Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Where You Can Take Your Service Dog

Places service dogs are allowed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (note that this federal law only applies to fully trained service dogs, not to service dogs in training, not to emotional support animals, and not to therapy dogs):

  • restaurants (in the dining area and other areas customers are allowed, but not in the kitchen or food prep areas)
  • grocery stores
  • other kinds of stores, including drug stores, book stores, hardware stores, farm supply stores, florists, pet stores, craft stores, office supply stores, furniture stores and health food stores)
  • doctors' and dentists' offices
  • hospitals (including lobby, gift shop, cafeteria, lab, x-ray area {although it is recommended not to expose your service dog to radiation unnecessarily}, waiting areas and most patient rooms, but some areas may be off limits, such as operating rooms, burn units, intensive care units, shared patient rooms and psychiatric units) - note that the ADA does not apply to VA hospitals and the VA has different rules for service dogs, so yours may or may not be allowed there
  • banks
  • airports (the ADA does not apply to airplanes, though, only airports; the Air Carriers Access Act Applies to airplanes flying domestic flights)
  • bus stations and buses
  • trains and subways
  • rental cars and taxis
  • amusement parks (though your service dog may not be allowed on certain rides)
  • museums
  • zoos (though your service dog may not be allowed in certain areas for the health and safety of the animals)
  • hair salons and barber shops
  • movie theaters, other theaters and concerts (though very loud venues may bother your dog or hurt his ears)
  • public libraries
  • city, county and state offices and courthouses (the ADA does not apply to federal buildings, though)
  • city, county and state parks (the ADA does not apply to national parks, though service dogs are allowed in most areas of those, as well)
This isn't a comprehensive list, although I've tried to be pretty inclusive.  Another day I'll post a list of places you might not be able to take your service dog.

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