Animals Policy

Preamble

The library recognizes the need, at times, to have specially-trained animals that assist persons with disabilities. It also recognizes the need to minimize the potential health and safety risks to the public and employees that may result from the presence of animals at the library.

Administrative Responsibility

All employees are responsible for administering this policy.

Definitions

Service animal means an animal that is trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities; such tasks may include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. Service animals are working animals, not “pets.” Emotional support animals are not considered to be service animals.

Policy

  1. Animals other than service animals are prohibited in the Library.
  2. Animals inside and outside of the Library must be restrained, be fully under their handler’s control at all times and shall not unreasonably interfere with the health and safety of other library users.

Procedure

  1. An employee attempting to ascertain whether an animal is a service animal shall not ask about the nature of a person’s disability nor ask for proof of the service animal’s status, but shall judge based on observation of the behaviour of the animal and its handler. Any concern about potential misrepresentation should be brought to the attention of the Library Director or designate.
  2. An employee may exercise discretion in permitting a non-service animal to accompany a Library patron who is engaging in a brief transaction only (e.g. picking up a hold or returning materials), provided:
  • The non-service animal is restrained (e.g. leashed or in a cage or pet carrier) and fully under their handler’s control at all times
  • The non-service animal is not causing a disturbance (e.g. barking)
  1. A non-service animals, such as a pet dog, may wait for its owner outside the library, provided:
  • is safely and humanely restrained a reasonable distance from the Library entrance
  • does not make noise that disturbs library patrons or other people in the neighbourhood, and
  • does not pester, intimidate or injure people entering, leaving or passing by the Library.

An employee may ask a patron to leave the Library if their animal is not meeting the above conditions.

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