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Arriving with a Service Animal

Magruder Hospital is committed to meeting the needs of people who require help from a service animal. The information below lists guidelines for service animals that accompany our patients and visitors. Please follow these guidelines to help keep all patients safe from infection, allergies, and other risks.

What is a service animal?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as an animal that has been specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the animal must be directly related to the person’s disability.

Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?
No. These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person. If the animal has NOT been trained to perform a specific job or task, it does NOT qualify as a service animal under the ADA. If the emotional support animal HAS been trained to perform a task related to the person’s disability, that animal WOULD qualify as a service animal.

Can I bring my service animal to my appointment, emergency department, or inpatient stay?
Magruder Hospital welcomes your service animal during your visit to any of our facilities. We encourage you to talk with staff about any questions you may have. Your service animal must be:

  • Up-to-date on all vaccinations
  • House broken
  • Under your control (leash, harness, or other effective controls)
  • Well behaved (no uncontrolled barking, biting, or scratching)

Does my service animal need to be vaccinated?
Your service animal must be vaccinated (shots) as required by local, county and state requirements.

Do I need to keep the service animal on a leash?
Service animals should be controlled with leashes, harness or tether. If you are not able to hold a leash, or if the leash would prevent the animal from performing its task, the service animal must be under your control through voice or hand commands at all times.

What questions will the staff ask me about my service animal?

  • Is this animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has this animal been trained to perform?

Who is responsible for the care of my service animal during my visit/stay?
You or your designee are responsible for feeding, toileting, and watching over the service animal. Magruder Hospital is not responsible to watch over or otherwise care for the service animal. Make sure to let the staff know about any of your arrangements to take care of the service animal if you cannot take care of the animal.

Visiting a healthcare facility likely increases the risk of the service animal acquiring an infection. The healthcare facility is not responsible for costs related to an acquired infection.

Are there locations where my service animal is not allowed?
Service animals may visit most public and patient care areas. However, Service animals may be excluded from the facility if its presence interferes with legitimate safety requirement of the facility including, but not limited to:

  • Isolation rooms
  • Operating rooms
  • Rooms in which immune-suppressed patients are receiving care
  • Intensive care unit
  • Rooms housing burn patients

Is there a designated pet relief area for my service animal?
All service animals must be toileted outside of the facility. You are responsible to pick up solid waste and dispose of it in an outside receptacle.

What happens if my service animal becomes a threat to others, bites or scratches someone at the facility?
You may be asked to remove your service animal from the facility if you cannot control them. If your service animal bites or scratches another person we will follow local and state reporting requirements.

For more information regarding our Service Animal policy and procedure, please contact our Risk Management & Regulatory Compliance Department at 419-732-4016.

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