If you suffer from a disability and a dog can help you perform a Major Life Activity, then you qualify to own a Service Dog.
What is a Service Dog ?
The ADA defines a Service Animal as any Guide Dog, Signal Dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability, so long as the person’s disability falls under the ADA’s definition of physical or mental impairment or condition. An animal belonging to someone who is not disabled is not a Service Animal under the ADA.
Service Animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself alone. Guide Dogs are one type of Service Animal that most people are familiar with; they are used by disabled individuals who are blind. But there are Service Animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include: Alerting people with hearing impairments to sounds; pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for people with mobility impairments; assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance; assisting persons with mental impairments with tactile stimulation or buffering in crowded public places.
NO REGISTRATION OR CERTIFICATION NECESSARY
The ADA imposes no requirement to certify or register a service animal. In order to qualify you must fit the definition of being legally disabled and the animal must aid you in performing a major life activity.
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