Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
A service dog is a dog that assists someone with a disability and is specially trained to mitigate that disability. For example, a dog may be exceptionally well trained in obedience and be able to do service dog tasks such as open doors, carry items, pick up things etc but unless the handler has a disability that limits their ability to do these things the dog is NOT a service dog. To qualify for service dog public access rights under the ADA the dog must meet all requirements under obedience, public access, and service tasks specifically for the PWD's disability.
A therapy dog is a working dog; as are police dogs, SAR, etc but are not service dogs. The term service dog only applies to those dogs that are for disabled handlers and have public access rights because they are considered to be medical equipment. Its illegal to deny access to someone because of a wheelchair, and so equally illegal to deny access to someone because of their service dog.