Service dogs in Spartanburg 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 Emotional Service Dog in Spartanburg
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.
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.
4 Reasons That Helped Jeff Recover From PTSD
Generally speaking, both therapy dogs and companion dogs are your best friend and also your constant buddy. They obtain this classification from being able to assist the owner with a multitude problems. Therapy Dogs and Companion Dogs can also be classified as having almost the same abilities as a Service Animals but basically are NOT animal assistance dogs that help individuals with physical disabilities.
But what exactly is the difference between Companion Dogs and Therapy Dogs?
Okay, let me start by defining what a therapy dog is. Usually, they are found in retirement homes, nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. They aide people with difficulties in learning, and help to calm stressful situations that can be normally seen in disaster areas caused by natural hazards, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, technological hazards including nuclear and radiation accidents, or sociological hazards like riots, terrorism or war. In short, Therapy Dogs are specifically trained to provide affection and comfort to people who needs it as I mentioned while ago. They are well known for their temperament. They are patient, friendly, confident, gentle and easy in whatever situations... Your dog needs to have these characteristics to be classified as qualified Therapy Dogs. Why is that so? This is because they are expected to enjoy human contact, can be petted and handled by people carefully and even clumsily. They come in all breeds and sizes. It is a Therapy Dog's job to have other people even the unfamiliar one to have contact with them and these people should enjoy that connection. But, why? Okay, as we all know, children always love hugging animals, while adults love petting the them. In some situations, the Therapy Dogs might need to be lifted onto, climb onto, placed onto individual's lap, sleep on an adult's or kid's bed, and either sit or lie comfortably there. Therapy dogs need to be comfortable on this situations and must cope depending on a person's need to be able to provide emotional support to both adults and children. They are expected to be stroked, held, and sometimes just watched.
People oftentimes got confused between therapy dogs vs. service dogs. I wanted to clear it up. Therapy Dogs are not service or assistance dogs. Service dogs directly assist humans, it is legal for these dogs to accompany their owners in almost all areas and in fact, in the United States alone, Service Dogs are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. Therapy Dogs on the other hand are not mentioned on this law simply because they did not provide direct assistance for people with disabilities so this is why some institutions gives limit and prohibit access for Therapy Dogs but, in most cases, they allowed it, however, institutions may impose requirements for Therapy Dog. There are organizations that provide testing and some accreditations for Therapy Animal to assure the institutions that they were tested in accredited manner. Establishment accredit dogs who are found to be positive on people, possess good manners in public locations, in good health with up to date shots, and should be always obedient to owner's command. Most important is that they should not be aggressive.
To make it specific, training Companion Dogs corrects behaviors such as jumping on people, digging, inappropriate barking and chewing and at the same time enhancing the dog's mental and physical activities. It deepens the bond between the dog and the owner, providing a higher level of satisfaction and enjoyment that we get from the dog's companionship. Training also ensures dog's safety and their happiness that is beneficial for your family, neighborhood and even the entire community.
When do you actually need to train your Companion Dog or to enroll them in a class? The answer is Now. Nowadays, veterinarians encourage owners to have the puppy trained even before the completion of shots. It could begin in as early as seven to eight weeks old. Why? The truth is the number one cause of death for dogs under 3 years of age is not actually infectious diseases - it is the behavioral issues between puppies as they grow up to be dogs.
This only proves that delaying the training until the puppy finishes the vaccines may somehow be damaging beliefs which could affect the dogs in the future simply because they are missing almost 16 weeks when the puppy was isolated from the world.
For those who are not aware about training Companion Dogs, obedience training is the most important and the most effective training the owner and trainer can give to a puppy or dog. Training can make your Companion Dog more than just a pet. In reality Companion Dogs will always be valuable member of the family. The dog will never fail to provide pleasure, protection and bond of companionship which is essential in promoting respectful relationship between your family and your dog. However, this respect cannot be easily exerted by improper handling methods or mistreatment but mostly earned through leadership and proper training.
There is no single answer as to why people choose to have either a pet or a companion dog. To some, having just a pet is the right answer. For others, the Companion Dog is the better choice. Just keep in mind that Companion Dogs undergoes a lot of training including extensive obedience training making them capable of handling many situations and more exposed to environments that many dogs will never see. They are even trained to call 911 in emergency cases and these benefits maybe most of us will want. However, at the end, it is still your choice.
Dog Registration is as important as Dog training. One good way to get it is by visiting accredited websites like http://www.registeredservicedogs.com. This site provides legal documents and certification even for your Service Dog, Therapy Dog and Companion Dog. This will help somehow to ensure that Dogs can handle public situations in an acceptable manner.
Jasmin Espinoza, Staff
Staff / Registered Service Dogs