Dogs are mans’ best friend. The oldest stories involve people and dogs sharing a bond of brotherhood to face the challenges of the world. It would only be reasonable that a dog could help a disabled person. Service animals are increasing in popularity and many people are training and registering their dogs to become a service animal. But everyone cannot simply make their family pet a service dog. Service dogs go through extensive training and must be registered in the state registry for service animals. As of March 2011, dogs are a recognized service animal under ADA law. They are individually trained to perform tasks with a disabled person. They are required to go through intensive obedience school teaching them the basic dog commands. They will graduate to an intensive obedience training that will teach them recognize the signs of their owners’ needs. A final test will be given by a state certified service dog trainer that will test the animal to make sure they understand their basic commands and their owner’s disability signals. For example, a person with a knee replacement could use a service animal because dogs have a keen sense of hearing and can sense when a human knee is about to buckle before a human does. Their quick reaction allows them to place themselves underneath their owner to prevent them from falling. Another form of service animal can be Seeing Eye dogs. These dogs are able to lead their owners to safety and navigate their houses and the outdoors. They also can work with people who are deaf by using their hearing as a substitute for their owner’s hearing. Their owners will fit them with special harnesses that are like placing their human on a leash. Under the ADA law service animals are able to accompany their owners in any business where the public is allowed. The only questions staff is allowed to ask is if the dog is trained to deal with a disability and what tasks have the dog been trained to perform. The easiest way to identify a service animal is a service dog identification harness or tag. This form of identification is worn to signify the dog has completed ADA approved training and has been certified by the proper trainer. Owners do not have to provide documentation proving that they have a disability that requires a service animal. Service dogs are not a pet and therefore cannot be denied access into any facility even if state health codes forbid animal entry or if they advertise “No Pets allowed.” The only time a service animal be banned from a place of business is if their behavior is disruptive or threatening to other patrons or employees.
James Anderson has only one mission: to help inform people. When he first started writing, he was fascinated with his ability to help people understand things. Since then, he has been writing to help educate people that want to learn more. In his ideal world, he would be writing from the Alps, sipping hot chocolate.
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