My Service Dog, Jade

Friday, September 7, 2012

This is a great video about Service Dogs and the Law. The more I go out to different places with my Service Dog, the more I find that people definitely still need to be educated about working dogs and etiquette, as well as what the laws state about public access.

The video is a bit outdated, from 2010, and states that many different kind of animals can be Service Animals, including monkeys, THIS IS NO LONGER TRUE.

As of March 2011, when the ADA was revised, only dogs and some miniature horses are allowed as Service Animals.

Another important note that people need to be aware of is that THERAPY dogs are NOT the same as a SERVICE DOG.  Therapy dogs DO NOT have the same public access rights as Service Dogs do.  Therapy Dogs are sometimes allowed into hospitals, care facilities, etc to visit the elderly, sick and possibly dying, in order to help lift their spirits, and bring smiles, as well as provide some much needed comfort and therapy to someone who might live alone and suffer with depression or anxiety. There is MUCH benefit to patients of all walks of life when they visit with Therapy Dogs.  However, a Therapy Dog is very different than a Service Dog. 

A Service Dog has been specially trained to perform certain individual TASKS to assist the disabled handler, for example, picking things up that have dropped to the floor, opening doors/closing doors, alerting to sights or sounds, etc. Because Service Dogs are specially trained and perform tasks to assist the disabled handler, they are allowed public access rights the same as their handler.  They are allowed to go EVERYWHERE the handler is, so that it may continue to assist the handler in any given situation.

The different between a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog is significant and needs to be well understood by handlers and law officers as well.

A Therapy Dog is considered a PET, while a Service Dog is NOT A PET.

I couldn't resist posting's just too cute

Businesses and establishments that do not allow pets, will not allow a Therapy Dog inside, unless special permission was granted beforehand for special visits.

The Video below describes the laws on Service Dog pretty well.