Nevada Laws on Service Dogs, Horses, and Emotional Support Animals

Nevada law gives people the right to bring service dogs and miniature horses into housing and public places.

By , J.D. · UC Berkeley School of Law

Below, we explain which animals qualify as service dogs and service animals in Nevada, where service animals are allowed, and some rules you may need to follow with your service animal.

What Counts as a Service Animal in Nevada?

Under Nevada's disability law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is a dog or miniature horse that has been trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability. The tasks or work the animal does must be directly related to the person's disability. In some cases, a miniature horse may also qualify as a service animal. In addition to guide dogs (seeing-eye dogs) and hearing dogs, examples of service animals that must be allowed into public accommodations under the ADA include:

  • psychiatric service animals, which help their handlers manage mental and emotional disabilities by, for example, interrupting self-harming behaviors or providing calming pressure during anxiety
  • seizure alert animals, which let their handlers know of impending seizures, and
  • allergen alert animals, which let their handlers know of dangerous substances.

How Are Public Accommodations Defined in Nevada?

In Nevada, people with disabilities may bring their service dogs or miniature horses with them to any place of public accommodation. Nevada defines places of public accommodation very broadly to include hotels and other lodging establishments (except the proprietor's own home, if five or fewer rooms are rented out), restaurants, theaters, stadiums, stores, professional offices, hospitals, funeral parlors, zoos, schools, day care centers, food banks, senior centers, homeless shelters, golf courses, and any other place where the public is invited. Under the ADA, the definition of public accommodations is also very broad, covering all of the categories described above.

What Are the Rules Regarding Public Accommodations and Service Animals in Nevada?

Under Nevada's public accommodations law and the ADA, people with disabilities have the right to be accompanied by their service dogs or miniature horses in all public accommodations. Neither the ADA nor Nevada's public accommodations law give people the right to bring pets or "emotional support animals" into public accommodations: animals that provide a sense of safety, companionship, and comfort to those with psychiatric or emotional conditions. Although these animals often have therapeutic benefits, they are not trained to perform specific tasks for their handlers.

Under the ADA and Nevada's public accommodations law, a public accommodation may not ask you questions about your disability or demand to see certification, identification, or other proof of your animal's training or status. If it is not apparent what your service animal does, the establishment may ask you only whether it is a service animal, and what tasks it performs for you.

The ADA and Nevada law prohibit public accommodations from charging a special admission fee or requiring you to pay any other extra cost to have your service animal with you. However, you may have to pay for any damage your animal causes.

The ADA and Nevada's public accommodations law allow a public accommodation to exclude your service animal if it poses a direct threat to health and safety (or example, if your dog is aggressively barking and snapping at other customers, the facility can kick the dog out). Your animal may also be excluded if it is not housebroken, or if it is out of control and you are unable to effectively control it.

What Are the Rules for Service Animals in Nevada Housing?

Nevada's housing discrimination law prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to someone with a disability solely because that tenant will live on the property with an animal that supports, assists, or provides services to the tenant. The landlord may require the tenant to provide proof that the animal provides the necessary support, assistance, or services. This may take the form of a statement from the tenant's health care provider that the animal performs a function that ameliorates the effects of the tenant's disability. The federal Fair Housing Act also prohibits discrimination in housing accommodations against those who use service animals.

You must be allowed full and equal access to all housing facilities, and may not be charged extra for having a service animal (although you may have to pay for damage your animal causes). If your lease or rental agreement includes a "no pets" provision, it does not apply to your service animal.

Pursuant to the federal Fair Housing Act, housing facilities must allow service dogs, miniature horses, and emotional support animals, if necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the home. To fall under this provision, you must have a disability and you must have a disability-related need for the animal. In other words, the animal must work, perform tasks or services, or alleviate the emotional effects of your disability in order to qualify. (For more information, see the Department of Housing and Urban Development's guidance on service animals.)

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