Welcome to Service Dogs in Quebec – The Comprehensive Guide For Humans
At this time, service dogs in Quebec don’t have a specific law. All people in Quebec who use a guide dog or service dog are protected by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
It can be somewhat confusing to figure out the rules, laws, and guidelines for service dogs in Quebec. This article will go through many of the common FAQs people have about this special kind of working animal in this province.
Check out our other article: Where to Get a Service Dog in Canada
What is a Guide Dog?
- Guide dogs help blind or visually impaired people to basically navigate through everyday life
- They help by providing mobility and orientation to improve someone’s functional limitations
- They help people to more fully participate in their community
What are Service Dogs in Quebec?
- Service Dogs can help people who are living with a physical or cognitive disability
- They help by increasing a person’s self-sufficiency
- They can help people move around and they can take hold of objects
- A Service Dog can alert a deaf or hearing-impaired person to a wide variety of environmental sounds; acting as additional eyes and/or ears
- Service dogs can help when someone has a seizure
- These are just a few examples of how dogs can help people. There are many, many more
Emotional Support Animals
Emotional support animals are similar to service dogs in that they help people by alleviating some of the effects of certain disabilities or conditions. However, emotional support animals are usually not specifically trained like service dogs.
Quebec does not recognize emotional support animals in any of its laws as of this time.
In the U.S., emotional support animals do not have public access rights, but they are protected under the Fair Housing Act when housing situations are concerned.
PDD – Pervasive Developmental Disorders
- Service dogs in Quebec and other areas can help people with PDD
- PDD refers to a group of disorders that can be recognized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills in children
- Typically, signs are noted by parents before 3 years of age
- However, signs and symptoms can also be noted as early as infancy
Symptoms of PDD May Include
- Problems with language – understanding it or using it
- Difficulty with relating to people, objects, or events
- Unusual play characteristics with toys and other objects
- Difficulty with changes to a routine or familiar surroundings
- Repetitive body movements or behavior patterns
There Are Several Types of PDD
- ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder – a developmental brain disorder
- Asperger syndrome, or Asperger’s, is no longer a used term, but was a previously used diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Since 2013, it has been part of one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Read more: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5)
- Disintegrative Disorder – Also known as Heller’s syndrome and disintegrative psychosis. This condition is characterized by delays in social function, speech and motor skills
- Rett syndrome (RTT) – A neuro-developmental condition that is characterized by the loss of spoken language and hand use. Usually coupled with the development of distinctive hand stereotypies (repetitive movements or sounds.) This disorder is discovered in infancy and happens almost exclusively in females
- PDD – unspecified
How Can Service Dogs in Quebec Help Children with PDD?
- Service Dogs in Quebec can be of assistance to children living with PDD
- They can help to increase social interactions and enhance children’s safety
- This can be true while at home or out in public
People Living With a Disability Are Protected in Quebec
People with Disabilities Who Use a Guide Dog or Service Dog Have the Right to Access Without Discrimination
• Businesses, restaurants and hotels, and other public places
• Transportation and taxis (open to the general public)
• Places of work and employment
• Recreational facilities such as campsites or movie theatres
If you have a Guide or Service Dog, you have a right to the same goods and services that are normally offered to the general public.
You are permitted to these goods and services, without having to pay additional costs, and without discrimination.
Additionally, parents of children who are living with PDD – including Autism Spectrum Disorder – are also protected. The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms protects people when they are with a service dog or guide dog.
This is true whether with or without the child being present. Parents are responsible for the animal and for the proper training of the animal.
How to Recognize Guide Dogs or Service Dogs in Quebec
There are a few ways to recognize guide dogs or service dogs in Quebec:
- A Mira Foundation logo can be seen on the dog’s collar
- A Lions Foundation logo can be seen on the dog’s collar
- The PACCK Foundation Logo can be seen on the dog’s vest
- The owner of the dog has a letter or card issued by a recognized dog training organization
The Legal Rights of Animal Owners in Quebec
It is up to individual landlords to determine and set rules about whether animals are allowed in their rental property. These will be stated in the lease and/or building by-laws.
If a tenant requires a service animal due to a disability, this requirement is based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This overrules provisions contained in the lease, so, people with service animals, therefore, are allowed into housing situations that otherwise have a ‘no pets’ policy.
Service dogs in Quebec and other places are not pets.
Can Landlords Refuse To Rent To People With Emotional Support Animals or Service Animals in Quebec?
According to the Quebec Tribunal:
- Lessors (landlords) have a right to refuse the presence of an animal in a dwelling
- In signing a lease that states animals are not allowed, the lessee (tenant) must comply with that clause, under penalty of resiliation (termination)
- However, the Tribunal administratif du logement may authorize the presence of an animal when the animal is used to palliate a handicap, such as a guide dog for someone who is visually impaired, just as one example
- The lessee (tenant) must demonstrate that the animal is necessary to manage their handicap. This means usually that a doctor’s note is required
- If the authorization is granted, the lessee still needs to make sure that their animal does not affect the right to peaceful enjoyment of other tenants
In other words, the Régie du Logement has ruled that tenants can have an animal for therapeutic purposes, as long as the tenant can prove it would be harmful to their health if they didn’t have the animal. A written notice from a doctor or psychiatrist is usually needed.
To File a Complaint
To file a human rights complaint, discrimination or harassment, visit this link to the Quebec Commission.
Read more on our blog:
- Service Dogs In Ontario
- Service Dogs in Alberta
- Service Dog vs. Emotional Support Animal
- Service Dog Laws By U.S. State