Under Wyoming’s disability rights law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities may bring their service animals to all public accommodations, including grocery stores, restaurants, theaters, schools, and more. Learn below which animals qualify as service animals, which public accommodations must allow them, and rules you may need to follow with your service animal.
Under the ADA, a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to perform disability-related tasks or work for the benefit of a person with a disability. (In some cases, a miniature horse may also qualify as a service animal.) Examples of service animals that must be allowed into public accommodations under the ADA include:
Wyoming’s disability rights law uses the same definition as the ADA.
Neither the ADA nor Wyoming’s service animal law includes what some people call “emotional support animals”: animals that provide a sense of safety, companionship, and comfort to those with psychiatric or emotional disabilities or conditions. Although these animals often have therapeutic benefits, they are not individually trained to perform specific tasks for their handlers. Under the ADA and Wyoming law, owners of public accommodations are not required to allow emotional support animals, only service animals. These laws also don’t apply to pets.
Under the ADA, the definition of public accommodations is very broad. It includes:
In Wyoming, you may bring your service animal into any place of public accommodation and any place to which the public is invited. Wyoming uses the same definition of public accommodation as the ADA.
Under the ADA, 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 Wyoming 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.
Under the ADA, your service animal can be excluded from a public accommodation if it poses a direct threat to health and safety, if it is not housebroken, or if it is out of control.
Under Wyoming law, you may not be discriminated against in rental housing because you use an assistance animal: an animal that works, performs tasks, or provides assistance to a person with a disability or an animal that provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified effects or symptoms of a person’s disability.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in rental housing accommodations against those who use service animals. This means that you must be allowed full and equal access to all housing facilities, and your landlord or property manager may not charge 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 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.)