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Service Animal Policy


Subject:
Service Animals
Category:
Operations & Guest Practices/Policies

Policy

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is committed to ensuring that every guest, including those assisted by service animals, are able to fully enjoy the grounds and facilities of the Museum. While pets are not permitted, service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and service animals in training are allowed. Animals with the sole function of providing comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not permitted. Fraudulently misrepresenting an animal as a service animal is illegal under Arizona State law.

We ask that guests with service animals check in with Guest Services upon arrival. As permitted by the US Department of Justice, Desert Museum staff will inquire if an animal is required because of a disability, and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. Staff will not ask about a person’s disability or require the disclosure of related information. Special identification or training documentation is not required.

The Desert Museum is subject to stringent regulations pertaining to the protection of the animals being cared for here. When it is demonstrated that a service animal’s presence is causing our collection animals in a certain area undue stress or anxiety, or presents the potential for injury, we reserve the right to limit access to those areas. Guests with service animals will be notified of known restricted areas at the time of entry.

Guests may be asked to remove a service animal from the grounds if the dog is not under the control of a handler and the handler does not take effective action to obtain control or if the dog is not housebroken.

Service animals are prohibited from crossing over barriers or otherwise coming in close proximity to Desert Museum collection animals. Service animals are allowed in all public areas, including exhibit holding areas, areas without physical barriers (Hummingbird and mixed species aviaries) and all demonstration program areas.

Animal ambassadors present in demonstrations in the Warden Oasis Theater may be sensitive to the presence of a service animal. We ask that you please consider arriving prior to the scheduled demonstration start time, and having the service animal remain out of view of the demonstration animals.

It is important for guests considering visiting the Desert Museum with a service animal to note that the Museum is 85% outdoors in a natural Sonoran Desert environment that many find unsuitable for the safety of their service animals. Air temperatures are often more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, walkway surfaces regularly reach temperatures capable of causing harm to a dog’s feet, and venomous wild animals are present.

Effective Date: January 2020
Approved By: Leadership Team

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