Background

The Seattle Public Library prohibits bringing a pet (a domestic animal kept for pleasure or companionship) or animal to work, or having a pet or animal in Library buildings or premises, with the exception of animals providing medically necessary support for the benefit of individuals with disabilities (service animals). Exotic animals as defined by Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 9.25.020.M are restricted from entering the Library although exceptions for special events may be granted per SMC 9.25.053.

Statement

In compliance with the Washington State Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and the Seattle Municipal Code, service animals are welcome in all areas of the Library where members of the public are normally allowed to go. This procedure also applies to service animals in training.

According to the WLAD, a service animal is an animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a disabled person's sensory, mental, or physical disability. Examples of work or tasks provided by a service animal include, but are not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals to an impending seizure or protecting individuals during one, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to the presence of people or sounds, pulling a wheelchair and fetching dropped items, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications or calming a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack.

If the need for the service animal is not obvious, staff may ask if an animal is a pet or a service animal. Users of service animals are not required to show papers to prove a disability or certification of the service animal's status. Staff may not ask about the owner's disability.

The owner is solely responsible for the supervision and care of the service animal and must be in full control of the animal at all times. Therefore, owners must keep the service animal directly with them at all times.

Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or the individual's disability prevents him or her from using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals while at the Library. The owners of disruptive and aggressive service animals or service animals that are not housebroken may be asked to remove them from The Seattle Public Library facilities. If this occurs, Library staff will give the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain Library services without having the service animals on the premises.

Employees requesting to bring service animals to work as a reasonable accommodation for a disability must contact the Human Resources (HR) department and complete a Disability Accommodation Request form.

Applicability

This procedure applies to all patrons, employees, temporary employees and volunteers of The Seattle Public Library.

Related Laws, Policies & Procedures

Board Policy, Nondiscrimination: Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 9.25, Animal Control.

Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 49.60, Washington Law Against Discrimination.

History

Supersedes Animals in the Library adopted Feb. 8, 1965, and revised Aug. 18, 1980.

If you have a question or need help, Ask Us or call 206-386-4636.