ADA definition of a service animal.

Title II an III of the ADA define a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to perform work or a task to assist a person with a disability in daily life functioning. The work or task must be related to the individual's disability.

Service dog helping woman put items in cart.

Some of the tasks that service dogs perform include:

  • guiding people who are blind
  • retrieving items, pushing/opening doors
  • helping with balance or avoiding falls
  • alerting to oncoming seizures or change in blood sugar
  • alerting someone who is deaf

Dog holding man in place during a seizure.

Examples of Tasks

  • Alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure.
  • Calming a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack.

Cat nuzzling with owner.

Emotional support animals alleviate the symptoms of a disability or simply by their presence (Fair Housing Act Definition). Animals besides dogs may be considered emotional support animals.

Emotional support animals are not covered by the ADA.

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