Thursday, October 15, 2009

Service animals and pets on TriMet vehicles

There have been several incidents recently involving a person with a service animal (a cat) who has been told they are not allowed to ride the system with their animal not in a closed carrier. Remember that animals other than dogs can be trained to provide service to customers with disabilities.

This notice is to remind Operations employees of the existing TriMet policy regarding pets and service animals.

TriMet’s policy:

Service animals are permitted aboard district vehicles so long as:

· the animal is under the control of the person and restrained by leash, harness or other device made for the purpose of controlling the movement of an animal. Animals not under the control of their handler can be denied service (see below).

Pets are only allowed on district vehicles if:

  • the animal is kept and held at all times within a secure container appropriate and constructed for carrying the size and type of animal; and the animal can be transported without risk of injury to the animal or harm or inconvenience to other riders or District personnel.

Tips for Operators

If a customer is boarding your vehicle with an animal that is not in a container, operators are encouraged to do the following:

  • Tell the customer that pets on TriMet vehicles must be kept in a container. If the customer has a service animal, they will inform you of this.
  • If they state it is a service animal, allow the customer to board if their service animal has a leash, harness or other device made for controlling the animal.
  • Do not ask a person if they have a disability or what their disability is. Do not ask for “proof” of the disability.
  • You may inform the customer that they are responsible for their animal’s behavior.
  • You may deny service to an animal that is behaving aggressively toward people or other animals, is disruptive (such as barking uncontrollably), or is not housebroken. However, the customer can ride TriMet service without the animal.

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