The Hoyt Lakes Public Library strives to provide a safe and welcome environment for everyone. Therefore, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are allowed to accompany their handlers anywhere the individual with disabilities is allowed to enter. Pets, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals are not considered service animals under the ADA.
According to the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities that are directly related to the person’s disability. Service animals are working animals, not pets. A dog whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support does not qualify as a service animal.
Library staff may ask only two specific questions:
1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Staff may not ask:
- About the person’s disability or require documentation of the disability
- That special identification cards for the service animal be produced
- That the dog demonstrate its ability to perform work
- About the training that the service animal received
- Require individuals with a service animal to use a specific entrance
Individuals who have service animals are not exempt from local animal control requirements, such as licensing and registration.
Under the ADA, a dog must already be trained before it can be taken into public places. A dog may be excluded if the animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or if it is not housebroken. If a service animal is excluded from the library, the handler is welcome to stay at the library as long as they follow all library policies, and the service animal will be welcome to return to the library when the problem is resolved.
A handler must:
- Be in control of the service animal at all times
- Clean up after the animal inside and outside of the library, to the satisfaction of library staff
- Keep the animal off of the library furniture
Library staff and library patrons are never to pet, talk to, or otherwise distract a service animal when it is working.
I understand and accept the terms of this policy
Approved by Library Board Date: March 22, 2018