USSDR Blog Banner

Distinguishing Between a Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal

Distinguishing Between a Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal

admin 1 December 11, 2017
blog title

For centuries, humans have relied on animals for a variety of work. They were both pets and helpers. Dogs herded sheep, guarded farmhouses, pulled sleds and carts and assisted hunters.

In the 1930s, the first Seeing Eye dogs started helping the blind. Since the 1960s, the use of service animals has increased dramatically. They now help people who are deaf, those with autism, and veterans and others with post traumatic stress syndrome.

The newest addition is the emotional support animal, sometimes called a comfort animal. People with anxiety issues often keep them close to feel calmer.

With so many dogs helping humans out in public places, it’s natural that there are questions about what they actually do, what legal rights they have. Here is a quick overview to help you distinguish between a service animal and an emotional support animal.

Service Animal 

Here in the U.S., support animals are either dogs or miniature horses that are trained to do particular chores for their owners. These are tasks that the owner, who is the dog’s handler, can’t do for himself.

These animals are chosen carefully for their personality traits like a calm demeanor, friendliness, ability to focus, and lack of both aggression and timidity. They go through extensive training before being matched with a person with a disability needing the specific type of help they’ve been trained for.

Service dogs help a variety of people, including:

  • Guide dogs for the blind
  • Stability dogs that help people stand and walk
  • Seizure alert dogs
  • Mobility dogs—they pull wheelchairs, open doors, turn lights on and other daily chores
  • Autism dogs
  • Psychiatric service dogs that help people suffering PTSD and other problems
  • Diabetic alert dogs

Service dogs often wear distinguishing badges and vests, but this is not required by law. In fact, they don’t need to be registered or certified. Some owners actually train their own service dogs instead of choosing one from a training institute.

There are numerous laws that relate to service dogs in public areas. They must be accommodated even in areas where dogs usually aren’t allowed. Fees for animals, like rental deposits or hotel deposits, are not allowed.

It is legal for a business owner to ask about the dog, like what tasks it can do. In certain controlled environments or hazardous places, like operating rooms, it is allowed to keep the animal out. And if the service dog is out of control or being unruly, it can be removed.

Emotional Support Animal

Emotional support animals, often referred to as ESAs, don’t do any specific tasks. Their job is to simply be close by and in that way act as an emotional support for the owner. In a sense, they are hybrids, somewhere between a pet and a service animal. Any species can be an emotional support animal, like a dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, mini-pig and even a rat.

Most ESAs are used by people with a mental illness, like anxiety or PTSD. For example, a person with agoraphobia and PTSD might keep a dog as an ESA so they can feel safe when leaving the house. An ESA for a mentally ill person isn’t the same thing as a psychiatric service dog, which has received extensive training to perform specific tasks.

Because their job is somewhat hazy and ill-defined, emotional support animals don’t have the range of legal protections that support animals do. Laws vary from state to state, even city to city.

ESAs don’t need any specific training, but they must handle public spaces adequately. For example, dogs should be housebroken. No ESA should be aggressive around other animals.

Like service animals, ESAs are not required to wear vests or badges. They also don’t need to be registered or certified.

In some cases, ESAs have certain legal rights for accommodation. If the apartment or other facility allows pets, the ESA can get a waiver for deposits and related pet fees. If the housing situation does not take pets, the landlord is legally required to accept the ESA as long as the owner has a disability.

The landlord can ask for proof of disability, like a note from a doctor or other official document. The owner needs to request accommodation for an ESA in writing, which is not the case with service animals.

In some cases, the ESA can fly in the airplane cabin with the owner. The owner must provide medical proof of a disability and proof that the animal alleviates the disability.

While a service dog is allowed anywhere, an ESA is not allowed in public areas where animals are not allowed. For example, they wouldn’t be allowed in most theaters or restaurants.

Get Up-to-Date Information About ESAs and Service Animals

USA Service Dog Registration fully supports the rights of people with service animals and emotional support animals. They encourage the responsible use of these animals, protecting the rights and needs of owners as well as the public.

USA Service Dog Registration offers free registration for service dogs and emotional support animals. It’s quick, just 3 easy steps. And there’s no charge.

They also have an extensive list of resources available, like airline requirementshousing laws and state laws. The online shops have a variety of practical gear for service dogs and emotional support animals.

Have questions about your animal? Check out the USA Service Dog Registration website today.

One Reply to “Distinguishing Between a Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal”

  1. An Emotional Support Animal & a Service Animal, in brief, are separated by a key requirement. The first provides mental solace to the depressed and the latter, lends a helping hand to the physically disabled master. In case one has to keep an ESA, then he should not forget to get it recommended by a competent mental health specialist like My ESA Doctor. They also provide 2-in-1 ESA letter which you will need while renting a home or boarding a plane. They are superb in the entire California, I’ve a personal experience to avail their wow service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Preloader
X
SERVICE DOG ID CARD USA Service Animal Registration Your Service Dog ID card will include our convenient QR Code for a quick scan link to our registry lookup. By simply entering your dog\'s registration number your official registered profile will be accessible for quick verification in the event the validity of your service dog is ever questioned. 2054
$29.99
Product Image
5 8557
Great Product - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Product arrived very quickly and the vest fit perfectly.
ESA letter premium package with housing and travel letters - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Overall a great experience, very timely call from SW and all handled very quickly. Highly recommend!! No issues at all in the airports with my ESA dog.
Sunni - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Don’t know till I receive the item
Very simple & easy - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Seamless registration
So Easy - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Very easy to order and maneuver around the site!
ESA help - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
It was really great
Perfect - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Perfect translation
Awesome - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
The most time consuming was selecting from the packages available. I'm now just waiting on the doctor for my letters and the package selected to arrive. It was easier than.i thought it would be, especially since it is a need for me. NY mother's funeral is on Friday and my dog is all I have.
ESA letter review - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Hello The process is very easy, fast and efficient! After you pay online for the ESA letter...it is literally the same day that they call to schedule your appointment. The whole process took 2 days form the time I paid for the letter, to the time my letter was in the mail. I was very happy with their customer service! Thank you for making this a very easy transaction and process! Andrea
Letter from physician - by , March 25, 2011
1/ 1stars
Letter was from some1 not licensed in Wisconsin so landlord is throwing a fit
Didnt get my dogs certificate - by , March 25, 2011
1/ 1stars
Where is my dog s cerrificate i didnt got it . And i have to travel monday
Good - by , March 25, 2011
4/ 4stars
Nice...but a little expenser
So good I had to do it again - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Exceptional experience. I purchased a set 6 months ago and got another set for our new dog. Fast, simple and quick.
- by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I haven’t received a phone call or email where is my service letter
- by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I have not received shipment yet but they are very prompt I am very satisfied with my purchased my mind is at ease now because I can take my pup with me
Customer Satisfaction - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
My family and I where overwhelming pleased. My husband suffered a very bad spinel injury from a accident and he was reluctant to get a service dog being the moncho guy his claims to be. Well let me tell you him having the 1st dog since he lost his dog as child truly brought out another side of him. They level of love and security that they display for each other is amazing. We have 3 daughters, and he's always wanted a son and now he's got one in the K-9 form that has become his best friend and comfort zone. So for anyone who might be suffering from some illness or injury, and has a service animal who needs to be registered have credentials don't hesitate at all when shopping with USA SERVICE ANIMAL REGISTRATION😊
Convenience achieved - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
We go on trips all the time and I love having my dog with me due to my PTSD. We always had to look for hotels that allowed pets and then we would only get a room approved for pets only and they weren't very clean. Now we can enjoy hotels without being treated like a second class citizen... Thank you
- by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Awsom thank you
Perfect - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I love how professional it is and easily readable!! I will be ordering again!!
Quality vest - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Good fit and easily adjustable.