Can they really ask us to leave? – Rights of Service Dog Owners

Let’s say for this particular post this week – a person has a documented disability, has jumped through all the hoops, paid the trainer fees and has a legitimate “Service Dog” that they take with them to school, work, restaurants, stores, etc.

A local news outlet recently reported the following – KTNV News Report About a Veteran & Service Dog Banned from a School triggered my desire to thoroughly research the rights of the service dog owner as well as proprietors and/or other institutions to restrict a service animal from a property.

This particular news story was one where a veteran had let his animal get loose within the school and he got into an argument with the security guard. The man went to the news when he received notification that he was being banned from the school. While there are many variables with this particular news report- at face value it appears that the school may be acting within their rights.

According to  ADA Service Dog Guidelines/Commonly Asked Questions it is within the right of the owner of an establishment or an institution to request that a person leave the premises with their service animal if it is being disruptive. Or more specifically the ADA guideline states that

“a public accommodation is not required to accommodate a service animal–that is, when doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the business.” 

I honestly believed that service dog/guide dog owners had free reign to essentially go wherever, whenever with their service animal and am surprised to see some exceptions to the rule. As many of the online comments about the news article report- if the service animal is not properly trained, is roaming around, and leaving the owners side- the business/institution has a right to ban a service animal from their property if it is disruptive.

So the rule of thumb for Service Dog owners should be to ensure that your animal receives appropriate training before venturing out into the community to ensure that they do not become disruptive to local business operations.





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