Home » The Legal side of the ADA and Service Dogs-
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a service dog as one that is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. ADA regulations state that businesses, government, and many nonprofit organizations must allow service animals wherever the public has access.
But ADA regulations are not a carte blanche for any animal to enter a restaurant or shop. They stipulate that a service animal’s owner can be asked to remove the animal if it is out of control, not housebroken, or poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
The ADA rules also specify that when it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only two questions are allowed to be asked:
1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
If a business denies access to a person accompanied by what turns out to be a legitimate service dog, they could face civil penalties of up to $55,000 for violating a person’s civil rights.
We salute these amazing animals and are in awe of how intelligent and vital they are to a disabled person’s very survival.