What’s The Big Deal…

Why Can’t I call a Therapy Animal or Companion Animal a Service Animal?

Three words, three diffewent meanings. And yet so many peeps still use these terms interchangeably. But they’re not. Interchangeable me means. They mean 3 diffewent things and descwibe 3 diffewent types of animals wiff diffewent twainin’ levels and skills. It sumtimes hurts our feelings to be called therapy or companion kitties but we know peeps awe usually sayin’ it cuz they don’t know da diffewence. Mommy on da udder hand gets weally uptight ‘bout it. She sez there’s a big diffewence and it shows diswespect to those who have worked so hawd to twain to be Service animals. And dat peeps takin’ advantage of da old ADA rule by passin’ off therapy and companion animals and even pets as Service animals is what caused da ADA to change da definitions and exclude sum species, like us kitties. Altho’ we do still enjoy sum benefits, weez not as purrtected unnew da law as we once was. Isn’t dat wight mommmy?

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Yes dear that’s right.

 

Mommy wuld you give everypawdy da definitions of a Service, Therapy and Companion Animal?

I would be happy to Dezi. Why don’t we start with Service Animals. According to the ADA website, on March 15, 2011 ONLY dogs are recognized as Service Animals under titles 2 and 3 of the ADA (Americans with Disablity Act). The rules used to read: A Service Animal is an animal(dog)that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with disabilities. After 2011 it replaces the word animal with dog. The ADA recognizes that Service animals are not PETS, but working animals. However they now only recognize dogs as such animals. The work the animal (dog) is trained to perform must be directly related to the persons disability. Animals (dogs) whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support DO NOT qualify as Service Animals under the ADA. It goes further to say: This definition does NOT affect or limit the broader definition of “Assistance Animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “Service Animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act. Some State and local laws have broader definitions regarding Service Animals. You should check with your local government and ordinances if you have questions with regards to accessibility or other protections and rights afforded you under the laws of your state.

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Dat’s why we be called Service Animals isn’t it mommy? Cuz weez been TRAINED to purrfurm duties diwectly welated to yous disability?

 

Yes it is sweety. And before 2011 Lexi and those who came before her were certified. You were tested, certified and recognized as a highly trained Service Animal as well, but the ADA dusn’t recognize you as one. We are still protected under the law and benefit from certain rules and regulations, but there are some benefits we can no longer receive. You and sis Lexi can no longer apply to be sponsored as Service animals. There are companies that sponsor Service animals for one thing. And a Sponsorship means they provide the animal with food, supplies, toys and pay all medical expenses for them. Since people with disabilities are usually on a fixed income, sponsorship is a great benefit and help.

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It’s gweat to be a Service animal mommy. Meez purroud me can help you even ifin da ADA dusn’t wecognize me.

 

I know baby and I really do appreciate you and your sister. Y’all are a great help to me. And I love you both very much.

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Oh mommy we luv you too. Me finks we might shuld cover da udder workin’ animals in anudder posty mommy? Me finks this might be a lot to digest and me dusn’t want anypawdy to be confused ‘bout da diffewences. What do yous fink mommy?

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I think you’re absolutely right Dezi. I think we shuld let everypawdy absorb this. It is a lot of information but we do hope to clear things up for people by the end of this series. Why don’t you list a few of the “jobs” you and Lexi perform for me so that our friends will know what kinds of things are considered “trained behaviors that qualify y’all as Service Animals”.

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Oh me wuld luv to mommy. Lexi and me have been trained to drive mommys wheelchair, dial 911 fur help, give her massages, and our biggy is dat we alert mommy afur she passes out so she can get sumwhere safe and not dwop all da way to da floor and get hurt. We do hope dat yous all enjoy our series on Working animals and will keep coming back to read da whole series. Weez will cover Therapy and Companion Animals and tell sum trainin’ stowries of our own as pawrt of this series.

 

 

And ifin yous haven’t alweady entered, we have 2 pawsum give aways goin’ on wight now.

You can enter to win yous choice of PetSafe’s Pagoda fountain here.

And you can enter to win yous choice of a case of Weruva TruLuxe canned food here.

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These pawsum give aways awe pawrt of our series on hydwation and weez very gwateful to da sponsors fur allowin’ us to offer you all a chance to twy their purroducts fur yous selff. And stay tuned, we have more pawsum give aways comin’ up this mumff. And just to clear up one thing, ifin yous alweady follow meez bloggy by email, then yous not have to do it again.

 

Till da next time……………….Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Dezi and Lexi

 

References: ADA

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