US Service Animals – Service Dog Laws in Hawaii | Rules & Regulations

Each state tends to have their own laws regarding service dogs, but there are given expectations that the ADA have put into place and require states to abide by.

Hawaii may not be part of the mainland United States, but this lovely island isn’t an exception to the rules.

In Hawaii, a service animal is considered any dog that receives extensive training and helps an individual complete work or tasks. Most often those with a service animal have some type of disability, but these are not always visible to the eye.

Laws have been put into place to help the disabled no matter their condition receive the help and assistance from these animals without being discriminated against.

Examples of Service Animals Under Hawaii’s Social Services Law

There are multiple types of service animals, based on what tasks they are trained to perform.

Keep in mind, all service animals must be dogs or, occassionally, minature horses.

  • Psychiatric service animals, which help their handlers manage mental and emotional disabilities by, for example, interrupting self-harming behaviors or providing calming pressure during anxiety or panic attacks
  • Seizure alert animals, which let their handlers know of impending seizures, and may also guard their handlers during seizure activity, and
  • Allergen alert animals, which let their handlers know of substances that could be dangerous
  • Hearing dogs, which alert their handlers to important sounds, such as alarms and doorbells, and
  • Guide dogs, which help those who are blind or visually impaired navigate safely

It is important to note that the Hawaii service animal laws and those of the ADA do not cover emotional support animals.

Where Are Service Animals Allowed?

Service dogs are legally allowed in most public spaces in order to ensure their handler gets the support they need.

  • All forms of public transportation and common carriers, including buses, trains, ferries, airplanes, and cars
  • Hotels and lodging places
  • All places of public amusement, resort, or accommodation
  • Any other place to which the general public is invited

ADA Accommodations

Service dogs are also allowed in the following locations:

  • Hotels and other lodging establishments
  • Restaurants and other places that serve food and drink
  • Any place of public gathering or place of exercise or recreation
  • Libraries, museums, and educational institutions, and
  • Social service centers, like senior centers, homeless shelters, and food bank.
  • All housing, regardless of pet policies

A public accommodation is not allowed to ask you for proof of your service animal registration or question your disability. They can only ask if it is a service animal and what tasks it is being used to complete. You will not be required to pay an extra fee to have this animal accompany you as it is an essential part of your daily life.

One of the big issues some people worry about is being discriminated against when trying to secure housing. You will not be required to pay extra for your animal unless it causes damage, and you will be responsible for the cost of the damages. The law does allow you equal opportunity to housing, so you will not be discriminated against for your disability or animal.

Be Mindful of the Service Dog Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii has buckled down on their service animal laws and those who are found to have “fake” service animals can now be punishable by law. The rules and regulations in place for those with these animals are established at the sole discretion that a service animal is an essential asset. These rules should not be abused.