Are service animals permitted at the Hospital?
Service animals are welcome and may accompany patients and visitors to the Hospital. The term “service animal” is used to include any dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work and perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition, and, along with pets, are excluded from the Hospital. Dogs whose sole function is for crime deterrence, comfort, or emotional support are not considered service animals, and will ordinarily be excluded as well.
Your animal may not be permitted in certain parts of the Hospital if presence of your animal poses a direct risk to the health or safety of people or other service animals or if the situation poses a risk to the animal directly (ex., MIDC, in, East Clinic, and in West Clinic, Radiology rooms where the Service Animal or equipment may be harmed by exposure to ensure safety of the Service Animal, and in areas of the facility where immunosuppressed patients would be compromised in the presence of an animal).
What if I am unable to care for my service animal during my visit?
Once an individual is sedated or is undergoing a procedure, they can no longer be the handler for the animal. The service animal requires a handler who will supervise and care for the animal while the owner cannot. If the handler of the animal leaves the hospital, the service animal must also leave.
Should I notify the Hospital in advance that I will be bringing a service animal?
Patients who will be bringing a service animal into the Hospital are highly encouraged to notify their care team in advance of their appointment or visit.
Where can I walk my service animal?
Service animals are permitted in all public areas across the NJH campus. There are recommended walking areas around the Hospital, including the grassy section at the SW corner of the Goodman Building or along Garfield Street. You must clean up and dispose of your animal’s waste.
We ask that you and the animal avoid the school and school children if they are outside on the playground or with class activities.
Note: Your service animal must always be at least under voice control but we recommend that the animal on a leash or harness.
Should I bring my animal’s food and water bowls?
We recommend offering water if the duration of the visit exceeds 3 hours. Food is at the discretion of the owner and will not be offered by the Hospital. Please notify the staff that you have food and water and will need to provide this to the animal during your visit. Please feed your dog in one of the dog walking areas outside of the hospital.
May my service animal always stay with me?
Your service animal may stay with you anywhere the general public is permitted to go within the hospital. Exceptions include if the presence of your animal poses a direct risk to the health or safety of people or other service animals or if the situation poses a risk to the animal directly (ex., MIDC, in, East Clinic, and in West Clinic, Radiology rooms where the Service Animal or equipment may be harmed by exposure to ensure safety of the Service Animal, and in areas of the facility where immunosuppressed patients would be compromised in the presence of an animal).
Under what circumstances may I be asked to remove the animal from the Hospital?
A service animal may be removed from the Hospital if the animal:
- does not fit the definition of “service animal” described in this brochure
- is not under the control of the patient, visitor or handler;
- is not housebroken;
- exhibits aggressive behavior such as snarling, biting, scratching, or teeth baring;
- is excessively noisy;
- is determined to be infectious or ill by a Veterinarian; or
- otherwise poses a direct risk to the health or safety of people or other service animals.
Please remember that YOU are responsible for the care of your service animal. If you are temporarily unable to walk, feed or perform other care duties for your animal with the assistance of family and friends, then your care team may assist, if resources permit. If this is not practical, you may need to arrange to board the animal. If this is necessary, you will be responsible for paying for boarding.
Americans with Disabilities Act Part 4: Service Animals
Under the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals might be excluded from any location in which the animal’s presence results in a direct threat. A direct threat is considered to be a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by reasonable modifications. The determination of a direct threat must be based on objective medical evidence, not on generalizations or stereotypes. Service animals can appropriately be excluded from locations where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment. Allergies to or fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access to a person with a service animal.
The care and supervision of a service animal is the responsibility of the handler. Medical practices are not required to provide food, water, or assistance taking the animal outside to eliminate.
Accordingly, it may be inappropriate for a patient with a disability who has been admitted as an in-patient to keep their service animal with them if they are unable to provide adequate care.
For additional information, please refer to the following:
Commonly Asked Questions:
ADA Information Line:
If you have additional questions, please complete this form or contact the Patient ADA Coordinator, at 303.398.1076. This department is open Monday – Friday.
Please complete this form if you require additional assistance. This form is NOT intended for medical emergencies or to be used as a way to communicate with care providers. Response time to inquires can take up to 72 businesses hours. Non-disability inquires will not be responded to.
Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room for any urgent medical concerns.