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RCSCW heeds new law re: service animals


The Recreation Centers of Sun City West advises members that the Association will abide by a new Arizona law making it illegal to represent pets as service animals.


The new law, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey on April 17, makes it illegal for pet owners to “fraudulently misrepresent an animal as a service animal” to businesses. Violation of the law is punishable by a fine up to $250.


The Association’s policy governing service animals will not change, and the Association will continue to follow all regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, the new law makes it easier for the Association to remove pets if it comes to staff’s attention that the law is being violated.

  1. How does this law affect emotional support animals (esas’)?

    • RCSCW PR says:

      Hi Steve. Thank you for your comment. The new state law does not affect emotional support animals, which, under federal ADA rules, do not qualify as service animals and are therefore not allowed in our facilities.

  2. The one thing that I am against is a service dog being put in a grocery cart. That is a health issue and the grocery store should respond to people placing dogs in the cart. It turns my stomach to think I may be putting my food where the dog’s rear end was sitting. This could be a serious serious health issue.

    • Charlene Radous says:

      Federal license service dogs are not allowed in shopping carts
      They are to walk along side of the handicapped person

  3. Jim Obrock says:

    How may you legally challenge the dog owner and what, if anything, must the dog owner produce to prove the animal is a service dog?

    • Multimedia says:

      Hi Jim. We don’t intend to ‘challenge’ any dog owner. Only two questions can be asked …is the dog a service animal? And what tasks has it been trained to do? We hope that raising awareness and possibly asking those two questions will serve as a deterrent to folks bringing non-service animals into the Associations public places, that’s all.

  4. To Dar, Renee, and Richard Van Tuyle — People carry and spread more diseases to other people than pets or service animals do. In fact, many “human” diseases are transmitted from humans to their pets as often as in reverse. I agree that it might be difficult for the person suffering from a pet allergy to be near a service animal, but how easy it would be to suggest that person move away a bit, or perhaps you could? We share this world, and we all have issues. Allowing service animals to do their job and people to benefit from them makes sense. Have a bit of tolerance for the needs of others. Some day, you may find yourself in their shoes.

    • Caroline says:


      • RCSCW PR says:

        Hi everyone. We understand this is a very important topic to all of you, on both sides of the issue. Service animals play in important role in many people’s lives, and we respect their need to have this assistance. At the same time, we understand some are affected by debilitating reactions to different allergens, including animal hair and dander. We ask that all of our residents treat each other with respect and kindness, and above all – understanding.

  5. Dick Potts says:

    Good job? We have a law, problem solved, right, wrong. Enforcement: Like all laws they are only as effective as the enforcement there of. And who is going to do that? MCSO, good luck with that.

  6. I am allergic to animal hair, and I do not believe animals of any kind, accept leader dogs for the blind should be in any store.

    • Charlene Radous says:

      I am hearing impaired and have a trained licensed service dog.
      Yes, I’m disabled due to hearing loss.
      Blind people are not the only disabled people.

      • DAR, if you are allergic to animals and are worried then when you are going out take an allergy pill, problem solved.

  7. Larry Selmer says:

    Anyone who takes the time and effort to register/train their pet as a support animal by law can take them anywhere they desire including grocery stores ,etc.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Larry, we thank you and everyone else for your comments on this topic. FYI, here’s a little information for us all: “Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Jul 12, 2011.” There is an information sheet published by the U.S. Dept. of Justice on the matter of service animals and it can be found here. Have a great day everyone.

  8. Bradley Huber says:

    Just another law with no teeth. The law is still that The Americans with Disabilities Act does not allow a business owner to ask anyone who is accompanied by an animal about the person’s handicap.

    Instead, just two questions are permitted: Is the animal a service animal? What tasks has it been trained to do?

    If the pet owner provides the right answers, the conversation stops there, and the animal – in Arizona, only dogs and miniature horses can be legally documented as service animals — is presumed to be a service animal and allowed inside with its owner.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Bradley. We can’t speak to the ‘teeth’ in Gov. Ducey’s law, but you are absolutely correct about the two questions that are permitted. The conversation would stop there and yes, only dogs and miniature horses are allowed to be service animals. We have yet to see a miniature horse at one of our facilities though! Have a nice day.

      • Bradley Huber says:

        Just for fun, google
        and read the questions and answers. Notice that the ADA rules changed July 2015.

        For more fun:
        We have a 9 week old Shih Tzu which qualifies to get a Full Service Dog Kit and Certification Document. You can get this on Amazon and take your dog to any restaurant or grocery store. I got one just to prove it could be done.

  9. Mel bauck says:

    Many dogs area service animal or a esa dog there for s federal law protecting them and they have to go anywhere by law as long as you have the paperwork to prove it

  10. If it’s a true service animal it will not be affected. Some people think they have to take their pet everywhere when most times the pet is better off at home.

  11. I have seen dogs only slightly larger than a chijuaua(sp) 2 of them in a covered carriage together with “service dog” sign on each. What in heck can a chihuahua do as a service to its owner except being a pet allowed to board an airliner and share a seat

    • Charlene Radous says:

      I am hearing impaired. I have a small trained and licensed service dog.
      She weighs 15lbs and alerts me to sounds I can not hear I.e. any person or vehicle behind me. Her service vest plainly states Hearing Service Dog. This alerts people that I can not hear you when you try to talk to me or try to pass me.
      I would not go out in public without her. If I did not have her I would be a recluse.

    • I have a dog that is not a service dog but I do have a friend that has a Chihuahua that warns her that she is about to have a seizure, That way she can get to a safe place where she will not fall or to put down a knife before her seizure comes on. I hate it when people lie and say their dog is a service animal but don’t assume they are lying because you don’t see the handicap.

  12. Priscilla Ebright says:

    I’d ask who would stoop so low to do this but, unfortunately, I’ve seen this in action. Sad.

  13. Good job! Animals do not belong in grocery stores, etc.

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