tiny. Much better on these larger cards.

  • Bobbie April 12, 2014

    What can you do if you are a visitor at a hospital standard room and get kicked out even though you show all documents that you are disabled and your dog’s licenses

  • RAYMOND CARL FAULKNER August 9, 2016

    I DONT HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH SERVICE DOGS BUT THE OWNER OF THE DOG SHOULD BE WITH THE DOG NOT AN OUTSIDER WHO DOESNT NEED THE DOG CASE IN POINT I WAS SHOPPING AT MY LOCAL RALPHS THERE WAS SERVICE DOG WITH A MAN HOLDING THE LEASE HE DIDNT NEED THE DOG HE WAS ABLE I ASKED HIM I BELONGS TO SOMEONE ELSE ISNT THAT CHEATING ON THE SYSTEM THE OWNER OF THE DOG WHEATER IN A WHEELCHAIR SHOULD BE THE ONE HANDLING THE DOG NOT A NON OWNER SO ITS OKAY TO CHEAT AND BRING A SERVICE DOG INTO A STORE THATS NOT YOURS I AM SORRY THATS CHEATING ON THE SYSTEM AND I DONT LIKE IT I KNOW WHAT A SERVICE DOG IS AND DOES BUT IF IT IS NOT YOURS YOU SHOULDNT BE ALLOWED TO BE USING IT AT ALL THE PERSON WAS NOT IN A WHEELCHAIR AND WAS ABLE TO WALK JUST FINE
    I ASKED HIM POINT BLANK IS THAT YOUR NO ITS SOMEONE ELSES YOU CANT USE IT THEN THATS CHEATING
    THE OWNER OF THE DOG WASNT THERE …..

    • Kitty April 14, 2017

      Sorry but you do not really know what a service dog is. Service dogs do not just service people in wheelchairs and you by law are not allowed to ask the owner if that is their dog. You are only allowed to ask 2 questions: If that is a service dog and what task it performs. Just because the person holding the leash was not in a wheelchair does not mean it was not for that person, and they could have very easily told you it was not their dog because it was NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!! Service dogs are used for all sorts of reasons now and all sorts of dogs are used. I for one amm not in a wheelchair and too look at me you would not see my disability. My dog is small and I carry him in a sling. At first look most think he is a pet until they see his vest. So I suggest you go and read the ADA laws on what a service dog and what task they perform before you go up to a person again and ask questions that you have no business asking. You never know, you may ask the wrong one and get an earfull.

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