ADA service dogs are welcome on Isle Royale. However, a certificate of veterinary inspection must be obtained prior to your trip.
Service Dog Veterinary Certificate
You must have an approved veterinary certificate before your service dog may be brought within Isle Royale National Park boundaries (which extend 4.5 miles from the archipelago shoreline into Lake Superior).
To bring your service dog to the island:
Failure to obtain a service dog veterinary certificate prior to your visit will result in your animal's removal from the island and potential legal repercussions.
Why Do I Need a Veterinary Certificate?
Park policy prohibits the importation or possession of any dogs, cats, or other mammals within park boundaries, including on board vessels or planes. The park's primary concern is for the protection of wildlife species; the inadvertent transmission of disease or parasites into the largely isolated Isle Royale ecosystem could have devastating effects on wildlife populations. In 1980, the park witnessed such an event, when the canine parvovirus was likely transmitted to the island from a pet dog and infected the wolf population. Wolves on Isle Royale plummented from 50 individiuals down to 14. Fox and American marten, who also inhabit Isle Royale, are susceptible to canine parvovirus as well.
Isle Royale National Park recognizes the need for ADA service dogs to be able to access the park with their owners. In order to accomodate this need while at the same time protecting the park's wildlife population, this service dog certificate is required.
Service Dog Expectations
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) determines the regulations guiding service animals. In 2010, the Department of Justice revised and clarified its requirements for service animal public accommodations (search service animal). Isle Royale National Park does its very best to implement these requirements while at the same time balancing the preservation of the unique and isolated archipelago that is Isle Royale.
Frequently Asked Service Dog Questions
Where May I Travel with my Service Dog?
You may travel anywhere on the island that other park visitors are allowed. However, we recommend that you stay within or near developed areas due to potential risks to your animal.
Is My Emotional Support Dog Recognized as an Service Dog?
Unfortunately, no. Emotional support dogs are not covered by the ADA except in specific PTSD cases and are not trained to the same standards as service dogs.
Can Service Dogs Travel Aboard Ranger III?
Once a veterinary certificate is obtained, service dogs are absolutely permitted aboard Ranger III. There are no canine lifejackets aboard the vessel.
What are the Safety Concerns for me and my Service Dog?
Last updated: December 10, 2019