August 12th, 2021
Having a written policy and procedures book is always recommended, but one topic you may not have thought to include is your service pet policy. We have had clubs reach out for recommendations and we leaned on the NIHCA Networking Group for answers.
- Recognize service animals with definition
- If you have additional requirements put them in writing
- Service animal needs to be housebroken
- Facility is able to accommodate for type, size and weight of service animal
- Handler control as you cannot allow an animal that will or does compromise legitimate safety requirements
- Clearly include no un-authorized animals allowed that do not meet criteria of your definition of service animal
Verify any laws or regulations within your State, County, and City prior to making a policy for your facility. There are some questions you may not be allowed to ask, such as verification of service animal certification or a person’s disability that requires a service animal. There are questions you may be allowed to ask, such as what work or task is the animal trained to provide or perform.
Having written policy on service animals at your facility protects you (the club), the member needing a service animal, and the patrons utilizing the facility when a service animal is present.