Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act, service animals are dogs or, in certain circumstances, miniature horses, that assist people with disabilities in some way. They changed the law to eliminate all other service animals from protections in the act. If you have a service animal, here are some things you should know.
Under the ADA, trained service animal are welcome in restaurants, grocery stores, and public places. Store owners cannot ask what disability the person has, but can ask what the animal does for the person. For example, a mobility service animal's task can be turning on lights, picking up dropped objects, and getting help if the owner is in trouble.
Though you don’t have to have anything that says the animal is trained, if you do have a certificate or marked harness on the dog, it often makes it easier to reassure the store owner that the animal is a legitimate service animal.
Service animals must be under control, quiet and obedient. If the animal is threatening, out of control, making a mess or eating off the table, the establishment has the right to tell you to take the animal out. The Title III regulations at subsection 36.302 Modifications in Policy, Practice and Procedure, (c) Service Animals is where these exceptions are located.
Official information from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on service dogs can be found on the official DOJ ADA website. Particular resources include:
Also, check the Quick Links on the right-hand side of this page for additional information about Service Animals.
You can also do an Internet search "Service Animals" for more information.