Service Animals

Service animals and the Law

The Commission speaks with a number of callers about service and assistance animals, what constitutes one or the other, and what the law requires. This month I bring you information on this subject in hopes it assists with the vast confusion around the subject of service and assistance animals. - Karen Richards

Did you know? Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs and in some instances, miniature horses, are recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are allowed in all areas where the public is normally allowed to go in State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public. Otherwise known as places of “Public Accommodation.” There are only two questions staff may ask when it is not obvious what service an animal provides: 1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and 2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? There are NO certifications or registration requirements by law for service animals. Nor is it required that a service animal wear any collar, vest or otherwise indicating same. An assistance animal is allowed in housing and is not restricted to dogs. Assistance animals are regulated by the Fair Housing Act and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). An assistance animal can be any animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.

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NOTICE No Pets Allowed

Contact Us Vermont Human Rights Commission 14-16 Baldwin Street Montpelier, VT 05633-6301 Phone: 802.828.1625 800.416.2010 Fax: 802.828.2481 Email: Visit us on the web at

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Mental Health Services in Vermont

The Department of Mental Health oversees the publicly-funded community-based and inpatient services to Vermonters to ensure early intervention and mental health treatment and supports as needed to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities.

DMH central office staff provide leadership and direction for the community-based public mental health system as well as program and service monitoring and assessment to assure adherence to state and federal regulations and to monitor the quality of services and sup­ports delivered by contracted providers.

Developmental Disabilities Services Division

The Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD) plans, coordinates, administers, monitors and evaluates state and federally funded services for people with developmental disabilities and their families within Vermont. DDSD funds services through 15 private non-profit Service Providers and provides systems planning, technical assistance, training, quality assurance, program monitoring and standards compliance. 

About Parent Centers Serving Families of Children with Disabilities

There are nearly 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) in the US and Territories.

These Centers perform a variety of direct services for children and youth with disabilities, families, professionals, and other organizations that support them.

Some of the activities include:

  • Working with families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities, birth to 26

  • Helping parents participate effectively in their children’s education and development

  • Partnering with professionals and policy makers to improve outcomes for all children with disabilities

Center for Parent Information Resources

Your central “Hub” of information and products created for the network of Parent Centers serving families of children with disabilities

All the materials found on the CPIR Hub have been created and archived for Parent Centers around the country to help them provide support and services to the families they serve. The CPIR employs a user-centered process, gathering the perspectives of our experienced audience—Parent Center staff members and other experts—every step of the way, to create products and services that increase Parent Centers’ knowledge and capacity in specific domains.

Vermont Family Network

Advocacy and Leadership
Disabilities or Special Health Needs
Early Childhood Development
General and Special Education
Health Care Access
Mental Health
Transition to Adulthood

Locations & Directions


Main office in Williston:
600 Blair Park Road, Suite 240
Williston, VT 05495
Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm.

Field office in Rutland:
135 North Main Street, Suite #4,
Rutland, VT 05701

Field staff are located in Rutland and the Northeast Kingdom. Please call our Williston office for a referral to our field staff.

Call Us! We will listen! 1.800.800.4005