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Service Animal Policy

Service animals are welcome in all public areas of the hospital. For more detailed information, call Guest Services at 410-614-5100 (open Monday-Friday) or Patient Relations at 410-955-2273 (

What Is a Service Animal?

Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to:

  • guiding individuals with vision impairments;
  • alerting individuals with hearing impairments to sounds;
  • assisting individuals with mobility impairments with balance
  • assisting individuals with psychiatric disorders with medication reminders, prevention of self- harm, control of light increased orientation

The service animal may be trained by an organization or its handler, and does not require certification or a license. They may not always wear harnesses, collars or any official designation that they are service animals. Service animals are not pets, but rather working animals that help ensure the safety of people with disabilities.

May I bring my service animal to the hospital?

Johns Hopkins welcomes your service animal during your inpatient or outpatient visits to any of our facilities. If the service animal poses a health risk, is not house broken, or the service animal is out of control and you do not take effective action to control it, the service animal may be excluded.

Who is responsible for the care of my service animal during my hospital visit?

Johns Hopkins Hospital is not responsible for the care or supervision of your service animal. You are responsible for caring for and supervising the service animal, which includes toileting, feeding, grooming, and veterinary care.

What if I am unable to care for my service animal during my visit?

We ask that you arrange to have a family member or friend care for your service animal. If that is not possible, the hospital will find a dog sitter or if needed, we will arrange to board your dog. The cost to board is the responsibility of the patient. Additional questions or concerns can be addressed with your clinical staff.

Is there a location where the dog is not allowed?

Yes. The service animal cannot be in sterile areas (e.g., operating rooms, burn units, MRI machines, and certain intensive care units). However, the service animal is allowed to be with you in all areas of the hospital where the public and patients are allowed to go.

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