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Question

 

Gramps,

What is church policy as pertaining to members bringing their pets to church?

Ray

 

Answer

 

Hi Ray,

Guidelines for Use of Meetinghouses as Emergency Shelters Manual states:

“Pets, other than service animals, are not allowed in the building.”

Disability Resources FAQ: Doctrines and Policies manual reads:

Q: Is it appropriate to bring a service animal into Church buildings?

 

A:  Although the Church is under no legal obligation to admit individuals with service animals into houses of worship because it is exempt from Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Church policy generally allows the use of service dogs in Church buildings. Other types of service animals or comfort pets are not permitted. The only places where service dogs are not allowed are in the temple and in venues where meetings/events are being broadcasted or recorded. In the temple, ordinance workers will gladly assist you. In other venues, ushers will direct you to overflow viewing rooms where your service dog is allowed. Please be aware that local laws concerning service animals and other assistance for those with disabilities may vary.

While I have from time to time personally seen small contained pets brought to church (never in the chapel) for a specific activity, like a snake for the Boy Scout reptile merit badge, it appears bringing pets on a consistent basis is not encouraged or allowed.

In addition to these policies, we should keep in mind that church attendance is a community activity, where all are welcome, including visitors and strangers, which means we may not know from week to week who will be present.  In that environment, pet allergies, fear of animals (regardless of severity, source, or how benign any given animal may be), and the fact that many animals do not do well with other animals in the same space, all mean that the wisest, most considerate course of action is to leave the pets at home.  This ensures that all people can feel safe and welcome at church.  No doubt, the Lord will watch over our beloved pets while we’re away from them.

I would suggest asking your Bishop if you have a specific pet in mind.

Thank you,

 

Gramps

 

 

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