Service Dog

What you need to know about Service Dog Laws

By law, service dogs are allowed to go anywhere that the general public goes. That includes any privately owned businesses that serve the public such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxi’s, theaters, concerts, sports facilities, etc.

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are allowed. If you enter a business and are told that you cannot bring your dog inside, you simply tell them this is your service dog. By law, a business is not allowed to ask you what your disability is, nor can they demand proof that your dog is “certified”. Each state may have additional laws that provide protection to service dogs and the people they serve. You may want to read further information on Florida laws.

In addition, a service dog is also legally permitted to travel on any public transit system with their owner (not in cargo) including buses, trains, boats, planes, etc. For complete information on traveling with your service dog, please review the special set of regulations dealing with airline travel.

It is truly incredible when you find out all of the things our medical service dogs can do to help people live a more independent life.

Business Owners’ Rights

“Business owners also have rights when it comes to service dogs. First, you are allowed to ask 2 questions as a service dog team enters: “Is this a service dog” and “what is it trained to do for you”. You are not allowed to ask what a person’s disability is. Business owners should also be aware that regardless if a service dog is legitimate, if it is mis-behaving, barking, soiling or otherwise causing a disturbance, you can ask the dog and handler to leave. Please keep in mind, that no legal “certification” exists for service dogs. In many cases, the dogs excellent behavior and almost invisible presence should confirm for you that a service dog is legitimate.

Learn more by watching this VIDEO

Service Dog Laws