Skip to main content

Animal Policy

Animal Policy

Lake County Public Library does not allow animals in the Library, with the exception of service animals, service animal trainees and animals featured in programs sponsored by the Library.

 “Service animal” is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as any service animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Service animal is limited to the animals defined under the ADA and does not include any other species of animal, wild or domestic, trained or untrained. Service animal does not include an animal used or relied upon for crime deterrence, emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship. Under the ADA, state and local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. 

Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. “Seeing eye dogs” are one type of service animals used by some individual who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities, including alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds and pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments. A service animal is not a pet. Service animals must be allowed in all public places. No special license or vest is required. The service animal must be fully controlled at all times. Both the person with the disability and the service animal must adhere to the library’s Patron Behavior Policy.

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. 

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove their service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.