new york service dog laws

New York Service Dog Laws – Epic Guide, FAQ + More [2022]

Hello and welcome to our New York service dog laws epic guide. Service Dog Laws and the people who use service dogs, are federally governed and protected by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) as well as other federal laws.

Each individual state may also have their own rules and laws around service dogs, too. Feel free to also check out a summary of the New York emotional support animal laws.

However, someone who uses a service dog can choose whichever laws (federal or state) offer them the most benefit(s). Keep reading to learn more about service dog laws specific to New York state, as well as New York City.

Also check out the federal ADA service dog laws general guide & FAQ public access rights that are the same for all states in the U.S. or What disabilities qualify for a service dog? or Animal Control NYC.

New York Service Dog Laws
Canadian Service Dog “Everest” Photo: @katelynburelle

In brief, service animals may go with their (legally disabled) handler wherever the public can go. There are a few exceptions, like sterile hospital environments and religious organizations.

Service dogs of any breed may go to malls, restaurants, grocery stores, movie theatres, community centres, schools, buses, taxis, hotelsAirbnb, amusement parks, doctor’s offices, hospitals, trains, and National Parks, just as a few examples.

Jump to a section:

  1. Introduction
  2. People With Disabilities Have Rights
  3. Broad Definition of Service Animal in New York
  4. What Qualifies a Dog to be a Service Dog?
  5. Where Are Service Animals Allowed in New York?
  6. Responsibilities of New York Businesses
  7. Extra Fees & Deposits for Service Dogs
  8. Care & Supervision of Service Dogs by Businesses/Entities
  9. Service Dog Documentation
  10. Fake Service Dog Certifications
  11. Service Dog Registration
  12. When Can a Service Dog be Excluded?
  13. Service Dog-In-Training Laws
  14. Housing & Service Dogs
  15. Service Dogs Local Laws vs Federal
  16. Service Dog Discrimination
  17. How Do I Get a Service Dog in NYC?
  18. Canine Companions for Independence
  19. Freedom Guide Dogs For The Blind
  20. Guiding Eyes For The Blind
  21. Guide Dog Foundation For The Blind
  22. The Seeing Eye
  23. Putnam Service Dogs
  24. Emotional Support Dogs NY
  25. Are Emotional Support Animals Allowed in NYC Restaurants?
  26. Emotional Support Animal Registration
  27. Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal?
  28. NYC Service Dog & Dog Licences
  29. Guide Dog Licences
  30. How Do I Get a Service Dog for Anxiety in NYC?
  31. Psychiatric Service Dogs
  32. Accredited Organizations Serving NY (Assistance Dogs International)
  33. Organizations Serving New York But Located Elsewhere
  34. Miniature Horses
  35. Conclusion
  36. Reference
new york service dog laws
People with disabilities who use service animals in New York have rights.
New York State service dog laws

1. This article will discuss New York service dog laws, including:

  • How to get a service dog in NYC
  • New York service dog registration information
  • How to get a service dog for anxiety in NYC
  • Psychiatric service dogs in New York
  • Training a service dog in New York
  • Service dog-in-training laws in New York
  • New York city service dog license
  • New York State emotional support animal laws
  • The fair housing act regarding emotional support animals in New York

Everyone in New York state is entitled to equal access services, as well as public accommodations, regardless of differing abilities. This includes Airbnb.

Many people in New York depend on a service animal. Without the service animal, they wouldn’t be able to go out into public places and do things that people typically need and want to do.

service dog laws New York State
Kylie’s “Lucy On Duty” @lucytheservicesibe

2. New York Service Dog Laws – People Living With Disabilities In NY Have Rights

Service Dog Laws New York State
Medical Alert & Response Service Dogs @cricket_n_saraphena

The law protects people who are living with disabilities so that they – together with their service animal – can fully participate in public life.

  • Public facilities must allow service animals
  • Housing providers must allow service animals, even if they have a “no pets” policy in place
  • Service animals are not pets
  • Service dogs can be any breed
service animals are not pets
Service dogs are not pets, even though they might look like pets.

3. Broad Definition Of A Service Animal In New York

Service Dog New york
Service Dog “Balu” from Portugal

The ADA defines a service animal as any dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks or work, to help a specific person who is living with a disability. The disability could be physical, mental, psychiatric, intellectual, sensory, or another kind of disability.

Service dogs are just one type of working animal, and are not considered pets from a legal – or any other – standpoint. Other types of working dogs include police dogs, military working dogs, detection dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, herding dogs that work with livestock, and there are many other types of working dogs.

service dog vs emotional support dog
“Trained” here refers to a dog being task-trained for a particular person’s individual disability characteristics. This goes well above and beyond the basic socialization and obedience training.

Therapy dogs are usually someone’s pet that enjoys meeting a large number of people. Therapy dogs go to different settings, and are not considered service dogs.

Emotional support dogs and therapy dogs are not service dogs. This is a common source of confusion.

What is a therapy dog?
Therapy dogs are not considered service animals.
Therapy dog new York
Therapy Dog “Eddie” with “Boomer” @eddieandboomer

4. What Qualifies A Dog To Be A Service Dog in NY?

Any dog that meets the definition from the ADA is considered a service animal under ADA rules; it doesn’t matter whether the dog has been licensed or certified by a state government, local government, another entity, or not at all.

If a dog has been individually trained to perform tasks or work, to help a specific person who is living with a disability, then it’s a service dog.

Yes, that means that people are allowed to train the service dog themselves. And, unfortunately, yes it also means that it is pretty easy for some people to walk around with a ‘fake service dog.’

New York State Service Dog Laws Siberian Husky
“Kylie’s Lucy On Duty” @lucytheservicesibe

New York Fake Service Dog Law

New York State has a new fake service dog law. This law came into effect December 18, 2017. It’s unlawful for anyone to knowingly represent a pet (or non-service dog) as a service dog. People do this sometimes by affixing false and/or improper tag identifying the dog as a guide, service, therapy or hearing dog. Violations could result in a fine of up to $100 and up to 15 days in jail.

NOTE: Some businesses, many of them online, sell fake service dog certifications: certificates, licenses, tags, or harnesses that identify service dogs in exchange for a fee. Individuals should be careful when dealing with businesses selling such documentation and accessories, especially those that do not provide training or evaluation, or that charge high fees.

New York State Attorney General
New York State Fake Service Dog Laws
Service Dog “Kodiak” @dog.human.duo

Some examples of tasks or “work” a service animal might perform in order to help a person:

  • Helping a person with navigation
  • Helping someone with stability and/or balance
  • Alerting a person to specific sounds or allergens
  • Pulling wheelchairs
  • Carrying and retrieving items
  • Turning lights on and off
  • Seizure assistance or seizure warning
  • Interrupting impulsive and/or destructive behaviors
  • Waking someone up from a nightmare (PTSD, for example)
  • Diabetes assistance
  • + much, much more (The Giant List of Service Dog Tasks)
What Service Dogs Can Do
Service animals can help people with a wide variety of visible and invisible disabilities.

5. New York Service Dog Laws – Where Are Service Animals Allowed In New York?

Under the ADA as well as New York service dog laws, any business or facility that serves the public must not discriminate against people who are living with disabilities.

Examples of businesses that must allow service dogs when accompanied by a person living with a disability:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Retail stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Malls
  • Theaters
  • Sports facilities
  • Transportation, including taxis and buses
  • Basically anywhere the public is regularly invited
Therapy Dog New York State
Therapy Dog “Eddie” with “Boomer” @eddieandboomer

6. New York Service Dog Laws – Responsibilities Of NY Businesses

New York service dog laws indicate that businesses must allow service animals in all of the same areas that general customers and/or the general public is invited into.

For example, in a hospital, a service animal might be allowed in a patient or examination room, because normally people are allowed into those rooms.

However, the service dog can be excluded from sterile environments where the general public is not invited to enter, such as operating rooms.

Read more about service dogs in hospitals.

Service Dog German Shepherd
Service Dog “Balu” from Portugal

7. New York Service Dog Laws – Extra Fees & Deposits For Service Animals

A business or another “covered entity” (in ADA language) in New York must not charge extra fees, deposits, or surcharges for service animals.

However, if the service animal causes damage, a fee can be charged as long as it’s also regularly charged to non-disabled people’s pets for similar damages.

autism service dog New York
Goldendoodle Autism Service Dog “Piper” @bri.and.piper

8. New York Service Dog Laws – Care And Supervision Of Service Dogs In NY

Care and Supervision of Service Dogs in New York
Canadian Service Dog “Everest” @katelynburelle

A business – or any other public accommodation provider – is not responsible for taking care of a service animal. They are not required to supervise the animal, provide food, nor provide a special location for the service dog.

Anyone who violates these laws can be assessed damages and penalties by the State Division of Human Rights. Or, alternatively by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Autism Service Dog New York
Goldendoodle Autism Service Dog “Piper” @bri.and.piper

9. New York Service Dog Laws – Documentation Is Not Required

New York service dog documentation
Blue Heeler “Snow Leopard” @snow_leopard_81

A business can not ask personal questions to a person using a service dog.

Public accommodation providers must not:

  • Ask about the nature or extent of someone’s disability
  • Demand proof or evidence that an animal is certified

If it is not readily apparent that a dog is a service animal, businesses can ask:

  1. Is the animal required because of a disability?”
  2. What work has the animal been trained to perform?

Businesses and places of public accommodation must allow service animals, even if they have a “no pets” policy: a service animal is not a pet; it’s a medical assistance device that helps someone with a disability, that happens to have paws and be alive. How lucky are humans that these amazing dogs can help with so many different conditions?

Service dog in training New York
Service Dog In Training – “Bishop”

10. Fake Service Dog Certifications – New York Service Dog Laws

Service dog New York certifications
Blue Heeler “Snow Leopard” @snow_leopard_81

There are many online businesses that seem to sell fake service dog certifications. This can include certificates, tags, dog harnesses, and licenses.

These things are supposedly to help identify a service dog in exchange for a fee. Be careful and make sure to do your research when considering dealing with these places. A legitimate ADA service dog registration and/or certification entity does not exist.

And remember that certification is not required. So perhaps, if somebody is going around showing off their dog tags and certifications, trying to take a dog everywhere with them, it’s possible that that person is a fraud with a fake service dog.

People living their life with disabilities likely know that legitimate ADA certification is not a thing.

Unfortunately, some fully capable people try to take their dog places with them and say their dog is a service dog.

Service Dog Registration and Certification

11. New York Service Dog Laws – Registration

New York service dog laws do not require registration. Registration and certification of service dogs is simply not required by law. Be aware of online organizations who are selling these items. They are not legitimate.

service dog New York State laws U.S.
Working K9 “Remmi” @working.collie.remmi

12. When Can A Service Dog Be Excluded in NY?

New York service dog laws indicate when a service dog may be refused from a public establishment.

When can a service dog be excluded?
Blue Heeler “Snow Leopard” @snow_leopard_81

The only time a business can exclude (refuse) a service animal is:

  • If the animal is out of control
  • If the animal is not housebroken (if it ‘goes to the bathroom’ inappropriately)
  • If the animal’s handler does not control it

Allergies to dogs, as well as a fear of dogs, or fearing a certain kind of dog (Pit bull, German Shepherd) are not acceptable reasons for denying access to a service dog and handler (sometimes called a service dog team).

when can a service dog be excluded?
Border Collie Service Dog @celestialbordercollies

13. New York Service Dog Laws For Dog-In-Training (Various Laws)

service dog in training laws New York State
Service Dog In Training – “Bishop”

Public Access For Service Dogs In Training NY

Under the ADA rules, a service-dog-in-training is not an official service dog. It must already be fully trained before it can go into public places. However, most State or local laws give some kind of coverage to animals that are still in training.

In fact, there are only four states that currently do not have any kind of laws covering service dogs in training. These are Hawaii, Michigan, Washington, and Wyoming. Note that the remaining states have different particulars (they are all slightly different) so be sure to research a particular state if you need to.

Read more: Service animal in training laws by state.

Multipurpose Service Dog New York
Multipurpose Service Dog “Eri” @eri_servicedog

Air Travel for Service Dogs in Training

Similar to the ADA, the ACAA (Air Carrier Access Act) doesn’t recognize service dogs-in-training as official service dogs (anymore). So, they’re generally not allowed in the cabin of airplanes. However, individual airlines may vary, so do check it out if you need to fly somewhere. You can still fly with your service dog in training as a pet.

Air travel for service dogs in training
Psychiatric Service Dog “Sarge”

Employment for Service Dogs in Training

For employment situations, someone could request their service-dog-in-training to be allowed to come to work, especially if the dog is being trained to assist the person with their job. This would be a reasonable accommodation request.

Employers only need to accommodate a disability that they’ve been notified about. The service dog-in-training could be excluded if it becomes a workplace distraction, or causes undue hardship.

Read more: Federal ADA Workplace Accommodation Laws Summary & FAQ

Employment laws for service dogs in training New York and U.S.
Medical Alert Service Dog “Koda” @thatlilbearkoda

New York Service Dog in Training Laws – State Laws

New York State has service dog laws, too, in case you didn’t already think there was enough. Service dogs in training have the same rights as fully trained service dogs in New York State.

A person engaged in training a dog to guide or otherwise aid persons with a disability, while engaged in such training activities, and a person with a disability for whom the dog is being trained, shall have the same rights and privileges set forth for persons with a disability in this article.

New York Code
New York State service dog in training laws
Service Dog in Training “Kylie’s Where I Go, You Go” (Hugo) @lucytheservicesibe

14. New York Service Dog Laws – Housing

New York service dog laws Housing
“Kodiak” Service Dog @dog.human.duo

People living with disabilities are protected under The Fair Housing Act. This Act prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing based on a person’s disability. It applies to virtually all and any housing situation.

The Fair Housing Act requires that a housing provider make “reasonable accommodations” for a person living with a disability so that person can fully use and enjoy the housing.

Part of “reasonable accommodations” means that a housing provider must allow a service dog to live with a person with a disability. It does not matter if there is a “no pets” policy in place, as service dogs are not pets. Adjustments might need to be made to size or weight restriction policy for dogs to make an exception for a service dog.

Blood sugar alert service dog
Blood Sugar Alert Service Dog @cricket_n_saraphena

New York Service Dog Laws – ADA And Fair Housing Differences

New York Service Dogs ADA and Fair Housing Act
Blue Heeler “Snow Leopard” @snow_leopard_81

Both the ADA and the Fair Housing Act protect people who are living with physical and mental disabilities. The Fair Housing Act requires that service animals be allowed in housing.

There are some differences between the ADA and the Fair Housing Act in regards to service animal rules.

The differences are:

1. Definition of Service Animal For ADA And Fair Housing Act

The definition of service animals is different. The Fair Housing Act has a broader definition. In other words, animals that provide comfort, or emotional support, qualify as a service animal under the Fair Housing Act. And, any animal may qualify; it’s not limited to dogs.

Under the ADA, animals that provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service dogs, and can therefore be excluded from places where the general public is normally invited to go. The service animal must be a dog (or miniature horse).

Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs New York State US
Working K9 “Remmi” @working.collie.remmi

2. Training Of The Service Dog/Service Animal

Under the ADA, a service dog must be specially trained to do a certain task for a specific person.

For the Fair Housing Act, the animal doesn’t necessarily need to be specially trained as a service animal. It only must:

  • Provide physical or emotional support
  • Lessen the effects of the person’s disability
  • And is necessary for the person to be able to fully enjoy the housing
Medical Alert Service Dog New York
Medical Alert Service Dog @cricket_n_saraphena

3. Documentation For Housing

Under the ADA for public accommodations, businesses can not ask to see documentation as it’s not required for service dogs and their handlers.

A housing provider – on the other hand – can require a person to provide documentation of their disability. In addition, the documentation must explain their need for the animal.

For most cases, a letter from a doctor or therapist explaining how the animal helps the individual, would suffice.

ADA Service dog laws New York
“Kylie’s Where I Go, You Go” (Hugo) @lucytheservicesibe

15. New York Service Dog Laws – Local Laws vs Federal ADA

New York state service dog laws
Service Dog “Balu” from Portugal

Sometimes, local laws have different – and sometimes more limited – definitions of dogs that work with people. For example, “seeing eye” or “guide dog.” In this limited definition, other types of service dogs may be excluded.

However, businesses must not refuse to admit any of the other types of service dogs due to these local laws. The ADA is enforced on a federal level, and excluding a certain type of service animal may be in violation of the law. This includes local health department regulations.

For example: if a local establishment sells or prepares food, it must allow service dogs into public areas, regardless of a local health code prohibiting animals.

Emotional support dogs and therapy dogs are not service dogs, so these can legally be excluded from public places. A service dog must be individually trained to perform a task(s) for a specific person who is living with a disability. Read more: Service Dog vs. Emotional Support Animal.

Medical Alert Service Dog New York
Medical Alert Service Dog “Koda” @thatlilbearkoda

16. New York Service Dog Laws – Service Animal Discrimination

Service dog laws New York
Psychiatric Service Dog “Sarge”

If you’ve been discriminated against because of your service animal, you can contact:

  • NYS Office of Attorney General
  • Civil Rights Bureau
  • 28 Liberty Street New York, NY 10005
  • (212) 416-8250 (voice)
  • (800) 788-9898 (TDD/TTY)

Or, If you have been a victim of discrimination, please call the Commission’s Info line at 212-416-0197 to report it.

syncope alert service dog
“Kylie’s Lucy On Duty” @lucytheservicesibe

17. How Do I Get A Service Dog In NYC?

How to get a service dog in NYC
Canadian Service Dog “Everest” @katelynburelle

There are a few different avenues you could take to getting a service dog in NYC. The following are several organizations that could potentially be a good match for finding or being placed with a service dog, if you’re going that route.

There are more organizations listed near the end of this article.

Getting your service dog is not always easy. Organizations often have long waiting lists (several years). However, it’s much easier when someone else trains the dog for you. But you could also train the dog yourself, get someone like a dog trainer to help, or use any combination of these options.

Service dog in training Bishop
Service Dog in Training “Bishop”

18. Canine Companions For Independence

Canine Companions For Independence was founded in 1975. Their dogs and all follow-up services are provided at no cost to clients.

This organization is best suited for:  

  • Adults with physical or auditory disabilities
  • Children with physical or cognitive disabilities aged 5+
  • Adults with physical or cognitive disabilities who require the assistance of a facilitator such as a parent, caregiver or spouse
  • Veterans with a physical or auditory disability or post-traumatic stress disorder* (PTSD)
  • Professionals working professional in a health care, visitation, criminal justice or education setting

*Service dogs for veterans with PTSD are provided in specific geographic regions. 


Miller Family Campus
286 Middle Island Road
Medford, NY 11763
(631) 561-0200 Voice
(631) 561-0230 Fax
(800) 572-BARK (2275) Toll-free

Autism Service Dog
Goldendoodle Autism Service Dog “Piper” @bri.and.piper

19. Freedom Guide Dogs For The Blind

Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Upstate New York, which breeds, raises, trains and places guide dogs with the blind and visually impaired through a distinctive program called hometown training.

Hometown training

While the total cost to prepare and train one service dog from puppy to being able to work costs around $25,000, Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind provides guide dogs at no cost.

Freedom Guide Dogs
1210 Hardscrabble Road
Cassville, NY 13318

Phone:  315.822.5132
Fax:  315.293.2465

Autism service dog New York
Goldendoodle Autism Service Dog “Piper” @bri.and.piper

20. Guiding Eyes For The Blind

Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides guide dogs to people with vision loss. They are passionate about connecting exceptional dogs with individuals for greater independence. All services are free of charge.

Apply for a guide dog: Contact the Admissions Department at 1-800-942-0149, ext. 2222 or

Psychiatric Service Dog
Psychiatric Service Dog “Sarge”

21. Guide Dog Foundation For The Blind, Inc.

Guide Dog Foundation For The Blind’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people who are blind, have low vision, or have other special needs.

In order to apply for a guide dog, applicants must be legally blind and can demonstrate the need for a guide dog to help them remain safe and effective in their everyday travel.  We also look for clients that can independently travel practical and purposeful routes with their current mobility device. 

Get a guide dog

Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc.
371 East Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, NY 11787-2976

Toll-free:1-800-548-4337 (within the US)
Fax: 1-631-930-9009

service dog border collie
Border Collie Service Dog @celestialbordercollies

22. The Seeing Eye, Inc.

The Seeing Eye’s mission is to enhance the independence, dignity and self-confidence of people who are blind, through the use of specially trained Seeing Eye® dogs.

Students pay $150 for their first dog and $50 for each successor dog. Veterans of the military pay $1. Payments can be made in installments after students leave the school. A fraction of the total cost to create a match between person and dog, this fee reflects the student’s commitment to enhanced independence.

The Seeing Eye
PO Box 375
Morristown, NJ 07963-0375

By Phone:
(973) 539-4425

Service Dog “Bartek” American Cocker Spaniel @bartek_spaniel_wspanialy

23. Putnam Service Dogs

Putnam Service dogs trains service dogs for people with physical disabilities other than blindness. Check out their website and apply for a dog.

P.O. Box 573
Brewster, NY 10509

Border Collie Service Dog
Border Collie Service Dog @celestialbordercollies

24. Emotional Support Dogs New York

Emotional Support Animals
“Trained” refers to a dog being task-trained for a particular person’s disability. This goes well above and beyond basic socialization and dog obedience basics.

Sometimes it’s confusing to figure out if a dog is an emotional support dog or psychiatric service dog. They are kind of similar.

If the only “tasks” your dog needs to do in order to calm your anxiety are to be there for you, provide companionship, calm you down and/or provide a sense of safety merely with its presence, then that is considered an emotional support dog (ESA) (and really, those don’t count as “tasks”).

ESA’s do not have the same public access rights as service dogs. ESA’s can be exuded from restaurants and other public places. ESA’s, however, do have rights in terms of housing, and maybe for workplace accommodations. You may need to obtain a doctor’s letter to give to your housing provider that states the dog is necessary.

Service Dog at an amusement park
Service Dog “Kodiak” @dog.human.duo

If you don’t know whether to get an ESA or a PSD, think about your needs.

  • Is this animal going to help you with tasks you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do? Then you’ll probably need a psychiatric service dog
  • Is the animal primarily going to provide companionship, affection, non-judgmental positive regard? That sounds more like an ESA, which is much easier to obtain.

Once you know which type of dog sounds like the right kind, then you can narrow down where to get one. Or, if you already have a dog you would like to use, read about how to make your dog an emotional support animal in the U.S.

If you’re in the market for a new dog, check out the best service dog breeds and how to choose one. Keep reading to see the organizations where you can get a service dog for anxiety in New York.

Are service dogs and emotional support dogs the same?
Blue Heeler “Snow Leopard” @snow_leopard_81

New York Emotional Support Animal Laws

In New York, emotional support animals are governed by various laws. Here are some facts about NY emotional support animal laws in different contexts.

  • Emotional support animals (ESAs) are not automatically exempt from a housing provider’s no-pet policies 
  • Someone with a disability can request a “reasonable accommodation” for an ESA in a housing situation, and housing providers need to be accommodating unless they can show that allowing an ESA would be an undue burden on its operations
  • ESA’s do not need to be specially trained in order to qualify for a reasonable accommodation for a housing situation
  • Animals other than dogs may also function as emotional support, therapy or assistance animals in housing situations under the Fair Housing Act (I think that is why ESAs are called “ assistance animals,” not “service dogs” under this Act)
  • Payment may be required for any specific damage done to the premises by an ESA
  • It is illegal to charge someone with a disability an extra fee to keep a guide or service dog or an emotional support, therapy or assistance animal (ESA)
  • ESA’s may not travel in the cabin of a plane with their human under the ACAA; although, individual airlines may vary. ESAs may still travel through the air as a pet
  • Emotional support animals are not covered by the ADA for public access rights, so they can be denied access to public places, although individual businesses may vary
  • ESAs can still visit “pet-friendly” public accommodations with their handler
  • ESAs can be requested as a reasonable accommodation in an employment situation under the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Emotional support animals do not need to be registered for any reason. No legitimate ESA registration system exists. Websites selling ESA papers online are not recognized by the Department of Justice nor the ADA, and purchasing one of those piece of papers from the internet does not give someone any special rights. What is needed for housing and/or employment is a letter from a doctor or other medical professional merely stating the animal is required

25. Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed In NYC Restaurants?

Restaurants have the right to refuse emotional support dogs and therapy dogs, since these are not service dogs. Emotional support dogs are only allowed in NYC restaurants that are willing to allow them on an individual basis, or if their premises is already “pet/animal friendly.” You can always ask.

Multipurpose Service Dog NY
Multipurpose Service Dog “Eri” @eri_servicedog

Emotional support dogs are not considered service dogs, since they haven’t been specially trained to help a person with their specific disability. Read more about service dogs vs emotional support dogs.

New York service dog laws, along with the ADA, protect people who use service dogs.

Please note the difference between an emotional support dog and a psychiatric service dog.

  • Psychiatric service dogs are service dogs (individually trained for an individual person’s disability)
  • Emotional support animals are not service dogs (provide comfort just by being there)
  • Therapy dogs are not service dogs (visit many different people to provide comfort and other benefits)
Therapy Dog New York
Therapy Dog @eddieandboomer

26. New York State Emotional Support Animal Registration

Emotional support animal registration is not necessary in New York, or any other state. Emotional support animals are not service dogs, and can be excluded from any public place. What is an emotional support dog?

You may encounter – especially online – organizations claiming to offer emotional support animal registration. Don’t fall for the fake news. These places are only trying to make a quick buck (off people with disabilities? That’s rude) and the certifications they sell people are not legitimate. New York (or any other state) service dog laws do not require any of this.

Dog wearing goggles

In order to qualify to bring your ESA (emotional support animal) into a housing situation, you need to follow the steps here:

  1. Qualify for an emotional support animal by obtaining a letter; this could be your family doctor, therapist, or another professional who knows you
  2. Let your housing provider know that you have an emotional support animal. This gives them some time to make any special preparations for you and your animal
  3. Submit your letter to your landlord, HOA or co-op
  4. Talk with your landlord to address any concerns they may have. Remember that you do have a right to privacy about your health condition(s)
Service Dog Certification Registration

27. Can A Landlord Deny An Emotional Support Animal In New York?

Fair Housing Act Emotional Support Animal New York

Housing providers must permit residents to keep emotional support animals as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. This includes shelters and other forms of temporary or supportive housing. The only exception is if it would cause an undue hardship to the housing provider.

Housing providers are not required to allow any kind of animal. Certain categories of animals are prohibited under the Public Health Code. Emotional support animals may be excluded if they cause damage or disruption that creates an undue hardship for the housing provider.

Border Collie Service Dog NY
Border Collie Service Dog @celestialbordercollies

If a resident’s disability or need for an emotional support animal is not readily obvious to a housing provider, the housing provider can request confirmation from a treatment provider. This is to confirm that:

(1) The person has a disability and

(2) The animal would help treat the disability

Housing providers can not require disclosure of the specific underlying disability, or reject accommodation requests based on rigid requirements, like requiring a specific form or type of documentation. Nor, that the documentation be dated within a certain time of the request for accommodation.

For more information, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights Bill de Blasio, Mayor | Carmelyn P. Malalis, Commissioner/Chair | @NYCCHR

If you have been a victim of discrimination, please call the Commission’s Info-line at 212-416-0197 to report it.

Service Dog Laws Housing New York
Psychiatric Service Dog “Sarge”

28. New York Service Dog Laws – New York City Service Dog License

All dogs in New York City must have licenses, including service dogs. Service dogs are subject to local dog licensing and registration requirements.

The licenses must be attached to their collars while in public. Dog owners can be fined for violating these requirements.

People who have service animals are not exempt from local animal control or public health requirements, either, such as a requirement to be vaccinated. However, mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA.

You can purchase a license that is good for one year or up to five years. The cost of the license will depend on its length and whether the dog is spayed/neutered.

Service Dog In Training NY
Service Dog In Training – “Bishop”

A dog license can help to:

  • Simplify medical follow-ups. This is especially important if your dog bites someone
  • Support animal shelters. Licensing fees help fund shelters and pay for free and low-cost spay and neuter programs

Dog license application can be found here.

Small Service Dog New York

Service Dog Licenses

  • The Health Department no longer issues tags for service dogs
  • This is because the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that service dogs don’t need a service tag to enter any publicly accessible place
  • All government buildings, businesses and nonprofit groups are required to allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities wherever the public is normally allowed to go
  • Service dogs in New York City still need to be licensed, just like any other dog
Border Collie Service Dogs NY
Border Collies @celestialbordercollies

29. Guard Dog Licenses

The Health Department requires trained guard dogs to be licensed and registered.

  • These dogs must wear their license tag, and guard dog tag, all the time
  • The fee for registering a trained guard dog is $10
  • Guard dogs must also have a microchip implanted as a permanent form of identification
  • Owners must supply the ID number to the Health Department
  • Guard dog owners and other people in control of the premises where a trained guard dog is kept, are required to post clear signs to warn the public of the dog’s presence
  • The sign must include the owner’s name and contact information
  • People who train, sell or rent guard dogs must post a clear sign or notice notifying clients about their compliance with licensing, tagging, micro-chipping and signage requirements.

To apply for a guard dog license or get more information about guard dog requirements, call 311.

Therapy Dogs NY
Therapy Dog “Eddie” with “Boomer” @eddieandboomer

30. How Do I Get A Service Dog For Anxiety In NYC?

The first step is to figure out if you need an emotional support dog (ESA) or a service dog. Psychiatric service dogs are a specific type of service dog. They can help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, as a few examples.

Emotional support animals provide comfort and companionship, but aren’t specially trained. You can turn your own dog into an emotional support dog.

Or, if you need a psychiatric dog, you can work with an organization that will help you get one.

Remember that a service dog, by definition, is specially trained to perform a specific task or job for someone living with a disability. There are a few options for people living with anxiety.

Psychiatric Service Dog “Sarge”

31. Psychiatric Service Dog New York

As one example, a psychiatric service dog might be trained to turn on lights or do room searches. It may help someone out of a dissociative episode by keeping the person safe and not allowing the person to wander into danger.

Or, a dog could wake someone up when they’re having a nightmare. Many people living with PTSD suffer from nightmares and bad dreams.

Border Collie Service Dog NY
Border Collie @celestialbordercollies

32. Assistance Dogs International Accredited Organizations Serving New York

The following are a list of organizations that serve New York. Look for one that suits your needs.

Accreditation is a pillar of Assistance Dogs International. ADI accredits not-for-profit programs that place assistance dogs to ensure that they adhere to the highest standards in all aspects of their operations, including ethical treatment and training of dogs, ethical treatment of clients, solid service dog training and follow-up care. Only the not-for-profit programs that have been accredited can be a member of ADI. ADI does not provide membership to individuals or for-profit programs.

Assistance Dogs International
Canadian Service Dog Labrador Retriever
Canadian Multipurpose Service Dog “Everest” @katelynburelle

America’s VetDogs

The service dog programs of America’s VetDogs were created to provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence to:

  • United States veterans
  • Active-duty service members,
  • First responders with disabilities

VetDogs trains and places service dogs for those with:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision
  • Service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals
White dog wearing blue goggles

Puppies Behind Bars

Puppies Behind Bars is a unique organization where prison inmates raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders. They also raise dogs as explosive-detection canines for law enforcement.

They provide:

  • Service dogs for veterans
  • Service dogs for first responders
  • Explosive-detection canine program
American Cocker Spaniel Service Dog
American Cocker Spaniel Service Dog “Bartek” @bartek_spaniel_wspanialy

Little Angels Service Dogs

Little Angels Service Dogs specialize in:

  • Autism Assistance Dogs
  • Hearing Assistance Dogs
  • Mobility Assistance Dogs
  • Psychiatric Service Dogs
  • Seizure alert dogs
  • Diabetic alert dogs
Autism service dog NY
Goldengoogle Autism Service Dog “Piper” @bri.and.piper

Paws With A Cause

PAWS Service Dogs are custom-trained to assist people with physical disabilities affecting one or more limbs.

PAWS has trained Service Dogs to help people with:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Rheumatoidal Degeneration
  • ALS
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Many other conditions affecting a person’s mobility or strength
  • Seizure disorders
  • Hearing loss
  • Service dogs for children with autism
Service dogs at amusement park
Service Dog “Kodiak” @dog.human.duo

Canine Partners For Life

Canine Partners For Life train a wide variety of different types of dogs.

  • Seizure alert dogs
  • Cardiac alert dogs
  • Diabetes alert dogs
  • Home companion dogs
  • Courthouse companion dogs
  • Residential companion dogs
Medical alert service dog Poodle NY
Medical Alert Service Dog @cricket_n_saraphena

Paws 4 People

Paws 4 People specializes in training customized Assistance Dogs for two general groups:

  1. Children and adolescents with physical, neurological, psychiatric, and/or emotional disabilities
  2. Veterans and Service Members with Chronic/Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma, and Moral Injury
Psychiatric Service Dog NY
Psychiatric Service Dog “Sarge”

Organizations Located In New York

Border Collie Service Dog NY
Border Collie @celestialbordercollies

33. Organizations Serving New York But Located Elsewhere

  • Assistance Canine Training Services (ACTS)
  • Assistance Dogs of the West
  • Bergin University of Canine Studies
  • Canine Partners For Life
  • Canines for Service, Inc.
  • Dogs for Better Lives
  • Duo Dogs, Inc. (formerly Support Dogs, Inc.)
  • ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
  • Freedom Service Dogs of America
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines
  • Guide Dogs of Texas
  • K9’s 4 Mobility, Inc
  • K9’s For Warriors
  • KSDS Assistance Dogs, Inc.
  • Leader Dogs for the Blind
  • Little Angels Service Dogs
  • Mutts with a Mission
  • NEADS World Class Service Dogs
  • For a full list, head to Assistance Dogs International
Service Dog Remi Vs Emotional Support Anima
Working K9 “Remmi” @working.collie.remmi

34. Miniature Horses

Technically speaking, with the updated ADA laws, dogs are the only permitted type of animal defined as a service animal for disabled people where the ADA public access rights are concerned.

However, the ADA has a separate and specific provision that covers miniature horses. The rules that apply to service dogs also apply to miniature horses.

ADA Mini Service Horse
“Flirty” The Mini Service Horse

Businesses must make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.  

Americans with Disabilities Act
service mini horse
“Flirty” The Mini Service Horse

Businesses and other covered entities can use the following factors to help in determining whether a miniature horse could potentially be accommodated safely at their location.

  1. The miniature horse must be housebroken (“goes to the bathroom” appropriately)
  2. The miniature horse must be under control of its owner at all times, the same as service dogs
  3. Can the facility safely accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight?
  4. The miniature horse’s presence must not compromise legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for the safe operation of the facility or business. This must be based upon actual fact, not speculation, assumptions, or fears

Just like service dogs, a miniature horse meets the criteria of a service animal when it has been individually trained to do work or perform certain, specific task for someone with a disability.

However, businesses and other public places may limit access based on the mini horse’ height and weight

Mini service horse New York
Flirty” the Mini Service Horse

This is different from the rules for service dogs. Service dogs can be any size, any type, any breed of dog, even pit bulls.

A bit more about miniature horses…

  • They can live longer than both dogs and regular horses, about 25-30 years
  • They have great eye sight, peripheral vision, as well as night vision
  • They can push or pull heavy objects more easily than most dogs
  • Among many other things, of course, they can help stabilize a person with balance difficulties, or help to stop someone from falling

Read more: Woman boards flight with her service animal – a miniature horse

35. Conclusion

Service dogs aren’t just a nice looking furry animal you see walking around with someone. They are literally a lifeline for people who live with disabilities. Service dogs are not pets, and do not have to abide by “no pets” policies. New York service dog laws along with the ADA laws protect people and their service dogs.

Service dogs are medical devices that happen to be alive. Therapy dogs and emotional support dogs are not considered service dogs, and do not have the same public access rights in the U.S.

But, emotional support animals may have rights in housing and employment situations when being considered as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability.

There’s a lot of information here regarding service dogs. And no matter if you are a person with a service dog or wondering how to get one, a business owner wondering about the rules, or a landlord wondering what your rights are, the laws are here, even if they are somewhat confusing by nature. Hopefully this has eased some of the confusion.

Psychiatric Service Dog NY
Psychiatric Service Dog “Sarge”

36. Reference:

New York Service Dog Laws
New York Service Dog Laws
German Shepherd Service Dog NY
Multipurpose Service Dog “Eri” @eri_servicedog

Read more:


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