Service Animal Policy
Orange County Government recognizes that a person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal trained to assist the person with his or her specific disability in all Orange County buildings and grounds open to the public. Generally, service animals mean any dog (or in limited cases, miniature horses) trained or in training to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Therapy dogs, emotional support dogs, and companion dogs are not considered service animals.
Service Animals in the Library
Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless such devices interfere with the service animal performing work for the disabled person or the individual’s disability prevents them from using these devices. If one of the devices are not, used the disabled individual must maintain control of the service animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance
Orange County complies with all federal and state law regarding persons with disabilities, including the American with Disabilities Act and any amendments or implementing regulations to that Act. If you have any questions, please contact Risk Management.
Only when it is not obvious what services an animal provides can staff make limited inquiries to a person. Specifically, staff can ask the following two questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Staff should not ask the person what type of disability they have, ask to see medical documentation, ask for documentation that the animal is trained or if they have a special identification card, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
Requests to Leave
In a few limited circumstances staff can ask the handler and the animal to leave the premises:
- If the dog is being aggressive toward other people or animals
- The dog barks, growls or whines unless trained to do so as a warning to its handler
- The dog is soliciting food or other items from the general public
- While the dog is working it is disruptive to the normal course of business
- In the case of a miniature horse (generally between 24-36 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing between 70 and 100 pounds), whether the miniature horse is housebroken, under the owner’s control and the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size and weight, and the horse’s presence will not compromise the legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.
The Library Director is the final authority with regards to enforcing this policy.