Letter to the editor
Dos and don'ts of service animals
I don't recommend guinea pigs as service animals.
What is a service animal?
Service animals (mainly dogs) are animals individually trained to help someone with disabilities. These dogs are also closer to living medical equipment than pets. Service animals are allowed to enter any publicly or privately owned public business in which the public is allowed to enter, under the conditions of being under control and not interrupting the surrounding guests.
If the service an animal provides is unclear a staff member can query two questions: Is the dog a service animal required due to a disability?
What task is the dog trained to preform?
Staff cannot ask about the person's disability for documentation, identification or that the animal demonstrate it's ability.
Being afraid of — or having an allergy to the animal — are not reasons to disallow entry to the service animal and/or the owner of said service animal. In fact it is illegal by state legislature to ask someone to prove their service animal is a service animal.
For more information visit www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
EDITOR'S NOTE: The link provided in Samuel Moore's letter may, or may not, provide the most current rules regarding service animals. The link opens a document reflecting 2010 standards, which may have changed over the last seven years.