Service Animals

If you're a person with a disability you're entitled to be accompanied by your service dog while a patient or visitor at our Hospital or medical practices — this is in accordance with federal and state regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For the health and safety of everyone, we follow the guidelines set forth in the ADA that govern the behavior of a service animal and handler.

What is a Service Animal?

A service animal is not a pet. It's a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. It's against the law for any person to fit an animal with a collar, leash, tag or harness that represents the animal as a service animal if, in fact, the animal is not a service animal. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Identifying a Service Animal

  • The ADA does not require a service animal to wear special equipment or tags.
  • Concord Hospital staff may ask you:

    • Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?

    • What work or tasks has the dog been trained to perform?

What We Expect from a Service Animal

A service animal:

  • Must be under the control of the handler at all times;
  • Must be leashed unless the leash interferes with the service animal’s work or person’s disability;
  • Must not show aggression towards people or other animals;
  • Must not urinate or defecate while inside the facility;
  • Does not bark, growl or whine (unless it is part of a trained task);
  • Does not solicit attention, food or other items from staff or the general public.

If you're a patient with a service animal and are scheduled for an appointment lasting more than four hours, then a designated handler, other than you or one of our staff members, must be available for the care of the dog, including feeding, watering, exercise, and elimination.

Reasons We May Ask a Service Animal Be Removed From the Premises

  • The service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it. For example, the dog barks repeatedly are roaming a treatment area or solicit attention/food from the general public.
  • The animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, including infection control issues. For example, urinating/defecating while indoors, jumping on the general public or on furniture, or showing signs of fleas or skin lesions.
  • The service animal has shown aggression towards people or other animals, such as growling, lunging, nipping or biting.
  • The service animal does not have a designated handler to care for it while the primary handler is undergoing care for longer than four hours.

If you're asked to remove your service animal from the premises and have no one to care for it, then arrangements will be made for boarding. You're responsible for all costs associated with the boarding of your service animal. If you're asked to remove your service animal from the premises we will continue to provide medical care and necessary accommodations, but not in the presence of the service animal.