When might a service dog’s presence fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program provided to the public?

In most settings, the presence of a service animal will not result in a fundamental alteration. However, there are some exceptions.

For example, at a boarding school, service animals could be restricted from a specific area of a dormitory reserved specifically for students with allergies to dog dander.

At a zoo, service animals can be restricted from areas where the animals on display are the natural prey or natural predators of dogs, where the presence of a dog would be disruptive, causing the displayed animals to behave aggressively or become agitated. They cannot be restricted from other areas of the zoo.

 

Are emotional support, therapy, comfort or companion animals considered service animals under the Americans With Disabilities Act?

These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person. Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places. You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws.

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