Animals in the Library Policy

Date of Origin: 7/92

Date(s) of Revision: 6/95, 10/99, 4/10, 5/11, 1/19

Owner(s): Director of Public Services - Operations, Director of Human Resources

PURPOSE

The King County Library System (KCLS) recognizes that some patrons may have service animals, which are trained to assist or accommodate a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or to perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. KCLS recognizes legal rights under applicable federal and state laws regarding use of service animals. KCLS also considers the safety and health of all of its patrons, the public, and library staff to be of utmost priority.

STATEMENT OF POLICY

No animals other than service animals (dogs or miniature horses) are allowed in KCLS libraries. Persons bringing in animals other than service animals will be asked to remove them.

Individuals with service animals may bring those animals into all areas of the library where members of the public are normally allowed to go. Owners/handlers must keep service animals with them and under their full custody and control at all times. If a service animal cannot be leashed or harnessed, due to disability or interference with the performance of task(s), it must be otherwise clearly under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means). Owners of service animals are solely responsible for the supervision and care of the service animal while on library property.

Service animals are not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government or training program, or be identified by a special harness or collar. As such, individuals with a service animal may not be asked to provide documentation of a disability or authorized use of a service animal.

If staff observe behavior or actions of a service animal that constitute an unreasonable risk of injury to persons or harm to property, or behaviors that unreasonably disrupt other person’s use of the library or library grounds, a person with a service animal may be asked to find another location for the animal to remain while the person continues to use the library.

Fear of animals, allergies, presumed outcomes, or annoyance on the part of other patrons are not permissible reasons for denying access or for refusing library service to people with a service animal(s).

DEFINITIONS

  • Service animal: Any dog or miniature horse trained to do work or to perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. (RCW 49.60.040)
  • Disability: The presence of a sensory, mental, or physical impairment that 1. Is medically cognizable or diagnosable. 2. Exists as a record or history, 3. Is perceived to exist whether it exists in fact.

SEE ALSO

Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act of 1990, Title II, Section 35.136

Chapter 49.60 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW)

Chapter 162-26 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC)

Substitute House Bill 2822 (2018) Choose “Session Law.”