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What is a Service Assistance Dog?

As distinct from a pet dog, a service assistance dog, as defined by Titles II and II of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is any dog that a person with a disability owns in order to help him or her perform certain essential daily and life activities that he or she would not otherwise be able to perform by him or herself.

Within that general definition, certain specific rules, restrictions and guidelines apply. Key among these is that a doctor’s letter acknowledging your disability alone does not turn your pet dog into a service assistance dog. Rather, the tasks the dog performs for you must directly be related to your specific disability. These may include:

Emotional Assistance – Such as offering deep pressure for calming purposes, recognizing signs of emotional distress and facilitating removal from the triggering stimulus, including crowds and claustrophobic situations, helping reduce emotional stress and overload in the workplace, offering tactile stimulation and affection, locating exits and a service dog for anxiety.

Treatment Assistance – Such as providing medication reminders, helping an individual with communication-related tasks, walking waking individuals who have chronic pain or are sedated.

Security Assistance – Such as checking for intruders, calling for assistance, turning on or off lights, preventing strangers from getting too close and guarding valuable possessions while in public.

Medical Crisis and Other Emergency Assistance – Such as retrieving medication to relieve symptoms, retrieve beverages so medication can be taken, retrieving an emergency telephone, summoning aid, answering the door, calling an emergency hotline like 911, alerting their owner to a smoke alarm and aiding in a safe exit and carrying needed medical supplies.

Why Register Your Dog as a Service Animal?

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Take your dog almost everywhere you go

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Live with your dog in no-pet property

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Fly with your dog in cabin avoiding any fee

What a Service Assistance Dog Can Do

1. A Service Dog Can Live With You In Pet-Free Homes

2. A Service Dog Can Attend School Classes With You

3. A Service Assistance Dog Can Ride Transportation With You

4. A Service Assistance Dog Can Fly With You In Cabin For Free On Domestic Airplanes

5. A Service Assistance Dog Can Go WIth You to Work

6. A Service Assistance Dog Can Enter Pet-Free Businesses and Public Buildings and Access Pet-Free Public Spaces With You

1. A Service Dog Can Live With You In Pet-Free Homes

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA,) a person with disability is protected from housing discrimination, including being forbidden from having a service assistance dog or being denied housing because of having a service assistance dog. Rather, in fact, landlords must make reasonable accommodations to allow you and your service assistance dog to take (or retain) residence. This applies even in “Pet-free” and “Dog-free” housing. One such reasonable accommodation would be to waive any pet fee or deposit.

2. A Service Dog Can Live Attend School Classes With You

As per the ADA, if a student with a service assistance dog is in grades K-12, that service is allowed to accompany that student to classes. The ADA also requires universities and colleges to allow disabled people to bring service assistance dogs with them into classrooms and all institutional facilities and grounds open to students or the public. Even if a dog does not meet the ADA definition of and requirements for a service assistance dog, the students Section 504 team or Individual Education Plan (IEP) may determine that the dog is required for the student to obtain an appropriate and free education.

Universities and colleges may request students with a service assistance dog to register with the Disability Services Coordinator at the school as a student with a disability. Schools can’t ask for proof of the dog’s certification status or training, but they can ask for proof of current vaccinations according to all applicable local and state laws.

3. A Service Assistance Dog Can Ride Transportation With You

When you’re traveling with a service animal, be that on public or private transportation alike, your service animal cannot be refused transportation access, be that a train, plane, bus or boat. Moreover, you and your service animal cannot be forced to sit in a specific seat or area and you cannot be charged any additional deposits or fees. You are not required to give advance notice that you intend to travel with a service animal.

These rules apply to subways, railways, Paratransit, fixed-route buses, taxicabs, light-rail, limousine services and shuttles, among other transportation modes.

4. A Service Assistance Dog Can Fly With You In Cabin For Free On Domestic Airplanes

The rights and regulations for traveling with a service assistance dog on a plane are required and enforced by the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA,) a federal law governing airlines, airports and passengers. Under the ACAA, airlines and airports in the US are required to allow a service assistance dog to accompany his or her handler in cabin in the aircraft.

5. A Service Assistance Dog Can Go WIth You to Work

The same laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace due to a disability protect your rights to have a service assistance dog accompany you at your place of work, and the same laws requiring employers to make accommodations for your disability requires them to allow you to bring your service assistance dog to work with you.

While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles enforcement in the workplace of the employment provisions of Title I of the ADA, the entity has no particular regulations regarding service assistance dogs.

An employer can prohibit your service assistance dog from the workplace if the dog presents a direct threat to others in the workplace or if they believe allowing the service assistance dog access would pose an unreasonable hardship. If an employer is reluctant to allow your service assistance dog to accompany you to work and it seems to you the refusal may be deemed legally legitimate, you could always propose the compromise of allowing it on a trial basis.

6. A Service Assistance Dog Can Enter Pet-Free Businesses and Public Buildings and Access Pet-Free Public Spaces With You

Service assistance dogs are allowed with you into all public accommodations and facilities. More specifically, if customers, clients, participants in a program or members of the public are allowed into a space, whether indoors or outdoors, a service assistance dog must also be allowed to enter with his or her handler. This includes all facilities and establishments that have a general “No Pets” or “No Dogs” policy.

What is a Service Assistance Dog?

To qualify for a service assistance dog, you must have a legitimate disability, disorder or medical conditions. Further, this disability, disorder or condition must impair your ability to function normally in life in such a way that a trained dog can help you overcome that impairment enough to function more normally in life. Very common disabilities where a service animal can help :

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Diabetes
  • PTSD, Post-traumatic stress
  • Problems with speech
  • Social anxiety and phobias
  • Other physical and mental disabilities

Benefits of Regestering Your Pet with Certify My Pet

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Registration of only that
patients that got approved by doctor

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Doctor consultation is included
in the process of certification

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Get certified 100% Online.
No need to arrange an in-person meeting
with a doctor.

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Any additional documentation for example
for air travel you will get for Free from
your LMHP that will consult you during the
registration process

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35% Discount
for renewal & second registration

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If not approved you will be refunded your
full fee minus a $35 doctor consultation fee

Know your rights! Essential Service Dog FAQ

Where can you bring a service animal?

As a person with a disability, you can legally have a service dog accompany you into any public building or space, business or transportation, so long as the dog’s presence there doesn’t pose a direct health or safety risk to you, the dog or others. Here is a list of just some of the places you can go with your service dog:

– Housing
– Transportation, including airplanes
– Hotels and motels
– Retail establishments and office buildings
– Doctor’s offices and hospitals
– Restaurants
– Public parks and beaches
– Libraries and museums
– School buildings and classrooms
– ETC

A service animal is not a pet. While businesses can say “no pets allowed”, they can’t deny you service because of your animal.

What Questions Can a Business Owner or Staff Ask?

As to question, do you need documentation for a service dog, the answer is generally no. Rather, whether a business, hotel, airline, or anyone else overseeing entry to a public place you wish to enter with your service assistance dog, there are only two questions they can legally ask you. These are:

1. Do you need the dog due to a disability
2. What duties has the dog been trained execute?

What a person cannot ask you, however, in order to determine whether your dog is a service assistance dog is what your disability is. In addition, those two permitted questions are only permitted if their answers aren’t already visibly obvious.

Is Registration of Your Service Dog a Requirement by Low?

United States law requires you to neither register nor certify your service assistance dog nor obtain identifying ID cards or vests. That said, taking those actions could make life a whole lot easier for you and your service assistance dog. A big part of the reason why is that many people who work at the places you wish to enter may not be fully aware of all the laws regarding service assistance dogs with which they must comply. In such instances, having additional documentation or other verifying identification can be of great help to you in getting your rights honored.

Service animal certification, aka service animal registration, provides you and your service assistance dog the legitimacy, authority and certainty you need to avoid hassles and delays and bypass obstructions to exercising your full rights.

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Jack Taylor, Denver, Colorado. Сar Accident Survivor.
“I’ve achieved freedom of movement and traveling like before.”

After a terrible car accident, I recovered physically but still cannot get rid of PTSD. I can’t get this event out of my mind, I have everyday nightmares. My only rescue is my dog Lola. She is a very clever, specially trained psychiatric service dog. She is trained to wake me from nightmares, bring medication on my command, and seek help when I have a panic attack (which happens to me less often). Moreover, after an accident I was afraid of all transport, I tried to avoid traveling. But, now, with Lola, I’ve achieved freedom of movement and travel like before.

Mary Wilson, Chicago, Illinois. Intense back pain attacks.
“Now, I attend public places more often and move freely”

I’ve been a gymnast in the past and have had many traumas, including an injury to my spine. Today, I’m suffering from regular back pain, and a simple trip to the store is a challenge for me. I have never treated service dogs seriously, but now I have the one that makes my life happier. She is trained to help me with everyday tasks, like helping to open doors, bring up some objects. Now, I attend public places more often and move freely. She also brings my medication, distracts from pain, reduces the feelings of isolation. This dog was the best birthday present I ever had.

Clients' Stories

Jack Taylor, Denver, Colorado. Сar Accident Survivor.
“I’ve achieved freedom of movement and traveling like before.”

After a terrible car accident, I recovered physically but still cannot get rid of PTSD. I can’t get this event out of my mind, I have everyday nightmares. My only rescue is my dog Lola. She is a very clever, specially trained psychiatric service dog. She is trained to wake me from nightmares, bring medication on my command, and seek help when I have a panic attack (which happens to me less often). Moreover, after an accident I was afraid of all transport, I tried to avoid traveling. But, now, with Lola, I’ve achieved freedom of movement and travel like before.

Mary Wilson, Chicago, Illinois. Intense back pain attacks.
“Now, I attend public places more often and move freely”

I’ve been a gymnast in the past and have had many traumas, including an injury to my spine. Today, I’m suffering from regular back pain, and a simple trip to the store is a challenge for me. I have never treated service dogs seriously, but now I have the one that makes my life happier. She is trained to help me with everyday tasks, like helping to open doors, bring up some objects. Now, I attend public places more often and move freely. She also brings my medication, distracts from pain, reduces the feelings of isolation. This dog was the best birthday present I ever had.