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  • Discrimination to report a business that denies access to a person with a service animal

Service animals are dogs that are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

Examples of tasks performed by service dogs:

  • Guiding people who are blind
  • Alerting people with seizure disorders
  • Pulling a wheelchair

Learn about agencies and schools that train and provide service animals.

Licensing and Certification

All dogs in New York City must have a valid dog license issued by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). This includes service dogs.

There are no other license or permits required for service dogs. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require state or local certification for service dogs. DOHMH does not issue service dog tags or proof that an animal is a service dog.

By law, businesses open to the public must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where the public can go. This is regardless of whether the dog is wearing a service tag or not.

Businesses can ask if a dog is a service dog and what task the dog performs. They cannot ask for any proof of disability or service animal certification.

You can file a complaint if you have a service animal and were denied access to a public place or facility. Learn how to report a public accommodation complaint on the Discrimination page.

If a dog is in a food establishment but is not a service dog, it is a health code violation. You can report it on the Food Safety Complaint page.


Download a flyer in English and Spanish with more information about service dogs and access to businesses.

By Phone

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

Emotional support animals provide comfort or emotional support through companionship.

Emotional support animals are not considered service animals. Business owners are not required to allow emotional support animals in their establishments.

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