Service Dog Laws in Massachusetts


General

Massachusetts law requires that a specially trained Assistance Dog be allowed to accompany a blind, deaf, or physically handicapped person or trainer to all public accommodations and common carriers. Extra charges cannot be made due to the presence of the dog, but if the dog causes damage to the premises, the dog user is liable. The dog user must have proper identification

Service Dog Trainers

A person accompanied by and engaged in the raising or training of a service dog, including a hearing, guide or assistance dog, shall have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as those afforded to an individual with a disability.

Identification

A hearing dog shall, for identification purposes, be fitted with a collar and leash which are of a bright color

Housing

It is unlawful to refuse to rent or lease or sell or negotiate for sale or otherwise to deny to or withhold . . . because such person is blind, or hearing impaired or has any other handicap.

Accessibility

Any and all accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public conveyances, public amusements and places of public accommodation, within the commonwealth, to which persons not accompanied by dogs are entitled, subject only to the conditions and limitations applicable to all persons not accompanied by dogs

Register & Certify Your Service Dog in Massachusetts

The truth is that you are not legally required to register or certify a service dog in Massachussetts or any other state in the US. (*exception: New York City service dogs must be licensed by the city’s Department of Health). Service dogs are protected under the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act. Registration and certification is possible – but completely optional – and does not convey any legal rights under the ADA or the Department of Justice.  Read more here:

Service Dog Registration & Certification in the US – The Truth Opens in a new tab.

Sam Amy Nelson

Sam Amy Nelson (she/her) is an advocate for people with disabilities and mental health.

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