How "Service Animal" is defined:
Service animals are working animals, not pets. Service animals are defined as animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during and anxiety attack, or performing other duties. The work or task an animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This definition does not affect or limit the broader definitions of "assistance animal" under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of "service animal" under the Air Carrier Access Act.
Some state and local laws also define "service animal" more broadly than the ADA does.
Where Service Animals Are Allowed
Under the ADA, state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.
Service Animals Must be Under Control
Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or individual's disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Inquiries, Exclusions, Charges, and other Specific Rules Related to Service Animals
When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the animal a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff cannot ask about the person's disability, require medical documentation, require a special identifications card or training documentation for the animals, or ask that the animal demonstrate its ability to perform work or task.
Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog or pet dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his/her service animal from the premises unless: (1) the animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask the service animal to be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal's presence.
People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals.
Staff are not require to provide care or food for service animals.