Service animals often accompany people with particular disabilities to help them with their day-to-day activities. Other people have animals for emotional support. Are both service animals and emotional support animals allowed in Church buildings?
A service dog is a trained animal that performs tasks directly related to the disability of the owner. The dog’s preparation and training typically take 18-24 months.
An emotional support animal or comfort pet is a companion to someone with a psychological or emotional disability. A variety of animals can be emotional support animals, including current pets. Such animals are not trained to perform tasks but are distinguished by the close emotional and supportive bond between the animal and the owner.
Bishops and stake presidents may determine whether to allow people with disabilities to use trained service dogs in meetinghouses. Other types of animals, including emotional support animals (comfort pets), are generally not permitted in meetinghouses or at Church-sponsored events, except as specifically required by law. Bishops and stake presidents make local decisions, taking into account the needs of people with disabilities and the needs of others in the congregation. While on Church property, service animals must be attended and restrained.
Service dogs and emotional support animals are not allowed in temples. Patrons with special needs are encouraged to attend the temple with family members or friends who can assist them as needed. Temple workers are also available to assist members while at the temple.
Read the Church guidelines on service animals for more information.