What is a Service Animal?

The ADA’s definition of a service animal includes “…ANY guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability”. This is true regardless if the service animal has been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

The service animal performs tasks that the person with a disability would otherwise not be able to perform on their own. These may include:

-Alerting people with hearing impairments to sounds.

-Carrying or picking objects for the person.

-Guide dogs helping those who are blind.

-Assisting with balance to those with mobility impairments.

Under the ADA, the animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices keep the animal from performing its duties. In that case, the animal must be under control using signal, voice, or other control methods.

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