Many people with disabilities use a service animal in order to fully participate in everyday life. Dogs can be trained to perform many important tasks to assist people with disabilities, such as providing stability for a person who has difficulty walking, picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, preventing a child with autism from wandering away, or alerting a person who has hearing loss when someone is approaching from behind. In most setting, a public facility cannot exclude someone because they have a service animal. Nor can a public facility treat a customer with a service animal poorly because of the service animal.


Persons who use a service animal are protected by the ADA and under the laws of many states. A service animal may not be excluded based on assumptions or stereotypes about the animal’s breed or how the animal might behave. An entity may not require that a dog be registered as a service animal as a condition of being permitted in public places. According to the Department of Justice, this would be a violation of the ADA.

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