Service Animals at Fallingwater

Service animals are defined by the ADA as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack or performing other duties.Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Admission of Comfort Animals

Fallingwater welcomes visitors with disabilities who use service animals as determined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Personal pets are permitted only in the parking lot areas of Fallingwater and must be leashed at all times.

Fallingwater abides by the ADA regarding service animals trained to perform specific tasks. Animals that are considered “comfort animals,” “therapy animals,” “companion animals” or “emotional support animals” are not service animals as defined by the ADA because they are not trained to perform a specific task for an individual with a disability and therefore are not permitted beyond the Fallingwater parking lot areas.

Behavior of Service Animals

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In these cases, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal or other effective controls. Although a leash is not required by the ADA, Fallingwater requires that a leash be used while visiting all house museum areas, both interior and exterior. A leash of not more than five feet in length is required while visiting Fallingwater.

Can a Person with a Service Animal be Asked to Leave?

An out-of-control or disruptive service animal may be required to leave the Fallingwater museum areas and taken back to the parking lot if the handler is unable to re-establish control over the animal or stop the disruptive behavior. If the service animal’s behavior warrants its removal from the Fallingwater museum areas, the service animal’s handler may return to their Fallingwater tour after taking the service animal to the parking lot area, if tour space is available and time permits.

Specific behaviors that could be cause for the removal of a service animal from the Fallingwater museum areas include:

  • The animal is barking or growling.
  • The animal is displaying aggressive behavior toward other people or animals.
  • The animal is displaying disruptive behavior such as running or jumping toward other people or animals.
  • The animal is not housebroken.
  • The animal is not under control of the handler, including refusing to move from one area to another while on tour or interfering with collections objects

Miniature Horses

In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the ADA regulations have a separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.

The ADA regulations set out four assessment factors to assist entities in determining whether miniature horses can be accommodated in their facility. The assessment factors are (1) whether the miniature horse is housebroken; (2) whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control; (3) whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size and weight; and (4) whether the miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility. A miniature horse can be accommodated in the Fallingwater museum as long the animal is housebroken, does not damage the house or its collections, and is under the owner’s control at all times.

Information regarding the ADA’s service animal regulations is available here.

Questions regarding Fallingwater’s service animal policy may be directed to our Visitor Services Department at 724-329-8501.