Strauss is a service dog

He is not a therapy dog, and he is not an emotional support animal.

You cannot use service dog and therapy dog/ESA interchangeably.  They are NOT the same thing, and it does bother me when people act like it is not a big deal to call my dog something he is not.

Therapy dogs are dogs that are meant to go to places like hospitals, nursing homes, and reading programs for children.  Unlike my service dog, who is legally allowed to attend any of those places with me with no invitation, therapy dogs *must be invited* to be in the building legally.  Therapy dogs are also generally insured through the group they tested with, whereas my service dog is not insured in such a manner (liability) as he is considered medical equipment.

If you try and walk into a store with a therapy dog, you most certainly can be asked to leave.  Handlers of therapy dogs are NOT protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Therapy dogs are not trained to mitigate the disability of their handler, and while they do provide important emotional support for those within the community, the access rights passed onto PWDs does not apply in this case.

Emotional support animals are animals who provide comfort to their handlers.  Laws for this animals vary state to state, but in general, they are not covered under the ADA.  While legally allowances must be made for these animals in situations where they would not normally be allowed (housing or transportation), their presence in public is overall limited.  Yet again, these animals are NOT trained to do anything specific for their handler to mitigate a disability, and thus things like public access rights do not apply in the same manner as they do for a trained service animal.

Strauss is trained in counterbalance work and brace work primarily.  Mahler will do the same, as well as being trained to pick up and retrieve various items for me.  Because I have animals that are (and will be) trained to keep me from unintentionally killing myself (lawl…), my rights to access any place the public is readily allowed are protected.

This is not so for therapy dogs or ESAs.

So, please remember, a service dog is not a therapy dog, is not an emotional support animal.

Flail on,
– Classical Spazz


~ by ClassicalSpazz on June 27, 2012.

One Response to “Strauss is a service dog”

  1. Very interesting article, I enjoyed reading it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s