Service animals in our modern culture are generally understood to help people. However, knowing and recognizing a service dog for what it looks like and what it can do is not understood very well by common folks. The response of “a dog that helps a person with whatever they need help” is often the vague response to the “what is a service dog?” question. So, what is the perfect answer to this question? The simple way is by letting the facts about these helpful animals speak for themselves.
The Definition of a Service Animal
The confusion often stems from the term “Service Animal” and “Service Dog.” For the ADA or American Disabilities Act, the definition of a “Service Animal” is a dog that has been trained specifically to perform jobs for a disabled person. The dog is assigned tasks that are directly related to the disability of the person.
This definition specifying dogs as the only service animal recognized by the ADA mean only one thing: no other types or kinds of animals can serve as a service animal. It is confined only to the dog.
Animal advocates may not agree with this but it is an undeniable fact that dogs seem to have the ability and the temperament to anticipate and perform tasks that his disabled owner is unable to do.
The Invaluable and Available Services Offered by a Service Dog
Service dogs are trained to meet a variety of needs. Their training is specific to the task they need to meet and perform. Here are the available and invaluable services that are provided by a service dog:
Mobility Assistance Service Dogs
People with a lot of mobility problems find invaluable support with mobility assistance service dogs. These types of dogs are trained to act as a brace for ambulatory owners, fetch various objects, provide aid in pulling or pushing a wheelchair up a ramp, and even press the right buttons on automatic doors.
One of the common types of service dogs are the guide dogs. Assisting the blind or visually impaired to avoid obstacles is a common sight we see almost everywhere.
Allergy Detection Dogs
This type of service dog has been added to the list because of the alarming rise of food allergy cases. A lot of people have shown allergies to products containing gluten and peanuts. The allergy detection dogs are specifically trained to alert their owners if a food contains peanuts or gluten.
Hearing Service Dogs
The hearing service dogs are specially trained to alert people with hearing disabilities. Hearing noises and sounds such as doorbells, alarms or ringing will make them touch their owner to lead him or her to the origin of the sound or noise.
Other Types of Service Animals
While the vast majority of service animals are dogs, there are other types of animals that are seen to provide a different, but equally, important service to their owners.
The capuchin monkey is an exotic choice for a service animal but their extreme agility at retrieving and grasping makes them invaluable for people that have affected motor skills. For a quadriplegic, for instance, a capuchin monkey can be trained to open doors, bring water, feed, and even fetch phones. People who do not have the ability to walk or use their hands have seen the service value of these little helpers.
Parrots are a highly unusual choice for a service animal. Yet, people diagnosed with mental disorders have been prevented from going to the deep end with this talking companion. A parrot can be trained to recite a mantra to calm down an owner prone to violent and manic episodes. Parrots can also be trained to alert their owners when a gas stove is left on or someone is at the door or when the faucet is left running
The sudden popularity of miniature horses is due to the fact that they can ably support a person that is unable to walk. Guide dogs used by the blind has, little by little, been superseded by miniature horses. Their natural cautiousness, sharp eyes, and even temperament make miniature horses fit the guidelines of a service animal. Their longer lifespan of 30 years or more makes them a longer service animal to have than a service dog.
A potbelly pig may be the last thing to consider as a service animal but their even temperament and superior intelligence make them highly trainable as the service dog. Their gentle nature makes them good for all types of kid. This calm nature can remain unfazed even in the presence of an aggressive attack.
The Legal Rights of Service Dogs
A service dog is seen as a necessary companion for individuals with disabilities. When it concerns accessibility, service dogs have their own legal rights.
A trained service dog is allowed access to all types of transportation from trains, planes, cruise ships, taxis, and buses. A “no pets” housing policy is waived for service dogs. The areas that are denied to service dogs are a hospital’s operating room and a restaurant’s kitchen.
Legitimizing a Service Dog
A service dog certification is issued when the dog is fully trained. A letter stating the importance of having a service dog has to be obtained from your doctor especially when you do not show any outward visible signs of disability.
Make a difference in your life by having a certified service animal in your home. Get in touch with us to know if your condition qualifies your need for a service dog or animal. If you do, we can provide you a Certificate of Registration for your service dog. If you qualify for an ESA letter, you can get your ESA letter from us in less than 60 seconds.
Your specific needs can be answered by either a Service Dog or an Emotional Support Animal. The highly trained canines are the right choice when you need an animal that can perform specific tasks. If you have anxiety or other emotional issues that need support and comfort, the Emotional Support Animals provide the best solution.
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