I’m a therapy dog | thepupdiary.com

19 Nov

There have been so many articles recently regarding service dogs and emotional support dogs. It seems many people are faking credentials and many others are not exactly sure about the difference between therapy dogs, service dogs, and emotional support dogs. Over the weekend, The New York Times posted an article on emotional support dogs on planes and over 600 people commented on the article — and some not so nicely!

I'm a therapy dog

I’m a therapy dog

I am a therapy dog. I provide therapy, support, and comfort to people who do not live with me. My mom takes me to facilities so that others can benefit from my unconditional love. I do not have any legally protected status. I have to pay to ride the airplane under my mom’s seat and I have to obey all other transportation rules that apply to dogs. The Good Dog Foundation has certified me as a therapy dog so I am able to visit their partner facilities. I have to be recertified by Good Dog every year in order to work for them. I also work for A Fair Shake for Youth.

I am not a service dog: A service dog serves its handler around the clock. The dog’s handler must have a disability diagnosed by a doctor, and the dog must be able to perform an identifiable task for the handler that allows the handler to more fully participate in society. Service dogs are legally protected to accompany the person they serve in many types of transportation and establishments under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I am not an emotional support dog (although mom likes to say I give good therapy to her!): An emotional support animal assists its handler without any special training or identifiable task. The handler must have a documented disability with a prescription for an emotional support animal from a mental health or medical professional. Emotional support animals have very limited legal protection, such as on air transportation with medical documentation and in permanent housing cases in NYC.

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