Service Animal Policy

In order to protect the public and the collections housed at the California Academy of Sciences, no animals, other than service animals for individuals with disabilities, are permitted at the Academy. A service animal is defined as any dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

The ADA provides that, under certain circumstances, miniature horses that have been trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with a disability may be permitted into public facilities. If an individual with a disability wishes to bring a miniature horse trained to do work or perform tasks for him or her into the Academy, the staff member should immediately contact the Director of Guest Operations or the Director of Operations to make a case specific assessment, per ADA assessment factors, of the miniature horse to determine if it is appropriate to allow the miniature horse into the Academy. If the Director of Guest Operations and Director of Operations are not available, the Guest Operations Manager on duty may make this assessment. If the miniature horse is permitted into the Academy, then all rules applicable to a service animal will apply to the miniature horse.

Service animals may accompany an individual with a disability in most public areas of the Academy. In order to maintain the interactive nature of the Academy while protecting the health and safety of its living and preserved collections, no service animals are permitted in the Rainforests of the World exhibit, in or around the Raptor Mews exhibit and Early Childhood area, or in any part of the back of house areas. The Academy may additionally exclude service animals from other areas where there is no physical barrier between the public and an exhibit, whether living or preserved.

Service animals must be under the control of their handler at all times during their visit to the Academy. In general, service animals must be leashed, but, in those relatively rare instances where a leash cannot be used by the disabled person or would impede the performance of the work or tasks the service animal is trained to perform, voice or signal control is acceptable. At the discretion of an Academy staff member, if a service animal is not housebroken, is not under the control of its handler, and its handler does not take effective action to control it, or the service animal displays aggressive behavior, then its handler may be asked to remove the service animal from the facility. The handler may return to the Academy without the service animal.

For further inquiries, please contact the Academy’s Contact Center line at (415) 379-8000 and press 0 to speak with an agent. If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact an ADA assistant via email at

To download a PDF version of the Accessibility Guide, please click here. A representative may also be contacted by mail:

c/o: Academy Accessibility
California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118