Infographic: Is That a Real Service Dog?

We have posted many times about the problems caused by people who try to pass off their pets as service animals to gain entry to restaurants, businesses, and even airplanes. Because pets are often not trained to deal with being in crowds or enclosed spaces, these faux service animals sometimes misbehave by barking, whining, running amok, or even biting. This makes life more difficult for people who really do need a service, therapy, or emotional-support dog.

Here’s a useful infographic that explains the differences among these three kinds of dogs and explains how the law applies to each. The Americans with Disabilities Act covers only trained and certified service dogs, but it can be difficult for business owners and patrons to know how to respond to questions about a dog’s designation.

Click here to see the full infographic.

7 thoughts on “Infographic: Is That a Real Service Dog?”

  1. I’m not sure what the first commenter was remarking on, but the post is incorrect in stating that the ADA only applies to “trained and certified” service dogs. There is neither a central nor a mandatory certification standard for assistance dogs. Many organizations certify to their own standards, but assistance dogs have no certification requirement.

  2. I have a emotional support dog with an RX from my doctor saying that it must be essential that I have him. I was approved at a mhpark but the landlord denied me by saying there was a no dog or cat policy. Is there not someone that can help with issues like these. Why are people with emotional issues treated differently.

    1. Discrimination, that’s why

      And I’m talking from my standpoint in which I was forced out of my college for panic attacks, and can’t get a job due to my depression (once an employer catches me crying, that’s usually it).

  3. This topic creates a struggle on both sides – from the standpoint of a business and from those who have legitimate service animals. There are those who really do need their animals medically, wether it is physically or emotionally and those who fake their needs just because they want their dog with them. As a business owner & land lord, it is very frustrating as many do not tell us about their pet until after we have signed everything, I have found that sometimes it is because they are worried they will be denied (our property allows pets so this is a non-issue) or do not want to pay a pet deposit. Anyone with an EAS or service animal should not expect or demand a property owner to accept their animal if their property policy is no animals and it has been advertised as such, it is simply unfair to the owner. Should I require someone put in an elevator because I cant climb stairs, yet rented a second level unit? Same difference. There are plenty of options for housing that accept pets. As the mother of someone who pre-trains pups to become service animals it is also frustrating, as I am extremely aware of the differences between a service animal, an ESA, and a therapy animal. The only one specifically trained to do a specific job, behave appropriately, and be un-intrusive in public is a certified service animal. An ESA requires no training – only to be recognized as one that provides relief of anxiety etc to a person, so in an much are often times not appropriately trained from a behavior standpoint. Most therapy animals are well trained behavior wise, as they need to have a certain temperament and behavior to be a therapy animal. Since the changing of the laws, in that in the past those who have these animals must wear vest, or have a license in hand, but now that is not required, abuse has become even worse. Now you have people that simply treat their dogs like children, thus must have them with them at all times passing them off as service animals, which is wrong. The Hippa laws were not designed to make it easy for people to lie about their pets, but unfortunately we see it all too often that this is taking place more and more. 🙁 I see both sides – it is usually those who are abusing, lying, that have created so many issues for all to the extent that now it is a huge issue.

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