Service and support animals

Guidelines and regulations about service and support animals.

Equal access

Everyone with disabilities must have equal access to all City programs and services. This includes people who use service and/or support animals. 

Service and support animals

A service animal is any dog or in some cases, a miniature horse, that is trained to help a person with disability. It can be physical, sensory, psychiatric, or other disability.

A support animal is an animal of any species that is not trained to perform a specific task. They help people with psychological disabilities. They reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and difficulties with social interactions.  

 

Places allowing service/support animals

You can bring any service AND support animals to any building, program, or agency of the City and County of San Francisco and its contractors.

For any other places, you can bring service animals only if they are defined under federal law. 

Private businesses or restaurants that sell or prepare food, the state law is unclear. You may be denied access if you have a support animal.

 

Follow the guidelines

You are responsible for your animal’s behavior. You must make sure that your animal is current on its vaccinations and you maintain a current rabies tag.

Follow the Service and Support Animal Behavioral Guidelines. 

Your animal must: 

  • Be under your control AND on a short leash or in a carrier
  • Be house-trained 
  • NOT be disruptive or aggressive 
  • NOT be on furniture 
  • NOT be fed or watered indoors

See guideline flyers in ChineseSpanish, and Filipino. 

 

Renting an apartment or a house

You can have your animal at home as a "reasonable accommodation" for your disability. This is true even if it is a "no-pets" building. See the Fair Housing Act for details. 

You must inform your landlord about your request. Your landlord may ask you for a few things:

  • Get a letter from a doctor verifying that you have a disability
  • Get proof of current vaccinations for your animal
  • Sign an agreement taking full responsibility for your animal's behavior in the building 

If you are denied access

If you are denied access at a City building, facility or program, call us at (415) 554-6789 or email at MOD@sfgov.org

If you experience discrimination at a private business or restaurant, call the Human Rights Commission at (415) 252-2500. 

You can also call California Department of Fair Employment and Housing at (800) 884-1684

 

Last updated November 3, 2022