Skip to Content

When a Service Animal is Prohibited by Another Law

The law requires you to allow a person to bring their service animal with them into areas of your premises open to the public or to third parties.

Areas are considered open to the public even if they are only open to those people who have paid an admission fee, are members or have met certain eligibility or entrance requirements. These may include, for example, a fitness club, hotel, taxicab or school.

In cases where another law prohibits a service animal from entering certain areas (for example, a service animal would not be allowed in the kitchen of a cooking school), provide another way for the person to access your services.

While a service animal may be prohibited from certain areas (for example, areas where food is prepared) service dogs are allowed in areas where food is sold, served or offered for sale. This includes a restaurant’s public dining area.

Refers to other businesses or organizations that may be your customers. This includes consultants, manufacturers and wholesalers as well as providers of other business and professional services.

An example of a law that specifically prohibits animals:

Ontario Regulation 562 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act states that animals are not allowed in places where food is manufactured, prepared, processed, handled, served, displayed, stored, sold or offered for sale. However, it does make an exception for service dogs to allow them in areas where food is normally sold, served or offered for sale.

Tips if the service animal is prohibited by another law:

  • Explain why to your customer, and discuss other ways to serve them, for example:
    • leaving the service animal in a safe area where it’s allowed, and offering assistance to the person while they’re separated from the animal, or
    • serving the customer in another area where the animal is allowed.

Tips for decision makers – When an animal is prohibited by law:

  • Identify if there are any areas of your premises where a service animal would be prohibited by law, and if so, identify the law in your accessible customer service policy and the area(s) where service animals are prohibited.
  • Consider options ahead of time that you or your staff could offer when a service animal is prohibited.