Service Dog Registration isn't Essential but can be Helpful
The true essence of a service dog is to aid the owner. It's not a state law to have your animal registered but doing so aids you in the long run. Service Dog Registration isn't Essential but can be Helpful, here's why: it seems the trend shows that many pet owners are claiming their animal to be emotional support dogs to gain public access. Unfortunately, this causes conflict for the people that really need them. This conflict is becoming an issue between legitimate service dog owners and the establishments. This is causing a lot of controversy and amendments state to state are being added to help clarify the issues. First and foremost owners and their dogs are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means a service dog does not need to be registered to gain access anywhere for any reason. However, some pet owners are using this to their advantage.
To better understand what a service dog is we have broken down the key facts but if you need more in-depth information feel free to read Types of Service Dogs and How They Can Benefit You.
A Service Dog
Aids a disabled owner with tasks that the owner can not do
A service dog does not require certification but must be trained to perform tasks
A facility can only ask (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Must be obedient, preferably leashed, and have proper hygiene for public safety
A service dog can not be turned away
A service dog is allowed public transportation and Nationwide on domestic flights
Emotional Support Dogs
Falls under the category of a service dog and is also protected by law
Does not require training but aids in the comfort level of a person with mental health issues
Must be obedient, leashed, and have proper hygiene for public safety
An emotional support dog cannot be turned away
Unregistered Service Dog Complications
Because most people with mental health issues appear normal and are not as easy to identify as a person with disabilities, their dogs are often questioned. Unfortunately, people that truly don't need emotional support dogs are using this to take their animal into places where dogs are not allowed. Here is where the trend is picking up momentum and causing issues for the people with a valid need. Sad but true.
Because of the confusion, it makes sense to register your service dog to easily identify authenticity. Having documentation solves an unwanted question, moves the process along quickly, and extinguishes any hassles immediately.
Benefits to Certifying Your Dog
Proper visual aids and identification tags grant immediate access
Proper visual aids also establish that your dog is working, which can aid other animal lovers from confronting your dog and distracting them.
In an emergency situation responders are trained to aid persons with service dogs first.