Service Animal Policy

The Ohio Renaissance Festival is committed to reasonably accommodating persons with disabilities who require the assistance of service animals. The Ohio Renaissance Festival allows service animals on Festival grounds that assist those with disabilities. Therapy or Emotional Support Animals are not allowed on festival grounds. The Ohio Renaissance Festival is mindful of the health and safety concerns of others. We must balance the need of the individual with a disability with the potential impact of animals on the festival grounds. The successful implementation of this policy requires the cooperation of all staff and patrons on Festival grounds.

Staff are not required to provide care or supervision for your service animal while on grounds. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless the individual’s disability prevents using these devices or these devices interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of tasks. Should you not be able to effectively maintain control of your service animal, you will be asked to leave the grounds. If your service animal causes damage, you will be assessed the damage and asked to leave. Should you be asked to leave because of a legitimate reason resulting from your service animal, you will be afforded the opportunity to re-enter without additional fees without your service animal.

What is a service animal? A service animal is a working animal, not a pet. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as: any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, and pulling a wheelchair.

What is considered a disability? The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

What does “do work or perform tasks” mean? The dog must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability. For example, a person with diabetes may have a dog that is trained to alert him when his blood sugar reaches high or low levels. A person with depression may have a dog that is trained to remind him or her to take his or her medication.

Therapy/Emotional Support Animal: A “therapy/emotional support animal” is an animal selected to play an integral part of a person’s treatment process that demonstrates a good temperament and reliable, predictable behavior. A therapy/emotional support animal is prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional. A therapy/emotional support animal is not a service animal. Unlike a service animal, a therapy/emotional support animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany a person with a disability at all times.