If an individual is suffering from a certain disability (physical, mental or emotional), there is a big possibility that they can be supported or assisted by an animal. There are three kinds of dogs/animals that can provide assistance – Service Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, and Therapy Dogs.
Kinds of Service/Assistance Animals
Service dogs are animals that are specifically trained to help a person who is suffering from a specific kind of disability. For example, if a patient has a vision impairment, a specific type of service dog is trained to help him or her do certain tasks. The dog may need to go through training for a few years before being considered as a service dog. Once they are qualified, they will be registered by a legitimate institution.
Emotional Support Animals, on the other hand, are any kind of domestic animal that provides therapeutic support to an individual who is suffering from an emotional or mental disability. For instance, if a person suffers from a serious anxiety disorder, the ESA can help relieve him/her from his/her symptoms. In order for an animal to be qualified as an ESA, the individual should ask for an esa letter from his/her doctor or therapist. This letter can help them to qualify for housing in places where no pets are allowed. Individuals are also allowed to bring their ESAs in airline cabins without any additional cost.
Therapy dogs are those that provide comfort and attention to people who are in hospitals, schools or hospices (just to name a few). They do not qualify as service dogs since they don’t go through training to help a certain disability. They do have to go through basic obedience training and should be calm and have a good temperament. Therapy dogs need to be registered before they are exposed to different kinds of people.