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Ark Encounter Policy on Service Animals

At the Ark Encounter, 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. Animals that are only used for “comfort,” “therapy,” or “emotional support” do not meet the definition of a service animal. No animals except for service animals assisting a person with a disability, or service animals with a qualified trainer, are allowed at the Ark Encounter. (Trainers are required to maintain proper identification when they are training a service animal on the premises, and public safety officers or other staff members at the Ark Encounter may request to see such identification.)

Individuals entering the premises who are accompanied by an animal should contact public safety or another staff member upon their arrival. The public safety officer or staff member may ask the individual the following two questions: 1) Is the service animal required because of a disability? 2) What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

The tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the person’s disability. Service animals are the responsibility of the guest and must remain with and under the control of the guest at all times. Service animals must remain on a leash or in a harness at all times, unless such leash or harness interferes with the service the animal is providing, or unless the handler is unable to use a leash or harness due to his or her disability. The animal must also be housebroken.

Except in the event of an emergency or when otherwise necessary in the interest of public safety, employees of the Ark Encounter are not permitted to take control of service animals at any time. Guests are responsible for the cleanup and for controlling their service animal’s behavior. If at any time your service animal’s behavior becomes a threat to the safety or well-being of other Ark Encounter guests, you will be asked to remove the animal from the premises, or if necessary, public safety officers may intervene to remove the animal.