Ok so this is a new one for me. This will be my 6th or 7th convention and one of the friends I'm going with lost his mother a few months ago. He's been given an "emotional support" dog which is authorized by his therapist.
He's asked me about bringing the animal with us but I have no idea how this is looked at. He claims that hotels and the convention cannot refuse the animal because it's necessary for his treatment.
I was wondering what the convention policy was on this and if anyone else has experienced it. It's a medium sized dog, whose very sweet and well-behaved.
I'm ok with it in theory...but if we have to crate a dog in the hotel room for whole days at a time, I'm not sure that's the best option.
Can someone from Gencon comment on this please.
Also if any of you other attendees have done this in the past I'd like to know about your personal experiences with it.
Did it work? Was it difficult? Were there issues with other animals, etc.
I don't want to tell him no but I'm a little nervous about saying yes.
Thanks in advance.
Some FAQs from the ADA below. Emotional Support Animals are not the same as Service Animals, so good question...
Q1. What is a service animal? A. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.
Q2. What does "do work or perform tasks" mean? A. The dog must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability. For example, a person with diabetes may have a dog that is trained to alert him when his blood sugar reaches high or low levels. A person with depression may have a dog that is trained to remind her to take her medication. Or, a person who has epilepsy may have a dog that is trained to detect the onset of a seizure and then help the person remain safe during the seizure.
Q3. Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?A. No. These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person. Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places. You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws.
I couldn't find anything on Gen Con's web site about it, but the ICC site does include the following:
The Indiana Convention Center is an ADA-compliant facility. Most entrances into the convention center are fully accessible. Accommodations for persons with disabilities include Braille signage, restrooms, accessible ticket counters, designated parking, and wheelchair availability. Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium welcomes guests with disabilities and their assistive animals. While it is not necessary, we encourage guests with assistive animals to contact facility management (317.262.3463) in advance of the event in order to most appropriately accommodate the needs of the guest and their animal.
Trained Service Animals are allowed at Gen Con. Emotional Support Animals are not allowed.
Thanks to alans for the explanation of the difference, it saved me from having to look up the wording!
Customer Service & Volunteer Manager
Gen Con LLC
Thank you everyone for your quick replies. I'll let him know.
Your help was very appreciated!!!
I live to serve