Animal Policy

Animal Policy

It is the Policy of the Woodbury County library to prohibit all animals from entering library facilities, with the exception of service animals, service animal trainees and animals featured in programs sponsored by the Woodbury County Library.

Definitions

"Service animals are animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks.  Service animals are working animals, not pets."

If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

The terminology used to label the specific types of work dogs perform for people with disabilities has not been standardized.  Dogs trained to help a person walk might be referred to as a mobility dog, a walker dog or a support dog.  some animals are cross-trained to perform more than one category of work, such as a guide/mobility dog.  Many individuals prefer to identify their service animal generically to avoid disclosing the nature of their disability.  While most service animals are dogs, other service animals include cats, birds and miniature horses.

Assistance animals is a newer term being proposed to replace the term "service animals."  It is similar to a service animal but instead of limiting the animal to assisting one person with a disability, an assistance animal works either with a specific person with a disability or a group of people with disabilities under the guidance of a trainer or owner.  The animal's training is similar to that given service animals.

Companion animals are pets and may be excluded from the Woodbury County Library facilities. 

Social/therapy animals are usually service animals that did not complete training and have become the pet of a person with a disability.  Other therapy animals are the personal pets of their handlers and work with their handlers to provide services to others, such as patients in nursing homes.  Therapy animals might or might not meet the definition of service animals, but service animals are not pets.  Pets are not allowed in the Woodbury County Library.  Federal laws do not legally define therapy animals, but some states have laws defining therapy animals.  Federal laws also have no provision s for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have "no pets" policies.