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Correctly defining a Service, Assistance or Therapy Dog

A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform particular tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, or pressing an elevator button.

Emotional Support Animals, Comfort Animals, and Therapy Dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). However, other than a Therapy dog these dogs are covered in the Fair Housing Act (FHAct) by providing a service to comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship for an individual suffering from various mental and emotional conditions. An emotional support dog is not required to perform any specific tasks for a disability like service dogs are.

Therapy Dogs are usually trained to help and comfort people other than their owners. A Therapy Dog is a dog that might

provide affection, comfort and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. They do not have any rights to public places where animals are not allowed as they are not covered by either the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Fair Housing Act (FHAct).

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