Service dogs in Newport News 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 Dog Laws in Newport News
Recently, many people have had justified concerns over the rise of fake online certificates, vests, and tags for their emotional support animal, service animal or therapy animal. Law officials have recently begun to crack down on these online companies that try to pretend to have a real database and sell people overpriced products such as vests, certificates, leashes, collars, etc. Keep in mind that these are the kinds of products that anyone can instead go to Amazon and buy at a much cheaper cost.
One service dog handler had their say, "To see someone who threw a cheap vest on their dog's back because they like to have it around is like kicking me in my dislocated knee," courtesy of Huffington Post.
What Does The Law Say?
In the past, no one would question the authenticity and legitimacy of a service animal owner. Unfortunately, some savvy fake online companies recently decided to leverage this trust by claiming to be real, selling kits and certificates.
Well, the law has been lenient up until recently due to many reports of pet owners being caught trying to pass their pet as an authentic service animal by justifying that online companies sold them the equipment and that their pet is on the website's "national service animal database". These fake service online kit, vests, and certificate sellers undermine the legitimacy of the concept of having real equipment for real service animals specifically. CBS news reported that the perpetrator can get charged up to $1000 and possibly be imprisoned for six months by buying from these online kit sellers and then trying to pass their ordinary pet as a real service animal.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
And Much More...
Fake emotional support animal vest
Final Words Of Advice
All in all, it will be best to be diligent and fully be aware of the differences between the three kinds of animals. Most importantly, it is crucial to truly consider the consequences when thinking about going the cheaper way in getting equipment from questionable online kit-selling companies, especially if it pertains to service dogs. With all of the risks associated with faking a pet to be a service dog, one must ask oneself if it really is worth attempting to cheat the system. Not only to not get slammed by the law, but to also not ruin it for those with real disabilities and real service dogs, "Those with disabilities are worried about privacy and the safety of their highly trained service dogs, while business owners are concerned about health violations and damage to merchandise from impostors abusing the system".
Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs - What's the Difference?
The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) legislation, enacted in 1990, is so vague that it has created two classes of service animals. The first is for animals that perform a specific task - Guide Dogs for the blind, wheelchair assistance, hearing dogs, and animals that can detect medical emergencies, like seizures, and summon help. These dogs have been specifically trained for their service mission.
The problem is the second classification - emotional support animals. All animals - lizards, chickens and snakes - can be designated service animals because they lend emotional support to the owner. In most cases they have no task-specific training. While this definition is currently under review, it has placed an enormous burden on those people who truly have a Service Animal.
Bringing your Service Dog into a restaurant, theater, or other public venue can also create some problems unless you can explain that your dog is allowed access under Federal law. Of course this means that you animal must be suited for crowded environments and trained to act properly around people. This is another case where a Service Dog ID Card will be of value.
Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs
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.
Top 10 Emotional Support Animal Dog Breeds
If you are in the US, you may have heard of emotional support animal or ESA. An emotional support animal works like a companion animal for people and patients, for offering therapeutic benefits. Usually such animals are either cats or dogs, although a patient can choose other pets. The whole purpose of an ESA is to offer relief and support for disability, psychological symptoms or emotional stress. Check some of the basic facts you need to know before getting an ESA certificate.
To get an emotional support animal, you have to check with your physician to consider the option of proving verifiable disability, as stated by law. Your doctor or medical professional will give a note or a certificate, which will mention the concerned disability and the need for emotional support animal that will offer therapeutic care and healing. However, the animal isn't treated a service animal and therefore, there is no need for any formal training. In fact, all domesticated animals, including rodents, birds, reptiles, cats and dogs, can become an ESA.
There are professional companies, which can assist you in evaluating if you qualify for ESA evaluation letters, but these services are just meant for assistance. Ultimately, only licensed medical health professionals can offer you the certificate on their professional paper. Check online and you can find simple forms that will help finding your qualification. Don't miss on asking the rules and regulations with your doctor in detail. As a pet owner, you have to find the benefits of having an ESA, so that you can exercise your rights.