Furry Friends

In recent years, we have seen more service animals in public places as the category expanded to include assistance for the hearing impaired, epilepsy sufferers, people confined to wheelchairs, among others.  Now, in addition to service dogs, we see people with emotional support animals.  What is the difference?  Service animals are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and have legal rights conferred by statute.  Only dogs and miniature horses can qualify as service animals under the ADA, and they must undergo special training.  A service animal is trained to perform specific tasks to assist a disabled owner to live a more normal life.

Therapy animals, service animals and emotional support animals, what’s the difference?  There are three distinct categories with different laws applying to each.  While this article will deal mainly with therapy dogs, it is worth taking a minute to explain the differences.

Are you moving to Arizona?  Do you have pets?  If so, you will need to have a basic understanding of Arizona law as it pertains to your animals.  You also need to consider the safest ways to travel with pets and know the possible hazards. With A.R.S. §11-1008, the State Legislature has delegated the authority for regulating the ownership of dogs and cats to the various Arizona counties.  While the regulations set by each county are similar, you need to know the county where you are planning to live, so that you are able to apply for dog licenses immediately upon arrival.

Arizona’s dog leash law (A.R.S. § 11-1012) is intended to help us prevent our dogs from causing injuries to people and other animals and from spreading diseases such as rabies.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) allows service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go. Members of the public are generally allowed to go into state and local government offices, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public.

As of the summer of 2018, it will be unlawful for people in Arizona to claim or pretend that their pets are service animals if they are not.

Under House Bill (HB) 2588, which was enacted in mid-April of 2018 and will go into effect in mid-July of 2018, anyone who falsely states that their pet is a service animal may be fined up to $250.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act 0f 2008 (“ADAAA”) states employers must recognize service animals as a form of reasonable accommodation.  This article discusses the rights and responsibilities of the employer and disabled employee when a disabled employee requires a service animals while at work.

The following excerpts are from Title 11, Chapter 7, Article 6 (“Animal Control”) of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), which contains the major Arizona laws that every dog owner (and everyone else who may be responsible for looking after a dog) should know.

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.