Our mental health can be a balancing act between many different aspects of our lives, including taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. One way of cultivating our spiritual health and well-being is attending church or other religious facility. However, can you bring your service animal into church with you?
Service Animal Definition
A service animal is defined by the American Disability Association (ADA) as a dog who is trained to do a specific task related to their owner’s disability. The task can be something that assists the individual either mentally or physically. Psychiatric service dogs are specifically for people struggling with mental disabilities or illness.
Service animals are generally allowed to accompany their owner wherever they go, including into public places, such as stores, restaurants, airports, work, and schools. They are considered necessary medical equipment for that individual and therefore must be accommodated.
Service Animals in Church
Service animals are allowed to go almost anywhere, however, churches and religious facilities are one of the rare exceptions to this rule. This is because religious facilities are exempt from Title III of the ADA. If you want to go to a church with your service dog, you must contact the location in advance and ask about their specific policy regarding service animals.
Many churches will allow service animals to attend service with their owners, but it varies from location to location, and may even depend on the specific religion and what is required during a service.
In conclusion, churches and religious facilities are not required to allow service dogs. However, contact the location and advance and ask about their service animal policy, and they may be willing to accommodate you. If you are planning on attending church with your service animal, one tool which may help is a service dog letter of certification. You can easily get a service animal letter of certification from our experts here at United Support Animal.