therapy dog

Service Animal Policy

Our City welcomes persons with disabilities who are accompanied by service animals in all of our buildings, programs, and activities.

  • No identification or special tags are required.
  • Service animals must be harnessed or leashed unless those devices would interfere with the work the service animal performs.
  • In cases where the service animal is not leashed or harnessed, the handler must have the service animal under voice or signal control. If a service animal becomes disruptive a City staff person may ask that the service animal be removed.
  • The City will consider the use of miniature horses as a service animal on a case-by-case basis.

The Department of Justice has a comprehensive fact sheet on service animals and their use in both Title II and Title III buildings and facilities:  Title II applies to State & Local Government; Title III applies to businesses and public spaces. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the Fair Housing Act requirements in housing situations.  

  • Protects people with disabilities in housing and includes an even broader definition of service animal.
  • Provides people with disabilities the right to have assistance animals in their homes.

Assistance animals will generally fall into two categories: emotional support animals and service animals. Requests for service and support animals can be made under the reasonable accommodation process.

The definition of an "assistance animal" in the FHA is "an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability." Under the FHA, the animal does not have to be individually trained or certified.

The FHA's definition is much broader than the ADA’s definition of a service animal, which is restricted to dogs. Also, the FHA covers both service animals and emotional support animals. This a major difference from the ADA definition as service dogs must be individually trained under the ADA.

Star, the beautiful Black Labrador pictured at the top of this page, was trained by Southeastern Guide Dogs and belongs to Edna. Together, they visit The Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches, to learn more about services and assistance that is available. The lighthouse serves persons of all ages with significant visual impairment that effects daily functioning. If you, a relative or friend, have questions or need information about vision loss, please contact them for program specific eligibility criteria. Persons do not have to be totally blind to receive services from the Lighthouse.  Phone: (561) 586-5600