What are Service Animals? Service animals are trained to provide physical, emotional, mental support to any individual. While most of the patients prefer dogs and cats for their treatment, there are many other species that come under service animals like miniature horse, duck, monkey, dolphin etc.
These Service Animals are usually trained to provide different kind of services for various disabilities and are found to be wearing a tag around their neck to recognize themselves as service dogs/ a emotional support animal.
Types of Service Dogs:
- Guide Dogs – These dogs are trained to assist the visually handicapped patients. The dog guides the directions to its owner using a U-shaped harness.
- Hearing Dogs – These dogs assist the deaf patients. The dogs are trained on extensive audio response. These dogs will physically contact its user upon any alert or siren like doorbell or phone ring within seconds of the sound occurrence.
- Service Dogs –These dogs serve physically handicapped patients. They are trained on pulling a wheel chair, opening and closing of the door, help the patient get the object that are out of their reach etc.
- Skilled Companion Dogs – These dogs are similar to the service dogs. They provide similar services as service dogs, however there will be a facilitator between the dog and the owner.
- Facility Dogs – These dogs are trained to provide services in any institution like school or healthcare centers.
- Emotional Support Animal – Also known as Psychiatric service animal not always a dog or a cat. They are trained to provide emotional or mental support to the patients. These animals are provided to the patients suffering from mental illness like depression, hallucination, stress, bipolar disorder, panic attacks etc. Patients are required to have an authorized prescription to obtain the services of emotional support animals.
- Therapy Animals –These animals are mostly serve senior citizens, children, nursing homes, hospitals etc. They are trained to provide services to the patients facing medical conditions/ therapy.
Wondering how you will acquire an emotional support animal/ service dog?
Procedure to request for an emotional support animal:
Initially, you can go through a screening test, which is easily available online these days and verify if you really are suffering from any mental illness and need an emotional support animal. Once you have cleared your screen and have a confirmation that you need an ESA, You will typically require a recognition of your disability, an authorized prescription/ letter from your doctor to your owner/ landlord/ aircraft/ employer, in which, the letter should describe about the your mental condition and the disability.
The letter will require all the information about the patient as per the Acts and Laws of America and additionally, the doctor’s recommendation for the type of emotional support animal.
You can use this letter in any of the aircrafts, no pets housing and any other areas/ public places where the pets are not allowed to gain the access. Most of the aircrafts and employers are allowing ESA’s these days, provided you have a letter from an authorized doctor that is not more than a year old.