USSDR Blog Banner

Federal Law Trumps Local Ordinances for Service Animals

Federal Law Trumps Local Ordinances for Service Animals

admin 4 September 13, 2017
blog title

A service dog in New Mexico, that also happens to be a pit bull mix, can continue helping his owner, thanks to federal law. Local officials finally accepted that their town ordinance banning the breed had to take second place to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Local History

Tjeras is a tiny town in New Mexico, of not even a thousand people. In a village that size, everyone is a neighbor. When a little girl was mauled by a pit bull back in 1984, the town was horrified.

They didn’t hesitate to take action. The local council passed a law banning the offending dog breed, the American pit bull terrier. According to the ordinance, if owners don’t comply, the dog can be euthanized. The state Court of Appeals upheld the law in 1988.

What To Do About Brewski

Then in 2015, along comes Brewski, a certified service dog. He is part Labrador and also American bull dog, a breed closely related to pit bulls and often grouped with them.

Connor Flanagan, 11 years old, and his mother Katrina welcomed Brewski. The boy suffers from apraxia, a motor and neurological disorder makes it hard for him to make certain types of movements and speak clearly. Brewski was trained to help the boy with everyday tasks.

In keeping with local law, officials told the Flanagans that they had to get rid of the pooch. If not, Brewski could be removed by law enforcement and euthanized.

Federal Law Tops Local Ordinances

The discussion in town was heated and it took months. Finally a decision was reached that saved Brewski and let Connor keep him. The Americans with Disabilities Act carried the legal weight to prevail over local law.

The specific wording of the law says, “Municipalities that prohibit specific breeds of dogs must make an exception for a service animal of a prohibited breed, unless the dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.” As a certified service dog, Brewski posed no threat. In fact, he made everyday life easier for Connor, thereby contributing to the village as a whole.

According to the ADA, service dogs are allowed anywhere the owner is allowed to go. These animals are trained to perform tasks that make it possible for owners to cope with everyday tasks, in a variety of settings, like restaurants, offices and apartments.

Service Dogs vs Emotional Support Animals

The ADA, and most other state and local laws, deals with qualified service animals. They receive months of rigorous training and only a select few make the grade.

Support animals fill a different function, giving emotional sustenance to their owners, usually people with mental impairment or psychiatric disabilities. The pets, often dogs, provide companionship that has a therapeutic effect.

These animals, whether emotional support animals, or ESA, comfort animals, or therapy dogs, do not receive the same stringent schooling as service dogs. As a rule, an ESA or other support animal is not allowed anywhere that pets are barred, with the exception of housing.

Answers to Your Questions

The laws about where you can take a service dog, emotional support animal, or therapy dog are confusing. They vary from state to state, and even city to city.

USA Service Dog Registration wants to make it easier for you to find the information you need. They have a wide range of resources on their site for reference. They have sections on service dogsemotional support animals, state laws, trainers, housing and traveling.

The site lets you register your service dog, emotional support animal or therapy dog in just 3 easy steps. And it’s free!

The USA Service Dog Registration site also carries of full range of helpful products for your service dog or ESA. These include patches, vests, collars, leashes, ID tags and certificates.

If you’re confused about where you can take your dog, what types of housing are acceptable or trying to register him, go to USA Service Dog Registration today.

4 Replies to “Federal Law Trumps Local Ordinances for Service Animals”

  1. I have panic attacks and my dog is the comfort and physical aide by helping me breathe. When I fall he nudges me back up. When my husband gets frustrated I get frustrated but when I hold my dog he settles me down thru breathing.

  2. I’ve been having a serious problem with a Starbucks store accusing my service dog I’ve had for well over 6 years of going to the bathroom in their store. It’s completely NOT TRUE, and they refuse to show any kind of proof of this matter. Now they are refusing to allow her in the store.
    Is there ANYTHING I CAN DO?

  3. I have always taken my dog (listed as a support dog by my doctor in a letter) into Smith’s, until a new manager threatened to haul us out if he wasn’t under control! He
    he turned and sniffed at food on her table while I was looking at the counter, he enjoys the social attention he gets from everyone and is not fully trained as service dog. A different manager, the next day, demands to see certification or vest etc. or “they will be liable”- immediately..I thought it was ok to ask what service they provide but not demand a letter etc…I cannot afford the vest as am in a tent right now!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Preloader
X
SERVICE DOG ID CARD USA Service Animal Registration Your Service Dog ID card will include our convenient QR Code for a quick scan link to our registry lookup. By simply entering your dog\'s registration number your official registered profile will be accessible for quick verification in the event the validity of your service dog is ever questioned. 2054
$29.99
Product Image
5 9277
Support Animal Letter - by , March 25, 2011
1/ 1stars
I did not receive this document
Excellent service - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
The items you sent are great I can now take my dog everywhere and feel well.
Amazing - by , March 25, 2011
4/ 4stars
Over year's with you guys amazing service and more then happy, I recommended. Alot people from my Job .
Fast service - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Very professional team and I received everything in less than four days. Thank you
? My item - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I haven’t even received it yet
Excellent work thank you - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Everything was fine paper works perfect the only one little problem I had with the metal tag that sings from the dog's neck is extremely large for my small dog my dog weighs 4 tiles do for her is kind of heavy but other than that everything was perfect
- by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Service was wonderful. Dog vest was to small for the lbs I requested. Will have to return for larger size
Service animal - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Awesome, so easily done! Came on time . Perfect
Feedback - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Excellent. Easy to navigate
Thank you! - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Everything arrived fast and correct. You have made my life so much better!
- by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I havent used it yet
I am so happy I receive my items thank you God bless you all in Jesus name 🙏 - by , March 25, 2011
3/ 3stars
good thank you all for the wonderful job I am grateful 🙏❤
Very Satisfied - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I am very satisfied on the items that I purchased and was quite impressed by the quality of your products.
Satisfied! - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Excellent service
Great tool for disabled veterans - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Easy to use. Great tool for disabled veterans
Very easy and convenient - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Great, I just need to be contacted for certification
ESA - by , March 25, 2011
4/ 4stars
I didnt receive the certificate as shown. Everything thing else was great.. Package came within a few days.. still would like to have the certificate!
Not delivered yet, 2 day delivery paid. Still nothing - by , March 25, 2011
2/ 2stars
I can not answer this question. I placed the order on March 3rd. i paid $24.99 for expedited 2 day delivery. i should have received the package by Friday, March 5 by 8pm. The package is still in transit the update to its arrival is now Tues. 9th!! Now, I’m waiting patiently for my order that will be arriving late. All I ask is for the $24.99 be refunded for the non compliant 2 Day delivery fee. Thank you, Melisa Marshall
Waiting on package - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Founded what I needed hope it gets to me. 3100 w Sam Houston pwy s #311 Houston tx 77042
Support dog - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Thank you so much you mace it very easy for me to register my dog!!!!