Service Animals Comparison Sheet

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Rules Comparison

Service and Assistance Animals – Federal Laws and State Laws for WA, OR, ID and AK

 

State Laws: Washington  Oregon  Idaho  Alaska

 

Statute

Training

Certification

Written Verification

Comfort/Emotional Support Animals

Service Animals-in-Training

Enforcement Entities

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Yes. Under the ADA, a service animal must be a dog (or miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Service animals can be professionally trained or trained by the handler themselves. No. Under Title II (State and Local Government) and Title III (Public Accommodations, meaning private businesses), a service animal handler does not need to provide certification for their service animal. Yes. Title I of the ADA, regarding employment, does not specifically address service animals in the workplace. Under Title I, a service animal may be a reasonable accommodation. As such, professional written verification may be requested by an employer when it is not obvious that the animal is a service animal. No. A comfort or emotional support animal is NOT trained. Comfort animals do not have rights under the ADA. For example, businesses do not have the legal obligation to admit a comfort animal if there is a “no pets” policy, as under the ADA these animals are in essence “pets.” No. The ADA does not address service animals in-training, but rather gives each independent state the right to make its own laws regarding the rights of service animals in-training. US Dept of Justice [Federal - Title II & Title III]; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [Federal -Title I]; State Legislation [Local]

Fair Housing Act (FHA) FHEO Notice: FHEO-2020-01

No. Under the FHA, the person with a disability who is requesting the assistance animal must demonstrate a disability-related need for the animal, but there is no requirement that the animal be trained. No. Even if the assistance animal is a reasonable accommodation, the housing entity may not require certification to verify the assistance animal’s status as such. Sometimes. A landlord may request proof of the need for an assistance animal from a qualified professional or person in the position to know if the need for the assistance animal is not obvious. In addition, the documentation should indicate the benefit that the assistance animal provides. This documentation cannot be requested when the disability and need for the assistance animal is readily apparent. Yes. Under the FHA, housing entities must admit any type of “assistance animal,” a term which includes service animals as well as comfort animals or emotional support animals. In other words, training is not a requirement for an assistance animal. Yes. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) does not require an animal to be trained, or be in training, to serve as an assistance animal for a person with a disability living in housing covered by the FHA. As such, service animals in-training could be allowed as a reasonable accommodation under the FHA. US Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) No. Under the ACAA, a service animal is any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a person with a disability; or any animal that assists persons with disablilities by providing emotional support. No. Airlines can determine whether an animal is a service animal versus a pet from: the credible verbal assurances of an individual with a disability using the animal; the presence of a harness or tags; or requiring documentation for psychiatric support animals and emotional support animals; and observing the behavior of animals. Sometimes. Documentation may be required of passengers who travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animals. Yes. Under the ACAA, a service animal can be an animal that assists persons with disabilities by providing emotional support. However, airlines are never required to accept snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents, sugar gliders, and spiders. No. The ACAA does not address service animals in-training. So, ailrines are not required to carry them as they do not meet the requirements of the ACAA-defined service animal. However, airlines are free to make their own individual policies with regards to carrying any pets, including service animals in-training, provided they comply with the Animal Welfare Act and are consistent with health and safety codes. US Dept of Transportation (DOT): Aviation Consumer Protection Division

Washington Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
Washington White Cane Law Discrimination - Human Rights Commission

Yes. RCW 70.84.021 states that a "service animal means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating a disabled person's sensory, mental, or physical disability.”

RCW 49.60.040 states "Service animal means any dog or miniature horse...that is individually trained for the benefit of an individual with a disability..." The crime deterrant effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work for tasks.

No. There are no legal requirements for service animals to be specially certified, or for handlers to have proof of service animal status by certification. No. Washington State law does not address a requirement of documentation or identification, including unique dog tags, with regard to service animals. No. Comfort or emotional support animals are not considered service animals under Washington State law because they are not specifically trained. See RCW 49.60.40. No. Washington State Law does not address service animals in-training. A program or facility certainly can allow a service animal in-training access, but it is under no legal obligation to do so.

Washington State Human Rights Commission; Washington State Office of the Attorney General

Oregon ORS 659A.143 Assistance Animals Yes. Oregon defines an “assistance animal” as “a dog or other animal designated by administrative rule that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual. No. There are no legal requirements for service animals to be specially certified, or for handlers to have proof of service animal status by certification. No. Oregon law states that individuals may not be required to “provide documentation proving that an animal is an assistance animal or assistance animal trainee.” No. Oregon does not specifically address comfort or emotional support animals. Because such animals are not trained they would not be considered a service/assistance animal in Oregon. Yes. Oregon recognizes the rights of “assistance animal trainees,” defined as “an animal that is undergoing a course of development and training to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual that directly relate to the disability of the individual Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries, Civil Rights Division

Idaho Idaho Statute Title 56 Public Assistance and Welfare, Chapter 7 Rights of Individuals with Disabilities

Yes. "Service dog" means a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for purposes of this chapter. The work or tasks performed by the service dog must be directly related to the individual’s disability. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this chapter. No. There are no legal requirements for service animals to be specially certified, or for handlers to have proof of service animal status by certification. No. Idaho Code does not address a requirement of documentation or identification, including unique dog tags, with regard to service animals. No. Idaho Code does not address the rights of comfort or emotional support animals.

Yes. Idaho Code recognizes service animals-in-training, and thus businesses, public programs, and workplaces have a legal obligation to allow access to service animals in- training. Idaho Code does stipulate that the “dog-in- training” will wear a jacket, collar, scarf or other similar article to identify it as a dog in-training.

A person with a disability who accompanies a dog in-training is not required to carry an identification card. However, the service dog trainer (who is not disabled) shall carry and upon request display an identification card issued by a recognized school for service dogs or training dogs or an organization that serves individuals with disabilities when accompanying the dog-in-training.
Idaho Human Rights Commission

Alaska Article 6, Accommodations for Service Animals and Alert Animals Interference with the Training of a Service Animal Interference with Rights of Physically or Mentally Challenged Person Duty to Disabled Pedestrians

Yes. 6 AAC 30.610(q)(4) states "service animal means a dog or miniature horse that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabiltiy; the work done or tasks performed must be directly related to the individual's disability." No. 6 AAC 30.610(k) states "A service animal handler shall not be required to obtain any certification of registration from any organization purporting to certify service animals, nor shall the animal be required to carry a tag, vest, or other documentation identifying the animal as a service animal." Sometimes. A public accommodation may require an individual with a disability accompanied by an alert animal to produce written verification by a licensed healthcare professional who has conducted a physical examination of the individual and verifies the ability to alert by the animal. No. Alaska law does not address the rights of comfort or emotional support animals. Yes. 6 AAC 30.610(m) states "An animal in training to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disablity shall enjoy the same protections as a fully trained service animal when accommpanied by either an individual with a disability or a trainer and is actively training." See AS 11.76.133 for details on bringing service animals in-training into public facilities. Alaska State Commission for Human Rights

 

 


 

NIDILRR LogoThe Northwest ADA Center is a member of the ADA National Network. This fact sheet was developed under grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), NIDILRR grant #90DP0016-02-00. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the ACL, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government. 

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