Snakes In Restaurants – Federal Government Proposals Limiting “Service Animals”

Generally speaking, the term “service animals” is not currently limited by law, and therefore could refer to any animals that assist, support or provide service to persons with disabilities. A variety of animals have been trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Among others, monkeys have been used because of their manual dexterity. However, the prevalent service animal is a dog.

However, there have been widespread abuses of the privileges given to service animals. Among other things, individuals have taken a number of questionable animals into restaurants, hospitals and other establishments, claiming that the animals were service animals. These included pigs, miniature horses, snakes and iguanas. (See Check your faux service dog at the door; see also the link in the next paragraph.)

The federal government therefore is considering limiting which animals can be considered “service animals.” (Click here to go to Dog Bite Law and read the proposed law as of August 2008.)