Professor Julai asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

Are therapy dogs service animals?

Or are they able to be rejected from off-limits areas like another other canine civilian?

7 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    No, they are not service animals.

    A therapy animal is trained, tested, registered and insured to visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes. They visit by invitation only. It typically takes 8 weeks to train a well mannered pet to be a therapy dog.

    A service dog is trained to perform tasks that mitigate his owner's disability. It typically takes 18-24 months to fully train a service dog.

    Access rights do not belong to the dogs. Under the ADA, people with disabilities have certain rights to access, which includes "reasonable accommodation." If a person who is disabled depends on assistance from a specially trained service dog, then a reasonable accommodation would be to make an exception to no pet rules in order to permit the person with a disability to use the facilities just as anyone else would.

    Since a therapy dog is not partnered with a person with a disability, and is not needed to perform tasks to the person can do ordinary things like grocery shop, there is no reason to require business to permit them.

    Legally, therapy animals are no different from pets. The whole reason for getting them designated as therapy dogs is so you can show the hospital or nursing home those credentials as evidence that the dog is well behaved, trained, and safe to visit, and that you have liability insurance. Some hospitals and nursing homes will permit the visits. Some will not. It's always their choice, regardless of whether the dog is a therapy dog. Being one is just supposed to make them more acceptable to the facility managers so they will be allowed to visit.

    Source(s): I'm a disability rights advocate specializing in service dog issues.
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    There is a BIG difference in what a Therapy dog is and what a Service Dog is... A Therapy dog dose not have public access! and only works under the intentions of aiding a place they are legally covered such as a school, hospital and such but no where else! A Service dog Aides a person with Disabilities with their disabilities. In order to be legally covered for a SD, you must be defined as Disabled. Then when training the dog to be both State and federally covered in public places you must be on their MI State ADA Trainer list. If you haven't trained a SD before please seek a trainer! You can contact the MI Civil Rights/DOJ to get the trainers list info for trainers. A dog in training is not protected under the ADA/DOJ. And every state has it's own Laws regarding SD's in Training.

  • 9 years ago

    no, they are not service animals

    therapy dogs are only allowed in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc when they are there to do therapy work. Otherwise, they are just pets, and only allowed in the same places that any other pet is allowed.

    Service animals are dogs that are trained to specifically help with some task or function to assist their disabled handler. Technically its not the dog itself that has the "right" to be in public.. the disabled owner has the right to have their service dog with them to assist them.

  • 9 years ago

    No, they are not service animals. They are pets that do community service. The only no pet places therapy animals are allowed are places where they have been asked to come in to do therapy work at the time they have been asked to come. For example, a therapy dog who has been asked to come to the hospital to help cheer up patients will be allowed at that time, but not allowed if the handler is in the hospital or is visiting a sick family member.

    Source(s): service dog handler who has a TDI certified therapy dogs as well.
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  • 9 years ago

    No, they are not recognized as a 'service dog', and not protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act...and therefore not allowed in places that common pets are not allowed in!

  • 9 years ago

    Nope.They are more 'companion' like and do not provide service to people like service dogs do, but they do make people feel better :)

    They are not allowed to Off-limit areas

  • 9 years ago

    No they aren't service animals, so yes they can be told to leave non dog-friendly places.

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