Service Animal Policy

Only service animals are allowed in any convention space. Per ADA guidelines, service animals are defined as dogs (or miniature horses) that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Furthermore, a service animal must be under the control of its handler. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered. Owners whose animals demonstrate aggressive behaviors will be asked one (1) time to remove the animal from the convention space for the remainder of the convention. Refusal to remove the animal will result in immediate eviction from the convention with no refund of fees and possible ban from future AnimeFest/GameFest/WorldFandom events. 

Please see the links below for more information:

Please be aware the below excerpts from the above sites:

Federal Law

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title II & Title III

  1. Under the ADA, Title II and III, a service animal must be a dog (or miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Service animals can be professionally trained or trained by the handler themselves.
  2. Under Title II and Title III, a service animal handler does not need to provide certification for their service animal.
  3. Title I of the ADA, regarding employment, does not specifically address service animals in the workplace. Under Title I, a service animal may be a reasonable accommodation. As such, professional written verification may be requested by an employer when it is not obvious that the animal is a service animal.
  4. A comfort or emotional support animal is NOT trained. Comfort animals do not have rights under the ADA. For example, businesses do not have the legal obligation to admit a comfort animal if there is a “no pets” policy, as under the ADA these animals are in essence “pets.”

A service animal user’s responsibilities

  1. A person who uses a service animal is responsible for any damages caused by the animal. 
  2. The person using the animal shall keep the animal properly harnessed or leashed. 
  3. If the person’s disability does not permit the use of a harness, leash or tether, the animal must still be under the person’s control. 
  4. The service animal can be removed if it is not under a handler’s control.

Penalties for Improper Use of Assistance Animals
A person who uses a service animal with a harness or leash of the type commonly used by persons with disabilities who use trained animals to represent their animal is a specially trained service animal when training has not in fact been provided, is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction must be punished by:

  1. a fine of not more than $300; and
  2. 30 hours of community service to be performed for a governmental entity or nonprofit organization that primarily serves persons with disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the discretion of the court, to be completed in one year.
  3. A person who habitually abuses or neglects to feed or otherwise neglects to properly care for their assistance animal is subject to seizure of the animal.