Medical Transportation and Support Animals
It doesn’t really matter whether the support is physical or emotional, without the company of their animal friends some people find traveling even a few miles unbearably stressful. People with service animals who need medical transport have the right to take them along.
However, different states each have their own opinion on what the definition “service” means when it pertains to laws allowing the animal to travel anywhere its master does.
When You Need Medical Transportation and Plan to Bring Your Support Animal Along
Nowadays, support animals are seen in places most people don’t expect them to be, and still they barely turn heads anymore. Even so, if you have a doctor’s appointment or medical procedure coming up it’s a good idea to check your state’s views regarding support animals before you schedule a ride.
Laws regarding these animals are not clear and seem open to personal interpretation so it’s best to be sure.
Knowing your rights beforehand and being able to discuss them intelligently cuts through a mountain of red tape, and though they may not want to, if your state says it’s fine for a support animal to travel with you anywhere, those who would argue the point have no legal reason to deny you the ride.
You have the right to expect the same consideration as anyone else in need of medical transport so keep the following in mind when you call to schedule your pick up.
Your Support Animal CAN Be Anywhere
Even with a “no pets” allowed policy if yours is needed for support of any kind that policy doesn’t apply to you, and no additional fees to accommodate the animal may be charged.
Although patients aren’t required to provide notice they will be traveling with a service animal it’s a good idea to do so anyway.
Any company in the business of providing medical transport, including chauffeured limousines are required to follow support animal laws but it doesn’t hurt to consider they may want to make special preparations to accommodate your animal.
Be Prepared to Provide Documentation
Even when a special harness or tags makes it apparent the animal is in service, keep your proof handy because you may be required to produce ID cards, or written documentation as back up to the obvious. As further proof you may even be asked what your support animal has been trained to do for you, and how it gets the job done. These questions may seem rude, but they are legal and it’s best to answer them honestly.
Keep in mind that a letter from your Doctor stating exactly why you need a service animal isn’t going to work. It’s the animals training and behavior that people will be concerned with, not your reasons for needing the help. If your unsure how to go about getting the documentation needed to travel with a “helper,” ask your doctor. Once your dog (or other approved pet) has gone through the training process and proven it can behave around other people you will never have to leave them behind or do without their help again.