Policy Regarding Service Animals’, Therapy dogs’, Comfort Dogs’ and Pet Dogs’ Access to Library Facilities
B. Rehoboth Beach Public Library affords individuals with disabilities, who require the assistance of a Service Animal, with equal opportunity to access library property, programs, and activities.
A Service Animal is a working dog (or miniature horse, as identified below) that has been individually trained to do work or perform essential tasks for an individual with a disability as defined by the Federal Americans With Disability Act (ADA) and the Delaware Americans With Disabilities Act. The task(s) performed by the Service Animal must be directly related to the person’s disability. The working Service Animal must be trained to perform a specific major life activity action when needed to assist the person with a disability. The following are examples of such a major life activity includes seeing, hearing, eating, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, and communicating. This is a representative list of major life activities and is not intended to be all-inclusive.
B. Comfort Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Pet Dogs
A comfort dog or therapy dog differs from a Service Animal because it has not been trained to assist in providing a major life activity for its owner. A comfort or therapy dog provides emotional support or passive comfort for its owner. A comfort or therapy dog (also known as an emotional support dog) is not a Service Animal under this policy. Access to the library for pet dogs, comfort dogs or therapy dogs should be directed to the Library Director. Therapy dogs, comfort dogs and household pet dogs may be allowed, but must be leashed, harnessed, or caged, or at all times under the supervision/control of an owner or trainer.
Library personnel shall permit a Service Animal that has been trained to provide one of the major life activities access to an event or activity with its owner when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for its owner. Examples include a dog guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling an individual’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability.
If the need for the Service Animal is not apparent, library personnel may only ask the following of Service Animal owners:
If the owner states that the animal is required because of a disability and that the animal has been trained to assist in providing a major life activity or a task for the owner, then the Service Animal shall be admitted. If there is any doubt that an animal is a Service Animal, library personnel should admit the owner with the Service Animal and then consult with the Director regarding future access.
Service Animal owners shall not be asked about the nature of their disability or for medical documentation of it. Owners shall not be asked for a special registration, identification card, license, or other documentation that the animal is a Service Animal, or to demonstrate the animal’s ability to perform work or tasks.
B. Library Assistance
Service Animal owners are not required to register their Service Animal with the library. Service Animal owners who regularly access the library are encouraged to contact the Director. The Director can then assist the owner by providing advance notice to library personnel that the owner and Service Animal are entitled to access.
The owner is responsible for damage or injury caused by the Service Animal.
If asked to remove the Service Animal, the owner must be offered the opportunity to return to the library premises or the immediate area without the Service Animal and be provided with reasonable assistance at that time to participate in the library services or programs.
A Service Animal may only be excluded for an individual event based on its or the owner’s behavior at that event. The Service Animal or its owner cannot be excluded from future events based on a problem at a past event.
Owners with concerns about the removal of their Service Animal should contact the Library Director.