Service dog handler lobby


Pets and service dogs have no comparison. The ADA trumps any no pet policy. It doesn’t matter if it’s no pets for a service dog to be allowed nearly anywhere. Exceptions are food preparation areas and operating rooms and private clubs. As for off leash that’s a big no no. The dog MUST be leashed and the leash can not exceed 6 feet in length. There are several individual instances that off leash is ok such as the handler is down and the dog goes for help at the handlers direction.


I mean, pet-friendly stores exist. It's not like there is a federal law that make all stores "non pet-friendly" by default, is there?
It depends on the state, and sometimes the county, or city itself. In my city & state you have to get a special license and carry special insurance to allow any animal that’s not a service animal on the premises in public spaces of private businesses.

This is much stricter than the law used to be, but we went pet-friendly for a few years, and it became such a public health issue that when it was revoked the new regulations were far stricter than the old regulations.


My state doesn’t have those laws they leave it up to the business owner. Really the only pet laws we have is they have to be vaccinated in the county and if you live in city limits you have to pay a “pet tax” and have them licensed. Which that license fee is used to spay or neuter dogs at the shelter. Our SPCA also does minor vet care to fund it as well and will spay or neuter for $20 plus meds.


It's always been my assumption that it's at an owners/manager's discretion to allow individual pets. I can't find anything legally

This is true, as long as they don't sell food. Walmart, for example, is going against the US healthcode laws when they allow pets because they sell food.

And the only other thing I can think of, legally, would be medical procedures.

Otherwise, if they dont sell food nor offer medical services, then the owner CAN make it a pet friendly location. Then nothing they mentioned mattered.

If they sell food, even if closed, that against the US healthcode. The medical services not sure about (when it comes to no medical services being done).

There is so much misinformation out there about service dogs that many handlers grip onto so hard and then there are the many handler made up standards that arent law but are treated as if they were.

ETA: From my own understanding of federal laws. There are a lot of local State laws that may apply in one area but not another.


Walmart, for example, is going against the US healthcode laws when they allow pets because they sell food.
Walmart doesn't allow pets. Not sure where you're getting that from.
@siniang - as Friday said, for local stores it can differ state to state, and even by county. National chains tend to have policies that apply across locations. The prohibition against pets (dogs, cats, birds, anything) in grocery stores, restaurants, and human eating establishments is a rule set by the FDA (for health and sanitation). But - it's possible for a locale to make a different law as an exception to that rule.

This article from the Michigan State University Law School is extremely comprehensive - some really interesting reading.

And this article from talks about some major nationals that are pet-friendly. I was surprised by some of them on the list.

I'm fairly certain that, in addition to service dogs or horses, any law enforcement dog (police dog) is allowed into any location while on duty.
I keep being told that once a store is "no pets" it's protected by federal law and that trumps a manager's decision to allow pets.
That's just insane. There can be a state or local ordinance that contradicts what a manager decides...but that would be a local issue, not a federal one. I've got no idea what those people think they are talking about.
It's not like there is a federal law that make all stores "non pet-friendly" by default, is there?
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Law enforcement dogs are not afforded the same rights as service dogs. They must stay in the vehicle if you go to any establishment that normal pets are not allowed unless working( store owner calls for a k9 to check a locker room for drugs or bomb searches.) At that point they can go but say you stop by your favorite restaurant on the way home the dog must remain in the car. A k9 car has an automatic door for the dog to exit by a push button from the officer. When that button is pushed it alerts the dog to search for the officer and protect him/her. At least all the cars I had when I worked a drug dog had it. That’s local, state, and federal law enforcement for the US.


Walmart doesn't allow pets. Not sure where you're getting that from.

My Walmart does. The Walmart next to me. I have a video of a parrot being allowed in. When advising the management that they can kick them out, they said they have to allow every pet but reptiles. Their corp says they are not pet friendly but MANY around the country allow in pets. So much so that many people believe they are pet friendly and argue with you when advised they are not. From those people who take in their pet dogs because Walmart lets them. Loads of aggressive dogs in my Walmart. That sells food.

Walmart isnt pet friendly. Many stores just go against their own policy and allow pets in.


Quick question. Is it possible to rename a service dog (trained in a program) if the dog has a weird name like Gary? (Sorry, all Garys who happen to scan this. It's just an odd dog name)

Mostly just curious. There is a slight possibility that a program dog might come my way so I wanted to know what it would be like to give the pupper a unique name later on if I wanted to. I'm guessing I would just ask the program, if that ever even worked out for me (would be years from now if so, so EXTRA not pressing), but I value your inputs.


if the dog has a weird name like Gary
Possible? Sure.

But, thinking about this from the dog's perspective for a moment: you might think Gary is a weird name for a dog, but that's been the name the dog has gotten used to for 2 years. It's the name that connected the dog to the people who lovingly raised it through puppyhood. The dog is perfectly happy with being called Gary.

And if the dog is happy, how much does it matter to you?

Personally I've never put much stock into dog names. Yes, they get used to a new name pretty quick. But the dog's name doesn't, by any measure, define an individual dog, or their character. It's just a word.

My doggo has gotten used to all sorts of names, which he tolerates just fine: sweety, darlin', blossom, pumpkin, monster, munchkin, Buddy Boo, Budster, Oi! He responds to all of them;)