RDD Service Animal Policy

Please note that for the 2019 season, these conditions to limit exposure will be in place at all of our home games. We currently have a skater with a severe animal allergy, which has resulted in hospitalization in the past, as well as a small handful of skaters and officials with non-severe animal allergies. We thank you for your understanding and support for the health of these league members.

The Renegade Derby Dames wishes to protect the rights, health, and safety of all participants and visitors at our events and practices. We therefore recognize the need for service animals to have access to our space for the people who need them, but we also recognize the needs of people with severe allergies to these animals, and so we seek to find compromise that functions for all participants and visitors.

The Ontario Service Dogs Act states that (1) "An animal is a service animal if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that he/she requires the animal for reasons related to a disability. However, no such letter will be necessary if it is "readily apparent" that the animal is used by the person for reasons related to a disability (guide dog). ​ The animal may have an identification card, or it may be engaged in service activities such as opening doors or pulling a wheelchair." (2) “Requesting identification for a service animal may be found to be discriminatory in circumstances where the disability and reliance on the service animal is obvious. However, in circumstances where the disability is not obvious and it is not clear whether the animal is functioning as a service animal, it is reasonable to request to see a medical note….Service animals are defined as animals trained to perform particular tasks to assist with a disability, different from emotional support or therapy animals who provide comfort and support, but are not required to assist with a specific disability. Service animals permitted entry to premises who otherwise restrict animals, require that the service animal is kept with their handler. ”

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) states; no one individual’s rights are absolute; there is no hierarchy of rights; and where there appears to be competing rights, the aim is to respect the importance of both sets of rights. An example cited in the OHRC policy regarding competing human rights, states; “In the context of service animals and objections thereto, one should seek to understand the legitimacy and scope of both rights. It may turn out that the conflict can be avoided. For example, a person may be very allergic to certain animals. If the physical space, or use of that space, needs to be adjusted in order to minimize or avoid contact with the animal.”

With these policies in mind, and in order to reduce the risk to the health and safety to those with severe allergies, while preserving the rights of those in need of service animals, we have developed the following guidelines for our events and practices. We respectfully request that:

1) Anyone with severe allergies notify the league of their need to limit their exposure to animals.

Once that need has been established, we then respectfully request that:

1) The animal remain with their owner and/or under the supervision of another designated individual.

2) The animal remain in the stands, behind the arena glass, but not in close proximity to the team benches.

3) The animal be limited in access to shared spaces such as the entryway, hallways, and washrooms as much as possible, and from the changeroom of any allergic individuals present entirely.

4) Contact with the animal be limited to their owner and/or handler to avoid second-hand contact.

5) Anyone with allergies should be aware of the locations listed in these guidelines so that they can avoid the areas where they are at greatest risk of exposure.