Service Dog Laws Pennsylvania


General

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Pennsylvania law requires that a specially trained Assistance Dog be allowed to accompany a blind, deaf, mentally or physically disabled person or trainer to all public accommodations and common carriers.

Service Dog Trainers Rights

Same rights as disabled

Housing

Use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of [assistance] animals is hereby recognized as and declared to be a civil right

Accessibility

Any accommodation, resort or amusement which is open to, accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public, including but not limited to inns, taverns, roadhouses, hotels, motels, . . . or restaurants or eating houses, or any place where food is sold for consumption on the premises, buffets, saloons, barrooms or any store, park or enclosure where spiritous or malt liquors are sold, ice cream parlors, confectionaries, soda fountains and all stores where ice cream, ice and fruit preparations or their derivatives, . . . drug stores, dispensaries, clinics, hospitals, bathhouses, swimming pools, barber shops, beauty parlors, retail stores and establishments, theatres, motion picture houses, airdromes, roof gardens, music halls, race courses, skating rinks, amusement and recreation parks, fairs, bowling alleys, gymnasiums, shooting galleries, billiard and pool parlors, public libraries, . . . all educational institutions under the supervision of this Commonwealth, nonsectarian cemeteries, garages and all public conveyances operated on land or water or in the air as well as the stations, terminals and airports thereof, financial institutions

Register & Certify Your Service Dog in Pennsylvania

The truth is that you are not legally required to register or certify a service dog in Pennsylvania 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.

4 thoughts on “Service Dog Laws Pennsylvania

  1. Is there a law that requires a dog to be wearing a vest that lets employees know that isa service dog, I work for a local supermarket and in the last year I have seen more dogs coming through our doors.

    1. Hi, unfortunately no. According to the ADA laws: “In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.” I know these rules have resulted in people with “fake service dogs” …

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