Service Animal Policy at Weeks
What Is a Service Animal?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service animals as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” It also specifies that “organizations that serve the public [such as Weeks] must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.”
That’s why it’s important to differentiate service dogs from companion animals (pets): Service dogs and their owners are granted special access rights that don’t apply to other types of animals. It is illegal in New Hampshire to falsify a pet as a service animal.
Untrained domestic animals can cause distractions for legitimate service animals, endanger their handlers, and leave a bad public impression about service animals.
How Can You Identify a Service Animal?
Service animals should:
- be under their handler’s control at all times
- be even-tempered
- ignore other dogs and distractions
- be well-groomed
- sit or stay quietly to remain unnoticed
Service animals should not:
- urinate or deficate inappropriately
- jump, scratch, bark, or exhibit other disruptive behavior
- engage with other dogs, people, children, or distractions
- smell or appear unkempt in any way
- be anxious, agitated, or aggressive
- sneak or steal food
Passing Your Pet Off as Service Animal Is a Misdemeanor in New Hampshire (RSA 167-D:8)
- It is unlawful to fit a domestic animal with a color, leash, vest, sign, harness, or tag that designates it as a service animal if that animal is not a service animal.
- It is unlawful to impersonate a disability by word or action for the purpose of receiving service animal accommodations or accessories.
- It is unlawful for any person to willfully interfere or attempt to interfere with a service animals.
What Weeks Can Do
Weeks can ask if the service animal is required because of a disability and whether the dog has been trained to do specific tasks.
Weeks can ask to have an animal removed if the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action, or if the dog is not housebroken.
Weeks cannot ask for any documentation and should not accept any false proof of service animal.
For more information on service animals and the law, please visit nh.gov/disability.
Download a copy of “The Law and Service Animals.”