durham pet sittersSometimes we need a little assistance getting through daily tasks. Whether it is due to mental or physical disabilities and ailments, there’s no shame in needing a helping hand. And sometimes that hand comes in the shape of a paw. That’s why you may be wondering, “how do I register my dog as a service, emotional support or therapy dog?”  Well, we have some answers and links for you to follow that will help. 

Service Dogs:

Specially trained to help persons with disabilities perform certain tasks.

“A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button.” (excerpt from ADA National Network).  Other animals, whether wild or domestic, are not considered service animals.

The Americans with Disabilities Act allows a business owner or other such person to ask someone with a service animal only two questions: Is the animal required because of a disability? What work or task has the animal been trained to perform? Specific questions about a person’s disability are off limits.

Emotional Support Animals (ESA):

Provide therapeutic benefits to their owners with affection and companionship.  They provide emotional support, but do not have specific training to perform tasks to help persons with disabilities.  These animals are not limited to working with people with disabilities and therefore are not covered by federal laws protecting the use of service animals.

Therapy dogs:

Trained to visit and give comfort and love to people that are in facilities.  

Our four legged companions have the capacity to help us in so many ways.  Whether it’s to help you, your family, or anyone else in need, animals are truly a blessing in our lives. 

Do you have a service, ESA, or therapy pet? Because we’d love to hear all about your experiences! Sound off in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And don’t forget to give us a call for summer vacation services!

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