Persons with Service Dogs and The Human Rights Code
A service dog is trained to assist a person with a disability. The work or tasks performed by the service dog must be directly related to its owner's physical or mental disability. Dogs that provide comfort and companionship, but do not perform tasks, are not considered to be service dogs.
- A person with a service dog has the right to enter a restaurant, store or other place where the public, customers or guests are generally allowed.
- "No pet" policies must not be applied to service dogs. A service dog usually has an identifying harness or vest. If a business operator is not sure if a dog with a customer is a service dog or a pet, they may ask if the dog is required due to a disability.
- Hotel/motel operators must not require a deposit or charge a cleaning fee for a service dog, even where such deposits or fees are required for pets.
- The preference of other customers is not a valid reason to restrict service to a customer with a service dog.
- A person with a service dog has a right to taxi service. It is discriminatory to refuse or delay taxi service to a person because they rely on a service dog. Narrow exceptions may be where a cab driver has a severe allergy to the animal, has previously given their employer adequate medical documentation of the allergy, tells the fare why they cannot provide service and promptly calls for another taxi.
Know Your Code!
This information is subject to the specific language of The Human Rights Code and to the interpretations of adjudicators and courts.
For more information, please consult The Human Rights Code, contact the Manitoba Human Rights Commission at 945-3007 or 1-888-884-8681, or visit our website at www.manitobahumanrights.ca.
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