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Companions and Service Animals

We are committed to allowing service animals to accompany patients and provide support before and after imaging exams and procedures. However, emotional support, comfort or companionship animals and pets are not permitted. Only service animals are permitted to accompany patients.

The animal must wait in a designated area during the exam itself. Because our exams use ionizing radiation, magnetic fields, radiofrequency and ultrasound waves, only the patient and hospital and imaging center personnel who are directly involved with the exam are allowed into our imaging rooms and recovery areas.

Please provide someone to care for the service animal during the exam and during any recovery from a procedure. Our staff cannot look after a service animal during an exam.

What Is a Service Animal?

The following guidelines come directly from the Americans with Disability Act website. See frequently asked questions about the ADA and service animals.  

  • Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.
  • 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 her to take her medication. Or, a person who has epilepsy may have a dog that is trained to detect the onset of a seizure and then help the person remain safe during the seizure.
  • The ADA makes a distinction between psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals. If the dog has been trained to sense that an anxiety attack is about to happen and take a specific action to help avoid the attack or lessen its impact, that would qualify as a service animal. However, if the dog's mere presence provides comfort, that would not be considered a service animal under the ADA.
  • In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Justice Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, 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.)

If you have any questions, please call 310-423-8000.