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We are a shelter, we have a person who did not come with a…

We are a shelter...

We are a shelter, we have a person who did not come with a service dog, but now wants one. Do we have to accept it under California law? If so, where to do I find the parameters for this? We are a faith-based organization does this matter?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not that I know of.

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Answered in 1 hour by:
2/15/2018
Lori
Lori, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,828
Experience: Business law attorney with over 25 years experience
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Hello. Let m see if I can assist. If the person needs a service dog and NOT an emotional support dog, then you are required by the ADA to allow the service dog in the shelter. It does not matter from the ADA that you are a faith based shelter. A person cannot just want a service dog.

If the animal is a service animal then they must be allowed access to all public buildings and public-access areas per the Americans With Disabilities Act. More info: http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

These are the requirements that a service dog must meet:

  • Service dog must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, or be under voice, signal or other control.
  • These are working animals, not pets.
  • A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability (such as Blind, deaf, wheelchair bound, seizures, medications, PTSD calming).
  • Must be trained for the specific disability.
  • Must behave proper.
  • The owner can only be asked two questions:

(1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and

(2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform

So if someone has a legitimate disability and a legitimate trained service dog, a shelter cannot deny them entrance.

Have I answered all you questions?

If so, please be sure to accept my response and post a positive 5-star rating.

Lori
Lori, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,828
Experience: Business law attorney with over 25 years experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
HI Lori, So for a service dog, she has to have a letter from a therapist or psychiatrist saying she is disabled right? What if she says she wants an emotional dog or any other kind of dog? Do the same rules apply?

The focus is the what is the dog's training - in other words, to perform what task due to the disability of the owner. You can request a certification of training for the dog. You unfortunately cannot ask for doctor note or information as to the disability.

she does need to have a training certification. A letter from a therapist or psychiatrist does not apply - that is for emotional support dogs. the rules are NOT the same for emotional support dogs.

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