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Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include
-Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.
-Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.
-Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.
-Helping a person with a neurological or psychological disability by preventing or disrupting impulses or behaviors that may bring harm to themselves or those around them
A service animal is not a pet.
If your pet has not been TRAINED to perform a task that directly relates to your disability then they are not a service animal. If you are not legally defined as disabled they are not a service animal.
3 What does your animal do for you? If you choose you may respond with vague answer such as “He helps me with a medical condition”.
An emotional support animal (ESA) is a US legal term for a pet which provides therapeutic benefit to its owner through companionship and affection. They require only as much training as an ordinary pet requires in order to live peacefully among humans without being a nuisance or a danger to others. In the U.S., two federal laws grant special rights to some owners of emotional support animals.
The Air Carrier Access Act establishes a procedure for modifying pet policies on aircraft to permit a person with a disability (including emotional) and a letter from a physician to travel with a prescribed emotional support animal so long as they have appropriate documentation and the animal is not a danger to others and does not interfere with others (through unwanted attention, barking, inappropriate toileting, etc.).
The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 USC 3601, et seq.) establishes a procedure for modifying “no pets” policies in most types of housing to permit a person with a disability to keep a pet for emotional support. The qualified applicant may either make a verbal request, or send a written request of reasonable accommodation to the landlord, in either case with a letter from a physician. If the landlord refuses the request for accommodation, a complaint can be filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development or with the U.S. Department of Justice. In housing that allows pets but charges supplemental rent or deposits for them, these fees must be waived. The ESA’s owner can be charged for actual damage done by the animal, but they may not require the applicant to pay a fee or a security deposit in order to keep the animal.