Service Dogs

There are many laws that include some protections for people who use service dogs.  This causes confusion for those who use service dogs, businesses, stores, restaurants and other public places.  The table below was originally created by the Northwest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center for the states in that region.  It has been modified to include the executive order that the Veterans Health Administration requires and the Kansas law requires.  The Service Dog Law Table is available for you to download and use.  

The US Department of Justice has a Service Dog Questions and Answers Fact Sheet that can provide information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.  

Rules Comparison

Service and Assistance Animals – Federal Laws and State Laws for KS


Federal Laws:  Americans with Disabilities Act  Fair Housing Act  Air Carrier Access Act

State Laws: Kansas

Veteran’s Administration Directive 2011- 013 and PL112-154§109





Medical Documentation

Comfort/Emotional Support Animals

Service Animals-in-Training

Enforcement Entities











Yes. Under the ADA, a service animal must be a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Service animals can be professionally trained or trained by the handler themselves.



No. Under Title II (State and Local Government) and Title III (Public Accommodations, meaning private businesses), a service animal handler does not need to provide certification for his or her service animal.








Yes.Title I of the ADA, regarding employment, does not specifically address service animals in the workplace. Under Title I, a service animal may be a reasonable accommodation. As such,medical documentation may be requested by an employer.







. A comfort or emotional support animal is NOT trained. Comfort animals do not have rights under the ADA.

For example, businesses do not have the legal obligation to admit a comfort animal if there is a “no pets”policy, as under the ADA these animals are in essence “pets.”








No. The ADA does not address service animals‐in‐training, but rather gives each independent state the right to make it sown laws regarding the rights of service animals‐in‐training.











U.S. Dept. of


[Federal ‐

Titles II&III]





Federal -Title I

State Legislation




Fair Housing Act
















No, not necessarily. Under the FHA, the person with a disability who is requesting the assistance animal must demonstrate a disability-related need for the animal, but there is no requirement that the animal be trained."













No. Even if the assistance animal is a reasonable accommodation, the housing entity may not require certification to verify the assistance animal’s status as such.


















Sometimes. A landlord may request medical documentation that a tenant has a qualifying disability under the Fair Housing Act. In addition,the medical professional should indicate the benefit that the assistance animal provides. This documentation cannot be requested when the disability and need for the assistance animal is readily apparent.







Yes. Under the FHA, housing entities must admit any type of “assistance animal,” a term which includes service animals as well as comfort animals or emotional support animals. In other words, training is no a requirement for an assistance animal.













Yes. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) does not require an animal to be trained, or be in training, to serve as an assistance animal for a person with a disability living in housing covered by the FHA. As such, service animals‐in‐training could be allowed as a reasonable accommodation under the FHA.



Department of

Housing and



(HUD): Disability

Rights in Housing


800‐669‐9777 (V)



Air Carrier Access Act











Yes. The ACAA defines a service animal as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.” U.S. air carriers and their foreign partners must recognize service animals and consider their presence in the cabin to be a reasonable modification of policy.














No. The ACAA says that air carriers must accept service animals based on any type of identification or “the credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual with a disability using the animal.










No, not usually. Under the ACAA, air carriers are to obtain credible verbal assurances from passengers who have service animals that the animal is indeed a trained service animal. If the verbal assurance does not seem credible, the carrier may ask for medical documentation. While the ACAA does allow carriers to ask for medical documentation if an individual wants to have his or her service animal in the cabin, the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) says that it urges carriers not to have such a requirement.



Yes. Under the ACAA, U.S. air carriers and their foreign partners may request current documentation by a physician on letterhead from individuals who would like to bring their emotional support animals (which do not need to have had specific training) into the cabin.



















No. The ACAA does not address service animals‐in‐training and is not required to carry them as they do not meet the requirements of a “service animal” according to this statute.However, carriers are free to make their own individual policies with regards to carrying any pets, including service animals‐in‐training, provided they comply with the Animal Welfare Act and are consistent with health and safety codes.










Dept. of








Veteran’s Administration Directive 2011-013 (1188)



Public Law 112-154§109











Yes, under PL 112-154§109, service dogs must be trained by an accredited entity.


Yes, underdirective 1188 service dogs must be trained as in the ADA above. Only the two questions allowed under the ADA may be asked of a veteran at a Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) if it is unclear if the dog is a service dog.


Yes, the law requires the dog be evaluated and accredited.

No, the directive does not require the dog be certified. It mirrors the ADA.

No, neither the Public Law nor the directive requires the individual to prove they have a disability that requires the use of a service dog in order to access a VHA.

No, the Public Law is silent about comfort/emotional support dogs so they are not allowed in VHA.

No, in the directive the definition of Service Dog specifically states that it does not include emotional support or comfort or companion animals.

Only service dogs, animals for law enforcement purposes, animals under the control of VHA Research and Development, animals in their Animal Assisted Therapy program and animals for Animal Assisted Activity are allowed in VA hospitals.

Yes, animals may reside in VHA Community Living Center or VHA Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program to create a more home like environment and provide a sense of familiarity and belonging. These animals must be up to date with all core vaccinations and documentation must be maintained in the location of the residential area.



No, the directive’s definition of Service Animal specifically excludes service dogs in training. Also, it states a service dog in training is not a service animal and must be denied access to VHA property unless they are being used in VHA Research and Development, the Animal Assisted Therapy program or the Animal Assisted Activity programs.






Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
















White Cane


K.S.A. 39-1101 et seq.




Yes. K.S.A. 39-1113 defines an assistance dog as “any guide dog. Hearing assistance dog, or service dog,” and then defines each of these types of dogs. “Guide dog means a dog which has been specially selected, trained, and tested for the purpose of guiding a person who is legally blind. Hearing assistance dog means a dog which has been specially selected, trained, and tested to alert or warn individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to specific sounds. Service dog means a dog which has been specially selected, trained, and tested to perform a variety of tasks for persons with disabilities. These tasks include, but are not limited to: pulling wheelchairs, lending balance support, picking up dropped objects or providing assistance in, or to avoid, a medical crisis, or to otherwise mitigate the effects of a disability.

No. The Kansas White Cane Law, however, states that, if a question arises as to whether an assistance dog qualifies under the Act to accompany a person with a disability in or upon a number of places set forth in the Act, the person with a disability MAY produce an identification card or letter conforming to a number of requirements. Such identification card or letter may be provided by the trainer or school who trained the dog. This may include the person with a disability if they trained the dog themselves. The identification card or letter, however, must contain: the legal name of the dog’s user, contact information for the dog’s user, and a picture or digital photographic likeness of the user and dog. The presentation of the identification card or letter is intended to resolve any questions concerning the dog’s right to accompany the user in the places covered under the law. These include: all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, street cars, boats, or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation; hotels, lodging places or places of public accommodation, amusement or resort, including food service establishments or establishments for the sale of food; and other places to which the general public is invited.

No. No medical documentation is required.















No, with an exemption for a specific type of comfort/emotional support animal. The Kansas White Cane Law defines a professional therapy dog as “a dog which is selected. Trained, and tested to provide specific physical or therapeutic functions under the direction and control of a qualified handler who works with the dog as a team, and as a part of the handler’s occupation or profession. Such dogs, with their handlers, perform such functions in institutional settings, community based group settings, or when providing services to specific persons who have disabilities. The Kansas White Cane Law states any qualified handler of a professional therapy dog, when accompanied by such dog, and when using any conveyance of public transportation available to all members of the general public, and when when renting and using accommodation in motels, hotels, and other temporary lodging places, shall have the right to be accompanied by such dog in such places. Any owner or employee of a business or retail establishment to which the public is invited, including establishments which serve or sell food, shall admit a professional therapy dog accompanied by its qualified handler, to the business. The voluntary identification provisions are similar to those provided for access to assistance dogs.

Yes. The Kansas White Cane Law states that any professional trainer, from a recognized training Center, of an assistance dog, while in training, while engaged in the training of such dog, shall have the right to be accompanied by such dog in the places listed as qualifying for access of assistance dogs.

The attorney general of the State of Kansas or any City or County attorney may bring actions under the Kansas White Cane Law. Additionally, Nothing in the law prevents private legal action from being taken. The law does provide that all users, handlers, and/or trainers of all classifications addressed by the law are liable and responsible for any damage done by any classification of dog addressed by the law.