Did you know that there are at least 500,000 service dogs in the United States? These dogs are trained to reduce stress, increase productivity, and more.
During the past few years, we have seen the number of people with disabilities increase worldwide. While most of these folks are using the help of crutches and canes to navigate their day, an increasing number are using service dogs.
Not sure what is considered a service dog? We have you covered.
Keep reading to learn more about service dogs and the support they provide their handlers.
What Is A Service Dog?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals as dogs individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. They are working dogs, not pets, and are protected by federal law.
What Is Considered a Service Dog?
Working dogs are trained to assist with mobility, retrieve items, provide emotional support, and alert their handler to things like sound, smell, and touch.
Service dogs for disabled individuals can assist in a variety of tasks, including but not limited to the following:
- Mobility assistance
- Pulling wheelchair
- Assisting transfers
- Retrieving items
- Opening doors
- Balance assistance
- Alerting to sounds
- Medical alerts
- Calming a person
Service dogs are not considered to be pets, but working animals, and as such, are subject to different laws and regulations. Service dogs must be individually trained to meet the specific needs of their handlers and are typically placed through a service dog organization.
Service dogs must be well-behaved and under the control of their handler at all times. Service dogs should wear a vest or tag that identifies them as working animals when out in public.
Click here if you want to learn more about service dogs.
Service Dog Laws
Service dogs are protected under two federal laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). Service dogs can accompany their owners in all public places, including businesses, government buildings, and public transportation.
Service dog owners are not required to disclose their disability to businesses or other individuals, but they may be asked to show proof that their dog is a service dog. Service dog owners are responsible for the care and supervision of their service dogs and must follow all local, state, and federal laws regarding the care and control of their dogs.
Man’s Bestfriend Can Provide Invaluable Assistance
What is considered a service dog? An animal must be individually trained to perform a task or function that mitigates its handler’s disability to be considered a service dog.
Service dogs are helpful companions to those with disabilities. They are not just psychiatric service dogs; their certification and training are taken very seriously.
If you’re considering getting a service dog, be sure to do your research and understand the responsibilities.
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