Go Back   NeuroTalk Support Groups > General > Pets & Wildlife > Service & Support Animals

Service & Support Animals For discussion of service and support animals.

Psychiatric Service Dogs & Emotional Support Animals

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 11-25-2006, 05:04 AM   #1
OneMoreTime
Member
 
OneMoreTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 310
Arrow Psychiatric Service Dogs & Emotional Support Animals

Many years ago, the first dogs were trained for service use by the blind. Since then dogs have been trained to help the deaf and the otherwise physically disabled to become and stay independent. Currently, service dogs are also trained to help epileptic patients by detecting impending seizures and by knowing what to do when a seizure occurs.

But more recently, demand for Psychiatric Service Dogs grew, and they have been accepted as another category of Service Animal. However, another category of animal that is governed by federal laws of access and accommodation has been designated -- the Emotional Support Animal.

This first article is about the Psychiatric Service Dog.

What is a Psychiatric service dog?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A Psychiatric Service Dog is a dog that helps its handler, who has a mental (psychiatric) disability. Examples of mental disabilities that may sometimes qualify a person for a Service Dog include, but are not limited to: Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Autism, Anxiety Disorder, and Schizophrenia.

Like all other types of service dogs, a Psychiatric Service Dog helps its handler mitigate his disability
through trained work and tasks, including, but not limited to:
  • picking up/retrieving objects or aiding with mobility when the handler is dizzy from medication or has psychosomatic (physical) symptoms (i.e. pain, leaden paralysis, severe lethargy, etc.)
  • waking the handler if the handler sleeps through alarms or cannot get himself out of bed
  • alerting to and/or responding to episodes (i.e. mood changes, panic attacks, oncoming anxiety, etc.)
  • reminding the handler to take medication if the handler cannot remember on his own or with the use of an alarm
  • alerting to and/or distracting the handler from repetitive and obsessive thoughts or behaviors (such as those brought on by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
  • as well as many other tasks directly related to the specific handler's disability.
A Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSDs) may be of any size and of any breed suited for public work. Many are owner-trained (trained by the person who will become the dog's handler, with or without the help of a professional trainer), but, increasingly, service dog training programs are recognizing the need for dogs to help individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Some Psychiatric Service Dog handlers may choose to refer to their dogs as Alert or Medical Response Dogs, depending on what the dog does for them.


In the USA, handlers of PSDs are entitled to the same rights and protections afforded to handlers of other types of service dogs, such as Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Mobility Dogs, under federal laws. Like all other types of Service Dogs (SDs), Psychiatric Service Dogs are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the disabled person. They have also been trained to act discretely in public places, such as laying quietly under the table in a restaurant, keeping tightly to the handler's side and not sniffing anything on the shelves of grocery stores, and ignoring other people and animals.

When you come across an Service Dog, please do not pet, call/talk to it, or otherwise distract it, as doing so could put the handler's life in danger. Remember that these are working animals, not pets, and they are out with their handlers to help them, not to be a spectacle for the public. Also, it is rude to ask the disabled person what their disability is, as that is personal and confidential medical information. While it is understandable that you are curious about the Service Dog, try to remember that the handler just wants to live life and utilize public places like everybody else, so please do your best to ignore the Service Dog.


FAQs

Do SDs get time to "just be dogs"?
Certainly! SDs get time to rest, relax, play, run around, and otherwise be free in homes, yards, dog parks, etc. They know the difference between when it is time to work and when it is time to play. When not working, they might act just like the average housepet would.

Is it cruel to make dogs work for us?
Absolutely not! Dogs have a natural inclination to work, so they prosper when they have a job. They would much rather be doing something than just laying around an empty house all day long. Service Dogs enjoy helping their handlers.

Can any dog be an SD?
No, it takes a special kind of dog to become a fully-trained and public access-acceptable SD. Service Dogs need to have the right kind of temperament, smarts, and, in some cases, features (i.e. you wouldn't use a ten pound dog for mobility or guide work, but you could use a ten pound dog for hearing alerts).

Many dogs that begin SD training do not finish. These are called "career-changed" dogs. - look for one.. They can become an excellent emotional support animal.

Who qualifies for an SD?
In the USA, that would be a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as, but not limited to, breathing, walking, thinking, seeing, hearing, etc.

Where are SDs legally allowed to go?
In the USA, well-behaved SDs can go into almost any public place, including, but not limited to, stores (including grocery stores), restaurants, hotels, schools, theatres, taxis, airports, airplanes, parks, bars, hospitals, zoos, etc. Where the general public is allowed to go, so is a disabled handler's SD.

These same laws do NOT apply to Emotional Support Animals. And ESA is not a Psychiatric Service Dog. It is not federally protected right of guaranteed access to all public places otherwise off-limits to Service Dogs.

There ARE exceptions to the near universal access for SDs. Churches, some bed & breakfasts, operating rooms, and a very few other places are exempt from this law and, therefore, can choose to bar an SD from entering.


What if somebody is allergic to or fearful of dogs?
In the USA, allergies and fears of dogs are generally not excuses to bar an SD from entering a public area. Most allergies do not fit the requirements of a disability (substantially limiting of one or more major life activities), but if someone's allergy does, both the SD handler with their SD and the allergic person must be accommodated (the SD cannot be barred because of the allergic person).

If you have allergies and come across an SD in public, you can help yourself by staying away from the dog, taking medication, using an air purifier, etc. Remember that SDs are well-groomed and very clean, usually carrying less dander on themselves than the average pet owner does on their clothes.

Can a business ever legally ask for removal of a particular SD?
If the dog is out of control, i.e. growling or barking at people or otherwise being a direct threat to others' safety or health, yes, the dog may be legally excluded. A business cannot exclude a dog just because they think the dog might be a threat, however.

How is it fair and equal access that a disabled person can bring their SD places and a non-disabled person cannot bring their pet places?
A disabled person needs their SD in order to use a public place, leave their home, and/or, in some cases, live. Just like walkers, canes, wheelchairs, and oxygen tanks, SDs are vital medical equipment for their handlers. They are not pets. If people were not allowed to bring their SDs places, they would not be able to use those places, which is discriminatory. Pet owners, on the other hand, do not have a need for their pet to be with them in public places, even though it is great to have pets.

See alsoCategory: Assistance dogs




Last edited by Chemar; 11-25-2006 at 09:26 AM.
OneMoreTime is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
HeadHurts (07-31-2012)
Unread 11-25-2006, 05:09 AM   #2
OneMoreTime
Member
 
OneMoreTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 310
Question Is a Therapy Dog a Psychiatric Service Dog or an Emotional Support Animal?

Are Therapy Dogs Service Dogs (SDs) or Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)?

No, Therapy Dogs (or therapy animals) are not Psychiatric Service Dogs nor are they Emotional Support Animals. TDs are anyone's pets that have been trained to behave properly in a wide variety of environments and who are exceptionally gentle and well-mannered with a wide variety of human beings. Their "job" is to bring a higher level of social functioning to people in nursing homes, schools, hospitals, hospices, etc. They cannot go into no-pets-allowed places unless they are invited. TDs are a great asset to the community, though! TDs were used after 9-11.

the link again is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapy_dog

Last edited by Chemar; 01-28-2008 at 05:37 PM. Reason: edited on behalf of OMT :)
OneMoreTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-25-2006, 05:20 AM   #3
OneMoreTime
Member
 
OneMoreTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 310
Lightbulb So what exactly is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Are Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) Support Dogs (SDs)?

No, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not the same as Service Dogs (SDs). ESAs are Therapeutic Pets, usually prescribed by a therapist or psychiatrist or doctor, that help people with emotional difficulties or with loneliness. They may include cats and birds.

Under the USA's federal laws, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) cannot go into no-pets-allowed places, BUT THEY ARE ALLOWED in no-pets-allowed housing (see further information on this forum and in the links below for the specific legal exclusions and on how to assert your rights) and in the cabins of airplanes when accompanied by a note from their handler's doctor.

Although not trained to do work or tasks, ESAs can be greatly beneficial to their owners just by their comforting presence, company, companionship and love.


External links
OneMoreTime is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
HeadHurts (07-31-2012)
Unread 12-23-2006, 07:49 PM   #4
JD
Member
 
JD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 223
My Mood:
Question

I was recently pleasantly surprised to see that airlines allow Emotional Support Dogs to fly free! All you need is a letter from the psychologist/psychiatrist stating the need. Very nice. Does the category include bunnies???? TC.
__________________
Your conscious mind may not be able to understand what I'm telling you, but I trust your unconscious mind to use that part that is most relevant.
JD is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-09-2007, 06:47 AM   #5
Justice
Member
 
Justice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: I'm from San Diego,CA!I'm stuck in Utah now, I will get back to the BEACH ASAP!It's my"Happy Place"!
Posts: 156
Thumbs Up Support Dogs and travel......................

I acually just looked that up on the internet last week,because I was wondering about my puppy and traveling with him! I got this huge list of what they consider service animals,and,comfort or support animals.One on the list was if your Doctor fills out a form claiming that "Your dog,or cat or etc...provides emotional support for the owner,and that the owner is being treated for a mental health disability,and that it is necessary that you be accompanied by the animal.",now I quoted that right from the printout from the travel laws I looked up on the internet! I'm just wondering if they,meaning the Doctors have the forms on file,or if you have to print them off a website or something,cause I know my doctor will fill it out! I hope this info helped anyone!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDPhD View Post
I was recently pleasantly surprised to see that airlines allow Emotional Support Dogs to fly free! All you need is a letter from the psychologist/psychiatrist stating the need. Very nice. Does the category include bunnies???? TC.
__________________

.
Justice
.
Quote:
"You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To." -*My Dad*-
.
Justice is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
HeadHurts (07-31-2012)
Unread 05-19-2007, 01:15 PM   #6
maycontainnuts
New Member
 
maycontainnuts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime View Post
Are Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) Support Dogs (SDs)?

No, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not the same as Service Dogs (SDs). ESAs are Therapeutic Pets, usually prescribed by a therapist or psychiatrist or doctor, that help people with emotional difficulties or with loneliness. They may include cats and birds.

Under the USA's federal laws, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) cannot go into no-pets-allowed places, BUT THEY ARE ALLOWED in no-pets-allowed housing (see further information on this forum and in the links below for the specific legal exclusions and on how to assert your rights) and in the cabins of airplanes when accompanied by a note from their handler's doctor.

Although not trained to do work or tasks, ESAs can be greatly beneficial to their owners just by their comforting presence, company, companionship and love.


External links


It is really important for readers to know the differences between service dogs, emotional support animals, and therapy dogs. You've done a good job posting about the differences; however, the links you have provided in your post (above) about emotional support animals are links regarding service animals, not emotional support animals. I felt like pointing that out because it could be a little confusing for readers.

Also, thanks for making this thread My own dog is a retired service dog and was also a therapy dog in a nursing home for a while. The link you posted, "About Psychiatric Service Dogs" goes to my web site; I found a link to this thread in my site statistics.

Anyway, if you don't mind, I'd like to add a few links to clarify the differences between psychiatric service dogs, emotional support animals, and therapy dogs.

The Difference between Service Animals, Therapy Animals, Companion Animals and "Social/therapy" Animals

Quote:
The Difference between Service Animals, Therapy Animals, Companion Animals and "Social/therapy" Animals

Service animals are legally defined (Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990) and are trained to meet the disability-related needs of their handlers who have disabilities. Federal laws protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in public places. Service animals are not considered "pets."

Therapy animals are not legally defined by federal law, but some states have laws defining therapy animals. They provide people with contact to animals, but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. They are usually the personal pets of their handlers, and work with their handlers to provide services to others. Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have "no pets" policies. Therapy animals usually are not service animals.

Companion animal is not legally defined, but is accepted as another term for pet.

"Social/therapy" animals likewise have no legal definition. They often are animals that did not complete service animal or service dog training due to health, disposition, trainability, or other factors, and are made available as pets for people who have disabilities. These animals might or might not meet the definition of service animals.

Service Dogs:

-Highly trained in disability-related tasks and obedience
-Have public access rights
-Are not considered pets

How does a dog qualify to be a psychiatric service dog?


Emotional Support Animals:

-ARE NOT SERVICE ANIMALS
-Need documentation
-Are allowed in "no pets" housing
-Are allowed to travel with owners on airlines (if they have the proper documentation)
-Are not allowed in public places like grocery stores, etc.

Fair Housing Information Sheet # 6
Right to Emotional Support Animals in "No Pet" Housing



Therapy Dogs:

-Are used by volunteers or professionals in places like nursing homes, children's hospitals, psychiatric wards, etc
-Do not have the right to travel on planes or to be in "no pets" housing
-Are not allowed in public places unless invited

How are the uses of therapy animals and service animals different?
maycontainnuts is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
HeadHurts (07-31-2012)
Unread 05-21-2007, 10:19 PM   #7
maycontainnuts
New Member
 
maycontainnuts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3
Default

What is the difference between a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support animal?
maycontainnuts is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-17-2007, 01:35 PM   #8
Justice
Member
 
Justice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: I'm from San Diego,CA!I'm stuck in Utah now, I will get back to the BEACH ASAP!It's my"Happy Place"!
Posts: 156
Note

My Psychiatrist just agreed to fill out any forms necessary to have my little Nico deemed as a Psychiatric service dog,so if I ever travel anywhere he will be allowed on aircrafts, trains, cruiseships, but I wouldn't subject him to a crowded bus! He just told me when I'm ready to travel somewhere,let him know, and hell get the proper forms off the internet for when and where,and what form of travel I'm traveling and fill them out. He said each airline has it's own forms,and each cruiseship also has it's own forms,and you have to get them filled out at the time you are traveling,and where,all the specifics. He said there isn't just a basic form you fill out and carry around in your wallet or pocket,for travel anytime,anywhere! He pulled it up on the internet while I was in his office.
So Nico is my not only my best little buddy,but he's now going to be my Psych service dog to!
__________________

.
Justice
.
Quote:
"You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To." -*My Dad*-
.
Justice is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-18-2007, 01:16 PM   #9
colombiangirl1
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 259
My Mood:
Default Thanks for posting this!!

I wasn't even aware, that, dogs could be trained for psychiatric service. I'm now, definitely looking into this, for, me, and, my dog. Thanks, again!!

peace, and, love
Cgirl
__________________
Love is the only rational act
.
colombiangirl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-18-2007, 02:17 PM   #10
moose53
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 761
Arrow

I collected a bunch of links for a dear friend awhile back:

ANIMALS:_COMPANION,_SERVICE,_AND_THERAPY
(press the [page-down] key 2 times to get to the appropriate section)

Barb
moose53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The emotional river PoetryLover Creative Corner 5 09-29-2014 08:30 PM
What's your Emotional Quotient? DocJohn Health News Headlines 0 11-18-2006 01:00 AM
What's your Emotional Quotient? DocJohn Health News Headlines 0 11-17-2006 04:50 PM
Spinal Surgery for Dogs DocJohn Health News Headlines 0 11-03-2006 05:50 PM
A Dogs' Prayer Milivica Autism 11 10-15-2006 11:12 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:26 PM.
Brought to you by the fine folks who publish mental health and psychology information at Psych Central Mental Health Forums

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
provided by a qualified health care provider. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.


Powered by vBulletin • Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.


All posts copyright their original authors Community Guidelines Terms of Use Privacy Policy
NeuroTalk Archives