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Service & Companion Animal Owners - Know Your Rights!



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[upbeat music]

NARRATOR: Do you have a service animal?

Or are you thinking about getting one?

Know your rights!

You have a right to call your animal a service animal

if it's properly trained.

In Washington State, any animal

that is specifically trained to help a

person with a disability is a service animal.

These are usually dogs, but they can be

any animals, so long as they're trained.

As a service animal owner,

you have a right to bring your animal

just about everywhere.

That means you have a right to bring your animal

into government buildings and

places of public accommodation,

like stores, restaurants, theaters, and hotels.

You also have the right to ask your boss

or your landlord

for a reasonable accommodation to use your animal

at work or in your home.

Any no 'pet policies' do not apply to service animals.

Your service animal has to behave!

Your service animal needs to be under control

either on a leash or by voice control.

No uncontrolled barking,

jumping on customers,

growing or posing a threat to the

health or safety of others.

If that happens the business can ask you

to take your animal outside,

but only the animal.

Your right to stay there stays the same.

In a place of public accommodation,

you can only be asked two questions about your

service animal.

Is your animal required because of a disability? and

What task or service has this animal been trained to do?

You cannot be asked

What is your disability?

That is confidential and you do not have to answer.

Do you have documentation or proof that the animal is

licensed as a service animal?

You're not required to have

documentation or proof. Also,

you don't need to have any special signage

such as vests or tags for your service animal.

Many web sites and companies sell these

kinds of items, and

you can choose to use them, but remember

that putting on a vest does not make it a

service animal,

only the specialized training does.

If your animal is not trained

then it's not a service animal,

but it might be a companion animal.

Companion animals, also known as

emotional support animals, comfort animals

or therapy animals

provide support simply by being a companion.

They can alleviate symptoms of a

mental or psychiatric disability.

Companion animals are typically dogs and cats,

but they may include other animals like

lizards, snakes and small rodents.

If you use a companion animal,

you have the right to ask your boss or your landlord

for a reasonable accommodation to use your animal

at work or in your home.

However, you do not have the right to

bring your companion animal into

government buildings

or places of public accommodation.

You should check individually with these

businesses to see if they allow your animal,

because several local, state and federal laws

address the rights of animal owners,

there are specific cases where these rules might

be different.

Rules for service and companion animals

might be more restrictive in certain situations.

For example, when an animal is misbehaving

or is exhibiting threatening behavior.

Rules may also be more restrictive in specific places,

like stores that sell food and at hospitals.

Check out the resources listed at the

end of this video for more information on

owning a service or companion animal,

getting a service animal trained,

what to do if you believe you have been

discriminated against because of your animal.

Remember,

service and companion animals are not pets.

People with disabilities have a

right to use them almost

everywhere they go.