Approved by the Board of Trustees November 28, 2017

St. Joseph Public Library
Policy on Pets and Service Animals

The St. Joseph Public Library (SJPL) recognizes that some patrons with sensory, mental, or physical disabilities may have service animals that are trained to assist or accommodate them.  The library recognizes legal rights under federal and state laws regarding use of service animals.

No animals are allowed in SJPL branches other than service animals, service-animals-in-training, or animals that are included in a program or event sponsored by the library. Staff is not allowed to request any documentation for the animal, require the animal to demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.  Service animals are not required to be licensed or certified or be identified by a special harness or collar. Library staff has the right to ask an animal’s handler what work or task the animal has been trained to perform and whether the animal is a service animal required because of a disability.

Individuals with disabilities may bring their service animals into all areas of the library where members of the public are normally allowed to go.  Service animals must be on a leash, harness, or tether unless the use of a leash, harness, or tether interferes with the animal’s performance of its task or the person’s disability prevents use of these devices.  If the animal cannot be leashed, harnessed, or tethered, it must be under the handler’s control via voice, signals, or other effective means.

SJPL also considers the safety and health of all of its patrons, the public, and library staff to be a priority. SJPL may ask that a service animal vacate the premises if the animal is not under the control of its handler or if the animal is not housebroken. In addition, library staff may ask that a service animal be removed from the building if its behavior is a direct threat to the health or safety of others.  In these cases, library staff should give the option to obtain services without the animal on the premises.  Fears, allergies or annoyance on the part of other patrons or employees are not considered valid reasons for denying access to people with service animals.

This policy is based on the ADA 2010 Revised Requirements for Service Animals.