Service Animals

The resources listed here provide guidance and support for dealing with issues pertaining to service animals.

Things Service Dogs in Public Should and Should Not Do: Anything Pawsable is an online magazine for Service and Working Dog owners. The intent of the e-magazine is to  create a welcoming environment for Service and Working Dog owners and trainers of all levels, for their friends and families — and for the able-bodied community by providing information, helpful news and educational resources for Service and Working Dog owners, trainers, breeders and others.

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals: This booklet, prepared by staff at the Southwest ADA Center discusses service animals and emotional support animals  and where they are allowed and under what conditions.  A link to the booklet in Word form is also available at the site for downloading. It is the desire of the authors and  the handler of the guide dog to whom the booklet is dedicated, that the guide will be useful in improving the understanding about service animals, their purpose and role, their extensive training, and the rights of their handlers to travel freely and to experience the same access to employment, public accommodations, transportation, and services that others take for granted.

Why Natural Behaviors Aren’t Trained Service Dog Tasks: When it comes to Service Dog tasks, there is a lot of confusion over what constitutes a real, specifically trained task and which are only perceived tasks, fueled by emotion and wishful thinking. From Service Dog handlers to trainers to medical doctors to veterinarians alike, there is historically a lot of confusion surrounding this topic. This guide addresses what service dog tasks are and are not.

Job Accommodations Network on Service Animals: The Job Accommodations Network (JAN) has prepare several resources addressing issues surrounding service animals, including service animals in the workplace, emotional support animals, and Service Dog laws.

Service Animals in the Workplace: A PDF version of one of the resources in the JAN Topic, “Service Animals.  “Service Animals in the Workplace – Accommodation and Compliance Series,” is designed to help employers determine effective accommodations and comply with title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA: Prepared by the Department of Justice, this FAQ addresses some of the more common questions about service animals. (PDF)

Table of State Assistance Animal Laws: The Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University College of Law has prepared a table which compares all 50 states’ assistance animal laws for several categories. Included are assistance animal accommodation laws, criminal interference laws, licensing laws, disabled pedestrian laws, and service animal misrepresentation laws. Links to the text of the various laws are provided. An introductory section explains what users can expect to find in the  resource and provides some background information about assistance animal/service dog laws.

Assistance Dog Tasks: This article from Sterling Service Dogs, a small 501(c)3 non-profit in Michigan is dedicated to helping disabled children and adults achieve greater safety and and independence through partnership with a highly trained service dog, provides information about the work off Guide, Hearing and Service  Dog tasks.

What Every Caregiver Should Know:  Also from Sterling Service Dogs, this helpful article is written for caregivers, particularly those who are caregivers for a disabled loved one with Alzheimer Disease, Downs Syndrome, Autism, TBI (traumatic brain injury), or some other serious cognitive impairment. The article makes it clear that as wonderful as service dogs can be, they are not the right kind of assistive technology for every disability and every situation and goes on to discuss why this is so and offers a brief review of  an innovative high tech device which seems quite promising.

Other resources about ESAs may be found selecting the POST category “Service Animals.”

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