Animals at Your Service
Puppy 101: If you’re thinking of applying to receive a service dog, visit Canine Companions for Independence (cci.org) for general information about service dogs’ abilities and what typically happens during the training process — the dogs are already trained to assist, but they also need to train with their new humans!
Once you and your new dog are together, you’ll want to go places. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides guidance on service animals, including responsibilities for both the person with the service animal and the businesses and facilities that the person with the service animal may visit. Read the guidelines here: ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm.
Best in Show: Dog Jaunt (dogjaunt.com) is written primarily for pet owners who like bringing along their furry companions when traveling, but there’s a terrific “Airport Pet Relief Areas” page that gives detailed instructions to (and photos of) many relief areas at American airports.
People who use service animals also undoubtedly know that term can be very haphazardly or fraudulently used, in part because of laxity regarding service animal registration. This report from Pets Adviser features perspectives from a dog owner who lies about her dog being a service animal, to a veterinarian who refuses to falsify service animal documents, to what a true service animal means to its human companion: petsadviser.com/service-dog-report.pdf.