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Quality of Life - Pets and Animal Therapy

 

Description of Federal Requirements
Comparison of State Requirements
Table Comparing States

Complete Transcript of State Requirements on Pets and Animal Therapy (PDF)

Federal Regulations & Related F-tags for 483.15 Applicable Federal Regulation
(d) Participation in other activities | F245
(e) Accomodation of needs | F246
 
483.15 Quality of Life

Description of Federal Requirements    (TOP)    (NEXT)

Federal Regulations do not contain specific content for Pets and Animal Therapy.

Comparison of State Requirements    (TOP)    (NEXT)

Whereas pet therapy is not addressed in the Federal regulations, several states recognize the value of human/animal interaction and its contributions, on many levels, to resident well-being and quality of life.  Accordingly, several states make provision for nursing home residents to have access to pets and/or visiting animals. 

Laws and administrative procedures are in place for purposes of resident safety and public health.  Protocols and procedures to ensure pet health and the parties responsible for costs, care and cleanup are explicit.  Only those pets that are typically considered of the normal household variety are allowed (there are species-specific exclusions in a few states – raccoons and turtles, for example), and statements regarding prohibition of animals from certain areas of the facility (primarily dining and dietary areas) are found.

For comprehensive examples, please see Arkansas, Idah, New Jersey and Oklahoma.

[Summarized: April 2006]

The majority of states do not consider pets or pet therapy in their nursing home regulations.  Those states that do address pets take into account special considerations for the health and well-being of both the residents and the animals. 

Arkansas is the only state to indicate that animals are only allowed in nursing home facilities for short periods of time.  Pets are not permitted in nursing homes except that animals may be permitted in the Alzheimer’s Special Care Units. Pets are not allowed in food preparation, food storage or dining or serving areas.

In Iowa, animals may be permitted within the facility with prior approval of the department and under controlled conditions.

In Nebraska the facility must assure a facility-owned pet does not negatively affect the residents residing in the facility. In New Jersey, pet program for interested residents requires safeguards to prevent interference in the lives of other residents.

Some state statutes (Alabama, District of Columbia, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina) specifically allow for pet therapy programs. 

Licensing of animals visiting or residing in nursing homes is mandated by Arizona, Colorado, and New Jersey.

Pennsylvania and Washington limit the number of animals in the facility.

Some states (Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming) limit the types of animals allowed in facilities.  Idaho, in particular, is explicit about prohibition of “exotic pets” that might spread disease. “These include, but are not limited to, iguanas, snakes and other reptiles, monkeys, raccoons and skunks. Turtles are not permitted in the facility.”

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and Wyoming necessitate vaccination of animals visiting or residing in the facility.

Animals must have veterinarian examinations and/or be free of disease in order to visit or reside in nursing homes in Alabama, Idaho, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and Wyoming.

Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming ban animals from certain areas of the nursing home such as kitchens and dining rooms for sanitation reasons.

New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming statutes require a designated staff person as caretaker for the animal.

Washington regulations indicate that residents must have reasonable opportunity to have regular contact with animals as desired.

Idaho, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington regulations state that animals must not infringe on rights of or negatively affect the well-being of other residents.

District of Columbia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota mandate policies and procedures regarding animals in the nursing home facility.

New York statutes disallow service animals access to particular areas of the facility or the facility itself if the animal puts the safety of the operations of the facility at risk.  This may be at odds with the rights of people with disabilities.

Table Comparing States    (TOP)

Note: If the States in this table are not hyper-linked, their provisions do not appear to address the topic, and therefore, do not alter the Federal Regulatory scope.  The Table summarizes content on Quality of Life - Pets and Animal Therapy by State (with a link to each State's specific language).  Link to a downloadable PDF document containing all State requirements on Quality of Life - Pets and Therapy Animals.

483.15 Quality of Life

Pets and Animal Therapy

Pets and Animal Therapy are not addressed in the Federal categories, but several states address it in their regulations, most often under the Activities subcategory of the Quality of Life category.
State Goes beyond Federal Regulations? Major Categories/Subjects Addressed
Alabama Yes Statues allow for pet therapy program. Mandates pet vaccinations and freedom of disease.
Alaska No Alaska regulations do not address pets.
Arizona Yes Statutes ban pets from areas of food preparation, storage, and dining. Mandates pet sanitation, licensing, and vaccination.
Arkansas Yes Statutes limit duration of animal visits. Regulations mandate provisions for safety, sanitation, vaccination, and ban pets from areas of food preparation, storage, and dining. Allows for animals in Special Care Units.
California No California regulations do not address pets.
Colorado Yes Statutes mandate proper care of pets, vaccinations, and licensing.
Connecticut No Connecticut regulations do not address pets.
Delaware No Delaware regulations do not address pets.
District of Columbia Yes Statutes allow for pet therapy programs and require policies and procedures for care of the animals. Social area may contain plants and pets of suitable temperament.
Florida No Florida regulations do not address pets.
Georgia No Georgia regulations do not address pets.
Hawaii No Hawaii regulations do not address pets.
Idaho Yes Statutes mandate policies and procedures for pets, vaccinations, examination prior to admission, limits types of pets, and bans pets from areas of food preparation, storage, and dining. Pets must not interfere with individual rights.
Illinois Yes Specific types of activities to include pet-facilitated therapy.
Indiana yes Each facility shall have a policy concerning pets.
Iowa Yes Animals may be permitted within the facility with prior approval of the department and under controlled conditions.
Kansas No Kansas regulations do not address pets.
Kentucky No Kentucky regulations do not address pets.
Louisiana No Louisiana regulations do not address pets.
Maine No Maine regulations do not address pets.
Maryland Yes Maryland regulations do not address pets.
Massachusetts Yes Pets or other types of animals shall not be allowed in certain areas, there can be no commercial breeding of pets and all pets to be adequately cared for.
Michigan No Michigan regulations do not address pets.
Minnesota Yes Pet animals may be kept on premises of a nursing home.
Mississippi Yes Therapeutic activities will provide experience with animals.
Missouri No Missouri regulations do not address pets.
Montana Yes Statutes define types of animals, mandate sanitation, and ban animals from areas of food preparation, storage and dining.
Nebraska Yes Pet policies to include the facility must assure a facility-owned pet does not negatively affect the residents residing in the facility.
Nevada No Nevada regulations do not address pets.
New Hampshire No New Hampshire regulations do not address pets.
New Jersey Yes Mandates resident safety, designates type of animals, provisions for sanitation, freedom of disease, vaccination, licensing, and examinations. Bans pets from areas of food preparation, storage, utensil sanitation, dining, nursing stations, supply rooms, linen storage areas, and soiled materials. Designation of a staff member as caretaker of the pet. Delineates procedure for incidence of animal biting and animal death. Pet program for interested residents requires safeguards to prevent interference in the lives of other residents.
New Mexico Yes Statutes ban animals from areas of food preparation, storage, dining, and utensil sanitation.
New York Yes Statutes allow for the provision of animal-assisted therapy. Require assurance of health (freedom of disease and vaccination), safety, and rights of residents and animals. Designation of a staff member as animal caretaker. Bans pets from areas of laundry, utensil storage, and food preparation. Service dogs are not allowed if found to risk safe operations of the facility.
North Carolina Yes Statutes mandate policies in accordance with local health ordinances and ban pets from areas of food preparation.
North Dakota No North Dakota regulations do not address pets.
Ohio Yes Statutes mandate protocols regarding the health, safety, and rights of residents regarding pets.
Oklahoma Yes Requires animal and resident safety, health certificate from a veterinarian, vaccination, proof of spaying and neutering, sanitation, and animal policies. Limits number and type of animals. Designation of staff as caretaker of an animal. Bans pets from resident areas after visiting hours and areas of food preparation, storage, medication dispersal, and clean storage.
Oregon Yes Limits types of pets. Mandates freedom of disease, sanitation, vaccinations, and animal policies and procedures. Bans pets from areas of food preparation and storage areas. Pets must not interfere with resident rights.
Pennsylvania Yes Statutes allow for provision of pet therapy, ban pets from areas of food preparation and dining, limits number and type of animals, and mandates policies, procedures, and sanitation of pets.
Rhode Island No SRhode Island regulations do not address pets.
South Carolina Yes Allows for provision of pet therapy. Mandates vaccinations and freedom from illness.
South Dakota Yes Pets must not negatively affect resident well-being. Mandates policies, procedures, and designation of a staff person as caretaker for the pet.
Tennessee Yes Cats, dogs or other animals not allowed in any part of the facility except for specially trained animals and except as addressed by policy for pet therapy programs.
Texas No Texas regulations do not address pets.
Utah Yes Each facility to develop written policy regarding pets in accordance with local ordinances.
Vermont No Vermont regulations do not address pets.
Virginia No Virginia regulations do not address pets.
Washington Yes Statutes mandate resident opportunity for animal contact, safety, regular examinations, vaccinations, and freedom of disease. Limit on type and number of pets. Ban pets from areas of food preparation. Animals must not infringe on rights of residents.
West Virginia Yes Nursing home to develop pet policies that comply with local health ordinances.
Wisconsin No Wisconsin regulations do not address pets.
Wyoming Yes Statutes limit types of pets, mandate vaccination and annual examinations, ban animals from areas of food preparation and dining. Animals must have a designated caretaker who is not a resident.

Complete Transcript of State Requirements on Quality of Life - Pets and Therapy Animals    (TOP)