Service Animals and Emotional Support Pets


Service Animal

Therapy Animals

Emotional Support/Pet

Covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and recognized by the Department of Justice, Federal Law, State Law and Memorial Healthcare System. Yes
Has received extensive training and recognized by Memorial Healthcare System and meets specific criteria.
Trained on specific tasks to keep individuals with disabilities independent. Yes Yes No
Trained to assist just one person. Yes Yes*
Has multiple handlers but only one handler controls the Therapy Animal at a time.
May stay with a patient overnight. Yes No No
Needs to tolerate a wide range of environments and experiences. Yes Yes No
There are areas in our hospitals animals are not allowed to go (i.e., Neonatal Intensive Care Units, Hematology/Oncology and Transplant Units, and other areas due to special situations or circumstances as indicated by the leadership of that facility and/or unit). Yes Yes Yes
Must have prior approval to visit a patient/enter Memorial Healthcare System. No Yes
Must have approval by the patient/family.
Must have the advanced approval of the nurse manager or designee of the unit you are going to visit. 24 hour notification and approval is preferred.
Only one animal allowed with a patient. Yes*
On rare occasions there may be justification for the owner/handler to have two (2) service animals.
There are times that the Therapy Animal interacts with multiple individuals at a time.
Must have good behavior at all times(i.e. no uncontrolled barking, growling, running around, jumping on people). If not, animal will need to be removed. The healthcare system has the right to remove any animal that poses a threat or harm in any of the facilities. Yes Yes Yes
Must be clean, free of ticks, with no open skin lesions. No coughing, vomiting or diarrhea. Yes Yes Yes
Animals are strongly discouraged to stay off of the patient’s bed if the patient has open and/or healing wounds or other health issues deemed by our medical and nursing staff. Strongly discouraged to stay off of the bed to prevent patient infection and other medical issues. Strongly discouraged to stay off of the bed to prevent patient infection and other medical issues. Strongly discouraged to stay off of the bed to prevent patient infection and other medical issues.
Appropriate measures need to be taken if the animal is on a patient’s bed. Patient needs to clean their hands prior to and after the visit. Yes Yes Yes

We understand how important service, therapy animals, emotional support animals and pets are in the healing process. Memorial Healthcare System has initiated new guidelines to promote a positive visit into our facilities, please refer to the chart below.



Daughter learning how to assist her mother during a Family In Training (FIT) Program session at Memorial Regional South.

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