Service Animal 101

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 August 2023 02:51 Written by Chris Griswold Monday, 15 August 2022 02:05

1. How does the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) define a Service Animal?
The ADA defines a Service Animal as: any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, developmental, psychiatric, intellectual, or other disability. The Service Animal and Service Dog definition includes any dog trained to assist a person with a disability overcome obstacles affecting their daily life that directly result from their disability. So, Service Animals are skilled and highly trained dogs who partner with people with disabilities. Service Animals are also known as Assistance Animals, Assistance Dogs, and Service Dogs. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and/or the provision of emotional support (e.g., from Emotional Support Dogs), well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

2. What do these Service Animals/Dogs do? These dogs utilize their special training to lessen their partner’s given disability and the difficulties caused by it. The dogs perform functions and tasks that an individual with a disability cannot perform easily and independently.

3. What are the requirements that a Service Dog/Animal must meet? A dog must be paired with a person with a disability that hinders their ability to function independently. Furthermore, the dog must have specific task training or work that directly lessens or reduces the impact of such person’s disability. Both of these pieces are required to make such dog, no matter how well trained, legally a Service Dog.

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