What is an ESA and how is it different from a service dog? What is the difference between a therapy dog and service dog? Why doesn't a service dog get certified? Get all your questions answered here!
A therapy dog helps everyone in the room EXCEPT the person holding the leash. A service dog helps ONLY the person holding the leash. For example, a therapy dog may visit a library to sit with children while they read. A service dog, however, will only assist its handler to mitigate their medical condition, like anxiety or PTSD.
An emotional support animal, or ESA, comforts his owner in ways that are natural to the animal. They may sit with their owner, snuggle or cuddle, or get their owner's mind off something troubling. However, a service dog is specifically trained to assist its owner. It doesn't just do things naturally; it is trained to do specific things that are needed by its owner due to the owner's medical condition.
No, your ESA has no public access rights like a service dog does. Your ESA is allowed to live with you, however, even if your housing doesn't typically allow pets. You'll need a doctor's note for your ESA. A service dog does not need a doctor's note and is allowed to go anywhere you go, with few exceptions.
There is no legitimate service dog registry. The ones you find online are there to simply take your money. No registry or certification you get online provides proof your dog is a service dog. A service dog vest does not prove your dog is a service dog. Your dog's extensive task training to provide assistance to you specific to your medical condition is what proves your dog is a service dog.
As the store owner/manager, you are allowed to ask two questions: 1) Is the dog a service dog required because of a disability? 2)What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Any handler who has been properly educated during the training process can answer these two questions, but isn't required to divulge any information about their medical disability. You can't ask for proof of training or disability, and you can't require paperwork. However, if the dog doesn't behave, you can ask the dog be removed from the premises. For more detailed information on your rights and responsibilities, visit our page Service Dog Consulting.
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