Service Animals Welcome!

In recognition of the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), BRiDGES has launched a campaign throughout Rockland County in support of the ADA requirements to permit service animals in all areas in which the public is served. Join us in our efforts to let everyone know that throughout Rockland County service animals are welcome!

How do I participate?
Local businesses, restaurants, government buildings, and all public areas are being asked to display the decal pictured above. You may participate by taking decals to locations you frequent and asking the management to display “Service Animals Welcome.” These self-adhesive, removable decals are available by contacting BRiDGES at 845-624-1366.

What happens next?
When a local business places the decal in a front window or on the door, take a picture of it! BRiDGES will be collecting these pictures along with information about each business – especially the name and location of the business – in order to develop a database of businesses that are welcoming to service animals. This resource will be made available so that anyone looking to find a place to go with their service animal will know in advance that service animals are welcome!

What happens if a business says, “No”?
For your convenience, BRiDGES has included a downloadable reference guide detailing common questions about service animals. These facts will help inform everyone about the requirements of the ADA. In the event that additional education is needed, please reach out to BRiDGES at 845-624-1366 for assistance.


Service Animal Facts

  • Service animals are individually specially trained working dogs (or miniature horses) which perform tasks for people with disabilities.
  • When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, to assess whether someone’s animal is a service animal you may ask:
    • Is the service animal required because of a disability?
    • What tasks have the animal been trained to perform?
  • You may not ask about a person’s disability, require medical documentation, require special identification, or ask the dog to demonstrate its tasks.
  • Valid Reasons to ask for the removal of a service animal:
    • The animal is out of control and the handler cannot take effective control
    • The animal is not house broken
    • The animal is creating a real threat
    • Fear of dogs and allergies are not valid reasons to deny access to service animals.

Examples of service animal tasks:

Guiding the blind, alerting the deaf, pulling a wheelchair, assisting the mobility impaired, reminding to take medications, calm someone with PTSD during an anxiety attack, monitoring blood sugar levels.

The Americans with Disabilities Act specifies the regulations for service animals in places of employment (Title I), State and local government services (Title II) and public accommodations and commercial facilities (Title III). These are federal regulations and apply to all of the USA.

Other types of support animals are not service animals including emotional support animals and therapy animals.