Animals in the Library Policy

The Tuscarawas County Public Library System welcomes our customers who use service animals. As determined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as an animal (dog or miniature horse) that has been individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. The Ohio Administrative Code 4112-5-02 defines an animal assistant as any animal which aids a person with a disability. The work or task must be directly related to the person’s disability.

Animals that are considered pets – as well as comfort, therapy, or support animals—are not service animals as defined by the ADA and are not permitted in Library buildings. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship an animal may provide to an individual are not considered work or tasks by legal definition.
Animals are permitted in the library as part of Library educational and recreational programming or by approval of the Director or designee.

Service Animals at the Library:

  • Service Animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered unless these devices interfere with a service animal’s work or the person’s disability prevents use of these devices. The animal may leave the owner’s side only to perform a designated task.

A service animal that is not behaving properly in the Library will be required to leave the Library for a 24-hour period. In these circumstances, every reasonable effort will be made to serve customers whose service animals are temporarily restricted from entering Library buildings.

Specific behaviors for which an animal will be required to leave include:
o The animal is barking (not as part of a designated task) or growling.
o The animal is displaying aggressive behavior toward other customers or service animals.
o The animal is displaying disruptive behavior such as running or jumping toward other people or animals or being destructive of Library property.
o The animal is not housebroken.
o The animal is not otherwise under the control of the customer.


  • Service Animals In-Training will be permitted in the Library as long as the trainer and animal demonstrate appropriate service animal behavior.
  • Customers with Service Animals or Service Animals In-Training will not be refused access to Library facilities because of staff or customer allergies or discomfort with or fear of a service animal.

For more information about service animals and the Americans With Disabilities Act or Ohio Disability Rights, visit: OR

Approved by Board 4/17/2023