For the well-being of patients, staff, providers, and other patrons of Amherst Pediatrics, we adhere to Massachusetts law regarding certified service animals. Persons with disabilities have the right to be accompanied by a service animal wherever they can go. Accommodation is allowed when an individual needs to be seen in our office with their service animal.
Emotional support animals are not classified under Massachusetts service animal law or the ADA, therefore they are not permitted inside the office or building. Although these animals often have therapeutic benefits, they are not individually trained to perform specific tasks for their handlers. Under the ADA and Massachusetts law, owners of public accommodations are not required to allow emotional support animals, only service animals or dog guides. These laws also do not apply to pets.
Examples of service animals that must be allowed into public accommodations as stated under the ADA include:
- Hearing dogs, which alert their handlers to important sounds, such as alarms, doorbells, and other signals
- Guide dogs, which help those who are blind or visually impaired navigate safely
- Psychiatric service animals, which help their handlers manage mental and emotional disabilities by, for example, interrupting self-harming behaviors, reminding handlers to take medication, checking spaces for intruders, or providing calming pressure during anxiety or panic attacks
- Seizure alert animals, which let their handlers know of impending seizures, and may also guard their handlers during seizure activity, and
- Allergen alert animals, which let their handlers know of foods or other substances that could be dangerous (such as peanuts).
If an individual feels they need to have their ESA accompany them to a visit, the date and time will need to be determined by the office.