Monday, May 13, 2013

Service Animals and Your Business

It has come to our attention that many businesses are unaware of the laws and regulations when it comes to service animals and their owners. We are here to help! 

Service animals come in all shapes and sizes. One myth you my believe is they all wear the vests like the dogs in the picture to the left. However, not all service animals wear their vests and by law they are not required to do so. Paperwork or certifications are also not legally required to grant them access into your place of business. 

Defining Service Animals: Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Please click here for more information>>

There are two things which you, a business, may ask when a service animals wishes to enter your place of business. First, you may ask if the dog or service animal is required because of a disability. Secondly, you may ask what work or task the service animal is trained to perform. The latter is a question that can vary quite a lot in answers. In today's world, service animals are used for a variety of things. You may not ask that the dog demonstrate the ability to perform the task, as well as, 

Please, click here to view the most commonly asked questions about service animals in places of business >>

It is illegal, as well has unethical, to misrepresent or fraudulently call your animals a Service Animal or Assistance Dog. 

If you have any questions about service animal requirements of the ADA, you may call the US Department of Justice's Information Line at (800) 514-0301.