What to Do if Your Service Dog Is Denied Access

Service Animals in the Workplace and Public Spaces (Fact Sheet)

When entering a commercial facility with a service dog. People with disabilities should be equip with legal information. What to do if your service dog is denied access? Individuals must establish their rights under the law calmly and clearly if a conflict arises regarding the organization.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) forbids discrimination against individuals with disabilities by privately held enterprises that represent the people. People with disabilities and accompanying service animals must be allow access to these companies. (It’s worth noting that the A.D.A. doesn’t compel private clubs, churches, or private houses to allow service dogs entry.)

Service Animals’ Rights in Corporations and Public Spaces

What to do if your service dog is denied access?, say unequivocally that the dog is a service animal and that the Americans with Disabilities Act allows access. Although most people are acquaint with guide dogs for the blind, some may not be. Therefore a simple description of the facts and the legislation may be enough to secure admission.

The company is authorize to ask two particular questions: “What to do if your service dog is denied access?”, “Is this service dog necessary due to a disability?” And “Is this a service dog require due to a disability?” “What job has the dog taught to perform?” And “What task has the dog trained to perform?” 

A person with a service animal should prepared to answer these two questions. Adequately and be aware that no additional inquiries are require. Some persons with disabilities keep copies of the A.D.A. Business Brief on Service Animals. Published by the United States Department of Justice, in their possession, for example, in the pocket of their service dog’s vest. 

The Brief is a short description of the law from the federal government that may persuade a skeptic corporate employee. This notification and any other permission or license are not necessary to carry people with disabilities. If entry is finally refuse, the person should respect the decision. But follow up with the company owner to resolve the issue. 

Training for staff on service animal access or a notice on the entrance. Confirming that assistance animals are authorize are both reasonable remedies to request. If a company owner refuses admission. A complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice may filed.

A. What Is the Definition of a Service Animal?

 A “service animal” is a canine that has specifically taught to do labor or duties. For an individual with a handicap, such as a sensory, intellectual, physical, psychiatric, or another sort of mental impairment. Even though this description is confine to canines, federal laws require. 

That miniature animals permitted as guide dogs in companies and public areas, provided. They are specifically train to aid a person with an impairment and can accommodate. If an animal’s sheer presence assists a disabled person. It is not consider a service dog.

Service dogs undertake to switch on lights, carry up items, give stability, stimulate, tactile, and deep pressure treatment for the handler. The dog’s identification and reaction will constitute service dog work if the cue is not a deliberate order. 

B. What Is the Best Way to Prove That Your Canine Is a Service Dog?

The dog must specifically trained to aid people with a handicap qualify as a service animal. A trainer, a family member, a friend, or even an individual with a handicap may all train a guide dog. A service dog is just not need by the A.D.A. to be recognize. As a service dog and to have a particular badge or vest indicating it as such. 

Animal control authorities in California are require by law to give identity tags. To those who utilize and train service dogs. Therefore, the labels are not necessary unless the canine is a guide dog in coaching. And they do not demonstrate. That the canine is a service dog there under the legislation.

A company or government authority may only consider asking questions to establish. Certainly, if an animal serves as a service dog until there is cause to think it constitutes a threat to health or security:  What to do if your service dog is denied access?

1) Is the animal need due to the owner’s impairment? 2) What job or duty has the dog taught to do? According to California law, mischaracterizing a dog as a trained assistance canine is a criminal offense by up to 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine (Criminal Code Section 365.7(a)).

C. Can You Deny Access to a Company or Public Space Because of My Service Animal?

Businesses and public areas does not obligate to give service animals entry. If they constitute a direct danger toward others were not under the owner’s control and care. Or fundamentally changed the character of the products, programs. Or services offered by the company or company government agency.

A “clear threat” is a severe danger to other people’s health or safety. That cannot be mitigate by changing rules, procedures. Or practices or providing auxiliary aids or resources. A dog that attacks without warning, for example, might be a direct danger. An entity must perform an individualized evaluation to determine whether an immediate hazard exists. 

Depending on reasonable judgment based on existing medical expertise or the best possible objective data. The risk’s type, length, and complexity should assessed. As well as the likelihood that the potential damage will happen. And if acceptable changes in policies, procedures, or practices. And the availability of additional assistance or services, would lessen the risk.

Excluding a support animal regarding the direct danger must found just on the dog’s actual presentation. Not on preconceptions or prejudices on how the animal or its breed could behave. The handler, or anyone authorized by the owner, should always charge the service dog. 

Withdraw Service Dog

If the dog is already out of command and the handlers don’t make a reasonable effort to manage it. Or whether the dog is not house train. They may request an individual to withdraw their service dog from the property. This is not the obligation of the company or government organization that provides accessibility to oversee and maintain a support animal.

A service dog must wear a leash, harness, or another rope in most cases. If the trainer cannot get a leash, harness, or other rope due to a handicap. Or if using a tether will conflict with the assistance animal’s effective and safe execution of labor or duties. The trainer may utilize alternative ways to maintain the dog under control.

Access to companies and government facilities may restricted to service dogs if permitting access. It will fundamentally change the character of the products, services, or programs supplied at that place. A zoo, for instance, could exclude service dogs from homes. In which the dogs’ show are prey species or predators of canines, or if the dog’s existence would be bothersome to the creatures on display.

D. Is It Ok if You Take Your Guide Dog to the Hospital?

Regarding service animal access, hospitals and other medical institutions are regard the same as other companies and public locations. Service dogs must permitted in all hospital areas wherein medical workers, visitors, and patients permitted. Outpatient and Inpatient mental health units and secured mental health. 

Health institutions, have facilities, and other public areas. What to do if your service dog is denied access? Patients must care for the dog themselves or make arrangements for others to do so if required. Service dogs may barred from parts of hospitals with restricted access. Including surgical units and burn units, that use general infection-control precautions. 

When health-care workers are unsure whether a dog is a guide dog. They could ask the trainer if it is requires due to a significant disability. Still, they may not require certification or other documentary evidence of service animal status, as they do in other businesses and government spaces. 

E. Can You Take Your Guide Dog on a Plane With Me?

If the service animal is a dog, then yes. The federal Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) (49 U.S.C. Section 41705) and its accompanying rule (14 C.F.R. Section 382) control airline travel. On January 4, 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“D.O.T.”) released a final rule amending the ACCA restrictions on the travel of support animals. 

Individuals with disabilities permitted to carry service dogs. And/or emotional support animals on airplanes before the modification. Only those with a physical or psychological handicap can have service animals under the new law.  What to do if your service dog is denied access?

A guide animal is a canine that has individually taught to do work or execute duties for the advantage of a qualified person with a handicap. Such as a sensory, physical, intellectual, psychiatric, or other psychological illness, no matter of breed or kind.

Summary of Provisions:

What to do if your service dog is denied access? Airline companies may require a finished printed copy or digital edition of the Department’s “U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Air Transportation Form” (verify your airline’s website for fillable forms). As a situation of travel up to 48 hours before to move if the passenger booking was made before that time;

Restrict the number of assistance animals allow to fly with a single person to two. And demand that they fastened, leashed, or tethered at the airports and on the aircraft. They may also require that the dog sits on the passenger’s lap or inside their foot space. Airlines cannot refuse to carry a service animal because of its breed or size.

Passengers who are traveling for more than 8 hours may needed to assure that their service dog will not help ease itself. Or can help reduce itself cleanly and hygienically by completing an electronic version or hardcopy of the Department’s “U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation” (check your airline website for fillable forms). And Passengers do not have to check through at the terminal if they book online.

F. Is It Legal for a Company or Government Agency to Charge Extra for Service Dog Access?

Even though it is the rule for animals, a company or government institution cannot force an individual with disabilities to make a fee or extra in favor of accompanying a support animal. When a reasonable accommodation or public institution normally charges visitors for harm to the property. The partner of a companion animal may set in the same way.

G. Can You Take Your Service Dog in Training Together Into Store or Public Place?

The A.D.A. does not protect service dogs in training. The California Disabled Persons Act, on the other hand, permits individuals with disabilities. And those who train service animals to bring a dog into any public area to teach the dog to perform a disorder service.  What to do if your service dog is denied access?

Moreover, private transportation, businesses, public and lodging amenities, and other facilities open to the wider populace fall under this category. The dog must leash and have a township tag identifying it as a service or aid animal in training. Any damage the dog causes to the grounds or services will be the responsibility of the dog’s owner.

Lawsuits and Complaints

If you feel a company or government organization has prejudiced against you because of your support animal, you may make a grievance with the Department of Justice (D.O.J.). If the claim is against the government agencies or private body that receives federal funds. It must be filed within 180 days after the discriminatory act (when the problem occurs). 

Although there is no timeframe for making a complaint underneath the A.D.A. against a company that does not receive government assistance, it is important to do so as quickly as possible. Additional data on submitting a complaint with the Department of Justice may obtained at https://www.ada.gov/filing complaint.htm or by calling the A.D.A. Information Line at (800) 514-0301 (voice); (800) 514-0383 (voice) (TTY).

Meanwhile, within one year of the latest date of harassment, you may file an official petition with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for any disability discrimination involving your service dog or emotional support animal. 

More information on how to make a complaint with DFEH may obtained at https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/complaintprocess/ or by calling (800) 884-1684 (voice) or (800) 700-2320 (voice) (TTY).

The form for submitting disability-related complaints with airlines may found at http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint. You may also sue in state or federal court for injunctive and declaratory remedies under federal or state law, in addition to filing a complaint with the D.O.J. or DFEH. 

Certainly, State law may provide for monetary damages, including a statutory minimum of $4,000 per discriminatory event—52 of the Civil Code. Within two years of the discriminatory occurrence, a lawsuit must filed.

From Start to Finish, How to Handle a Service Dog Access Challenge

A Service Animal is define by federal law as “any canine. That has individually trained to conduct labor or execute duties. For the benefit of a person with a handicap,” and Service Dog teams are permit to access locations where the general public does not permitted. 

However, well-intentioned persons seeking to keep dogs out of establishments may sometimes question a Service Dog team’s civil rights. These difficulties, although stressful, are usually manageable. However, there are situations when a bit more effort is necessary.

WWW.ada.gov has various information on Service Dog rights, access, and disputes. It’s easy to get confused or mired down in all of the regulations and paperwork. And getting through it all may take a lot of time and patience. That stated, the A.D.A.’s 2010 modification of the definition of a Service Animal is an excellent place to start. 

Often, a basic get to know with the on-site supervisor of such an institution or organization (such as a restaurant owner) is sufficient to resolve the access difficulty and provide entry to the team. Sometimes a disagreement cannot be fixed and must be pursued further.

Discrimination Complaint

Another alternative is to file a discrimination complaint in Small Claims Court if you seek less than $10,000 in monetary damages. The statutes as mentioned above of limitations will apply. If you go to small claims court, you won’t be able to hire an attorney. 

Here’s a link to a pamphlet from Disability Rights California that describes how to use Small Claims Court for discrimination cases: http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/pubs/520601.pdf.

Furthermore, before launching a case for money damages against a state or local government organization. The Government Tort Claims Act requires filing a government tort claim within six months of the discriminating occurrence. http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/pubs/522901.htm has further information on tort suits. 

Meanwhile, please note that this page directs you to a claim form for claims against the state, a state agency, or a state employee. Which may or may not apply to your situation. Other government agencies could have their tort claim form on their website. Therefore, if you’re thinking about going to court, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible.

Be Kind, Professional, Well-Informed, and Composed.

The initial step in a disagreement over access is frequently the most difficult. Maintain your composure and rationality. Those who attempt to prevent you and your Service Dog from entering aren’t always trying to be malevolent. They do not understand the law or believe that they or their business are excluded. 

It’s most likely not a personal matter. Note that if you’re out in public, you’re probably being videotaped, and your behavior, as well as those of your dog, may assist or hinder your case. Make an outstanding first impression.

If You Can, Become a Public Educator, but Don’t Feel Guilty if You Can’t

Anyone who has had a Guide Dog for any duration of time can attest that Service Animals need not create life simpler in many respects. You’re often criticized (“but you don’t seem handicapped!”) or questioned (“your dog is too big/too small/not the appropriate breed”).

Or worse, meet individuals who have established themselves as a type of gatekeeper (“I saw a news item on false Service Dogs, well now I doubt all Service Dogs!”). However, just since you have a Service Animal doesn’t mean you have to be a Public Educator. Nevertheless, if you already have the time, it is critical to take even a tiny action to protect your rights.

If you wouldn’t have the linguistic skill, energy, or time to explain, your best choice is to take a printed copy of the A.D.A. Guidelines for Guide Dogs with you as well leave it with whoever is interrogating you. 

It will not only clear your way, but it will also reduce the possibility of future Service Dog teams having access issues. Whether you like it or not, you’re representing not just yourself but yet every Assistance Dog team that comes after you.

If You Choose to Educate, Do It Properly

If you want to educate, avoid “talking down” to the individual you are collaborating with. Because the person who stops you is usually not a manager, providing them a written copy of the A.D.A. Requirements for Service Dogs to provide to their supervisor or team leader will help you explain the law and enable them to re-explain the law to their management if required. Maintain a professional demeanor at all times.

If it doesn’t work, look into other reasons that could be preventing communication. A linguistic barrier might be a problem at times. If possible, try to identify a multilingual individual who can help you bridge the gap. Another customer or employee of the establishment may be able to assist you. 

Examine the language you’re using to describe the law and your rights. Remember that humans, not dogs, have legal rights. If you haven’t already clarified that a Service Dog isn’t a dog and that they have legal standing under the law, do it now before going into the specifics of the legislation.

Do Not Hold a Whole Brand, Business, or Organization Responsible for the Behavior of a Few Individuals.

Individualize your response to each situation. Don’t start an assault on an entire brand, business, or organization based on an access difficulty with one shop or individual, just as you wouldn’t want someone to evaluate the whole Service Dog community based on an experience with one inadequately trained Service Dog team. 

Meanwhile, many brands, businesses, and organizations have outstanding Service Dog policies, but it is up to each manager to communicate this knowledge to their employees. They may or might not, but you can bet that a lack of understanding causes access issues. If the management hasn’t trained their employees, you have the option of doing so. 

Therefore, feel free to notify the corporate office of the occurrence, but make sure you don’t lash out publicly (or on “private” platforms like social media). Without first attempting to resolve the issue one-on-one with the individuals involved. Remember the golden rule: treat people the way you want to be treated.

What to Do if Your Service Dog Is Denied Access

by Francis SEO time to read: 13 min