2021 Gift Guide for Every Animal Lover

gift guide

Our 2021 Gift Guide aims to help you find the perfect unique gift for the animal lover in your life. Shop for a good cause or support local!

A book for any coffee table

This fundraising book project, Salty Dogs, by award-winning pet photographer Dawn McBride of Fuzzy Love Photography is a must-have this holiday season. This limited-edition coffee table book will be a collection of whimsical images highlighting the diverse career paths of the dogs of Salt Lake City and beyond. Salty Dogs is raising awareness for the Humane Society of Utah in “Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty,” with 50% of the book sales being donated to help Utah’s homeless pets in our care. Purchase the book here

Be in the know for all dog-friendly events

Be in the know with the Dog Friendly SLC calendar: featuring tons of photos of great local pups, tips for monthly adventures, important dog holidays, and the dates of every dog event they could get their hands on! This glossy 8.5″ x 11″ coil-bound calendar is the perfect place to keep track of all your pup’s social engagements. Stock is limited so hurry and pre-order!

Find the perfect trail for your adventure friends

Check out Girl on a Hike‘s new paperback book, Hiking Utah’s County High Points.  HIking will get you away from crowds, allow you to explore somewhere new, provide a free full-body workout without a gym membership,   and you can spend time alone or bond with friends. This book also includes 20 “Bonus Peaks” that every peak bagger should mark off their Utah list!  Pick up your copy here

Stay fashionably warm this winter with HSU swag 

Our retail store is full of great gift ideas… from hats to hoodies, cat bowls, and more! Visit anytime during our Adoption Center hours, 10 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. Or visit our online store

Local, eco-friendly product that is as good for the planet as it is for you!​​​

Wild Waters Soapery will keep your friends feeling pampered with their handmade products.  With individual soaps, holiday gift sets, or gift cards, you can’t go wrong with purchasing from this local business. 

Yummy treats – Vegan candy and baked goods

Who doesn’t love a bakery named after a cat? Sweet Hazel & Co is located just down the street from our pet resource center has some of the tastiest treats around. Their Snix 4-pack is a favorite amongst our staff. 

Unique gifts by local artists

Clever Octopus Reuse Market has something you won’t find anywhere else for that one-of-a-kind gift. Or pick up your affordable craft supplies and make something yourself. Located at 2250 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City. 

We hope this gift guide helps you find the perfect gift for the animal lovers in your life!

Pet Rehoming Resources

As a responsible pet owner, you can rehome your pet and save them the stress of entering an animal shelter. You know your pet better than anyone, and with these Pet Rehoming Resources, you can find a new loving home for your pet.

 We encourage you to look into alternative solutions to keep your pet, if possible, before making the decision to rehome.

Pet Rehoming Websites

Rehome by Adopt a pet.com and The Petco Foundation
Create a pet profile, receive applications, and screen potential adopters from your home. Adopt-a-Pet.com gives you a personalized adoption agreement that you and your adopter can sign online.

This website, founded by Adopt-a-Pet.com and the Petco Foundation, allows you to rehome your pet with peace of mind. You can create a profile for your pet, review applications of potential adopters, screen and meet adopters, and finalize the adoption with Adopt-a-Pet’s personalized adoption agreement. Your pet can go straight to a new home without experiencing the stressful shelter environment.

Home To Home 
Home To Home™ is an interactive website created to help shelters and rescues. It provides a positive and proactive method to rehome pets as well as provide support to pet owners in their time of need, when keeping a pet is no longer an option.https://home-home.org/

If these pet rehoming resources aren’t suitable for your pet or your situation, and you don’t think your pet would thrive in an animal shelter environment, there are local rescue groups that may accept owner surrenders.

Pet Rescue Groups


PLEASE NOTE: These are volunteer-run, foster-based organizations. These volunteers often work full-time, foster rescue pets in their homes, and have families or pets of their own to care for. They volunteer in animal rescue in their spare time.

A New Beginning Animal Rescue
Phone: (801) 916-3924
Email: info@anbrescue.org
Website: www.anbrescue.org
This organization has limited admissions. To make an appointment and to receive a copy of the Surrender Contract and Incoming Pet Profile, email adoptions@anbrescue.org.

Rescue Rovers
Phone: (435) 565-4031
Website: https://www.rescuerovers.org
Dog rescue that will take owner surrenders. You must fill out an owner surrender application online. You should receive a response from the Rescue Rover team within a week. Keep in mind it can take up to a couple weeks for a foster home to be made available for your dog.

Because Animals Matter (Hurricane, UT)
Phone: (435) 773-5209
Website: www.becauseanimalsmatter.com
This organization has limited admissions. BAM may ask you to continue housing your pet until an adoptive home is found. This can reduce the stress of the rehoming experience.

Bulldog Club of Utah Rescue
Phone: 801-750-0587
Website: https://bulldogrescueofutah.org
This organization will only take English or British Bulldogs.

Herding Haven
Website: www.herdinghaven.org/
This organization accepts herding breeds from the public on a case-by-case basis when they have open foster homes.

Saying farewell: you are not alone

Tubs, a uniquely large 9-year-old purebred American Pit Bull Terrier, was strong and athletic with an intensely muscular build. This is why it was so odd when his guardian, Guinnevere Shuster, noticed he was dragging his hind legs over the curb while on a walk one day.

“This is a dog that would play fetch all day if he could,” explained Guinn. “He was very enthusiastic about training, searching for scents, doing anything active. So for him to suddenly not be able to lift up his hind legs was alarming. I took him to the emergency vet right away.”

During that visit, Tubs was diagnosed with Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, a disease in which the body attacks and destroys its own red blood cells. He spent four nights at the emergency vet clinic and received several blood transfusions, but unfortunately, he didn’t respond well to the treatment. When it was apparent Tubs wasn’t going to make it, Guinn picked him up and took him home so they could spend their last days together cuddling in the comfort of one another’s arms.

He died three days later.

For Guinn, the sudden loss was not only devastating but also a complete shock. Her best friend of seven years was here just one week ago, seemingly in perfect health, and suddenly he was gone. How was this possible? And how was she supposed to go on without him?

These are the questions all pet guardians will eventually face. Since our pets are more than just our companions, they are a part of our family, too, the loss can be profoundly unsettling and overwhelming. In honor of National Pet Memorial Day, which falls on September 12 this year, we wanted to bring up this difficult topic to share ways to help you cope better with the loss of your beloved pet and ideas on how to keep their memory alive. 

“Our pets are there for us when other humans may not be,” says Robert Neimeyer, the author of several books on grief and director of the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition. “Pets provide what psychologists call a ‘secure base’ for us where we can feel unconditionally loved and trusted. We often have the sense that they understand our emotions intuitively in ways that others do not cognitively.” And he says one of the great ironies of pet loss is that we’re grieving the absence of the very companion who could have made such a significant loss more bearable.

“For me, it was important to reach out and respond to friends and family for support and not isolate myself,” shared Guinn. “By talking about him and the situation, I could better process what had happened. It’s been a year now since his passing, and it’s getting easier to talk about, but of course, I miss him every day.”

Guinn, a professional photographer and the Humane Society of Utah’s Marketing and Communications Director, keeps Tub’s memory alive by updating his Instagram page regularly. There, she shares photos and stories of their favorite adventures. “Tubs was very outgoing and bubbly; he liked to greet people of all ages. He didn’t know any strangers. And he loved getting his picture taken, which was perfect for me and my profession. He would always pose for me!”

Guinn’s favorite memory of Tubs is now hanging on her office wall. “He had bonded with a puppy I was fostering that needed to be bottle-fed. The puppy adored Tubs so much and would watch him pose for pictures, and then she’d pose in the same way. I have a photo of the two of them posing together on my wall now.”

These are a few of the ways Guinn grieves and honors Tubs’ memory. Some pet parents may choose to plant a memorial tree, shrub or flower, or create a stone with a paw print in their garden. Others may get a tattoo of their pet, write a poem or create a photo album. No matter how you cope, know you are not alone in wanting to honor your pet’s legacy and the time you shared. And remember, our best friends – both past and present – will always live on in our hearts.

What is Gastric Dilation-Volvulus?

Gastric Dilatation (GD) or “Bloat”

Is a condition in dogs where the stomach becomes dilated and distended due to the accumulation of gas or fluid. The abdomen is generally distended and uncomfortable, but the condition is easily treated by emptying the stomach. This is a much less serious condition than the main topic here, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), in which the stomach fills with gas or fluid then flips on itself, trapping the gas and/or fluid inside. 

GDV happens most commonly in large and giant breed dogs especially Great Danes, Weimaraners, and German Shepherds. Deep-chested and underweight dogs are also at risk. Symptoms include a distended abdomen, abdominal pain, restlessness, excessive drooling, and most classically, unsuccessful attempts to vomit or belch. As the condition progresses, the pressure in the stomach continues to build, causing weakness, shortness of breath, and eventually shock (pale gums, low body temperature, collapse).  

The only treatment once the stomach has flipped is to surgically “unflip” the stomach and then suture it to the body wall to prevent future flipping (a procedure called Gastropexy).

As horrible and frightening as GDV can be, there are several things that dog owners can do to reduce the risk of this happening to their dog:

  • If you get a high-risk breed as a puppy, have your veterinarian perform a gastropexy at the time of spay/neuter.
  • Use a slow-feeder bowl to slow down your dogs’ eating so that they swallow less air (especially if your dog tends to inhale their food).
  • While some recommend using a raised food bowl to give the dog better access to food, it is best to feed on the floor in order to reduce swallowed air. 
  • Do not allow exercise for 30 minutes before or after a meal.
  • If you suspect your dog has bloat take them into your veterinarian right away!

Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners

Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners

Many parts of Utah are prone to wildfires. Having an emergency plan in place can help keep you and your pet safe. Follow the steps below to help you and your animals be ready if you need to evacuate during an emergency. 

Plan Ahead

Most evacuation shelters generally don’t accept pets, and for this reason, it’s crucial to research hotels and motels outside your local area for pet policies. In addition, you can ask friends or family if they are willing to house your pets during an emergency. Boarding your pet at a local facility is another option. 

No matter where you end up, having enough crates to move all of your pets at the same time is essential. Being emergency-ready also means training your animals to enter crates quickly. Practicing often and making the experience as positive as possible will set your pet up for success. For more information on crate training, click here

Being able to access information quickly is vital. Using sources such as https://utahfireinfo.gov/ can help keep you informed on the spread of fires in our state.


Make sure your pet’s microchip and ID tags are current and up to date. Your pets should be wearing proper identification at all times.; this includes animals who don’t usually go outside. Having a cloth collar you can write a phone number on in sharpie is a quick and inexpensive form of pet identification. 

Pack and store an easy to access Pet Emergency Kit

Here are a few of the items we suggest. Keep the following supplies in a sturdy waterproof container: 

  • Vaccination and medical records
  • Extra leashes and collars
  • Seven days supply of food and water with bowls
  • Two weeks of your pet’s medications
  • Photos and descriptions of each pet
  • Crates, bedding, and toys
  • Litter boxes with litter (for cat owners)
  • Stickers you can attach to your pet’s tags with your intended destination or temporary contact information.

Keeping your pet comfortable during an evacuation can help reduce stress. Remember, in case of a fire or earthquake, our animals rely on us to help them escape. So the more prepared for an emergency you are, the safer you and your pets will be!

Know Before You Go: Hiking with Your Dog

Are you an avid adventurer who recently adopted a new dog? Or a newbie on the trail looking to bring your pup along on your new hobby? We’ll cover the basics to make sure you and your dog are set up for success and safety on the trail.

Prepare Your Pup for the Trail

Believe it or not, dogs aren’t born trail-ready. You’ll need to work out exactly when your dog will be ready. This may depend upon their age, endurance level, or physical fitness.

A visit to your vet will help determine what vaccines or preventative medicines they may need before venturing out into the great outdoors. If you have a young dog or puppy, you will need to take it easy until their growth plates are fully developed. Taking puppies on long repetitive activities like jogging without multiple breaks can cause orthopedic problems. Ask your vet for more information on this topic. If you plan on taking your puppy hiking, bring a bag to carry them in or keep it short with lots of breaks along the way.

Keep in mind if you adopted a dog that transferred in from another area of the country, they may need time to acclimate to our elevation and heat. For these pooches, starting in the foothills may be a better option than climbing a peak. 

hiking with dogs

Now that you know your puppy or dog is fit and ready to go, we recommend the following. 

  • Knowing your trail regulations
  • Brushing up on doggy obedience
  • Getting the right gear

Not all trails are off-leash, and watersheds do not allow dogs. Some national and state parks do not allow dogs on their trail systems, be sure to do your research beforehand. Following the laws keeps the trails accessible to all dogs and their people. You should maintain control of your dog at all times, whether they are on or off-leash. Step off the trail and yield the right of way to hikers, horses, and bikes. 

Having your dog on a leash isn’t enough. You also need to keep your dog calm as other people and other animals pass by. Practice basic obedience or attend our Hiking Hounds dog training class. You can sign up for a single lesson or multiple. These classes are held on trails along the Wasatch Front. They allow you and your dog to practice your training skills with real-life distractions. 

Having the right gear can make all the difference. 

  • We recommend a well-fitted “Y-front” harness with a back attachment and a long lead. Keeping your dog on a leash will keep them safe from wildlife, cliffs, or rivers 
  • Having an up-to-date microchip and collar ID will help you reunite if your pet should become lost 
  • Bring more water than you think you need for you and your dog. Give your dog a chance to drink water multiple times throughout the hike 
  • Booties may protect your dog’s paws from sharp rocks if their paw pads aren’t acclimated to walking on the rocky terrain. They may also protect against the hot sand 

Lastly, we encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace. Always pack out your dog’s waste. If you’re worried about a breach, double bag the poop and stash it in an odor-proof bag. You can purchase these bags online and keep them in your day pack.

Utah Pet Care Regulations

Join the Humane Society of Utah in our advocacy effort to pass sweeping statewide regulations for pet care facilities and businesses!    

Utah pet care regulations

There is currently little to no regulation for pet care facilities and businesses in Utah. In essence, this means any individual may represent themselves as a dog trainer, groomer, pet sitter, doggy daycare, and so on. This lack of regulation further allows almost anyone with a 501(c)(3) to claim to be a rescuer. This lack of uniformity makes it difficult for pet owners to ensure their beloved companion animals are being treated humanely. 

People in our own community have experienced the disturbing and sometimes even heartbreaking consequences of this lack of regulation. Dogs have been lost on group hikes because the walker has eight dogs to watch at one time. Dog sitters have lied about showing up to a house to care for a dog, leaving the dog alone for up to 14 hours at a time. Dogs are let off leash without their guardian’s consent putting that dog and others at risk. A dog was even left in a hot car by a dog walker for over two hours, he did not survive.

However, this lack of regulation does not only affect businesses, it also impacts municipal shelters. There are no standards for euthanasia which leads to euthanasia methods not recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association. There are no rules pertaining to temperature-controlled facilities or population. There’s no standardization of cleaning methods which leads to outbreaks of infectious disease. Hoarders are able to disguise themselves as “rescues.” Animals are adopted out unvaccinated and unaltered. 

It is time for change!

Here is how YOU can help companion animals in Utah!

  1. Find out who your local representative is here.
  2. Write your representative a letter asking for their support of sweeping statewide pet care facility regulations. Use one of our templates below or create your own. Feel free to pull facts from the list above to bolster your argument!
  3. Sign and share this petition.
  4. Follow our Facebook and Instagram for updates on social media, sign up for advocacy alerts, and share our posts.
  5. Urge your friends and family to do the same by sharing the link to this page with them. 

Thank you for supporting the passage of statewide regulations for pet care facilities and businesses and thank you for helping us to Change Their World.™


Dear Representative XXX,

[Introduce yourself as a concerned constituent]

[Explain why you believe it is important for Utah to have statewide regulations for pet care facilities and businesses]

[Ask the Rep. to support standardized pet care facility regulations in Utah]

[Thank them for their time and consideration]


XXX, a concerned constituent


Dear Representative XXX,

I ask kindly as one of your constituents that you consider supporting statewide regulations for pet care facilities and businesses. There is currently little to no regulation for pet care facilities and businesses in Utah. In essence, this means any individual may represent themselves as a dog trainer, groomer, pet sitter, doggy daycare, and so on. This makes it extremely difficult for pet guardians to select a trusted and humane option for their beloved pets.

Specifically, XXX. 

Please consider supporting sweeping statewide regulations to hold pet care facilities and businesses to a higher standard.


XXX, Concerned Constituent 

Preguntas frecuentes sobre los animales de asistencia

Preguntas frecuentes sobre los animales de asistencia

Para el público:

¿Qué es un animal de servicio?

En virtud de la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (“ADA”, por sus siglas en inglés), un animal de servicio se define como un perro al que se ha entrenado individualmente para realizar trabajo o tareas para una persona con una discapacidad. Las tareas realizadas por el perro deben estar directamente relacionadas con la discapacidad de la persona.”Realizar trabajo o tareas” significa que el perro debe estar entrenado para realizar acciones específicas cuando sea necesario para ayudar a la persona con una discapacidad. Por ejemplo, una persona con diabetes puede tener un perro entrenado para alertarle cuando su nivel de azúcar en la sangre alcanza niveles altos o bajos. Una persona con depresión puede tener un perro entrenado para recordarle que debe tomar sus medicamentos. O bien, una persona que padece epilepsia puede tener un perro entrenado para detectar el inicio de un ataque convulsivo y ayudar a la persona a mantenerse segura durante él.

¿Los animales de apoyo emocional, terapia o compañía se consideran animales de servicio?

No. Estos términos se utilizan para describir a animales que reconfortan a la persona simplemente con su presencia. Dado que no han recibido entrenamiento para realizar un trabajo o tarea específicos, no se los considera animales de servicio en virtud de la ADA.

¿La ADA exige que los animales de servicio reciban entrenamiento profesional?

No. Las personas con discapacidades tienen derecho a entrenar al perro ellas mismas, y no se les exige utilizar un programa de entrenamiento canino profesional.

¿Los animales que están recibiendo este entrenamiento se consideran animales de servicio en virtud de la ADA?

No. El perro debe estar entrenado antes de que se lo pueda llevar a lugares públicos.

¿Qué preguntas puede hacer un empleado para determinar si un perro es un animal de servicio?

En situaciones en las que no es evidente que el perro es un animal de servicio, el personal solo puede hacer dos preguntas específicas: (1) ¿el perro es un animal de servicio necesario debido a una discapacidad? y (2) ¿qué trabajo o tarea se ha entrenado al perro para realizar? El personal no tiene permitido solicitar ninguna documentación del perro, exigir que el perro demuestre su tarea o hacer preguntas sobre la naturaleza de la discapacidad de la persona.

¿Los animales de servicio tienen que llevar puesto un chaleco, una chapa o un distintivo específicos que los identifiquen como animal de servicio?


¿La ADA exige que los animales de servicio tengan certificación como tales?


¿Una ciudad puede exigir que se registre a un animal de servicio en virtud de la ADA?

No. La ADA no permite exigir el registro de los animales de servicio. No obstante, los animales de servicio están sujetos a las mismas reglas de licencias y vacunación que se aplican a todos los perros.

¿Un animal de servicio puede ser cualquier raza de perro?


Preguntas frecuentes sobre los animales de asistencia

Para los agentes de orden público:

¿Cómo debo lidiar con una queja sobre un animal de servicio?

Al lidiar con llamadas por quejas sobre un animal de servicio, los agentes de orden público deben mantener una actitud neutral y deben estar preparados para explicar los requisitos de la ADA en relación con los animales de servicio a las partes involucradas. Los negocios tienen la obligación de permitir a los animales de servicio que acompañen a su dueño a todas las áreas a las que se permite el ingreso a los demás clientes o el público en general. En ausencia de una infracción a una ley independiente de la ADA, los agentes no deben tomar ninguna medida más allá de mantener la paz. Si hay personas que consideran que han sido discriminadas como resultado de una discapacidad, se las debe derivar a la División de Derechos Civiles del Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos.

¿Se puede negar el ingreso a un local a las personas con discapacidades únicamente en virtud de la raza de su animal de servicio?

No. No se puede excluir a un animal de servicio en base a suposiciones o estereotipos sobre la raza del animal o cómo podría comportarse. No obstante, si un animal determinado se comporta de manera que represente una amenaza directa a la salud o la seguridad de los demás, tiene antecedentes de ese comportamiento o no está bajo el control de la persona, se lo puede excluir. Si se excluye a un animal por esos motivos, el personal debe ofrecer sus bienes o servicios a la persona sin la presencia del animal.

Si una municipalidad tiene una ordenanza que prohíbe ciertas razas de perros, ¿esa prohibición se aplica a los animales de servicio?

No. Las municipalidades que prohíben razas específicas de perros deben hacer una excepción para un animal de servicio de una raza prohibida, a menos que el perro represente una amenaza directa a la salud o la seguridad de otras personas. En el marco de las disposiciones de “amenaza directa” de la ADA, las jurisdicciones locales deben determinar, caso por caso, si se puede excluir a un animal de servicio determinado en base a su comportamiento real o sus antecedentes, pero no puede excluir a un animal de servicio en base a miedos o generalizaciones sobre cómo puede comportarse un animal o una raza. Es importante tener en cuenta que las restricciones de raza difieren en gran medida de una jurisdicción a la otra. De hecho, algunas jurisdicciones no tienen restricciones de raza.

¿Dónde puede excluirse a los animales de servicio?

La ADA no exige a las entidades cubiertas que modifiquen sus políticas, prácticas o procedimientos si esto “alteraría de manera fundamental” la naturaleza de los bienes, servicios, programas o actividades proporcionadas al público. Tampoco tiene prevalencia sobre los requisitos de seguridad legítimos. Si la admisión de animales de servicio alteraría de manera fundamental la naturaleza de un servicio o un programa, puede prohibirse la presencia de animales de servicio. Asimismo, si un animal de servicio determinado está fuera de control y la persona a la que acompaña no toma medidas efectivas para controlarlo, o si no está adiestrado respecto a sus necesidades fisiológicas, se puede excluir a ese animal.

¿Cuándo la presencia de un perro de servicio alteraría de manera fundamental la naturaleza de un servicio o programa proporcionado al público?

En la mayoría de los entornos, la presencia de un animal de servicio no tendría como resultado una alteración fundamental. No obstante, hay algunas excepciones. Por ejemplo, en un internado, se podría restringir el ingreso de animales de servicio a un área específica de un dormitorio reservada específicamente para estudiantes con alergias a la caspa canina. En un zoológico, se puede restringir el ingreso de los animales de servicio a las áreas en las que los animales exhibidos son presas o depredadores naturales de los perros, donde la presencia de un perro causaría disturbios o haría que los animales en exhibición se comportaran de manera agresiva o se agitaran. No se puede restringir su ingreso a otras áreas del zoológico.

¿Qué significa “bajo control”? ¿Los animales de servicio deben llevar una correa? ¿Tienen que estar en silencio y sin ladrar?

La ADA exige que los animales de servicio estén bajo control de la persona a quien acompañan en todo momento. En la mayoría de los casos, la persona que debe controlar al perro será la persona con discapacidad o un tercero que lo acompañe. En un contexto escolar (del jardín de niños al 12° grado) y entornos similares, se puede exigir a la escuela o entidad similar que proporcione asistencia para permitir a un estudiante determinado que controle a su animal de servicio. El animal de servicio debe llevar un arnés, una correa o un amarre en lugares públicos, a menos que estos dispositivos interfieran con el trabajo del animal de servicio o que la discapacidad de la persona evite el uso de estos dispositivos. En ese caso, la persona debe usar su voz, señales u otros medios efectivos para mantener el control del animal. Por ejemplo, una persona que use una silla de ruedas puede usar una correa larga y retráctil para permitir a su animal de servicio recoger o recuperar artículos. No puede permitir que el perro se aleje de ella y debe mantenerlo bajo control, incluso si está recuperando un artículo que está lejos de ella. O bien, un veterano que haya regresado con síndrome de estrés postraumático y tenga muchas dificultades para entrar a espacios desconocidos puede tener un perro entrenado para entrar a un espacio, comprobar que no haya amenazas, volver e indicar que es seguro entrar. El perro no puede llevar una correa para hacer su trabajo, pero en otros momentos debe llevarla. “Bajo control” también significa que no se debe permitir al animal de servicio que ladre repetidamente en una sala de conferencias, un teatro, una biblioteca u otro lugar silencioso. No obstante, si un perro ladra solo una vez, o ladra porque alguien lo ha provocado, esto no significaría que el perro está fuera de control.

¿Qué pasa si una persona considera que el personal de una entidad cubierta la ha discriminado?

Las personas que crean que se les ha negado acceso o servicio de manera ilegítima porque usan animales de servicio pueden presentar una queja con el Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos. Las personas también tienen derecho a entablar una demanda privada en una corte federal, acusando a la entidad de discriminación en el marco de la ADA.

La información de esta página se ha obtenido directamente de parte del Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos. Para obtener más información, visite https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html.

Assistance Animals

Assistance Animal FAQs

Preguntas frecuentes sobre los animales de asistencia

For the Public-

What is a service animal? 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. To “do work or perform tasks” means the dog must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability. For example, a person with diabetes may have a dog 

that is trained to alert him when his blood sugar reaches high or low levels. A person with depression may have a dog that is trained to remind her to take her medication. Or, a person who has epilepsy may have a dog that is trained to detect the onset of a seizure and then help the person remain safe during the seizure.

Are emotional support, therapy, or companion animals considered service animals? 

No. These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person.  Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. 

Does the ADA require service animals to be professionally trained? 

No. People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.

Are service-animals-in-training considered service animals under the ADA? 

No. The dog must already be trained before it can be taken into public places.

What questions can an employee ask to determine if a dog is a service animal? 

In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

Do service animals have to wear a specific vest, tag, or ID identifying them as a service animal? 


Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as such? 


May a city require a dog to be registered as a service animal under the ADA? 

No.  Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA.  However, service animals are subject to the same licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.

Can a service animal be any breed of dog? 


assistance animals

For Law Enforcement-

How should I handle a complaint regarding a service animal? 

When handling calls of a complaint regarding a service animal, law enforcement officers should remain neutral and should be prepared to explain the ADA requirements concerning service animals to the concerned parties. Businesses are required to allow service animals to accompany their owner into all areas that other customers or members of the public are allowed. Absent a violation of law independent of the ADA, officers should take no enforcement action beyond keeping the peace. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against as a result of a disability should be referred to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Can individuals with disabilities be refused access to a facility based solely on the breed of their service animal? 

No.  A service animal may not be excluded based on assumptions or stereotypes about the animal’s breed or how the animal might behave.  However, if a particular service animal behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, has a history of such behavior, or is not under the control of the handler, that animal may be excluded.  If an animal is excluded for such reasons, staff must still offer their goods or services to the person without the animal present.

If a municipality has an ordinance that bans certain breeds of dogs, does the ban apply to service animals? 

No. Municipalities that prohibit specific breeds of dogs must make an exception for a service animal of a prohibited breed, unless the dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.  Under the “direct threat” provisions of the ADA, local jurisdictions need to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a particular service animal can be excluded based on that particular animal’s actual behavior or history, but they may not exclude a service animal because of fears or generalizations about how an animal or breed might behave.  It is important to note that breed restrictions differ significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In fact, some jurisdictions have no breed restrictions.

Where can service animals be excluded? 

The ADA does not require covered entities to modify policies, practices, or procedures if it would “fundamentally alter” the nature of the goods, services, programs, or activities provided to the public.  Nor does it overrule legitimate safety requirements.  If admitting service animals would fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program, service animals may be prohibited.  In addition, if a particular service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or if it is not housebroken, that animal may be excluded.

When might a service dog’s presence fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program provided to the public?  

In most settings, the presence of a service animal will not result in a fundamental alteration.  However, there are some exceptions.  For example, at a boarding school, service animals could be restricted from a specific area of a dormitory reserved specifically for students with allergies to dog dander.  At a zoo, service animals can be restricted from areas where the animals on display are the natural prey or natural predators of dogs, where the presence of a dog would be disruptive, causing the displayed animals to behave aggressively or become agitated.  They cannot be restricted from other areas of the zoo. 

What does under control mean? Must service animals be on a leash? Do they have to be quiet and not bark? 

The ADA requires that service animals be under the control of the handler at all times. In most instances, the handler will be the individual with a disability or a third party who accompanies the individual with a disability. In the school (K-12) context and in similar settings, the school or similar entity may need to provide some assistance to enable a particular student to handle his or her service animal. The service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while in public places unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the person’s disability prevents use of these devices. In that case, the person must use voice, signal, or other effective means to maintain control of the animal. For example, a person who uses a wheelchair may use a long, retractable leash to allow her service animal to pick up or retrieve items. She may not allow the dog to wander away from her and must maintain control of the dog, even if it is retrieving an item at a distance from her. Or, a returning veteran who has PTSD and has great difficulty entering unfamiliar spaces may have a dog that is trained to enter a space, check to see that no threats are there, and come back and signal that it is safe to enter. The dog must be off leash to do its job, but may be leashed at other times. Under control also means that a service animal should not be allowed to bark repeatedly in a lecture hall, theater, library, or other quiet place. However, if a dog barks just once, or barks because someone has provoked it, this would not mean that the dog is out of control.

What happens if a person thinks a covered entity’s staff has discriminated against them? 

Individuals who believe that they have been illegally denied access or service because they use service animals may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice.  Individuals also have the right to file a private lawsuit in Federal court charging the entity with discrimination under the ADA.

The information on this page has been sourced directly from the U.S. Department of Justice. For more information, please visit https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

Introducing a new pet to your pets at home

Our trained staff is here to help guide you when introducing a new pet to your pets at home. We want everyone to be safe and happy, so please follow these suggestions carefully and don’t rush the process.
We recommend that you do not immediately introduce your pets at home to a newly adopted pet. Consider how you will manage an isolation period and be sure all existing pets are up to date on vaccinations and other routine health care before bringing a new pet home.

Facilitating positive pet-to-pet introductions will require some management on your part. Not all pets are instant friends and may require temporary or intermittent separation to ensure a smooth transition. Some pets are happy to share their home within a week or two, others may take a month or longer to adjust.

Our adoption counselors will be happy to review steps to properly introduce your new pet to your resident pets.

Introducing your adopted dog to the dogs at home.

Training Resources – Additional Resources from our Behavior Team

View this fun video from Bad Rap for helpful tips.

Helpful tips from Jackson Galaxy about introducing your new cat to a cat at home.

We hope this helps you introduce your newly adopted pet to any resident pets! If you need more help, contact us.