Friday, August 22, 2014

Where Do Service Dogs Poop?

People often find this blog by searching for things like "do you have to pick up a service dog's poop?"  And it's a fairly common question I get.

And the answer is yes, you do have to pick up your service dog's poop.  In some cities there are local laws saying don't, at least not if you are unable to due to your disability, but in most places, there are no laws letting you off the hook.  Most places have laws saying dog owners must pick up after their dogs and those laws apply to owners of service dogs as well as pets.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, by the way, doesn't say anything about picking up a service dog's poop.  It does require reasonable accommodations, so if, for instance, my disability made it simply impossible for me to pick up Isaac's poop, my landlord would need to make a reasonable accommodation for me.  For instance, maybe I could always toilet Isaac in one area, away from my apartment building, and have my dog walker pick up the poop in that area on the days he takes Isaac for a run.  I'd still be responsible for making sure the poop got picked up, but my landlord would need to make some sort of reasonable accommodation in order for that to get done.  It would not be reasonable, though, to just let my dog poop all over the lawn and leave it there.

Recently I was asked where service dogs poop.  Well, they poop outside, like all housebroken dogs. 

My landlord doesn't care where Isaac poops as long as I pick it up, but a landlord can ask you to toilet your service dog in certain areas or to avoid certain areas.  For instance, if an apartment complex has a playground for kids, the landlord might ask you not to allow your dog to poop in the playground area. 

Your employer can ask you to toilet your service dog in certain areas, too, or to avoid certain areas.  For instance, they might not want customers to see your dog pooping right in front of a restaurant or doctor's office.  They might ask you to toilet your dog behind the business, instead.

Otherwise, when out in public, I try to toilet Isaac in out-of-the-way areas, whether he's pooping or peeing.  For instance, I usually give him the chance to go potty before we go into a store or restaurant.  I usually take him to a grassy area at the side or back end of the parking lot to do that.  I generally prefer he doesn't pee or poop right in front of a business.  Even though I pick up his poop, not everyone wants to see a dog pooping. 

No comments:

Post a Comment