Emotional Support / Therapy Animals and Human Rights Legislation
Update February 4, 2019: The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has updated its policy on support animals. You can see the policy here. There may be some changes from the original article below.
Accommodating those with disabilities is a major feature of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. This includes permitting the use and entry of service animals. Although service animals are more common with disabilities like blindness or deafness there are a wide range of other disabilities for which service animals provide assistance, including psychiatric disabilities.
But there is a difference between “comfort animals” and “service animals”, and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has stated its policy on service animals. The policy notes some cases where service animal accommodation is not appropriate. The HRC says:
The accompaniment of a pet is not protected by the Code. Pets fall outside of this policy. Emotional support animals or therapy animals, which provide therapeutic benefits, but do not have specialized training to provide services for a disabled person, fall outside of this policy.
Accommodating disabled persons is not just an issue for public businesses, but also affects things like condominiums, rentals and employment. As with all Human Rights rules, there are complexities, and the HRC or legal counsel should be consulted with questions on application of the legislation.