by Nikki Stewart
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Part 1
In the state of Colorado, we have four laws which address service animals. We will cover each of these laws as an overview within this series. It is important when owning a service animal to fully understand your rights and how each of these laws affect you personally. The most well-known and talked about of the four is the Americans with Disabilities Act. While this law covers far more than the topic at hand, it’s details regarding the use and rights of service animals are clear.
Where does the ADA allow my animal access?
Access for service animals permitted:
- Assisted living facilities
- Public housing
- Student housing
- Public and private schools
- State and local government employment
- Private employment with 15 or more employees
- Private businesses including sales and leasing offices
Can I be charged fees for allowing access to my service or support animal?
No, unless the dog causes actual damage
Can my animal be denied because of breed?
Can my animal be denied based on fears or allergies of others?
What is a valid denial of my animal?
- Not under control
- Not housebroken
- Determination following individual assessment that the animal is a direct threat to health or
safety of others
- Type, size, weight of horse
- In the workplace when the presence of the animal creates undue hardship of direct threat
- MUST offer opportunity to obtain goods/service without the animal present
What happens if someone misrepresents an animal as a service animal?
Who is responsible for enforcement?
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section – NYA
Washington, DC 20530
800-514-0301 | ada.gov
The information here is intended solely as informal guidance, and is neither a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities, nor binding on any agency with enforcement responsibility.