Welcome to Saskatchewan Service Dog Laws & Info
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code requires the accommodation of people with physical and mental disabilities. This includes people who use service animals in:
- Access to public services and places
- Disability is a protected category under the Code
Service animals assist people with various disabilities
Service animals help people with symptoms or limitations arising from different types of disabilities. Traditionally, service animals have helped people with physical disabilities.
A few examples are blindness, deafness, or limited mobility. However, there is a wide range of other disabilities that service animals can help people with, too, including psychiatric disabilities.
Requirement for the accommodation of service animals
The requirement for accommodating service animals in Saskatchewan occurs when a person with a disability requires a service animal with specialized training to help with a recognized disability.
The following are some examples of service animals:
- Guide Dogs are trained service dogs that are used as travel tools for people that live with visual impairments
- Hearing Dogs are trained service dogs that can alert people who have significant hearing loss
- Assist Dogs are trained service dogs that help people who has a mobility or health impairments. Tasks may include things like carrying grocery bags or other objects, fetching things like medication or a water bottle, opening and closing doors, ringing doorbells, pressing elevator buttons, and much more.
- A SSigDog is a Social Signal Dog trained to assist a person with autism
- A Seizure Response Dog is a type of trained service dog that can help people who live with a seizure disorder
- A Psychiatric Service Animal is a trained service animal that assists a person with a psychiatric disability
- Read more: The Giant List of Service Dog Tasks (K9 Total Focus)
What animals are not considered service animals in Saskatchewan?
Certain types of animals are not protected by the Human Rights Code:
- Emotional support animals
- Therapy animals
- Animals that do not have specialized training to provide services for someone with a disability
Service Providers and Public Places
Discrimination in accommodation, services, or facilities where the public is admitted, or are usually admitted, is prohibited (Section 12 of the Code.)
Businesses must be accommodating to the attendance of service animals.
Access to the following must be provided to people with disabilities who use service animals:
- Hotel accommodations
- Public services and facilities
Proof or evidence of training
In most cases, no evidence is required to support the attendance of a person with a disability with a service animal. If a service animal is causing a disturbance, then a training certificate can be requested.
Housing with service animals in Saskatchewan
Landlords and condominium associations have a duty to accommodate service animals in Saskatchewan. Service animals are not pets. Therefore, “no pets” policies in rental housing, (or a condo) do not apply to service animals.
Education and employment with service animals in Saskatchewan
People with disabilities in Saskatchewan have the right to participate in education, occupations, and employment without discrimination (Sections 9, 13, and 16 of the Code.)
Accommodations must be made to allow people with disabilities who use service animals to access educational services. Also, to fully participate in their occupations and employment opportunities.
People with disabilities who require accommodation in education, occupations, and employment situations are often required to produce evidence supporting their need for the particular accommodation.
People with disabilities may need to be prepared to show some kind of a training certificate to confirm the specialized nature of their service animal(s).
Prohibited Practices around Service Animals In Saskatchewan
Certain practices result in a violation of the Code and are prohibited. Prohibited practices include but are not limited to:
- Refusing admission or services to someone with a disability who is using a service animal, unless there is an undue hardship
- Interfering with the provision of services by a service animal
- Requiring someone with a service animal to disclose details of their disability
- Charging higher fees, deposits, or surcharges to someone with a disability who is using a service animal or service dog
- Segregating service animals and their owner or handler from other people or other members of the public
Obligations of service dog handlers
When accessing public places or services, handlers should be prepared to:
- Explain that the animal is a service animal
- Provide a basic description of the task or specific work the animal has been trained to perform
- Ensure that service animals are properly controlled. This is to avoid unnecessary disruptions, risks to safety, or damage to property or people
- Handlers can be asked to remove their service dog or service animals if they are not properly controlled
- Handlers can be held responsible for injuries to people or property caused by a service animal
The duty to accommodate service animals does not mean that every accommodation request must be granted or it’s automatically discrimination. In rare cases, accommodating a service animal could represent an undue hardship.
Example of undue hardship
An example of an undue hardship would include a situation where the presence of a service dog or service animal presents an unreasonable risk to health or safety.
What undue hardship isn’t
- Minor irritation
- Limited financial costs
- Unsupported fears of property damage
Unless an undue hardship can be established as valid, the duty to accommodate a service animal or service dog applies in the areas of:
- Education, and
- Access to public services and facilities
Definition of Disability in Saskatchewan
 The Code definition of disability is:
2(1) In this Act: (d.1) “disability” means:
- any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes: (A) epilepsy, (B) any degree of paralysis, (C) amputation, (D) lack of physical coordination, (E) blindness or visual impairment, (F) deafness or hearing impediment, (G) muteness or speech impediment, or (H) physical reliance on a service animal, wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device, or
- any of: (A) an intellectual disability or impairment, (B) a learning disability or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in the comprehension or use of symbols or spoken language, or (C) a mental disorder.