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Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

Facts, Information & Resources

A graphic depicting service and support animalsService animals can be trained to perform many important tasks to assist people with disabilities, such as providing stability for a person who has difficulty walking, picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, preventing a child with autism from wandering away, or alerting a person who has hearing loss when someone is approaching from behind.

The Department of Justice continues to receive many questions about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to service animals. The ADA requires State and local government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations (covered entities) that provide goods or services to the public to make “reasonable modifications” in their policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to accommodate people with disabilities. The service animal rules fall under this general principle. Accordingly, entities that have a “no pets” policy generally must modify the policy to allow service animals into their facilities. This publication provides guidance on the ADA’s service animal provisions and should be read in conjunction with the publication ADA Revised Requirements: Service Animals.

Information Topics:

    • Definition of a Service Animal
    • General Rules
    • Certification and Registration
    • Breeds
    • Exclusion of Service Animals
    • Miscellaneous
    • Additional Resources

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This resource created by U.S. Department of Justice