Alliance Bank in Sulphur Springs

Psychiatric Assistance Dog v.s. Emotional Support Animal. What’s the Difference?

July 5, 2024 – Utter the phrase ‘Emotional Support Animal’ and most people have visions of peacocks, pigs and miniature horses riding on airliners alongside their owners.

Because of problems, complaints and suspected abuse of the system associated with these unconventional travel companions, all US based airlines banned Emotional Support Animals on flight. This took place in January of 2021.

This move left a portion of the population looking for ways to fill that pet related gap.

Enter the Psychiatric Assistance Dog

A recent addition to the ‘Assistance Dog’ category is the Psychiatric Assistance Dog. Dogs in the category are trained in a similar nature to other service dogs such as seeing eye dogs for the blind.

They are also exempt from the restriction put in place is 2021. They enjoy the same protection provided for all ‘Assistance Dogs’ through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

For a dog to be considered an assistance dog, they must meet the following criteria:

  • The dog’s handler must be disabled and meet the legal definition of disability in a specific country or region.
  • The dog must be specifically trained to mitigate the partner’s disability in some way: e.g. opening doors, detecting high blood sugar or allergens and notifying of such, alerting to a ringing phone, and assisting those who are visually or mobility impaired.
  • The dog must be trained to be safe with members of the public and well-behaved, as well as healthy and not posing a hygiene threat.

You can find out more about Service Dogs and the State of Texas here.

There are no plans to bring back the days of roosters and kangaroos on airliners… even though they might provide emotional support.

Minnie and Rosie working hard providing emotional support on a recent visit to KSST. They have no plans on being trained for any additional skills.

Author: KSST Webmaster

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