Service dogs

I am moving to Puerto Rico.   We bought a house fenced in I have a service dog.  Can I bring him in to Puerto Rico.  Dies Puerto Rico honor. The Americans with Disabilities act.

Of Course, this is the USA!  All Federal Laws apply!!!

just remember to have him on his leash and proper identification.   You will find some offices and stores have untrained employees ( mostly just dumb people- sorry!)  in them and if they don't see it, they don't understand what it is.  Just tell them politely and if any issue, call the manager.
FEDERAL LAW succeeds all other laws and regulations.

we have 2 service dogs in church on Sunday and this week we blessed Scout for St. Francis.

No problem.  Even unofficial service dogs are often welcomed in places that are normally people-only establishments.

We have taken our service dog back and forth for two years now. All we need to have is a current health certificate. We had a little difficulty coming back from Ponce to the mainland as check in attendant asked for service dog papers. I asked what service dog papers? she consulted with her superior and we were allowed to board. That was the only time we encountered and problem. They are not allowed to ask about disabilities.

As Mrkpytn said there are always clueless people. But Federal laws apply 100% in PR, so no real issues. Check with airlines for what you will need (Heath certificate and appropriate transport cage plus leach), likely too big to come in the plane, so they will ship it separately from you and then you pick it up.
See post about shipping pets.

We have a service dog, he has traveled to PR a couple of times with us.  Generally we fly Southwest Airline - they are very good about service  dogs and usually we are seated in  the bulkhead row for extra room (our dog is a Lab, 80lbs.)

We have never been asked for papers, or even health records of the dog.

In PR we found some of the restaurants don't seem to be aware of the Americans with disabilities Act  - we have been refused to have the dog allowed in the resturant a couple of times, even though the dog is wearing his service dog vest.  Some places are simply ignorant of the law and when issue raised, they shrug their shoulders and just say it's PR. 

We have found that many Puerto Rican's are very fond of dogs!  Some of our friends have several dogs, and most truly love their mutts!

BTW - real service dogs are highly trained and obedient, generally very well behaved while on duty.   Our's is good when working,... but a bit of a backslider when not on duty w his vest.  Sometimes, I think he is due for remedial training - LOL.

Could you suit the restaurant ?
Nothing raises awarenest like a court case covered in the news

Perhaps - I wasn't in a snit about it - but it could be if one chose to push it.

Sometimes, people don't even notice the dog as he lays under the table and is very unobtrusive - as he should be - in a restaurant.   

I think public education needs to catch up with this issue in PR.

What dogs do they not allow as service dogs.  I have a mix pit who is my service dog

Could someone explain what you guys are referring to as a service dog?
I am aware of dogs for the blind as service dogs, not aware of many others. I also have heard of dogs that sense a seizure and some that sense low blood sugar, but not sure if those qualify.
Yet, several of you have stated that you have a service dog so I am confused.

I do not think that dogs that can open the fridge and bring you a beer qualify

No I have had major spine sugery due to an attack from a student while teaching.   My dog does not get me a beer. I do not fined you funny   My dog retrieves thing off the floor that I cannot pick up.  He also supports my while I am out in public. Which I rarely do.   So if there is anyone  out there that can help and guide me with out the disrespect  I would greatly appreciate your help

Post was not directed at you in particular it starts with can someone, it was also accompanied by a link that covers the ADA and an article explaining the tecnical definition, and me stating that I was confuced.

It was a question because a number of individuals have stated they have a service dog.
Some people are more sensitive than others

When you are in my position then you can judge. Call e sensitive if you want but how careing are you of others   When you walk in my shoes then you can judge   Karma is an itch.  Don't bother to reply.   You stated your self and I stayed my self. Have a great day

Can you tell me if they except mix breeds  such a pit lab mix. As a service dog

Thank you you are very helpful.  My dog is a fully trained service dog.   I think the problem is he is a mix lab pit and he is black.  People have a problem with black dog and I just don't understand why

Just to make you aware, PR has an importation prohibition on pit bull mixes, but I do not think it is being enforced: … uerto-rico
It has been in place since 1998, in 2010 a bill was passed to eliminate the ban, but was votoed by the then governor.
Last week in PR it was in the news that two pit bulls attacked and killed a 73 year old lady that was visiting her nice, the dogs knew her and to my knowledge they liked her but something happened.

Service dogs can be a wide range of assistance to the disabled.  Seeing eye type dogs for the blind are what many people think of when a service dog is mentioned.  However, they can aid people in many many ways depending on the type of disability and the training to aid the person; hearing assistance to the deaf, walking, balance assistance, even emotional support. 

True service dogs have a considerable training regimen that is extensive and costly, and help they people in various ways, all are covered by the ADA.

I assume service dogs are registered and that the owner has some sort of paper to prove it is a service dog and not just somebody that wants to go into a restaurant with their regular dog.

I recently saw a lady in a wheel chair with a dog that would fetch things for her, but the dog did not have a vest or anything to differentiate it from a regular dog. I do not recall if the wheel chair was motorized or not but I think it was, so the dog was not pulling the wheel chair which would have been a lot of work since people and the wheel chair are heavy and hard to move.

Thank you.  M dog has extensive and expensive training to help me.   I just need to know I can travel and get him in to Puerto Rico.  I own a home and it is fenced in   The dog is fixed chipped and goes to the vet  annually for check ups and shots

If it is a pit bull mix to my knowledge it will not be allowed into the island.

See the document and maybe speak with them or a lawyer for any breaks given for service dogs. … FICATE.pdf

Here is a suggestion. If the veterinarian you use to get the dog's travel health certificate says the dog can travel to or from Puerto Rico, then leave it at that.  My New York  veterinarian went to school in the Caribbean.  The dogs' heritages were always a guessing game because I always had rescue dogs.   Who really knows what is in their DNA?

That is great advice.   "Pit Bull" is not actually a breed.  The health certificate required for travel will list the breed of the dog, or an educated guess as to the dog's mix,  as determined by the veterinarian who fills out the certificate. 
Airlines very rarely question the veterinarians declaration of breed, and if you spend any time at all at the airport in San Juan, and you will see that many dogs that appear to be "pit bulls"  are flying.   So just ask your vet to list your dog as a "lab mix" on the certificate, and your dog will more than likely  be good to go.

The 2 exceptions to this would be
1) any dog that physically should not fly,  such as dogs with "pushed-in snouts". Don't ever fly them as baggage or cargo, it is very risky for them.
2) A dog that displays aggression.  If you have a dog who lunges or acts aggressively when in a crate,  this is a problem that might result in your dog being refused by the airline (for the safety of the employees who need to handle the crate).

Good luck!

You will need this health certificate APHIS Form 7001 issued by your veterinarian. Link to a form: … pet-travel … _entry_req

Hope this helps

Yes Thank you very much.   I called the  Americans with Disabilities Act in Puerto Rico. Waiting to hear back from them.  If you have any other information please please let me know.

I am grateful for you help in this matter.

My dog is nationally registered and trained, fixed and. Micro chipped   (mobility service dog)



My friend who travels with me is physically challenged and our rescued border collie travels as a service dog with her. We have traveled numerous times with a health certificate. It is not legal to ask what a person's disability is and there is no special documentation for that. My friend needs wheel chair assistance and we do buy an extra seat on Jet Blue to allow for the dog at our feet. If there is not an apparent disability they could ask for a doctor report but we have never been asked. Coming back from Puerto Rico the airline attendant asked for the dogs papers and I explained that all we did not need for the dog to have papers and have never been asked before.  I pointed to my friend and said ask her. She called her supervisor and he said we were okay to go.  If I had not traveled this way numerous times before I might have been intimidated but I think I knew more than she did.  At this time as far as I know there is no set rule . Maybe more information is available the Americans with disabilities act.

Airline Forms … -form.html … n-form.pdf

We have traveled by air extensively within the USA and to PR many times.  We have never been asked for any type of form or vet certifcation by the airlines for our service dog (Lab).  Although we have documentation of disability and dog ID. 

We do not purchase a ticket or seat for the dog.  He rides on the floor, out of the aisle, out of the way and is very well behaved.  The bulkhead row is typically assigned.  The law requires that the service animal is allowed to accompany the disabled on public transportation.   

The biggest problem is the tendency of other dog lovers to want to pet the service dog when he is working (wearing his vest).  I don't blame them, Cody is a lovable lab, but the dog should not be distracted from his task of assisting the disabled.    Folks should refrain for paying attention to a working service animal, (I make exceptions for kids and try to educate them) and should ask the handler prior to touching the dog or interacting with the dog.  It's just good manners.      :cool:

Thank you. For your help but as I was reading the forms you sent me they were all for mental health.  Not medical health.  My dog is a mobility medical help service dog.   Is there forms for that. Please let me know. And thank you very much for all your help   Much gratitude.

My wife's disability is physical, she has medical documentation - that said, some physical disabilities may be ready apparent, in other cases not so much.   However I don't believe that mental disability is treated any differently than physical disability as far as the ADA is concerned.  The law requires reasonable accommodation is made to individuals with disabilities in the areas covered by the act.  In this case, required access to public transportation.

Regardless, service animals can provide assistance to many types of disabilities.

That's correct Sitka.

Furthermore, the Health Insurance Patient Privacy Act, or "HIPPA" prohibits people from asking about medical conditions, as Mrkptyn noted.  This is both reasonable (I like my privacy as much as the next guy) and unfortunate.  If someone with a service animal sits down on an airplane, isn't it reasonable for the flight crew to know what kind of disability exists, in the event some assistance (even emergency assistance) is needed?  But they can't ask.

The other problem with HIPPA in this instance is that it makes the ADA open for rampant abuse.  Anyone can claim that their pet is a "service animal" and HIPPA makes it impossible to verify.

WarnerW,  yes, medical information is protected and all individuals are legally entitled to privacy regarding their condition/medical record.  Before retirement, HIPPA violations kept my schedule full with terminations of staff when violations occurred.

That being said, the flight attendants have always been helpful when asked for any help and many disabled folks are quite open about their needs.  They (airline staff) cannot require disclosure of your specific diagnose if you wish to decline to give information.

The ADA is subject to possible abuse, but so are most regs and laws  - e.g.  speed limits, traffic laws,  taxes, etc. - at any rate, my experience has been that those people using service dogs have genuine and legitimate needs.

Thank you.  Can you tell me if I need  documentation for my disability to travel on an airline with my dog? Is there a form I need to fill out from the airlines to fly with my dog?

I have no problem telling them my medical needs in fact I think it is  good to let them know if anything happens,  they know how to proceed in case of an emergency.  It the right thing to do for all concerned.

Our doctor wrote a letter that stated a service animal would be bennificial for her condition  - a walking disability.  We have never been asked for any documents by any airline.   

If a person needs a wheel chair, walker or other assistance boarding the plane, you should tell the airline personnel. 

If you have additional questions, call the airline your flying on - they should be able to help.

Thank you

We just arrived to Puerto Rico via Jet Blue. My friend needs a wheelchair and we have a service dog. We have traveled numerous times and It was rather unusual this time. Our dog got the attention of two Jet Blue personnel and two and sometimes three TSA employees. They made sure all our needs were met and the whole conversation was about dogs. Ours dog is  asymmetrical and  his gait  is like a passo fino horse.  He  had great composure and maintained it for 7 hours.

Sounds like a very good service dog, what is his breed?

He is a Puerto Rican Rescue dog and looks very much like a border collie. A litte mix of something else.

Years ago we had a Border Collie  / Shepard mix, ( Compa ) great dog!  He was the neighborhood hero when he tackled the bad guy the cops were chasing  thru the backyards at midnight.   When the bad guy jumped the fence at my house,  Compa tackled him and pined him down standing on his chest, until the cops arrived and cuffed the dude!    He was the local hero!   :D

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