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Service and Therapy Animals

These rules have been established to protect the health and safety of our members and guests.

Does the LRD allow service dogs and therapy dogs on the premises?

• Yes to service dogs
• No to therapy dogs (or emotional support animals)

First, there’s a distinction between service dogs and emotional support animals (ESA). Service dogs – also often referred to as guide dogs – are trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities.

Emotional support dogs, by contrast, do not need to be trained – simply their presence is a psychological benefit to their owners.

Service dogs must be allowed in any business, except areas required to be sterile, like commercial kitchens or operating rooms.

Businesses are not required to let in emotional support animals under California law.

As for questions? Businesses are only allowed to ask two:
1. Whether the owner is disabled, and
2. What tasks the dog is trained to perform.

Please note that dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as Service Animals under the American Disability Act (ADA), and San Mateo County therefore does not designate or recognize these animals as such.