POLICY REGARDING SERVICE ANIMALS
FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Microtel Inns & Suites is committed to making reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures to permit the use of service animals by persons with disabilities. Service animals play an important role in ensuring the independence of people with disabilities, and it is therefore our policy to welcome into our inn any animal that is individually trained to assist a person with a disability.
What is a Service Animal?
Service animals include any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Service animals do not always have a harness, a sign, or a symbol indicating that they are service animals. A service animal is not a pet. Service animals assist people with disabilities in many different ways, such as:
- Guiding people who are blind or have low vision and retrieving dropped objects for them;
- Alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds and the presence of others;
- Carrying and picking up items, opening doors, or flipping switches for people with disabilities who have limited use of hands or arms, limited use of their legs, or limited ability to bend or stoop;
- Pulling wheelchairs;
- Alerting people with disabilities to the onset of medical conditions such as seizures, protecting them and cushioning them if they fall, reviving them, and performing other tasks that reduce the risk of disability-related injury;
- Doing work or performing tasks for persons with traumatic brain injury, intellectual disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities, such as reminding a person with depression to take medication or waking him up, alerting a person with anxiety to the onset of panic attacks, orienting people with schizophrenia to reality, and helping people with intellectual or cognitive disabilities to locate misplaced items, find places, or follow daily routines; and
- Providing physical support and assisting people with physical disabilities with stability and balance.
Requirements with Regard to Service Animals:
Most of the time, people with disabilities who use service animals may be easily identified without any need for questioning. If we can tell by looking, it is our policy not to make an individual feel unwelcome by asking questions. If we are unsure whether an animal meets the definition of a service animal, it is our policy to ask the individual only two questions at the point that the individual registers in the inn:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
If the individual says yes to the first question and explains the work or tasks that the animal is trained to perform, we will welcome the person and service animal into the inn without asking any additional questions about his or her service animal. We will not ask an individual questions about his or her disability. We will not ask an individual to show a license, certification, or special ID card as proof of their animal's training. We will not ask an individual with a service animal to use a specific entrance or exit in the inn. We must permit service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities to all areas of our inn normally used by guests or other members of the public and will treat individuals with service animals with the same courtesy and respect that Microtel Inns & Suites affords to all of our customers.
Since a service animal is not a pet, guests with disabilities may not be asked to pay any extra deposits, fees, or other charges because they are accompanied by service animals. Deposits, fees, or other charges that are normally required for pets do not apply to service animals.
Microtel Inns & Suites has the right to exclude a service animal from its business if the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or the dog is not housebroken. We will not exclude a particular service animal based on past experience with other animals or based on fear unrelated to an individual service animal's actual behavior. Each situation will be considered individually. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal's presence. Only an owner of Microtel Inns & Suites or a manager he or she designates can make the decision to exclude a service animal.
Please handle any customer inquiries or complaints about this policy in accordance with our usual procedures by contacting . . . [Microtel Inns & Suites to insert proper contact information in final adopted policy].