In California, service dogs are allowed to enter anywhere a public can go. Service dogs are specially trained dogs for assisting people with disabilities. The examples of tasks performed by service dogs include guiding blind people, alerting deaf people, pulling wheelchairs, protecting and alerting people with seizures, reminding patients with mental disability to take medications at the right time, calming people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), etc.
Service animals cannot be considered as pets, as they are working animals. In the case of a service dog, the task or duty that the dog is trained to provide must be related to the disability of the person. For example, if a service dog is for guiding a blind person, it should be trained to guide him/her through public places or any other places where the person has to go.
Where Service Dogs Are Allowed?
According to the laws of California, a service dog should be allowed to enter different places like government offices, businesses, non-profit organizations, etc. that generally serve the public. A person should not be prevented from using the assistance of service animals in public places. If any business or public building prohibits the entry of service dogs, they are violating the law. Hence, you can sue the property owner for denying your legal rights.
In this case, it is better to consult a dog bite attorney. A dog bite lawyer is not only for dog bite cases; instead, he can also assist you regarding the service dog law violation.
However, it might be necessary to prevent dogs from entering some specific areas. For example, in a hospital, a service dog cannot be prevented from entering patient rooms, cafeterias, clinics, examination rooms, etc. But it might be essential to prohibit dogs from entering operating rooms and burning units, etc. as it may affect the sterility of that area.
Controlling Service Animals
Service animals should be leashed, harnessed or tethered, unless these devices create any problem with the duty of the animal or if the disability of the individual prevents the controlling of the dogs. In this case, the individual must be able to control the dog through signal, voice or by any other methods.
If your service dog causes any damage to the property, you will have to compensate for the damages. Also, if your service dog attacks someone without any provocation, they can also claim money from you for their injuries. Hence, it is important to control your service dog when you take it to public places.