Service Dog Registry Helping Others Understand

Service and emotional support animals provide an invaluable service to their owners. People living with disabilities and those people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotional issues need these animals to function through the tasks of everyday living that many of us take for granted.

Prejudices Against Service Animals

However, there are some prejudices held against service and emotional support animals and their owners when they are seen in public places, especially restaurants and grocery stores. Some of this is due to people that abuse the system and take advantage of a loophole in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This federal statute states that proof of certification that an animal is registered as a service or emotional support animal cannot be required to demonstrate that the animal has the legal right to accompany its owner, or that the owner meets the requirements for a person with a legal disability. The intention of the act was to provide people with disabilities privacy regarding their condition and needing to divulge information that could lead to discrimination.

This means that people with service or emotional support animals have the legal right to bring their animals into public places such as on airlines, taxi services, public transportation, grocery stores, restaurants, amusement parks, theaters, etc. There have been times where people bringing certain animals onto airlines has caused issues and these stories landed in the news.

Most People are Unaware

Many people and business owners are unaware of this statute in the American with Disabilities Act. To help people with disabilities a service dog registry has been created whereby a certificate can be acquired for service and emotional support animals. People with disabilities often have their service or emotional support animal where a vest designating their animal’s special role. The labeling on the vest notifies the public that there is a reason for the presence of the service or emotional support animal. These vests also have a clear plastic holder where the certificate is conveniently carried in the case that someone requests to see validation that the animal is indeed a service or emotional support animal. Although this is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it diffuses a potentially volatile situation and gives the person with the disability an opportunity to educate the person ignorant of the law. The certification papers have all the necessary information about the service or emotional support animal, without divulging personal and private information about the owner. The certificate from the service dog registry also contains language from the Americans with Disabilities Act pertaining to service and emotional support animals.