There are many places you can take your pup without any worries. Are you allowed to bring a dog to a high school football game?
Dogs can attend high school football games but only in specific situations. The primary situation in which a dog is allowed in a high school football game is when the owner uses the dog as a service dog. Note there are laws governing service dogs as well.
We’ll explain why dogs are or aren’t allowed at a high school football game. We’ll also explain a bit more about service dogs and their presence at public events.
Can I take my dog to a high school football game?
The answer can vary more widely than you might think. This is in part because some states, districts, and even individual schools might have different rules governing whether or not animals are allowed at games. For this reason, you should start by asking your local school or athletic’s office, but we can give you examples of what is generally allowed or not at a school.
Service dogs at high school football games
Services dogs are a bit of a different category of dog. They often help a human with physical or emotional disabilities and can have some levels of permission to be at a high school football game.
States do require that the owner of a service dog register their disability and service dog need with the state – this is in part to be able to produce paperwork for the purpose of registration and proof that you are in need of a service dog.
There is a bit of a fine line about what to expect with a service dog at most high school football games though.
The legalese of service dogs
One challenge a service dog owner might face is being confronted by people who don’t want dogs at public events. These people often do not know what they can legally ask – or not ask. A nervous mom or dad who has dog allergies might ask a dog owner – or even a police officer, to ask that you take your dog away due to their own allergy preferences – or even because they don’t like dogs and think they could be violent.
The reality is that in most states, a legal official isn’t allowed to say or ask much about a service dog. To make a long story short, the American Disabilities Act allows a service dog to be present with their owner in most situations, and doesn’t require much, if any proof that the dog is a service dog. A school official can ask a dog is a service animal that is required because of a disability and what work the dog has been trained to perform.
The school official or office may not ask about the nature of the disability. Just keep in mind that most parents or students who would ask about the presence of the dog probably don’t know this.
Given the nature of the questions allowed – you can also conclude that the service dog owner isn’t required to show any particular paperwork. It is also worth noting that some dogs or other animals are brought around as emotional support animals.
While these are not covered by the American Disabilities Act, telling the difference is difficult for the average person.
Where are dogs allowed to go at high school football games?
Let’s consider this scenario: An adult or kid at a high school football game has serious dog allergies. A person with a service dog still has the right to be there, with some caveats. The district and school may need to define an area (this generally isn’t outside, but could be) that is free of pet dander. The dog would not be allowed in that area.
The opposite could be true too – much like a handicap parking space, where the student or adult could be in a designated area, which is smaller, but beneficial to watch the game still.
What if no one says anything about my dog?
It is entirely possible that no one will say anything about your dog. Dogs are in part district policy, or stumbling upon a person who doesn’t want to be near a dog. One of the best things to do in a situation where someone who isn’t a legal official asks you to remove your dog is to either move away from that person or get a school rep to explain their policy.
General thoughts and rules on taking dogs to high school football games
If you do bring your dog to a high school football game, treat the moment just like you would taking your dog for a walk: Bring a leash and some baggies in case the dog has a bowel movement. There will be lots of people present, and the risk of someone stepping on the dog feces is high.
Realize that most people love dogs. You might even get a different reaction from game to game depending on who is there and who notices you have a dog.
- While dogs are generally not allowed at high school football games, the answer is up to the school and district.
- Service dogs are generally welcome. Legal officials and school reps are allowed to ask select questions about the use of the dog, but aren’t allowed to pry about disabilities.
- When responding to issues with dogs, some schools might create a dander free zone.
- If a person asks you to remove your dog, either move away from that person or talk to a school official.