Thursday, August 29, 2013

Service dogs are allowed!

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are allowed in all areas where the public is normally allowed to go. State and local governments, businesses, and non profit organizations that serve the public must allow service animals.

Unfortunately, business owners - particularly when it comes to establishments that serve food - seem unwilling to adapt to the law, and the news fill up with instances of people denied service. The most recent that passed my desk is a story of Big I's diner in Massachusetts, who denied service to a war vet and his service dog. The owner would not back down and allow the dog even after the police arrived to explain the law.

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. An animal that meets this definition is considered a service animal whether they're licensed/certified or not. Documentation is not required.

A business owner is allowed to ask if the dog is required because of a disability, and what task the dog is trained to perform. They are not allowed to insist on proof of state certification. A service animal must be permitted to accompany the person to all areas where customers are normally allowed.

Click here to read more about service animals and businesses! The Department of Justice also has an ADA information line at  800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

6 comments:

  1. This is s great, straight to the point post. I have seen a lot of business owners get confused about the not needing service dog certification proof but being allowed to ask what task the dog is trained for. If only more business owners were educated about this, there would likely be less fake service dogs (with phony vests/patches and paperwork ordered on-line) and less discrimination towards real, needed, hard working service dogs!

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    1. Thank you, and thank you for coming over! =)

      There are so many dogs performing fantastic jobs, and so many people relying on dogs to cope with and enjoy everyday life. In my opinion, service dogs should be celebrated!

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  2. You know, if I were that guy I think I wouldn't even want to eat at that place after all of that.

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    1. Me neither. It still upsets me that people can be so rude and insensitive. =(

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  3. I have heard about problems with this a lot lately on social media. I guess unless it was a place I absolutely had to go to, if they did not want me and my service dog, I would go somewhere else. Still it is sad.

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    1. I don't know what I would do. I'm normally not combative, but discrimination ticks me off, lol. I find it depressing that (some) people are willing to put so much energy into shutting others out.

      In the case of the diner a person with a service dog is a customer - sell them stuff, take their money, and be happy, LOL!

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