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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS _FAQS_ - Frequently Asked Questions

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									Frequently Asked Questions - About Service Animals
Table of Contents
      What is a Service Animal?
      How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just
   a pet?
      Why doesn’t a service animal have to be certified or licensed?
      What are NH Laws about service animals?
      What if other customers are allergic to the animal?
      May we require that people with service animals sit away from
   other customers or in certain locations?
      Where can I find a service animal if I need one?

What is a Service Animal?
The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog or
other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual
with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered
service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been
licensed or certified by a state or local government. Service animals
perform tasks to help a person with a disability live independently.
Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals
who are blind or who have low vision. This is the type of service
animal with which most people are familiar. But there are other service
animals – monkeys, cats and birds, for example – that assist people
with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some
examples include:
          alerting people who are deaf
          alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure
          pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for
            people with mobility disabilities
          assisting people having mobility disabilities involving
            balance
A service animal is not a pet – nor does it have to be described by the
term “service animal”. A person may use another term when
describing their animal, such as mobility animal, assistance animal,
etc. To determine whether the provisions of the ADA apply, one must
consider the role of the animal and not just the term used to describe
the animal. Someone who needs to know may ask brief questions like
“What does the animal do?”
How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and
not just a pet?
Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but
not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not
certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the
animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an
individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying
documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such
documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service
to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states
have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state
certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a
disability.

Why doesn’t a service animal have to be certified or
licensed?
Many states do not have a certification requirement or even any
organizations who do certify service animals, therefore the ADA does
not require certification.

What are NH Laws about service animals?
Chapter 167-D: Hearing Ear Dogs, Guide Dogs, Service Dogs,
and Search and Rescue Dogs
Section 167-D:1 Definitions
Section 167-D:2 Private Clubs, Etc
Section 167-D:3 Dogs May Accompany
Section 167-D:3-a Application of RSA 167-D:3 to Search and
Rescue Dogs
Section 167-D:4 Hearing Ear Dog, Guide Dog, or Service Dog
Trainer
Section 167-D:5 Hearing Ear Dog, Guide Dog, or Service Dog
Identified
Section 167-D:6 Licensing
Section 167-D:7 Prohibited Acts
Section 167-D:8 Nonuse of Hearing Ear Dog, Guide Dog, or
Service Dog
Section 167-D:9 Penalty
Section 466:44 Restaurants and Food Stores
What if other customers are allergic to the animal?
People with allergies are not protected under the law unless the allergy
is disabling. The person with a disability who is using a service animal
is protected.

May we require that people with service animals sit
away from other customers or in certain locations?
No, people with disabilities and their service animals may not be
segregated or required to sit in certain locations. However, the person
with the animal may choose to sit in a location where the animal will
be less distracted or in the way.

What species can be a service animal?
Any species or breed of service animal may used by a disabled
handler. Any trainable animal could be a service animal. The most
common of course are dogs, cats, primates and birds. Any animal that
has been effectively trained to perform the tasks required to benefit a
qualified disabled handler could be considered to be a service animal.

What is the difference between a service animal,
support animal, helper animal, and an assistance
animal?
They are the same, except for the terminology. The term Service
Animal is the federal legal term.

What is the difference between a service animal and a
therapy animal?
A therapy animal, although a valued companion with an important
purpose, is usually legally considered as any other companion pet
would be, and as such, is afforded no special consideration under the
law in housing, transportation or public access.

Many therapy animals visit nursing homes, orphanages, hospitals, etc.,
others reside in group living environments, doctor/dentist offices,
rehab centers, as well as in the private homes of individuals who
benefit from the therapeutic companionship of the animal.

A service animal on the other hand is given special consideration under
the laws of our land. A service animal is for the benefit of a legally
qualified disabled individual, and it has been trained (conditioned) to
assist (by a task or function) that disabled individual. This assistance
may often be therapeutic in nature, but the animal is nonetheless
considered a service animal Such as animals for emotional support or
Autism support who are trained to sit/stay or lay still and stay for
extended periods of time to provide a focal point, divert thoughts, and
other such trained (conditioned) tasks.

When an animal is trained to assist (help, aid, support) a qualified
disabled individual due to the disability, the animal is considered a
service animal rather than a therapy animal.

Generally, under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and
other federal laws concerning service animals, two primary questions
exist in whether a person has a legal right to claim their animal as a
service animal.

1. Is the individual qualified as being legally disabled under the law? Disability
means, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an
impairment. Major life activities means functions such as caring for one's self,
performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning,
and working.

2. Has the animal been taught to perform a task or do work that assists the
disabled individual? When an animal has been taught to assist (help, aid,
support) a disabled individual due to the disability, the animal is considered a
service animal.

Some State laws may offer greater rights within that state under State law.

Are service animals required to wear special
equipment?
The ADA does not require any special equipment or attire. Some State
statutes do have specifications. The most commonly used equipment is
a collar, leash, harness, backpack, neck scarf (bandana), vest, jacket
or T-shirt. Often attire will have an identifying patch to immediately
alert the public that the animal is a service animal. The color red is
most often used and is universally recognized as the service animal
color.


Last printed 5/14/2010 4:10:00 AM

								
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