EPD Hosting ‘Legal Rights to Service Animals in Businesses and Government Buildings’ Workshop

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Featured image by DanTDOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link.



  • Service animals are great for those who need them, and a ruse for those who just want a companion animal for comfort. Comfort animals are not service dogs; they’re pets.

    • That’s your opinion, just saying!
      I know someone who was a victim of gun violence, a couple yrs ago, by a complete stranger. It was sudden & when this person woke, from the induced coma a month later, life was never the same, but fear around every corner, from a random act act of evil this person experienced. This person, lost the function of a sm, but important, body part and is scarred for the rest of life. This person has a medium size dog & is considered a comfort animal. This person feels safe to go out when the dog is with, but does not feel safe going out without, unless with another friend. This person has taken a couple flights home to see relatives & was allowed to bring the dog on the plane. So think before you speak, like you know everything bout other’s business. Clean your house or something cause your talking OYA!

      • Kinda an agressive reply. How do you argue against the person that is in the same airplane that has a profound fear of dogs after being attacked by one, and has the fear of even being near a dog. So you might want to practice your own advice, “So think before you speak, like you know everything bout others business & clean your house or something cause your talking OYA! ” Pet your dog and calm down.

        • You kind of have a point but……then they need a fear of dogs license & the plane can sit them on opposite ends. But until there’s a license for fear of dogs, the court will uphold my friend & service dog vs you’re counter agruement, outdated in the law. So maybe you should inform yourself & think before you reply. Not aggressive but tired of, Lil know it all, judgemental, uninformed comments. Its just annoying, to see so many uninformed folks argue, what they have no clue about! So maybe you should attend this course.

      • I mean, Just Saying is correct that service animals and companion/comfort dogs are different. There are different regulations that surround them. Registered and trained service animals are the only ones that are allowed into public establishments, therapy dogs and emotional support animals are not. Most airlines allow dogs, even if they aren’t registered in any capacity, that has nothing to do with it.

        • Nope. Your completely misinformed and wrong! Maybe you should go to this course. There is no higher or lower level when the subject falls under Disability & it’s laws. Its even illegal for you to question someone’s different disability, extreme or mild. Don’t get caught on camera with your judgement & questions on film, cause that will hold up in court.

          • read the rules people,
            Businesses may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards for the animal or ask about the person’s disability
            A. In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

            Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. … Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
            Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. … A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.

    • In California, Emotional Support Animals are given the same rights and protections of service animals. Mine helps to keep me from extreme anxiety attacks in crowded situations.

  • Maybe inform the public instead. A restaurant owner friend of mine recently had to get a new “no pets allowed” sign after a customer tried to bring their cat to dinner. Who thinks that’s appropriate??

    • She better go to this program cause she can get sued. Considering its a cat the customer should consider a carrier. If she has a license then she’s with in her right & your friend could be in deep water, for questioning & judging their right! Just food for thought!

  • Vision impaired people need their seeing-eye dogs. Other than that anywhere that has a no dog rule should be able to keep dogs away. Leave your dogs somewhere else instead of imposing them on others in places where they are not wanted under the guise of service animals. It has got really out of hand.

  • fuckwalterwhite.com

    How about the fur-chewing dog under the counter at the Omelette Chalet?

    Dis-service dog….

  • Most service dogs are fake, dogs don’t belong anywhere in public. Tired of filthy dogs on ropes, sick of pitbulls, it’s time to ban dogs from riding in cars. Keep your mutt at home.

    More Korean delis might be the only answer to the dog problem.

  • Leave the lil “B*$#H” at home, I was bitten by a “companion animal” that someone had hiding in their jacket when I went to hand something to the owner. I never saw it coming, so yes a little PTSD about your so called “Companion” animal. Read the rules, People. Sneaking them in places they do not belong is not good for anyone. Fido doesn’t belong in the same shopping cart I put my groceries in or you dragging them behind you on a leash while you ride around in your motorized cart in the grocery story. BTW I have had dogs all of my life and never did I feel they had to go everywhere I did. So, leave your little so called “FurBaby” at home!!!

  • As a disabled person I have been assigned a parking placard with DVM papers showing my name and address which I have to present to a law enforcement officer if requested. Service dogs do not have papers to prove the owner is disabled. This whole world has gone to the dogs.

  • This is federal but there are other rules thru ca
    Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA.
    U.S. Department of Justice
    Civil Rights Division
    Disability Rights Section



    1. Q: What are the laws that apply to my business?

    A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), privately owned businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA requires these businesses to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed.
    2. Q: What is a service animal?

    A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
    Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:
    _ Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.
    _ Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.
    _ Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.
    A service animal is not a pet.
    3. Q: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?

    A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.
    4. Q: What must I do when an individual with a service animal comes to my business?

    A: The service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from other customers.
    5. Q: I have always had a clearly posted “no pets” policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow service animals in?

    A: Yes. A service animal is not a pet. The ADA requires you to modify your “no pets” policy to allow the use of a service animal by a person with a disability. This does not mean you must abandon your “no pets” policy altogether but simply that you must make an exception to your general rule for service animals.
    6. Q: My county health department has told me that only a guide dog has to be admitted. If I follow those regulations, am I violating the ADA?

    A: Yes, if you refuse to admit any other type of service animal on the basis of local health department regulations or other state or local laws. The ADA provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and so it takes priority over the local or state laws or regulations.
    7. Q: Can I charge a maintenance or cleaning fee for customers who bring service animals into my business?

    A: No. Neither a deposit nor a surcharge may be imposed on an individual with a disability as a condition to allowing a service animal to accompany the individual with a disability, even if deposits are routinely required for pets. However, a public accommodation may charge its customers with disabilities if a service animal causes damage so long as it is the regular practice of the entity to charge non-disabled customers for the same types of damages. For example, a hotel can charge a guest with a disability for the cost of repairing or cleaning furniture damaged by a service animal if it is the hotel’s policy to charge when non-disabled guests cause such damage.
    8. Q: I operate a private taxicab and I don’t want animals in my taxi; they smell, shed hair and sometimes have “accidents.” Am I violating the ADA if I refuse to pick up someone with a service animal?

    A: Yes. Taxicab companies may not refuse to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Private taxicab companies are also prohibited from charging higher fares or fees for transporting individuals with disabilities and their service animals than they charge to other persons for the same or equivalent service.

    9. Q: Am I responsible for the animal while the person with a disability is in my business?

    A: No. The care or supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. You are not required to provide care or food or a special location for the animal.
    10. Q: What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control?

    A: You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, from your facility when that animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded. You may not make assumptions, however, about how a particular animal is likely to behave based on your past experience with other animals. Each situation must be considered individually.
    Although a public accommodation may exclude any service animal that is out of control, it should give the individual with a disability who uses the service animal the option of continuing to enjoy its goods and services without having the service animal on the premises.
    11. Q: Can I exclude an animal that doesn’t really seem dangerous but is disruptive to my business?

    A: There may be a few circumstances when a public accommodation is not required to accommodate a service animal–that is, when doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the business. Generally, this is not likely to occur in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities. But when it does, for example, when a dog barks during a movie, the animal can be excluded.

    If you have further questions about service animals or other requirements of the ADA, you may call the U.S. Department of Justice’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

    July 1996
    Reproduction of this document is encouraged.

    February24, 2017

  • “Emotional support dogs are dogs that provide comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship for an individual suffering from various mental and emotional conditions. An emotional support dog is not required to perform any specific tasks for a disability like service dogs are.”

  • Is it legal to ask for service dog papers?
    “A public accommodation or facility is not allowed to ask for documentation or proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Local laws that prohibit specific breeds of dogs do not apply to service animals.”

  • Is PTSD a disability under the ADA?
    However, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the individualized assessment of virtually all people with PTSD will result in a determination of disability under the ADA; given its inherent nature, PTSD will almost always be found to substantially limit the major life activity of brain …

  • “The ADA goes on to provide examples of tasks that a service dog can perform, including “calming a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack.” And yet, service dogs for people with PTSD are often mislabeled as “emotional support animals” (ESAs), which are not covered by the ADA.”

    So you better be careful bout your question that might get u in a sticky situation.

  • The Problems with Service Dogs, the ADA and PTSD
    Know the Laws

    Updated February 17, 2017
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that protects people with disabilities. It was signed into law in 1990 and its provisions were expanded under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

    In 2010, the Department of Justice released a revised set of regulations for service dogs with respect to title II (state and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) of the ADA.

    These regulations address the rights of service dog handlers in almost all public spaces. There are certain other laws that are applicable in specific situations, such as the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986; the Fair Housing Act; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which, in part, addresses service dog handler access to any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance). However, the ADA is the law that governs most public interactions with service dog teams.

    “Service Animals” Defined
    Specifically, the ADA currently defines service animals as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” (In certain circumstances miniature horses are also considered service animals but that is beyond the scope of this article.) This is the ADA definition of a service dog in its entirety.

    Mislabeling of Psychiatric Service Dogs for PTSD
    The ADA goes on to provide examples of tasks that a service dog can perform, including “calming a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack.” And yet, service dogs for people with PTSD are often mislabeled as “emotional support animals” (ESAs), which are not covered by the ADA.

  • I guess I misunderstood the service animal to be emotional support but is a PTSD dog so but the disabilities act covers you to not make the judgement of wether it’s emotional so my friend could sue if needed. According to my lawyer friend, you could still get in trouble for being to intuitive whether what you ask n pry even if it us an emotional support. So I guess ask at your own risk with judgemental questions!

  • Disability Accommodations: Conditions: Does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provide a list of conditions that are covered under the act?
    Nov 6, 2017

    No, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not set forth an exclusive list of conditions covered by the ADA.

    An individual with a disability is defined in the act as someone who has “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.” The regulations define “physical or mental impairment” as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, such as neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine. The regulations also cover any mental or psychological disorder, such as intellectual disability (formerly termed mental retardation), organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities.

    Although there is not an exhaustive list of disabilities under the ADA, the regulations identify medical conditions that would easily be considered a disability within the meaning of the law. These medical conditions are:

    Intellectual disabilities.
    Partial or completely missing limbs.
    Mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheel chair.
    Cerebral palsy.
    HIV infection.
    Multiple sclerosis.
    Muscular dystrophy.
    Major depressive disorder.
    Bipolar disorder.
    Post-traumatic stress disorder.
    Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
    The ADA does contain guidance regarding specific conditions that are not considered to be impairments under the act and that are excluded from coverage. The term “impairment” does not include the following:

    Homosexuality and bisexuality.
    Compulsive gambling.
    Gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments.
    Sexual behavior disorders.
    Physical characteristics (eye color, hair color, left-handedness, etc.).
    Common personality traits.
    Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.

  • “It is illegal under Federal law for anyone to require documentation of a team. Many disabled individuals choose to provide a vest for their Service Dog and/or carry identification, however it is not required that they do. You may encounter a disabled individual who chooses to keep their disability private.”

  • “One, is the person disabled or is the animal a service dog, and two, what tasks has the dog been trained to perform to assist with the disability. As you have already acknowledged you may not ask the specifics of a persons disability, You may not ask for proof, and under federal law there is no proof required.Sep 9, 2010”

  • “To determine if an animal is a service animal, you may ask two questions: 1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? 2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? … ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the task or work.”

    Yet they have the right to their privacy & dint legally have to provide proof.

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