Service Animals

New Mexico recognizes only dogs and miniature horses as service animals.

The 2013 New Mexico State Legislature passed a bill (SB320) that updates the Service Animal Act. Sponsored by Senator Nancy Rodriguez, Santa Fe, the Service Animal Act aligns New Mexico’s statute with the 2011 updates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAAA). The updates prescribe that only dogs (and miniature horses under 100 pounds) qualify as service animals. Dogs or miniature horses qualify if they are trained to perform a task or tasks directly related to an individual’s disability, such as guiding people who are blind, pulling a wheelchair, or alerting someone of an imminent seizure.

Pets, emotional support animals, comfort animals and therapy animals are not service animals under the ADA because they are not trained to perform a task or tasks directly related to an individual’s disability.

Service animals must be allowed to accompany the handler to any place in a building or facility where members of the public, program participants, customers, or clients are allowed. Even if a business or public program has a “no pets” policy, they may not deny entry to a person with a service animal except in very specific circumstances. 

If it is not obvious what task or tasks an animal has been trained to perform, only two questions may be asked:

    1. Is this animal required due to a disability?
    2. What task or work is the animal trained to perform? 

Asking the handler to have the animal perform the task is not allowed. It’s also important to note that service animals are not required to be certified or wear identification of any kind, though some handlers may present a certification and some service animals may wear a vest or other identification. 

An entity may deny access to a service animal whose behavior is unacceptable or in situations in which the person with a disability is not in control of the animal. Uncontrolled barking, sniffing food at a restaurant table, jumping on other people, or running away from the handler are examples of unacceptable behavior for a service animal. The handler must be given the opportunity to control the animal and if they are unable to do so, they must be allowed back on the premises without the animal. In addition, it may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.

Unlike the ADA and ADAAA, New Mexico’s Service Animal Act also prohibits a person from misrepresenting an animal as a service animal and provides penalties, including a fine and/or jail time. Additionally, in New Mexico service animals in training are allowed the same access as a fully trained service animal. The law became effective June 14, 2013.

For additional information, call the New Mexico Governor’s Commission on Disability at 505-476-0412.


Other Resources and Educational Sources

Too often, housing discrimination results from a lack of understanding about the needs of individuals with disabilities and the requirements imposed by law. Education and communication are key to reducing this discriminatory conduct. Additional information about service animals in housing can be obtained from:

Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act

Our website


The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

In December of 2020 the US Department of Transportation announced its Final Rule on traveling by air with service animals. Among many other changes, emotional support animals are no longer considered service animals under the ACAA.

Our website


The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website



The U.S. Department of Justice Housing Enforcement Division

The Department of Justice is pleased to provide the public with a variety of resources – from publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Our website


Air Carriers Access Act

Our website