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Old 02-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Emotional Support Dog

From time to time the term *Emotional Support Dog* comes up both here and elsewhere in the forum. Many times we see it used incorrectly as many individuals confuse it with *Service Dog*.

An Emotional Support Dog (ESD) is NOT an Assistance/Service Dog. The Dept. of Justice is very clear on this when they state that emotional support is not a qualifying task.

The owner or handler is not given Public Access Rights with an ESD. Numerous times I have been asked to help someone declare or claim their dog is an Emotional Support Dog. Sometimes this individual owns and lives in their own home and seldom travels -- and never by airline. So I ask them why do they want to go through this for no benefit to themself; in truth, a lot of paperwork for no reason or benefit? Some are confused until they understand just what an ESD is.

The ONLY benefit to the paperwork and work required are:
1) Living with the animal in no-pets allowed housing and
2) Having the animal fly in-cabin when it does not meet in-cabin pet requirements.

So what is an ESD or an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

A quote from SDC states:
"An Emotional Support Animal is a dog or other common domestic animal that provides theraputic support to a disabled or elderly owner through companionship, non-judgmental positive regard, affection, and a focus in life. If a doctor determines that a patient with a disabling mental illness would benefit from the companionship of an emotional support animal, the doctor write letters supporting a request by the patient to keep the ESA in "no pets" housing or to travel with the ESA in the cabin of an aircraft.
~ Service Dog Central
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for pointing out the difference in definition, but I imagine there is a huge difference in the level of training between a SD and an ESD.

Here's a story my daughter told me. She was taking a painting class at our community college. The college has a "no dogs on campus" policy. The art studios are in a more remote area of campus, so a dog would not be noticed much. One of the students in the painting class brought in their small dog, saying it was an ESD, and the instructor said it was OK. During class the dog got up and peed on another student. That must have embarrassed the dog's owner so much that she quit the class. You know a trained service dog would not do that.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had not heard of ESD, very interesting. Thank you for bringing this up. It seems to me that the benefits of seniors having a pet in restricted housing is a huge benefit.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He might need some help stowing his tray table for TO and landing.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
Thanks for pointing out the difference in definition, but I imagine there is a huge difference in the level of training between a SD and an ESD.
There is no specific training required BUT since this dog will be allowed into situations such as housing it is only common sense to make sure the dog behaves itself ...

No jumping on or snapping at others in the common areas such as halls or sidewalks.
No barking when left alone
No pottying in nonapproved areas
Dog should be well-groomed at all times

Owner should clarify where the dog is allowed to potty and make sure that all piles are picked up and disposed of at once.

Another fact, while the owner is allowed to keep pet in home, take the dog outside to designated area to potty, and walk on sidewalks for exercise the owner should never take the dog into common areas such as meeting rooms or lounge areas. People live in non-pet housing for various reasons and their comfort should not suffer because there are exceptions made.

There was a court case - I don't remember the case name etc. - but management wanted owner to carry dog down back hall and out service door. Judge ruled that owner did not have to carry dog, but dog had to walk next to owner and proceed from owner's unit door to regular tenant door without side trips throughout building. I don't think it was the same case but one owner was told that dog was not allowed to attend a regular tenant meeting held in the building unless invited and approved by all the other owners. As has already been stated, an Emotional Support Dog is not a Service Dog and owner does not have any Public Access Rights as set forth under the ADA and the Dept. of Justice.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
Here's a story my daughter told me. She was taking a painting class at our community college. The college has a "no dogs on campus" policy. The art studios are in a more remote area of campus, so a dog would not be noticed much. One of the students in the painting class brought in their small dog, saying it was an ESD, and the instructor said it was OK. During class the dog got up and peed on another student. That must have embarrassed the dog's owner so much that she quit the class. You know a trained service dog would not do that.
The owner of the dog was wrong in taking the dog into the classroom and in this case broke the school policy of dogs not being allowed on campus. Even a handler of a SD goes through set procedures in notifying Admin on campus (usually through a students' disability dept.) that they will be attending classes with their SD.

Instructor was wrong to allow the dog into the classroom but in all probability did not understand that the dog was not a Service Dog. This is one reason that Service Dog handlers go through a process in order that their instructors and security are told in advance to expect the dog and how they are to react to the dog being on campus and in the public rooms and most classrooms.

Now after this, you can see one reason why so many people are against SDs as they see a dog acting up and link this incident with real SD teams.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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that's fascinating...not only does that term holds a lot of meaning legally but for me I think I can use it to validate my need for them religiously!?!
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm curious, since ESAs are only allowed on airlines/housing- how do people know how the dog will do on an airplane or train them for airline travel?
Since an individual has no public access rights with an ESA the dog would not have any experience traveling on other public transportation so how do people find out if their dog is going to behave properly, before they bring them on a flight; or prepare them for flying?
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Basically, a service dog should be trained, and a emotionl support dog is declared.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagocanine View Post
I'm curious, since ESAs are only allowed on airlines/housing- how do people know how the dog will do on an airplane or train them for airline travel?
Since an individual has no public access rights with an ESA the dog would not have any experience traveling on other public transportation so how do people find out if their dog is going to behave properly, before they bring them on a flight; or prepare them for flying?
I've wondered this myself. I'd be quite nervous bringing my SD on a plane even though she's been on many other forms of public transportation without issue. There really isn't anything to duplicate flight with changes in air pressure etc. And having to control and out of control animal would sure be INCREASING my emotional distress lol.
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