People with a mental disorder, particular physical disability or sensory or psychiatric impairment can avail the services of any dog that can be defined as service animals. In this context, only dogs can be considered service animals, and other animals either trained or not, domestic or wild cannot be included in the list of service animals. Service animals perform tasks on behalf of a person’s disability, several duties are included in the services provided by service animals, and a few of them are enlisted below.
- Service animals can be hired to help out and navigating to assist blind people or individuals with low visionary abilities
- People with little or no hearing ability can avail the services of service dogs in getting the warning in the presence of different people and sounds, such as car horn etcetera.
- Service dogs also perform rescue tasks along with passive protection
- Service dogs prevent psychiatrically unstable behaviors in neurologically disable individuals
- Help to bring aid for a patient during seizures
- Service dogs are trained to identify sources of allergies and also can pull a wheelchair
- In case of emergency service dogs can bring cell phones and medicines to their owners
- People with balancing problems as well can acquire the assistance of service dogs.
Service dogs are well-trained to do a wide range of specialized tasks. However, emotional support and friendship are not included in the job designation of these dutiful dudes. Service dogs that are allotted to disable people are freely allowed within the premises of private and public organizations along with their owners. However, in some exceptional cases, when it is about a burn center or surgery room, dogs are required to stay out. Additionally, all the public and private places demand full control of owner on the actions of service dogs, either through a leash or gestures, so the safety of other people can be assured.
Difference between Service Animal and Emotional Support
Service animal dogs are different from emotional support animals. Service animals that are, of course, dogs are well-trained to perform work or job that an individual is unable to complete due to some mental or physical disabilities. In this context, the service dogs are only trained to provide specific task assistance, instead of cuddling and comforting companionship. On the contrary, an emotional support animal can be of various breeds and species and may include cats, dogs, pigs, and monkeys etcetera, and such emotional support companions are not necessarily trained to perform some specific tasks. Emotional support animals can be obtained without any specialized training; however, medical documentation that includes ESA letter is required when parenting an emotional support pet. The scope of emotional support animals is limited, and they are not permitted to roam within organizations or educational institutes.
Meanwhile, service dogs are allowed within private and public places with certain controlled conditions. Service animals are related to American with Disabilities Act (ADA) that emphasizes on the dogs’ performance to do a job that an individual is unable to do because of disability. Emotional support animals, on the other hand, are a comforting companion to elevate humans’ spirit during emotional and mental traumas and disorders.