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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Service Animals Allowed

Feb 5

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, February 5, 2016  RssIcon


Service Animals Allowed“No Pets Allowed” — Consumers and retailers alike are accustomed to this “rule” when entering a retail place of business.

But, did you know that in Ontario all organizations that provide goods and services to the public are legally required to allow people with disabilities to be accompanied by a service animal?

Recently, a car dealer in Ontario generated negative media attention for denying a person with their service animal access to browse RVs due to their “No Pet” policy. At the time, the dealer was unaware of the rules concerning service animals under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

 

What Is a Service Animal?

A service animal is used by individuals with disabilities. Organizations in Ontario that provide goods and services to the public, are required to permit a person with a service animal into all areas of business available to the public.

 

Examples of Service Animals — What They Are Used For

Autism Assistance Service Animals

  • Provide calming relief in high anxiety situations and help reduce stress that is often experienced in public places.

Diabetic Alert Service Animals

  • Assist those with type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness.

  • Trained to detect and send alerts in situations where blood sugar levels are low. Service Animals Allowed

Physical Disability Assistance Service Animals

  • Specifically trained to open and close doors, retrieve items, bark for help and activate an alert system.

Psychiatric Service Animals

  • These animals are trained to assist those who suffer from social anxiety, with intellectual disabilities, or post-traumatic stress. 

 

How To Determine if an Animal is a Service Animal?

Service animals often wear a vest, harness, saddle bag(s) or a sign to indicate they are working. If it is not apparent the animal is working (or in training), the owner or handler should have an identification card from the Ministry of the Attorney General or a letter from a physician.  This card will also determine if the animal is a service animal in training.

 

Remember, service animals are not considered “pets.” They are animals tasked with a job — to assist a person with a disability, and they are entitled to enter any place of business under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005—even when you’re buying a car

Copyright OMVIC ©2016

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