In response to member questions, WSHA has created a document to assist hospitals and health systems in complying with laws applicable to service animals, including a new law enacted in Washington State that was supported by WSHA. Member hospitals have been increasingly challenged by situations involving animals that are not service animals, but whose owners expect to bring them onto hospital property and into clinical areas. The Guidance on Service Animals in Washington State Hospitals is available on WSHA’s website by clicking here.
Federal and state laws provide individuals with disabilities the right to use a service animal in an array of public locations, including hospitals. These laws also delineate rights and responsibilities of both individuals and public locations. Hospitals are encouraged to consult with their own legal counsel before finalizing policies and about specific situations. (Zosia Stanley, email@example.com).