Service and Working Animals

This page contains information on service and assistance animals used by people with disabilities.

On March 15, 2011 the definition of a "service animal" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) changed and now defines a "service animal" as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The Act also allows trained miniature horses as alternatives to dogs, subject to certain limitations.

For further information on these changes, please go to Section 35.136 Service animals in Part 35 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services (as amended by the final rule published on September 15, 2010), U.S. Department of Justice.

Revised ADA Requirements:Service Animals (HTML) | (PDF|243 KB)

Dealing with Disabilities: Tips for First Responders - People With Service Animals

DHHS. Office on Disability.

First responders have requested quick, easy- to-use procedures for assisting persons with disabilities. This tip sheet provides information about people with assistance animals that you can use during emergencies as well as during routine encounters. It is not meant to be comprehensive, but contains specific information that can be read quickly either before or while actually responding to an incident.

Service dog Commonly Asked Questions about Service Animals in Places of Business

USDOJ. Civil Rights Division. Disability Rights Section.

Explains the requirements of the ADA regarding animals that accompany and provide services for a person with a disability.

Service dog Animals in Health-Care Facilities (PDF | 1.36MB)

DHHS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on infection control when allowing therapy or assistance animals into health care facilities.

United States Capitol building Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability By Public Accommodations And in Commercial Facilities

Government Printing Office.

Code of Federal Regulations Title 28, Part 36, Sec. 36.302, Subpart C_Specific Requirements, Modifications in policies, practices, or procedures. The implementing regulations of the public accomodation standard of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Americans with Disabilities Act Business BRIEF: Service Animals

USDOJ. Disability Rights Section.

Short publication explaining service animal issues that is designed to be easily printed and distributed to employees.

Discriminatory Conduct Under the Fair Housing Act

Government Printing Office.

Code of Federal Regulations Title 24, Section 100.204 Subpart D_Prohibition Against Discrimination Because of Handicap. The implementing regulations of the "reasonable accommodation" standard of the Fair Housing Act. Example discusses seeing eye dogs.

Bus powered by soybean derived fuel. Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals (PDF | 305 KB)

Easter Seals. Project ACTION.

Answers common questions about service animals in the context of ground transportation for both people traveling with service animals and transportation providers. In recognition of the critical role that service animals play in the independent travel of people with disabilities, this document was developed based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and it stipulates about the rights and responsibilities of people traveling with service animals. It also addresses policies and practices of transportation providers, going above and beyond the ADA's regulatory obligations to provide good customer services.

Fair Housing Information Right To Emotional Support Animals In "No Pet" Housing

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

An overview of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act as they apply to the rights of people with disabilities to keep emotional support animals.

Service Animal Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability

USDOT. Aviation Consumer Protection.

Guidance from the USDOT for air travel with service animals.

Pet Ownership In Assisted Rental Housing For the Elderly or Handicapped.

Government Printing Office.

U.S. Code Title 12--Banks and Banking, Chapter 13--National Housing Sec. 1701r-1. Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983.

Table of State Assistance Animal Laws

Michigan State University College of Law, Animal Legal & Historical Center

The table shows different categories for types of laws dealing with assistance animals by state with links to those laws.

Assistance Dogs International's Guide To Assistance Dog Laws (PDF | 1.24MB)

Assistance dog laws by state are listed in this guidebook.