The term service animals is used to refer mainly to dogs which have been trained so as o provide physical ,mental or otherwise kind of support to people with disability. In most cases, you will find that dogs tend to be very useful in cases whereby a person has become incapacitated to the point that they lose their sensory perception, cannot walk properly or suffer from infirmity to the extent that their physical and mental functions become severely diminished.
Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) we have the service animals classified as either title 2 or title 3. These are dogs which must meet some requirements in order to qualify to such levels. Let us briefly look at those levels.
The service animals must at all times be in leashes. The only exemptions on the use of tethers is where the handler is unable to make use of the tether or leash to the extent that it would be rendered useless. In such a case, one may be allowed to have such a dog without using a leash. Visibly impaired persons for instance may not be able to use the leash due to some form of impairment like inability to walk. In other Cesspit may be deemed that the tether would interfere.
With the functions of the dog. This will be given as an exception and therefore the dog would be allowed to operate without one.
Do ESAs qualify to be termed as service animals?
This is an interesting question, given the fact that many people mistake these animals. The emotional Support Animals or ESAs are not classified in the title 2 and 3. Whether the animal is offering emotional or comfort to the owner, they are not deemed as per the ADA to be service animals. There are of course all the other animals which could be domesticated or otherwise which as per the scope of ADA do not meet the basic requirements to be regarded as a service animal.
Which ones qualify then?
To understand well when an animal strictly falls under the Act, we need to appreciate the fact that only breeds of dogs are allowed to offer this service. The only exceptions are the miniature horses which for all intent and purposes are suited for the function.
In this respect, you will find that some horses, rabbit breeds, pigs and such other domesticated animals would fall under the ambit of the Emotional Support Animals or ESAs. This group has no restriction and this is where one should be able to make the distinction.
Training and service animals
The dog has to undergo some specified training so that it can function as a service dog. Some of the functions would include, but not limited to the following:
-walking the disabled person
-assisting them get something
-protecting the disabled
-alerting the relevant persons in case of emergencies
-any other function which it is trained for.
One therefore finds that these animals come handy at all times.
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