Service animals have always been a part of the Arisia community. They are welcome in all convention and hotel spaces, following the guidance of the ADA (https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm). Per the ADA:
...service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or the individual's disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Both The Westin and the Aloft hotels have policies for people who want to bring their animals to the hotel. Both hotels permit service dogs. They also claim to be pet-friendly, and ask that you contact the hotel for details. (As of A'20, we hear that the Westin's pet policy restricts permissible animals to cats and dogs.)
Arisia is a loud, active, and dynamic convention that has become more crowded as we have grown. Both people and animals can find that kind of environment stressful. Even well-trained animals may find the convention a challenge, which may cause them to act out and behave in unpredictable ways. This, as well as their dander and other allergens, present a serious risk to many of our attendees. Although the hotel has provisions for pets, we ask that our attendees consider these risks when deciding whether or not to bring pets with them to the convention this year.
Registering Animals at Arisia
To gain a greater understanding of our animal population, and to help us develop a more informed animal policy, we will be registering attendees’ Animals-In-Tow, much like our Kid-In-Tow registrations. Knowing which animals belong with which attendees will help us in the event that animals get separated from their human.
You can register animals ahead of time or when you arrive at the convention by our Animal-In-Tow form. Filling out the form in advance will help speed up your visit to registration.
We understand that this is a big change and we welcome your comments. Please feel free to reach out to our Access Team at @email with any feedback, questions, or concerns.