Michigan Ophthalmology Practice Reaches Settlement to Let Service Dogs in Exam Room

March 23, 2022, 2:41 PM by  Allan Lengel

(Photo: Found Animals Foundation)

An ophthalmology practice in Southeast Michigan has reached a settlement with the Detroit U.S. Attorney's Office to let service dogs in the examination room.

Retina Associates of Michigan, which previously operated as Vitreoretinal Specialists, wouldn't let a service animal accompany a patient with a disability beyond its waiting area, the federal prosecutor's office said. The practice operates in Clarkston, Grand Blanc and Port Huron. 

“Service animals are a critical support for many individuals with disabilities," said U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison in a statement Wednesday. "People who depend on service animals to assist them deserve the same access to our community as individuals who do not, and that is particularly true for access to health care services.”  

Under the settlement, the doctors' group will let service animals accompany individuals with disabilities into exams and treatment, train employees on the Americans with Disabilities Act, and post its non-discrimination policy in offices and on its website.

Additionally, the practice will pay damages to the affected patient.

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