Service Dog Policy

We welcome guests with disabilities who are accompanied by a trained service dog, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


  • Under the ADA, “a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to work or perform tasks for assisting a person with a disability.” Service dogs are working animals, not pets. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Pets, comfort animals, emotional support or therapy animals are not permitted inside the zoo.
  • Upon arrival, please inform our Guest Services team that you are entering with a service dog.*
  • Guest/handler for the service dog is solely responsible for the care and control of their animal. 

  • *As stipulated by the ADA, Zoo staff may request that a service dog experiencing difficulty or demonstrating problematic behaviors, such as barking or lunging, be removed from the zoo immediately. We ask that you promptly comply with any such request for the safety and welfare of all.

    Additional Requirements

    for Visiting with a Service Dog

    Thank you for your cooperation to ensure a safe and successful visit for yourself, your service dog, the animals cared for at the zoo, and other guests. For the safety of you, your service dog and the animals in our care:

    • Your service dog must be leashed and under control at all times. A service dog is required to be on a leash, harness or tether while on zoo property. This includes the parking lot of the zoo. For situations where an individual’s disability prevents having the service dog on a traditional leash, AND if the service dog is trained to respond to alternate effective means of control, then (and only then) are they permitted in certain areas without a tether. 
    • If either a zoo animal or your service dog are visibly upset or agitated by the other's presence, the handler and service dog must move away from the exhibit immediately. Signs of agitation include: barking, howling, growling, bumping into exhibit walls, jumping, climbing, running around exhibit and/or erratic movements. At no time should a service dog be in contact with fences, mesh, wire, railings, or other exhibit barriers.
    • The handler is responsible for caring for and supervising their service dog, which includes pet relief and feeding. The zoo is not able to provide a rest area or supplies for service dogs. Please come prepared with anything you think your animal might need during your visit. If a service dog needs to relieve itself, handlers may exit the zoo temporarily through the Gift Shop and into the parking lot area. We kindly ask that you pick up after your service dog. A service dog that is not housebroken will be asked to leave the zoo.

    Restricted Areas

    and Areas of Limited Access

    While human guests are encouraged to visit all areas of our facility, certain areas are restricted or limited for your service dog. These areas include:

    • All Large Cats: Service dog is not allowed in exhibit area of any apex predator (lions, tigers, leopards) or to linger while entering or exiting the zoo near the lion exhibit.
    • Parakeet Feeding Exhibit: Service dog is not allowed inside exhibit.
    • Giraffe Center: Service dog is not permitted beyond the Train Depot pathway/donkey exhibit.
    • Aviary: Service dog is not allowed within fenced exhibit area.
    • Alligator: Service dog is not allowed on boardwalk leading to exhibit area or on exhibit pier.
    • Carousel, Train and Playground: Service dog is allowed in the general area, but not permitted to ride or play on attraction(s).
    • Petting Zoo (Limited Access): Service dog is not permitted inside the Petting Zoo Barn and must be kept a minimum of 3-feet from any exhibit fence where a pathway railing is absent (goats, sheep, kune kune pigs, tortoise, llamas, donkey).

    Finally, we appreciate your understanding that our intentions with these requests are to ensure the safety of all humans and well being of all animals, including yours, here at the zoo.

    We are glad to have you visit our facility, and we know you care for your service dog as much as we care for our animals, so please be sure to keep your service dog under your complete control at all times and to not allow the dog to cause any distress to our animals. If there is a situation where the handler is not able to maintain control over the service animal, we would need you to remove the animal from the zoo. We ask that you promptly comply with any such request for the safety and welfare of all.

    The zoo reserves the right to modify this information and accessibility policies as appropriate, such as changes to sensitive and/or restricted areas. Guests with service dogs are required to stop at the Admissions window upon arrival to receive current information about their visit.