National Association of Service Dogs

office (888) NOW-NASD ~ [888-669-6273]
fax (877) FAX-NASD ~[877-329-6273]

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE DOGS
A NONPROFIT CORPORATION

DOGS HELPING PEOPLE ENJOY BETTER LIVES

Frequently Asked Questions

Excerpt from ADA article dated July 26, 1996

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SERVICE ANIMALS IN PLACES OF BUSINESS

Q: What are the laws that apply to my business?
 

 
A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), privately owned businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA requires these businesses to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed.

Click here to view this important ADA Business Brief regarding Service Animals, save and print for your convenience.


Q: What is a service animal?
 
 
A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
 

 
Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. "Seeing eye dogs" are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:
 

 
_____Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.
 

 
_____ Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.
 

 
_____Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.



Q: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?
 

 
A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.


PLEASE NOTE: You can help by donating to NASD today. Any amount is greatly appreciated and 100% of your donation goes to support NASD and their efforts to support people with disabilities. NASD in turn also donates money and services to other qualified non-profit organizations that support the use of service animals.
All donations to the National Association of Service Dogs are tax deductible per their non-profit organization status.