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Animals are warm, fuzzy — and restricted in Asante facilities

Molly, a specially trained therapy dog, is permitted inside Asante facilities, but animals without special allowances are prohibited. It’s hard not to melt when you see an adorable animal, but those furry friends can bring germs that can harm patients…
Therapy Dog Molly

Molly, a specially trained therapy dog, is permitted inside Asante facilities, but animals without special allowances are prohibited.

It’s hard not to melt when you see an adorable animal, but those furry friends can bring germs that can harm patients with weakened immune systems. That’s why Asante follows federal and state rules regarding animals in our facilities.

Only service or specially trained therapy animals may accompany their handlers into the hospital, but even they are excluded from operating rooms, critical care units and other rooms where patients are at high risk of infection.
All other animals, including employees’ personal pets, are prohibited in all Asante health care facilities.

A service animal is specially trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. By law it can be a dog or even a miniature horse, with some restrictions.

Emotional support dogs are not service animals. However, Asante Ashland and Asante Rogue Regional do allow therapy dogs that have gone through an approval process through Volunteer Services. Patientowned dogs may be allowed to visit under certain circumstances, such as compassionate care.

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require a service animal to wear special equipment or tags. To determine if a dog is a legitimate service animal, you may ask the owner two questions: “Is the dog required because of a disability? What task or work has this animal been trained to do?”

Employees may not ask about the person’s disability, or request documentation or special ID. You also can’t ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform certain tasks. If you see an animal in the hospital that isn’t a service or therapy dog, tell the house supervisor.

To help employees have these conversations, Asante has created a guide that explains our animal policy. You can download it here or from the Compliance page on myAsanteNET. If you’d like hard copies, contact Asante Compliance. To learn more, read Asante’s full policy, Animals in Health Care Facilities, or take the 2018 ALEC module, “Service Animals in Health Care.”

Direct any complaints of discrimination related to service animals to the Compliance Department. If you have specific questions or concerns, email [email protected].

Front of Asante Animal Guide Brochure

Download the Guide to Learn

  • Where animals are permitted and restricted in hospitals
  • What qualifies as a service or therapy animal
  • How long animals can visit
  • How service animals must behave
  • When it’s reasonable to ask a service animal to leave
  • Restrictions on miniature horse service animals
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