Service Animal Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that we are in compliance with ADA standards and that we accommodate all families with service animals to the best of our ability without disturbing the routine of other families. This policy also explains the ADA requirements and the distinction between Service Animals and Therapy Animals.

In accordance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), the Ronald McDonald House of SNJ seeks to accommodate persons with disabilities who require the assistance of a qualified service animal.

A service animal is defined as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.” A family who wishes to have a service animal accompany them in the house should provide the following:

-Verification of the need for a service animal by providing documentation from physician, psychiatrist social worker or other mental health professional that the comfort animal provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of an existing disability.

-Verification that the service animal has received individualized training in accordance with the standards set forth by a recognized service animal training organization such as Assistance Dogs

-Pet inoculation records

-Service Animal ID Card with photo

-Provide all documentation with room request

A “companion” or “therapy” animal is an animal whose role is to provide companionship, affection, security, a calming influence, or otherwise function as part of a regimen or psychological treatment. A companion or therapy animal does not meet the definition of “service animal” unless it assists an individual with a disability by performing specific tasks associated with the activities of daily living. Companion or therapy dogs are not allowed to accompany families while at the House.