Question about ADA and service animals

My wife and I are planning a couple days away, we are planning on visiting the east side of Mt. St. Helens and the Ape Caves. A friend of my wife and her husband would like to join us which would be more than okay with us. While looking for a hotel in the town of Packwood, Washington, I found a place with reasonable prices. When I got to the page of their website to book the room, I found this statement in the room description: SORRY NO PETS OF ANY KIND INCLUDING SERVICE ANIMALS. My wife and I generally take our small dog with us on trips like this, because of the above I would just look for another place to stay. But my wife’s friend husband suffers from epilepsy and he has a service dog. I messaged her and told her what I found and she blew a fuse. She said the hotel cannot refuse someone because of a service dog. I gave her the hotel’s info and she said she would take care of it. I read the ADA rules for service animals and it appears the hotel does not have a leg to stand on. I haven’t heard from her yet but is there a way for a hotel to refuse a guest because of a service dog?

If it is an actual service dog, it doesn’t appear so.

That’s illegal. You can’t refuse a service animal. Note that ESAs do not fall under this category. We’ve had to kick out a few people wiith “ESA” dogs because the dogs were aggressive (one bit a guest who walked past them. The police were called) and/or allowed to use the hotel room as a bathroom. You are allowed to ask if it’s a service animal and what it does.

The article has some sort of card you can send for. They’re pretty much useless because of all the fakes.

You also can’t charge a pet fee for a service animal.

You also can’t restrict them to specific rooms. I find this is a hard one for inexperienced front desk agents to understand.

No, it’s not legal to exclude service animals. But your dog isn’t one, so you would need a different hotel anyway. Not that you would, but lying about a service dog is also illegal.

Where is this coming from? What in the OP’s post leads you to this conclusion?

That the OP doesn’t have a service dog. The wife’s friend’s husband does.

Ahh, sorry, I missed the line about the OP having a non-service dog, as well as the friend having a service dog. My apologies.

Here is the federal governments FAQs for ADA, consistent with what has been mentioned above. You have to read between the lines a little bit to conclude that hotels are required to allow service animals.

In some circumstances service animals can be excluded from a facility or parts of a facility but the description does not sound like it could possibly apply to a hotel.

According to your cite it is pretty straight forward
Q11. Can hotels assign designated rooms for guests with service animals, out of consideration for other guests?

A. No. A guest with a disability who uses a service animal must be provided the same opportunity to reserve any available room at the hotel as other guests without disabilities. They may not be restricted to “pet-friendly” rooms.

They may have meant no emotional support animals, no comfort animals, no therapy animals, or whatever non-service animals are being called currently.

Maybe, though it looked like the OP may have been quoting directly from the hotel’s website:

Yes, a LOT of people are unclear on the distinction between actual service animals and “emotional support” animals. Sounds like this hotel could be setting itself up for some serious liability. I hope the OP returns to tell how his friend “took care of it”!

Yet another example of why states (or the Feds) should have licensing of true ADA-compliant service animals.

The page does not explicitly say anywhere, “Hotels must allow service animals.” In a strictly literal reading, that quote implies it at best.

It doesn’t specifically say “hotels” but a hotel is certainly a business that provides goods and services to the public.

The ADA requires State and local government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations (covered entities) that provide goods or services to the public to make “reasonable modifications” in their policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to accommodate people with disabilities. The service animal rules fall under this general principle. Accordingly, entities that have a “no pets” policy generally must modify the policy to allow service animals into their facilities.

Had a message from my wife’s friend this morning. She contacted the hotel, the owner is claiming allergies to animal dander and has received an exemption from ADA requirements. The hotel is part of a small chain and will give those with service animals a discount at any of the 4 other hotels. She said she could make an issue of it but it would not be worth the time or effort. We found another place to stay just up the road, our friends were upgraded to a suite at no extra charge. Now we are hoping the weather cooperates. That area is expecting temperatures over 100 degrees this week.

For years and years now I’ve been saying that I wish people that needed actual ADA service animals pushed for more restrictions (for the sake of argument, lets ignore costs associated with that). We’re now at the point where all someone has to say is ‘it’s a service animal’ and that’s the end of it.
A relative of mine was a residence hall director. Every fall she’d run into issues with people bringing dogs, cats, lizards etc. The problem was for their roommates. If they simply ‘didn’t want’ a pet in their room, there was very little that could be done. If the had a legitimate allergy, they’d have to get it documented by a doctor, provide her with the documentation and then she could move them to a new room. Keep in mind the PITA it is to find a doctor, that can see you on short notice, in the first few days of school, hundreds of miles from home.

Just a few days ago, we had someone with a “service dog” in our store. I don’t think it was actually a service animal, and even if it was, we were well within our rights to kick the both of them out. No leash, dog wandering around the store bugging other people, paws up on the checkout counter etc. Plus, every time someone (politely) said “sir, is that your dog over there” he’d start yelling at them about how he’s allowed to be there with the dog. We ended up calling the police. He was just there to pick a fight. And while it hasn’t happened, I assumed there was going to be some backlash, so I grabbed the video from the cameras. He had a leash, but took it off before entering the store. He purposely got the dog to put it’s paws up on the counter. He was just being an asshole.
But when I see something like that it would be nice to have a better way of dealing with it than taking my chances that he’s full of shit.

We also get people that will have a “service dog” but will call ahead and ask if it’s okay to bring it in since they “ordered the vest, but don’t have it yet”. When I hear that, I assume not only is it not a service dog, but they’re not even that well versed in the requirements for one since a vest isn’t necessary.

Again, it would be nice if something as simple as an ID card was issued/required. All it would need is the owners name (and picture?), short description of animal and some contact info for the issuing doctor or whatever agency handles this so someone can verify everything is on the up and up.

I wonder how it’s supposed to work in those situations. Someone like, for example, my mom, will have her allergies flaring up for a day or two if she spends more than an hour or so in a house with a cat/dog, even if it’s nowhere near her. I can’t imagine how crappy she’d feel if she had to clean a motel room that had a dog in it all weekend.

I don’t follow this issue very closely, but in my experience people with real service animals are pretty much unanimous in wanting more restrictions on “support” animals.

The real service dogs I’ve seen have been remarkably well-behaved. No barking, no jumping on people, no jumping on furniture. I was at an outdoor food fair once (lots of food tempting for dogs) but that dog didn’t go for any of it.

Yes, but wanting restrictions on support animals doesn’t solve the problem - there are only two things that can be asked of someone who claims to have a service animal and no proof is required. As long as my pet dog is well-behaved, I can bring him just about anywhere if I am willing to lie and say he performs a task necessary because of a disability. The only thing that will solve that problem is some sort of service dog certification - and there are definitely people who claim to use service dogs who are opposed to that.