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City of Portland Fact Sheet on Service Animals

08/13/13


FACT SHEET ON OREGON SENATE BILL 610 (2013)


What is the impact of Senate Bill 610?

• Relates to assistance animals and public accommodation and went into effect June 23, 2013.

• Repealed ORS 346.610 through 346.660 pertaining to Assistance Dogs for Persons who are Blind or Deaf.

• Repealed ORS 346.680, 346.685 and 346.690 pertaining to Assistance Animals for Person with Physical Impairment.

• Combined the concepts of these repealed statutory sections pertaining to obligations for public accommodation and accession into ORS Chapter 659A which relates to Unlawful Discrimination.

• Modifies definition and terminology in the assistance animal/disability/public accommodation arena to follow the definitions and terminology in ADA Title II.

• Until it has ORS statutory section numbers, it is Chapter 530, 2013 Laws.

http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/sb0600.dir/sb0610.en.pdf.

What is an “assistance animal”?

“Assistance animal”:
• Is a term used in state law arising from former ORS 346.680 and new legislation from Senate Bill 610 (2013).

• Defined as “a dog or other animal designated by administrative rule that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual.” Section 2(1) of SB 610.

• No Oregon state administrative rule has been issued at this time to include any animal other than a dog.

• Is also a term used in the Fair Housing Act where it is not defined the same as under state law.

• Is not a term under ADA Title II, which uses the term “service animal” to mean dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. ADA Title II also includes miniature horses as service animals in certain situations.

 

GENERAL GUIDANCE RELATED TO ASSISTANCE ANIMAL

 

What requirements are on the person employing or accompanied by an assistance animal?

• Maintain control of the animal.

• Ensure that it is housebroken.

• Control by harness, leash or other tether. If the harness, leash or tether would interfere with animal to do work or perform the task for which it is trained, then effective use of voice commands signals or other means.

When a person enters a City building with an animal, what should you do?

• The City needs to provide public accommodation and provide services, opportunities and benefits to all person including persons with disabilities.

• A building’s NO PET policy would need to be modified unless the modification would be fundamentally alteration.

• City staff may not:
   o Ask about the nature or extent of the person’s disability.
   o Require documentation that the animal is an assistance animal.
   o May not charge fee that is imposed for pets.

• City staff may ask:
   o Whether the animal is required due to a disability?
   o What is the work or task that the animal is trained to do or perform (unless it is obvious)?

Can an assistance animal be removed from the City building?

• An assistance animal CAN NOT be excluded or removed based on
    o Another person’s dislike or discomfort with the presence of an (assistance) animal.

• An assistance animal CAN be excluded or removed based on a case by case examination. The assistance animal CAN be removed if:
   o The animal is not housebroken.
   o The animal is out of control and the person is not taking effective control.
   o The animal poses an ACTUAL risk or a direct threat to health or safety of others. Examples may involve a barking, lunging, growling, snarling or biting dog.
   o The presence of the animal would constitute a fundamental alteration of the services of the City.

If the assistance animal is required to be removed, what happens?

• The person with disability must be given the option to continue the services or activity or have access to the facilities as he/she may desire without the assistance animal present.

What if the person is unwilling to continue City services or activities without the assistance animal?

• Offer alternative means for the person with disability to have access and to have opportunity to obtain services or to participate in activities.

• The following may work in some (but not necessarily all) situations:
   o Offer to allow participation through written correspondences, telephone, electronic communication or through an intermediary.
   o Offer to schedule or reschedule service or activity when the assistance animal can be present
   o Offer alternative meeting sites. o Ask the person for ideas or preferences on how he/she wishes to access services.