[Libs-Or] Service animal policy

Charlotte Cooper dclawlib at co.douglas.or.us
Tue Jun 7 09:10:48 PDT 2016

You may want to review ORS 659A.143 for Oregon specific rules.  It might be prudent to remind staff that although there are questions you can ask there are questions that can get you into trouble if you do ask.

659A.143 Assistance animals

Charlotte Cooper
Douglas County Law Library
1036 SE Douglas Ave
Justice Building, Rm 305
Roseburg, Oregon 97470

dclawlib at co.douglas.or.us

Open Hours
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
9:00 AM - Noon & 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Contents of this email are informational only and not intended as legal advice.

From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Buzzy Nielsen
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 5:36 PM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] Service animal policy

We have this line in our Code of Conduct:
"Do not bring animals into the building, other than service animals or those involved in library programs."

Based on what we've researched, staff can ask two questions or people with animals:

  1.  Is that a service animal?
  2.  What service does it provide?

If the answer to #2 is "therapy" or "emotional support", the animal is not considered a service animal and you are not obligated to allow them in your building. Some patrons push back on this because some federal regulations on housing allow emotional support animals, but they still are not considered ADA service animals. They must perform a specific task(s) in order to be considered a service animal. You cannot ask the patron to have the animal demonstrate the task. If they give you a response that fits with ADA, our lawyer says to just accept it, even if you have reason to believe the person isn't being completely honest. but Only dogs and miniature ponies count as service animals per the ADA.

Even if it's a service animal, the patron must have it under their control. We have asked patrons to leave when their animals barked or nipped at people or other animals or were straying far away from their people.

I've attached a document from the feds that explain this, too. I hope this helps!


Library Director
Hood River County Library District
502 State Street
Hood River, Oregon 97031
On 06/06/2016 05:25 PM, Oregon Trail Library District Director wrote:

Can anyone share their policy for a service animal? We had a patron come in with an uncontrolled dog, when asked to remove the dog she said it is her daughter's service animal.

Thanks in advance.
Kathy Street, MLS
Library Director
Oregon Trail Library District

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