NH Law About... Service Animals

Introduction to... Service Animals

Revised February 21, 2017.

The questions about service animals that come to us at the law library generally fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and New Hampshire law, so this guide focuses on these laws. (Please note that the definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act and the definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act are broader than the definition under the ADA which can sometimes cause confusion for researchers.  Also, New Hampshire towns or cities may have broader definitions of service animals, so always be sure to check local ordinances.)

Under Title II and Title III of the ADA a service animal is a dog (or under the ADA's associated regulations, a miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. New Hampshire law, RSA 167-D, defines a service animal as "any dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability" and specifically excludes other species of animals, "whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained."  

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. The Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the ADA. The Section's website links to statutes, regulations, guidance documents, and FAQ sheets including "Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business" and "Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA." 

The Disability Rights Center – NH provides information, referral, advice, and legal representation and advocacy to individuals with disabilities on a wide range of disability-related problems. Their website (see below) has a host of information on service animals.

Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney. 


Read about... Service Animals

WEBSITES

Disability Rights Center. Service and Companion Animals  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

U.S. Dept. of Justice. Civil Rights Division. Disability Rights Section. ADA Requirements: Service Animals  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

U.S. Dept. of Justice. Civil Rights Division. Disability Rights Section. Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

U.S. Dept. of Justice. Civil Rights Division. Disability Rights Section. Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

What are the laws that apply to my business? -- What is a service animal? -- How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet? -- What must I do when an individual with a service animal comes to my business? -- I have always had a clearly posted "no pets" policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow service animals in? -- My county health department has told me that only a guide dog has to be admitted. If I follow those regulations, am I violating the ADA? -- Can I charge a maintenance or cleaning fee for customers who bring service animals into my business? -- I operate a private taxicab and I don't want animals in my taxi; they smell, shed hair and sometimes have "accidents." Am I violating the ADA if I refuse to pick up someone with a service animal? -- Am I responsible for the animal while the person with a disability is in my business? -- What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control? -- Can I exclude an animal that doesn't really seem dangerous but is disruptive to my business?   GO>


PRINT

Americans with Disabilities Act : employee rights & employer obligations / Jonathan R Mook. New York : Matthew Bender, 1992-  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

Americans with Disabilities Act : public accommodations & commercial facilities / Jonathan R Mook. New York : Matthew Bender, 1998-  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

Federal disability law in a nutshell / Ruth Colker. St. Paul, MN : West Academic Publishing, 2016  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

Litigating animal law disputes : a complete guide for lawyers / Joan Schaffner and Julie Fershtman, editors. Chicago : American Bar Association, c2009.  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

Understanding disability law / Mark C Weber. New Providence, NJ : LexisNexis, 2012  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

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Read the law about... Service Animals

NEW HAMPSHIRE STATUTES

RSA 167-D. Service Animals and Search and Rescue Dogs  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

RSA 265:41. Rules of the Road. Pedestrians' Rights and Duties. Care Required  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

RSA 265:41-a. Rules of the Road. Pedestrians' Rights and Duties. Approaching a Service Animal  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

RSA 466:8. Dogs and Cats. Licensing of Dogs. Exemption From Fees for Registration and Licensing.  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

RSA 466:44. Dogs and Cats. Restaurants and Food Stores  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>
 

NEW HAMPSHIRE REGULATIONS

Gdc 400. Governor's Commission on Disability. Rules Related to Permanent Registration of Service Animals  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017


FEDERAL STATUTES

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Revised ADA Regulations Implementing Title II and Title III  GO>

Link verified on: February 21, 2017


FOR MORE HELP ...

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: July 31, 2017

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>

Table of State Assistance Animal Laws / Michigan State University Animal Legal & Historical Center. 2016.

Link verified on: February 21, 2017

This table compares all 50 states' assistance animal laws for several categories. Included are assistance animal accommodation laws, criminal interference laws, licensing laws, disabled pedestrian laws, and service animal misrepresentation laws. Links to the text of the various laws are provided.   GO>


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DISCLAIMER: This website is designed to collect and organize reliable, authoritative legal information about New Hampshire law. The links from this site are to sites over which we have no authority or control. We assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the information you may encounter once you leave our site.