Service dogs in Lancaster are amazing. They have been extensively trained, live strict but loved lives, and take care of their owners like truly no one else can. The dogs’ abilities to detect seizures, pick up dropped items, and even warn owners of impending stroke or heart attack make these dogs literally life savers.
With all the amazing things these animals can do, it’s no wonder we have learned to accept them in places we usually wouldn’t, like a restaurant or the office. But there is a growing cynicism towards service and support animals in general, and mostly because of misunderstanding, and I’ll admit that I used to be one of these people.
I was not raised in a house with pets, and I never could understand the “emotional support animal“. I could understand a seeing eye dog or a dog that assists with the hearing impaired, but these are obvious needs that a dog could help with. When I would see articles about an emotional support pig or bunny, I would roll my eyes.
The Best Service Animals in Lancaster
This is the story of Jeff, an Iraq war veteran who received his emotional support animal letter. Sgt. Jeff Sanders, an ex-navy SEAL who served in harsh conditions in the Gulf and suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). When he flew back to his hometown, Baldwin Park, California, he was suffering from post war stress. Seeing cruelties and deaths of his close friends left him depressed and mentally traumatized. It was difficult for him to return to normalcy and fit back in his civilian life.
Initially, his family members thought a job in the community services would do some good and help him to fight PTSD. He even joined the job of Public Safety Supervisor. His experience as a veteran helped him to land the job easily. However, after few months of his job it did not alleviate his condition in terms of his mental illness. He started doing LSD and other recreational drugs. His son, Greg was worried about his father's condition. One day while browsing through the internet he came across the website of US Department of Veteran Affairs.
Animal Companions helps you to acquire your emotional support animal letter after verifying the nature of your disability.
Jeff's journey towards his recovery from PTSD
Once it was established by the psychologist that Jeff's mental disability conditions can be treated with an emotional support dog. It was a matter of seconds for Animal Companions. The organization ensured that Jeff gets his ESA letter hassle free and can accompany his emotional support dog to places that were out of bound before.
Another benefit of having a dog is that PTSD conditions are treated without the use of anti-depressant drugs that might have side effects on the person consuming it.
Thus his doggy helped Jeff alleviate his long history of suffering from PTSD. He is thankful to Animal Companions that helped him to set his world right.
Emotional Support Animals
Dogs have been sharing their lives with us for more than 14,000 years. This is just an estimate. These pets have helped, protected, and entertained humans. According to the US Human Society, around 40% of the American households have one or two dogs. Even if we don't count dogs, around 35% houses have cats as their pets. From this you can have a pretty good idea of the importance of pets, especially dogs for us.
Now, let's get to the point and talk about the term emotional support animals. An ESA is a pet or dog that offers therapeutic support to a senior or disabled citizen through affection, non-judgmental regard, companionship and so on.
In America, if a doctor realizes that a patient with a certain disability can benefit from an ESA, they may request the patient to have an ESA or travel with a dog. This may help the patient get some relief and enjoy their time.
Now, let's talk about the health benefits of living with an ESA. The benefits can help you decide if you should have one or not.
- Reduced cholesterol level
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced triglyceride
- Reduced level of stress
- Lower level of stress
- Lower level of idleness
- Improved mental health
The Difference Between Therapy Dogs And Companion Dogs
There is controversy surrounding the roles of animals in the lives of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Many of us have seen the posts online about registering your animal as an emotional support animal with a small fee, and being able to keep your animal in a no pets allowed setting. This has led people to question the legitimacy of all service animals and their roles. A feeling of distrust among people who do not understand the difference between these animals, and the rights that accompany them, has been emerging as more people utilize these services.
Service Dogs are the most protected and trained of the 3 types of dogs. While many people refer to all 3 types as "service animals", the official names for this type is Service Dog. These dogs are legally considered medical equipment and have a price tag to match, ranging from $10,000- $50,000. They are intensively trained for 1.5-2.5 years, having to pass a variety of tests to be serviceable including, but not limited to, opening cupboards, retrieving dropped objects, staying calm in public, etc.
The last type we are discussing are Emotional Support Animals. This one is the most vague and open-ended. An Emotional Support Animal does not have to have any special training and most of the time is registered by its owner because it brings comfort. Also, an Emotional Support Animal does not have to be a dog. These animals are not protected under the ADA and cannot accompany their owners in establishments where there are no animals allowed. Owners with a registered support animals can keep them in housing that otherwise does not allow pets according to the Fair Housing Act.
4 Reasons That Helped Jeff Recover From PTSD
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is an emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.