Holiday hours: All MCPL locations will be closed Sat.–Mon., 8/31–9/2.
Animals in the Library Policy
CHAPTER 7: Administrative
COMPUTER ID: AMAILP-62
Title: Animals in the Library Policy
Effective Date: 5-2018
Authorized By: Library Board of Trustees/Library Director
Date of Last Revision: 5-2018
The Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) recognizes that some patrons with
disabilities may have service animals, which are trained to assist or accommodate a
person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or to perform tasks for the benefit of a
disabled individual. MCPL recognizes legal rights under federal and state laws regarding
use of service animals. MCPL also considers the safety and health of all of its patrons,
the public and library staff to be of utmost priority.
STATEMENT OF POLICY
No pets or animals other than service animals (see definition below), or service animals in
training, are allowed in MCPL libraries. Handlers of animals other than service animals
will be asked to remove them from the library.
Individuals with disabilities may bring their service animals into all areas of the library
where members of the public are normally allowed to go. All service animals must be
under the full custody and control of their handler at all times. Also, all service animals
must be on a leash or harness at all times unless the handler is unable to leash or
harness the animal because of a disability or use of a leash or harness would interfere
with the animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks. If the service animal
cannot be leashed or harnessed, it must be otherwise under the handler's control (e.g.,
voice control, signals, or other effective means). Handlers of the service animals are
solely responsible for the supervision and care of the service animal. Therefore, handlers
must keep the service animal directly with them at all times.
ITEM NUMBER: 7.62 b
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or
perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include
guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting
and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness
to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. 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. While Emotional
Support Animals or Comfort Animals are often used as part of a medical treatment plan
as therapy animals, they are not considered service animals under the ADA. These
support animals provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with
depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform
tasks that assist people with disabilities.
See also the U.S. Dept. of Justice ADA Service Animals bulletin at this link:
Handlers of service animals are not required to show papers or to prove a disability.
Service animals are not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government
or training program, or be identified by a special harness or collar.
Staff may ask if an animal is a pet or a service animal required because of a disability;
they can also ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform. Handlers of service
animals or service animals in training will indicate that they are working animals and not
pets. Terms used may include assistance, service, guide, hearing or helping animal. Staff
may not ask about the handler's disability.
A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his or her service animal or service
animal in training from the library unless the presence, behavior or actions of the service
animal constitutes an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to property or other persons.
In these cases, library staff should give the person with the disability the option to obtain
library services without having the services animal or service animal in training on the
premises. Fear of allergies, annoyance on the part of other patrons or employees or fear
of animals are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to
people with service animals or service animals in training.
ITEM NUMBER: 7.62 c
DEFINITIONS (if applicable)
Service Animal: Any animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or
accommodating a person's physical, sensory, or mental disability.
Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more
major life activities, or any abnormal sensory, mental or physical condition that 1)
is medically cognizable or diagnosable; 2) exists as a record or history or 3) is
perceived to exist.
- Marathon County Public Library
300 North First Street Wausau WI 54403 USA
Account Status: 715-261-7209 (24/7)