A publication put out by the U.S. Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division - Disability Rights Section addresses what an establishment can and cannot do. The link to the entire publication is
The article covers a lot of different things, but I felt that it was important for B&B owners, managers, and interim innkeepers to see the section that specifically deals with Service Animals. I have copied the section below and underlined, and enlarged three important areas. The first is a definition of a service animal as of 2012, the second is excluding comfort or thearpy dogs from a service dog category, and the third explains the only two questions that you can actually ask a guest.
It would be helpful if there was an official certification which service animal owners were required to carry. Unfortunately, that is not currently an option.
Reprint from U.S. Department of Justice Publication: Service AnimalsOften businesses such as stores, restaurants, hotels, or theaters have policies that can exclude people with disabilities. For example, a "no pets" policy may result in staff excluding people with disabilities who use dogs as service animals. A clear policy permitting service animals can help ensure that staff are aware of their obligation to allow access to customers using service animals. Under the ADA's revised regulations, the definition of "service animal" is limited to a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability. For example, many people who are blind or have low vision use dogs to guide and assist them with orientation. Many individuals who are deaf use dogs to alert them to sounds. People with mobility disabilities often use dogs to pull their wheelchairs or retrieve items. People with epilepsy may use a dog to warn them of an imminent seizure, and individuals with psychiatric disabilities may use a dog to remind them to take medication. Service members returning from war with new disabilities are increasingly using service animals to assist them with activities of daily living as they reenter civilian life. Under the ADA, "comfort," "therapy," or "emotional support animals" do not meet the definition of a service animal.
|Service animals provide many types of assistance for people with disabilities.|
Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or the individual's disability prevents him from using these devices. Individuals who cannot use such devices must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. Businesses may exclude service animals only if 1) the dog is out of control and the handler cannot or does not regain control; or 2) the dog is not housebroken. If a service animal is excluded, the individual must be allowed to enter the business without the service animal.
In situations where it is not apparent that the dog is a service animal, a business may ask only two questions: 1) is the animal required because of a disability; and 2) what work or task has the animal been trained to perform? No other inquiries about an individual's disability or the dog are permitted. Businesses cannot require proof of certification or medical documentation as a condition for entry.
RESOURCES - ADA INFORMATION
U.S. Department of Justice
For more information about the revised ADA regulations and 2010 ADA Standards, please visit the Department of Justice´s ADA Website or call our toll-free number.
ADA WebsiteADA National Network (DBTAC)
ADA Information Line
24 hours a day to order publications by mail.
M-W, F 9:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m., Th 12:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) to speak to an ADA Specialist. All calls are confidential.
"Reaching Out to Customers with Disabilities" explains the ADA's requirements for businesses in a short 10-lesson online course (www.ada.gov/reachingout/intro1.htm).
Ten regional centers are funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide ADA technical assistance to businesses, States and localities, and persons with disabilities. One toll-free number connects you to the center in your region:
800-949-4232 (Voice and TTY)http://www.adata.org/Access Board
For technical assistance on the ADA/ABA Accessibilty Guidelines:
800-872-2253 (Voice)Internal Revenue Service
800-992 -2822 (TTY)
For information on the Disabled Access Tax Credit (Form 8826) and the Section 190 tax deduction (Publication 535 Business Expenses):
800-829-3676 (Voice) or 800-829-4059 (TTY)http://www.irs.gov/Lynda and Howard Lerner