Saturday, April 02, 2011

Delta Society Definitions (Edited by Me): Service Dog, Therapy Dog, Emotional Support Dog

DELTA SOCIETY- (with some editing from me)

The Difference Between:
Service, Therapy, Companion and Emotional Support Animals

This service dog assists her handler by opening a door for her.
Service Dogs (and on occasion, miniature horses) are legally defined (Americans With Disabilities Act- ADA) and are trained to do work or perform tasks to meet the disability-related needs of their disabled individuals/handlers. Federal laws protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service dogs in public places to all places the general public is allowed with few exceptions. Service dogs are not considered 'pets'.  They are actually considered 'adaptive equipment'.  Examples of such animals include: Guide dogs for people with visual  impairments, hearing dogs for people with hearing impairments, medical alert dogs for people with diabetes, seizures, PTSD (and other psych disabilities), and also can be trained to assist people with mobility problems.  (They can be trained to pull wheelchairs, provide balance assistance, and brace to assist a person get up after a fall.)

This dog is a therapy dog that helps with a literacy program at a library.
(More information about "Tail Waggin Tutors"

Therapy Animals are not legally defined by federal law, but some states have laws defining therapy animals. They provide people with contact to animals, but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. They are commonly found visiting hospitals, nursing and rehab facilities, retirement homes, and there are some programs where they provide a listening ear to children practicing their reading skills (in library programs). They are typically the personal pets of their handlers, and work with their handlers to provide services to others. Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have "no pets" policies. Therapy animals frequently only have access to the places they visit only when they are scheduled to work. Therapy animals are not service animals, but service animals can be therapy animals.

This dog works in a therapist's office and provides comfort to the clients if they need it.  (Rest in Peace Daisy.)

A Companion Animal is not legally defined, but is accepted as another term for pet.

This dog is a pet or "companion animal".  He loves his kids, and they love him!

Emotional Support Animals have no legal definition. They are animals who's primary job is that of a pet.  They are allowed in "No Pets" housing to provide comfort to an individual with a disability.  Otherwise they have no public access where as a service dog does.  Emotional Support animals are allowed onto Airplanes as long as the handler has a note from a healthcare provider.  The letter must be shown at the airport.  People may also call these animals Comfort Dogs or Emotional Comfort dogs.

This dog is in training to be a service dog.  she is gently playing fetch with this 2 year old.

No comments: