Explaining Support Animals

Explaining Support Animals blog

WHAT DO SERVICE ANIMALS DO? Service animals perform a task(s) for a specific person; such as, seizure response, mobility assistance, autism assistance, hearing/visual assistance, psychiatric assistance, diabetic or allergy alert, etc.

  • is not housetrained (e.g., urinating/defecating in a restaurant, etc.)
  • is posing a threat to the safety of others
  • is not being controlled by the handler
  • cannot be reasonably accommodated due to size or weight (usually applies to horses)
  • Is the animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has this animal been trained to perform?
  • ask about the nature or extent of the disability
  • request documentation
  • require a vest on the animal
  • require a harness and leash as it can interfere with the animal’s ability to perform the task
Service animals perform a task or tasks for a specific person.
Service animals perform a task or tasks for a specific person.
Don’t fake SA or ESA credentials just so you can take your pet along. Incidents with uncontrolled imposters puts others at risk and make life difficult for those who legitimately need support animals.

WHAT DO EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS DO? Emotional support animals provide therapeutic support and companionship to their person.

  • the patient’s name
  • the letter writer’s relationship to the patient
  • the purpose for the ESA
  • the type of animal for which accommodations are being asked
  • refuse to rent or sell housing because of an ESA
  • evict a tenant because of an ESA
  • charge higher rent, a pet deposit or a pet fee to a person with an ESA
  • refuse to provide reasonable accommodations or modifications
  • refuse to provide housing on the basis of breed or weight restrictions
  • contact the writer of the ESA letter or ask the individual for details of their disability
  • the individual does not provide an ESA letter or provides fake documentation
  • the housing provider demonstrates that necessary accommodations/modifications would impose an undue financial and administrative burden
  • the request would fundamentally alter the essential nature of the operations
  • the ESA poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others despite any other reasonable accommodations that could eliminate or reduce the threat
  • the ESA would or does cause significant damage to the property of others despite any other reasonable accommodations that could eliminate or reduce the threat

Service Animals vs Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animal Regulations & Guidelines

Discussing ESA Considerations with Your Client

3 Things Therapists Need to Provide Before Providing an ESA Letter

ESA Letter Templates for Housing & Travel

Emotional support animals provide therapeutic companionship to their person.
Emotional support animals provide therapeutic companionship to their person.

WHAT DO THERAPY ANIMALS DO? Therapy animals provide comfort and support to people other than their handler.

  • You must comply with your state and municipality laws. In Wisconsin, all dogs and cats must be up to date on rabies vaccinations and licensed in their home county. However, there are no such requirements for other animals in the state of Wisconsin.
  • Your national organization may have additional requirements such as additional vaccinations, annual fecal exams or annual veterinary wellness exams.
Therapy animals do not have the same public access privileges as service support animals.
Therapy animals must be a good fit for the environment in which they will be working. As can be seen here, this dog’s body language is saying that he is not comfortable . Therapy work in certain environments or therapy work in general may not be the right fit for every dog … and that’s okay.

WHAT DO COMPANION ANIMALS DO? Our pets are our companions, our partners, our teammates, our comfort, our home … They give us joy, join us in activities and give us comfort.

Companion animals provide comfort, and can function as emotional support animals.
Our pets are our companions, our partners, our teammates, our comfort, our home ..

Navigating the Loss of a Pet

Pet Loss blog
Pet loss poem.  "Grief is the price we pay for love" by Queen Elizabeth II.
Pet loss poem  "Don't cry because it's over.  Smile Because it happened" by Dr. Suess.
  • Does my dog have a good quality of life? Are they eating and drinking? Are they able to urinate/defecate? Do they enjoy human interaction?
  • Does my dog have more good days than bad?
  • Is it possible for my dog to recover with a treatment plan that I can commit to both financially and personally?
Pet loss poem  "Pets come into our lives to teach us about love, adn their departure teaches us about loss."

The Box Game

Level 1: Upsidedown


Level 2: Box Game on its Side

Level 3: Reaching Inside

Level 4: Flaps Out

Level 5: Adding Elements

Level 6: Flaps In

The Ultimate Box Game

The Box Game

The Exploratory Box Game

The Box Game

Backyard Activity Ideas for You and Your Dog

Fun Backyard Activity Ideas for You and Your Dog

Backyard Activity: Agility

Dog walk

Backyard Activity: Dog Parkour (AKA Urban Agility)

  • As your dog’s partner, you are keeping him safe by acting as his spotter.
  • Harness and Leash: Use a harness with a 4-6′ leash clipped to the back of the harness.
  • Retractable leashes and long lines can become tangled and create a safety hazard
  • Long lines
  • NEVER use prong collars, slip/choke collars, slip lead or head halter.
  • Obstacles should be no higher than the handler’s shoulder height.
  • Do not let your dog jump down onto hard surfaces from any obstacle higher than that dog’s shoulder height. Instead, use his harness to help lower him to the ground.
  • Check before letting your dog enter public or private property.
  • Parkour can be done off leash if spotting is not necessary.
  • Balancing on stumps, rocks, logs, benches, parking space barriers, retaining walls, etc. Be sure that any obstacle that you are asking your dog to climb or jump onto has been checked for stability.
  • Balancing on or weaving around parking spot barriers.
  • Walking along retaining walls.
  • Stepping up or backing up onto stairs or curbs.
  • Walk on top of or crawl under benches.
  • Weaving around a line of trees or bushes.

Backyard Activity: Hoopers

Backyard Activity: Treibball

Backyard Activity: Rally

Rally course

Backyard Activity: Scentwork