Service Animals

How “Service Animal” Is Defined

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.

From the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section

The U.S. Department of Justice published revised final regulations under Title II (state and local government services) and Title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements or rules clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 20 years and contain new and updated requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).

For more information visit the ADA website or call 800/514-0301 (Voice) and 800/514-0383 (TTY). All calls are confidential. 


This publication provides guidance on the term “service animal” and on the service animal provisions in the Department’s new regulations.

  • Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA. Visit the ADA Service Animals Requirements online resource to learn more.
  • A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
  • Generally, Title II and Title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.

Students who are using service animals on campus on a regular basis are strongly encouraged to register with Accessibility Services. There may be additional accommodations that can be provided to support a student’s disability at Parkland Community College.

  • The handler will be in control of the service animal at all times.
  • The animal must be on a leash at all times unless the service animal user is unable to use a leash, using the leash would harm the handler, or if the animal must perform a task without the use of a leash.
  • Dogs must wear a vaccination tag. The college reserves the right to ask for proof of current vaccination.
  • The college reserves the right to ask about the disability-related services the animal is trained to provide.
  • The college reserves the right to ask that the animal be removed if it becomes disruptive or displays threatening behavior toward others. Each situation will be considered individually.
  • The college may prohibit the use of service animals in certain locations if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or where service animals may be in danger. Such locations may include, but are not limited to, metal/machine shops, welding rooms, and medical clinical sites. Exceptions to restricted areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • The college is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal.
  • The service animal must be housebroken.
  • Consideration of others must be taken into account when providing maintenance and hygiene of service animals.

Conflicting Disabilities

It is possible for a person, who does not use a service animal, to have a disability that precipitates an allergic reaction to animals. Persons who wish to make an asthmatic/allergic/medical complaint about the animal should contact the Director of Counseling Services. The person making the complaint must show medical documentation to support that complaint. Action will be taken to consider the needs of both the complainant and the handler of the service animal in order to resolve the problem as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.