The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice


Darcie Magnuson


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not provide protection for service animals in training anywhere in public places, including workplaces and government buildings. Individual state statutes may or may not grant service animals in training access to places of public accommodations, public buildings, or places of employment. Similarly, neither the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) nor the Fair Housing Act (FHA) Amendments afford rights and privileges in air transportation and housing, respectively, to service animals in training. Without service animals, individuals with disabilities would not be able to equally access society or fully participate in many activities. However, without extensive community-based training there would be no service animals. Current federal laws do not include the appropriate legal protections for service animals in training necessary for a community-based training system to work. It is imperative to give service animals in training the same protections afforded to fully trained service animals. Fewer trained service animals means less aid to persons with disabilities. Only service animals adequately trained to behave properly in all environments can assist persons with disabilities to be productive members of society. These environments include the workplace, school, restaurants, airplanes, and housing. Legal protection for service animals is a modest change which would result in major improvement to the availability and training of service animals. Amendments must be made to the ADA, the ACAA, and the FHA to provide service animals in training with access to workplaces, transportation, and places of public accommodation equal to those of trained service animals.

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St. Mary's University School of Law



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Animal Law Commons