SOS Service Animal Policy


Under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and New York law, Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists, PC will not discriminate against individuals with disabilities, while at the same time we must honor the concerns and safety of all our patients. As of 12/20/17, SOS has adopted a Service Animal Policy to protect the rights of all our patients and employees.

What is a Service Animal: As defined by the ADA, a service animal is a working animal, not a pet. The ADA defines a service animal as a dog, or any animal, that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The work or task a service animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the patient’s disability. They must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s ability to perform its task.

Emotional Support Animals: In accordance with the ADA, and both State and Federal Law, emotional support animals do not fall under the definition of “service animals”. They are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability in public accommodations and for the safety of all, they will not be permitted in the facility.

Animal Care and Supervision: The patient/handler has the responsibility to care for and supervise the service animal with them at their visit. The handler must retain full control of the animal at all times. This generally means that while the animal is in clinical areas, it is on a leash, in a carrier, or otherwise in the direct control of the animal owner/handler. When in the presence of others, the animal is expected to be well behaved. The patient/owner/handler is responsible for the proper disposal of animal waste.

Expectations of Service Animals: The service animal must be clean and in good health. Owners and/or users of service animals must abide by current city ordinances/laws pertaining to licensing and vaccination requirements for service animals. It is the responsibility of the owner and/or user of the animal to know about these ordinances and laws.

Removal of a Service Animal: If a service animal misbehaves, an SOS representative may ask the handler to remove the animal from the immediate area. If the animal’s improper behavior happens repeatedly, SOS may tell the patient/handler not to bring the animal into patient care areas until significant steps have been taken to stop the behavior. This might include further specialized training for both the animal and the owner/handler.

For further information, please access the resource: ADA National Network: Service Animals Fact Sheet: Information, Guidance and Training on the Americans with Disabilities Act New York State Office of the Attorney General Civil Rights Bureau

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