[nagdu] ADA definition of service animals

Julie J. julielj at neb.rr.com
Fri Jan 3 14:05:16 UTC 2014


The short answer is yes.  A dog who has other training or has done other 
work can still be a service dog.  Also the service he provides to his 
disabled handler does not need to be his only exclusive work.  Anyone can 
train the dog.  There are no legally recognized service dog trainers under 
the ADA.

The test is the behavior.  If the dog is in public and acting a mess, it 
doesn't matter who did the training, what the handler's disability is or 
what tasks the dog was supposed to be doing.  Acting up means the dog can be 
excluded from the store, end of story.

A therapy dog is one who provides comfort to others.  Usually this is in a 
mental health setting, hospital, nursing home or similar place.  You are 
correct that a therapy dog is not a service dog.  However a dog could be 
both.  Lyn on this list has a guide who also does therapy work.

There are also lots of people who have multiple disabilities and their dogs 
are trained with a range of tasks to assist that individual's unique 
circumstances.  A service dog doesn't have to be limited to mitigating one 
disability exclusively.  I know one lady who is blind, deaf, a wheelchair 
user and has sensitivities to chemical odors.  She has one dog who is 
trained to assist her with a wide variety of tasks.  She has also trained 
her dog herself because no program would take her because of her multiple 
disabilities.   It's a lot and not every dog could manage, but it is quite 
possible and perfectly legal.

I hope that answers your questions.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Bridget Walker
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:57 PM
To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] ADA definition of service animals

Hi all,
I think that sums it up.
I have a question.
I know there are medical alert dogs trained for disorders such as epilepsy, 
diabetes, and other major health disorders which impact an individuals daily 
So if an individual trains specifically their pet to be a medical alert dog 
and a therapy dog yes two different types of dogs do you believe that dog is 
a service dog under the ADA?
I know for a fact therapy dogs are dogs who provide comfort so, they do not 
fit the criteria. How can a dog be both?
It is like me saying my guide is a medical alert dog because he knows where 
my medication is in my bag. The true reality is my guide dog could not help 
me if I needed it. He can not administer the medication in fact the only 
reason he knows where it is is for when I don't remember.
I keep asking this question and I will keep on it until it is spelt out and 
clear. I am wondering who is it that determines if a dog can be a working 
dog if the dog does not have an official dog trainer? What I mean is if a 
fifteen year old trains a medical alert dog can they say it is a service 
dog without any clear cut testing?
If someone has a dog who was originally certified as a therapy dog can they 
train the dog to do a task which is covered under the ADA?
There are way to many gray areas which I can not believe.
It seems like every time I go out I run in to someone passing off their dog 
as some type of service  dog.  I went to the pharmacy the other day and some 
person had a little dog on a leash. No harness or vest nothing saying the 
dog was assisting them in any way.  Then the person behind the counter was 
trying to understand how could one dog be clearly marked as a guide dog but, 
who knows why the other dog was needed.
That's my rant for the day.

Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 30, 2013, at 2:11 PM, craig.heaps at comcast.net wrote:
> Here's one sentence from the government's ada website:
> http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
> "Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do 
> not qualify as service animals under the ADA."
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Lori Dent" <loriandleo at ohiohills.com>
> To: "NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users" 
> <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Monday, December 30, 2013 10:30:00 AM
> Subject: [nagdu] ADA definition of service animals
> Hi all,
> I'm hearing  more and more about dogs being allowed in public places that 
> help people deal with stress, anziety and oather reasons that as far as I 
> know that does not meet the definition.
> I know of one person who suffers from extreme stress in public  and she 
> brings her Chihuahua  mix with her where ever she goes. Her doctor 
> prescribed the dog and the woman claims her dog is a"medical necessity".
> I was just wondering if the ADA has a clear cut definition of  of a 
> service animal.There have been a couple of articles in the paper about 
> what a service animal is. In today's Hints from Heloise she was talking 
> about service animals. What I got from the article is some confusion about 
> this issue. Is there anything in the ADA that is not clear cut and open 
> the door for other purposes?
> Lori and the Gipper
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