Can guinea pigs be service/support animals (US)? PLEASE HELP?

Can Guinea Pigs be service or support animals for stress and emotional trouble?



6 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    NO. As of March 2011 only dogs and miniature horses are legally permitted to be service animals.

    Service animals are highly trained to mitigate the disability of a qualified disabled person. No paperwork, documentation, registration, certification, licensure or ID is required per federal law, and its illegal for anyone to ask for them. To have one you must be disabled under ADA standards and have something you cannot do, that the dog can be trained to do, that is directly related to and mitigates your disability. Support & companionship are not considered legal tasks.

    What it could be, IF you qualify, is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) ("Emotional" Support Animal is the correct legal terminology, not just "support animal") ESA's are NOT service animals and do NOT have public access like service dogs do (you cannot take them everywhere with you). The right to have them is NOT protected under the ADA. HUD/FHA and ACAA oversees them. ESA'S are only given special accommodation in no pets rental housing and flying in cabin on an airplane. Legally they are just pets. They help people with support, companionship and affection.

    Here are the requirements and steps for having an emotional support animal:

    1. You MUST be mentally disabled or have a mental condition severe enough to be considered disabling.

    2. You MUST be under the ongoing care of a mental health professional. A regular doctor will not do.

    3. Your treating mental health professional must recommend an emotional support animal as beneficial for your ongoing treatment plan.

    4. Your treating mental health professional will write a letter stating you need an ESA for your mental disability, that it's necessary for your ongoing treatment and your disability as it appears in the DSM IV.

    5. Turn this letter in, along with a letter requesting accommodation, to your landlord.

    6. Wait to be approved before bringing the animal onto the property.

    That's it. Your pet Guinea Pig can be your ESA. No special training is needed. But you will be responsible for any damage caused by the animal and the animal cannot be a nuisance to other neighbors. If it is, the accommodation approval can be revoked.

    Not mentally disabled? Then you don't qualify.

    They're are two exemptions - The elderly do not have to be mentally ill and any Dr can write them a note saying they need one. And landlords with 5 or less rental properties do not have to allow ESA'S.


    Source(s): Service dog owner and my elderly father has an ESA'S.
  • Missy
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    I agree any animal can be a support animal. As long as it makes the person comfortable and relaxed to be around. As for service animals that is a legal terminology and the laws are very strict on what can be considered a service animal. Guinea pigs would not qualify. A lot of people think any dog can be considered a service animal. But unless the dog has been specifically trained to provide a service with papers showing the training, they are not.

    Just watched a court case on this subject where a woman wanted to have a pet in her apartment claiming it was a service animal and the landlord wouldn't allow it. The animal must fulfill a specific medical requirement and provide a 'functional service'. All documented. Very interested and informative case.

  • 8 years ago

    Any animal can be what is called an emotional support animal, or ESA. They are just pets, and don't have public access rights, but are allowed in most no pet housing under the Fair Housing Act assuming you have a letter from your doctor.

    Service animals can only be dogs, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. These animals perform a specific function that the disabled party can't do themselves (i.e. guiding the blind or opening doors for the physically handicapped). These animals do have public access rights.

    Source(s): Considered a service dog for depression and anxiety disorder at one point.
  • 8 years ago

    Almost any animal can be a service animal. The process would be the same for a guinea pig as it would be for a dog. Though depending on the type of service animal, you may or may not be able to have a guinea pig. But as a support animal, definitely.

    For example, you can't have a "seeing eye pig". haha.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    well im afraid the large majority of guinea pigs are quite shy but after a while (it took 6 months for me) the guinea pigs eventually calm down. as for other rodents, i suggest a degu, a chipmunk, a gerbil or a rabbit or even a chinchilla (and yes, i didn't know what a degu was for quite a while but search for it on a search engine!) oh, and as for taming them, just make a small play[en for them in your living room or bedroom and let them run around and come up to you to smell you. place a few newspapers on the ground because guinea pigs (i dont know why) instinctively do their 'business' on them. this will avoid dirty carpets!

  • 8 years ago


    only dogs can be a service animal and then you must be disabled under the FDA rules and go through a lot of loop holes.

    Sounds like you are trying to keep GP when you are not allowed to have them and need to get rid of them since they can't be service animals at all

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