A short overview of the structure of the ADA is necessary so that the reader can appreciate the difficulty, in general, involved in determining an animal's status as a service animal
. First, the ADA is divided into 5 titles:
Usually only dogs work as service animals
. Most of them are trained to be comfortable around mobility devices, to be nonexcitable and nonaggressive, and to avoid food or pills that fall on the floor.
Covered entities are almost always required to allow a service animal
on their premises.
According to the DOT regulation, airlines are not required to accommodate unusual service animals
such as snakes and other reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders because they can pose safety or public health concerns.
Despite the ADA requirement that service animals
be trained to perform work or tasks related to a disability, the ADA does not specify or mandate that a service animal
be certified or receive any specialized training.
Airlines are allowed to ask passengers using a service animal
on flights of eight hours or longer to provide documentation that the animal will not need to relieve itself on the flight or that it can do so in a way that does not create a health or sanitation issue.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said last night(FRI): "This law is about giving our service animals
the protection they deserve as they dedicate their lives to keeping us safe.
Different than specially trained service animals
like Seeing Eye dogs, these animals typically are used to provide comfort and lessen the symptoms of their human companion's emotional or mental health issue.
Mr Bach said: "This additional protection is well-deserved and will ensure anyone who attacks or injures a service animal
in the future will face the full arm of the law - and could well end up with a prison sentence."
Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs (TLCAD) is one organization that provides a special service that intersects the service animal
world with the world of corrections.
The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists developed the annual ACVO/StokesRx National Service Animal
Eye Exam event in 2008 as a national platform to address eye health, which is critical for the safety of the animals and their handlers.