Emotional Support Animals

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Emotional Support Animals: Training for Public Safety Across the nation, the public may be at risk for injury due to untrained animals in our stores. In spite of the increase for support animals in our nation, the United States Government has not addressed the issue that a mandatory system must be in place. Many people view emotional support animals as service animals. These animals help patients with treatment of anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms, just to name a few. Yet training is not required at this time for emotional support animals, as it is for service animals. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act allows them in public establishments. With the rise of emotional support animals for psychiatric patients, the need for…show more content…
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “service animal means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability” (Huss 1163). Yet the definition of an emotional support animal is an animal that reduces anxiety or other emotions of their handler. All a patient needs to obtain an emotional support animal is a letter from a doctor stating the need for the animal. Unfortunately, with this letter in hand, most people believe they are ready to take their animals anywhere with them even though the animal has received little or no training as service animals…show more content…
There are no laws implemented for credentials, I.D. tags, or a license to take an emotional support or service animal in a public place, such as a grocery store, a doctor’s office, or a restaurant. Although the government does not have laws, some states, like California, have implemented a required I.D. tag for dogs in training to wear when they are taken into a public place, but this is not mandatory for active service dogs. With this being said, anybody can claim their dog is a service dog and enter a public place with the animal. Unfortunately, the law under the Department of Justice and the Americans with Disabilities Act simply states that a public establishment can only ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal performs. Businesses cannot ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, nor require proof of a service animal’s certification or licensing. For this reason, permitting untrained animals to enter public places can potentially cause harm to the public. With the lack of proper training and no laws to show credentials, certifications or I.D. tags for emotional support or service animals, anyone can say their animal is a service animal. As a result, this puts the public at risk for harm by a potentially aggressive animal. For this reason, it is imperative for our country to put policies and laws in

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