Rights & Responsibilities

Per the Dept. of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section  ADA ~ 2010 Revised Requirements

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from your State Attorney General’s office.

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If you have further questions about service animals or other requirements of the ADA, you may call the U.S. Department of Justice’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

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For more information on Federal or State Laws visit Service Dog Central Law Section .

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Assistance Dogs are allowed in any Red Cross Mass Care Shelter.

PWDs are not required to go to a Special Needs Shelter unless their particular disability requires closer medical care. If so most Special Needs Shelters require pre-registration. If you feel you would need to go to one if an emergency required sheltering, make plans to register now before an emergency comes up. Some Special Needs Shelters do not allow assistance dogs so this is something that will need to know ahead of time.

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