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US Department of Justice: Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business

US Department of Justice: Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) oversees a Civil Rights Division and compliance relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is federal legislation that establishes numerous rights and guarantees of equal access for US citizens with physical or mental disabilities.

In these capacities, the DOJ is responsible for enforcing the federal laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities, including those partnered with a service, guide, or hearing dog.

Assistance dog handlers have broad rights pertaining to equal access to public spaces and places of business. Generally speaking, these individuals and their assistance dogs may not be barred entry into any location where the public is permitted. Furthermore, they may not be made to wait longer than others, be segregated to a separate area, be charged any extra costs, be charged a pet deposit or other fee (even if this is standard practice for people with pets), or otherwise be treated differently than everyone else.


The resource at the link below answers frequently asked questions about hearing, guide, and service dogs in places of business. It is geared toward business owners, outlining the most important mandates they must abide by when a person seeks entry with an assistance dog. It also provides some basic information about these working animals.

However, this resource also offers a good overview of rights for those partnered with a guide, hearing, or service dog.

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