Amtrak allows service animals on all its trains. The travel service does not consider service animals to be pets and thus imposes a separate set of rules and regulations. Amtrak service animal policy aligns with regulations set forward by the U.S. Department of Transportation but has its own set of rules. As with all forms of transportation, travelers with service animals should be familiar with their basic rights and responsibilities.
If you plan to travel on Amtrak with a service animal, you should be aware of the following procedures and policies.
Amtrak Service Animal Policy
As with standard Amtrak pet policy, service animal owners must remain in control of their animals at all times. The dog should always be on a leash, harness, or tether unless this is not possible due to a disability. Service animals must sit under the passenger’s seat or at his or her feet; they ay not sit in the aisle, on seats, or in beds.
If your train schedule permits, you may walk your service animal at specific station stops. If you plan to do this, you must notify the conductor when you first board the train, and you must re-board promptly when the conductor notifies you that the train is about to depart. Some routes may have limited or no stops, so we encourage you to check your train’s schedule.
Booking Your Service Animal Reservation
If you are traveling with a service animal, call Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245 to make your reservation. Though service animals travel for free, you must still notify your reservation representative. This person will reserve an accessible seat or space for you and your service animal. You will also receive information about intermediate station stops and additional accessibility material.
Prohibited Service Animal Behavior
Amtrak personnel may require you to remove your service animal en route or from the station premises for the following reasons:
- If the animal is out of control and you do not take effective action to control it. This might include barking repeatedly and uncontrollably or relieving himself in an inappropriate area.
- If the animal poses a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others.
Amtrak service animal policy considers the following types of animals to be pets—not service animals. They are welcome aboard the train if they meet the Amtrak pet policy, but they may not receive the benefits of service animals.
- Comfort Animals—These are animals not trained to perform a specific task, but who are said to provide emotional support or relieve anxiety.
- Search and Rescue Dogs—These animals are often trained, but they do not assist passengers.
- Police Dogs—Unless a police dog is brought on by the Amtrak Police Department, he is not considered to be a service animal.