Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How Much Identification Do You Need for Your Therapy Dog?

How much does the public really know about a therapy dog? The first thing they should know is that therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort to help elders in nursing homes, victims of disaster areas, visit schools and other visitation areas helping others manage their stress. However, the second and equally important thing they need to know is that a therapy dog does not have the same rights as a service dog.

Although service dogs are protected by government laws, a therapy dog is not. He may not be able to access the same areas a service dog could. Therefore, identification may be used to help the public understand how he helps others in a public setting.

We have listed several means of therapy dog identification that you can use to show that the animal is clearly a therapy dog. This will help avoid any possibility of misrepresentation in public, while allowing others to see the benefits of how a therapy dog can help them.

Therapy Dog Vests

A vest is a clear signifier that a dog in a public place is not just a pet but is helping their handler or helping others as a Therapy Dog. Many people who see a dog wearing a vest associate them with service dogs, so it is of the utmost importance to ensure the therapy dog wears a therapy dog vest. This is a vest that has patches attached to it that clearly say in bold letters: “Therapy Dog.” These vests may also store an ID card for further identification.

Therapy Dog ID Cards

When it comes to providing professional-looking identification upon request, a therapy dog ID card can be very useful. When asked about the therapy dog, you may provide an ID card that clearly states your name, your dog’s name, or your organization, and the words “Therapy Dog.” These cards can help clear up any misconceptions about whether your dog is a therapy dog or service dog.

Patches

As we mentioned before, patches attached to therapy dog vests are a good way to identify a dog as a therapy dog. You may use additional patches that say valuable information like “Disabled Veteran,” “U.S. Army,” and U.S. Marines” to provide more context to your dog’s function in a public setting. Additional patches may be added to your dog’s vest or may be attached via clip-on patch tags.

You can find other accessories to help you identify a dog as a therapy dog, including window decals and keepsake cards. These can be helpful, but their use will depend on where you are going with the therapy dog. Wherever you choose to go with a therapy dog, just be sure to have several methods of identification such as therapy dog patches and ID Cards.

Friday, April 8, 2016

What Identification Should An Emotional Support Dog Have?

Not everyone knows the difference between an emotional support dog and a service dog. At a glance, the animals look similar; they both wear vests and help their handlers get through their day. However, an emotional support dog uses different forms of identification than a service dog because they, unlike service dogs, are not covered by the ADA.
To distinguish your emotional support dog from a service dog, it may be helpful for you to provide the right kind of identification, which is available in the form of vests, patches, certificates, and ID cards.

Basic Emotional Support Dog Identification

Emotional support dog vests are typically used by handlers to show that their dog is helping them feel comfortable while out in public. When outfitted with ESA patches that specifically state the dog is an “Emotional Support Dog,” vests help the public understand the dog is not a pet but is also not a service dog. This helps to avoid any confusion when authorities are considering whether the dog is covered by the ADA, the Fair Housing Amendments Act, or the Air Carrier Access Act. Emotional support dogs will be supported by the latter two acts, but not by the ADA.
Together, vests and patches help identify that the dog is providing aid for its handler.

Additional Identification for Emotional Support Dogs

Sometimes, it won’t be enough to just have a vest that states a dog is an emotional support dog. There may be times when more identification may be helpful to defuse an uncomfortable situation, and this can be done with the following ESA identification.

Emotional support dog certificates are official documents that state a dog is an emotional support dog. It also provides information such as the handler’s name, the dog’s name, and when the certificate was registered. Certification is not required; however, presenting an official certificate can help avoid uncomfortable situations.

ESA ID cards fulfill the same function that certificates do. A handler may carry an ID card in their pocket or wallet and produce it easily upon request. Like certification, ID cards are not required, but can help when explaining the dog’s important role.

Not everyone will be observant enough to know an emotional support dog just by a vest alone. To be truly prepared, these forms of ESA identification can help the public understand exactly what kind of dog they’re looking at.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Can You Tell the Difference Between Emotional Support Dogs and Service Dogs?

Both emotional support dogs and working service dogs can often be identified by the vests they wear. However, telling the difference between them may require you to take a closer look. Can you tell the difference? Try to spot the difference between these two dogs:





Although both dogs are wearing vests, the one on the left is clearly labelled as a “Service Dog,” while the one on the right is identified as an “Emotional Support Dog.”

Service dogs and emotional support dogs can come in any size and any breed. As indicated in the pictures, their vests can even be the same color. Therefore, it is vitally important to know how to tell the difference between emotional support dogs and service dogs. You must carefully read the words on the dog’s vest; that is the best way to know whether the dog is a service animal or an emotional support animal.

Can’t You Ask Someone To Prove Their Animal is a Service Dog?

No. Under no circumstance are you allowed to ask someone to prove their animal is a service dog. That is considered discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You are also not allowed to ask for documentation for the dog, nor can you ask the handler have the dog perform its task.

The ADA states you may only ask two questions: “(1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Remember, it is against the law to misrepresent a service animal as such if it is not one. Because of this rule, you must assume that a dog wearing a vest labelled “Service Dog” is a legitimate service dog, and is providing vital assistance for the handler.

You could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation if you are trying to figure out if the dog is an emotional support animal or a service animal. You must make sure the vest clearly states what kind of dog they have.


Emotional support dogs and service dogs are not the same. They do not provide the same kind of assistance to their handlers, and many people do not know the difference between the two. We hope you now understand how it can be easy to tell if you are looking at an emotional support dog or service dog. All you have to do is look.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Should You Get Emotional Support Dog Certification?

Emotional support dogs act as companion animals to thousands of Americans. However, emotional support dogs are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as service dogs are. Since they are not recognized in any official capacity, why then do you see so many offers for emotional support dog certification? What exactly is emotional support dog certification, and is it required to bring your emotional support dog with you?

We at WorkingServiceDog.com are here to tell you that no, emotional support dog certification is not required, however, you may want it anyway.

Is Emotional Support Dog Certification Required?

As we said, no—certification for emotional support dogs is not required for you to take your dog with you. Although the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) recognizes your emotional support dog provides you with much-needed companionship, other areas may not be so accepting. However, having a certificate can make these outings easier for you, no matter where you are. Carrying an official-looking emotional support dog certificate can help you avoid uncomfortable situations and will enable you to travel more freely with your companion.

Remember that your emotional support dog is not recognized by the ADA, which means that you must take steps to maintain your own well-being. A certificate can help you achieve that by ensuring your emotional support dog stays by your side.

What Is Included With An Emotional Support Dog Certificate?

If you choose to purchase emotional support dog certification from WorkingServiceDog.com, you will receive a custom-made certificate featuring your name, your dog's name, the date registered, and your certificate number. The certificate is embossed with a colored seal that says, “Registered Emotional Support Animal.” You’ll also receive a professional “Registered Animal Documents” folder to conveniently carry and identify your paperwork. This purchase also includes a duplicate copy of your certificate.

You also have the option to buy an electronic version of your certificate as an added convenience. You can download this version straight to your smartphone so you always have it accessible. Other purchase options include an ESA round collar tag, patch, lanyard, and a 4’ leash.

Here is the emotional support dog certification from WorkingServiceDog.com. Emotional support ID cards are also available as an easily portable form of certification. Emotional support dog certification may not be required, but it can be a good idea to have just in case.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Have a smart phone or mobile device? Carry a digital copy of your identificaiton card


http://www.workingservicedog.com/idcards.aspx
 
Working Service Dogs’ new digital ID card helps you carry your Identification the smart and easy way

Nearly everyone carries a mobile device or smart phone, and those that do want to do everything they can from it to make their lives as easy as possible.

WorkingServiceDog.com was the  first website that began to offer its customers digital access to their ID card so they can  show their identification more easily with something they are already carrying.

"Offering customers digital ID cards  was a logical step for us," said Joe Vinci, workingservicedog.com  director of website sales. "The PVC ID cards are great to carry and show when needed, but our customers wanted a way to also carry their ID cards from their smartphones”.

Don’t worry if you are stuck in a remote area with bad cellphone service?   Our Digital ID cards are saved on your smartphone as a photo so it is always accessible.

All of our  ID cards layouts including Service Dog, Service Dog Handler and Emotional Support Animal are available with an option to receive a digital ID copy.
 
So if you are ready to go digital, add one to your ID Card order  and give it a try.

For more information on our digital ID cards, please visit www.workingservicedog.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5 Things to Know Before Flying


Most airlines nowadays make it easier than ever to take your service dog on trip with you. Many airlines offer an accommodating airline service animal policy that allows your dog to join you directly in the cabin.

You can make traveling with your service dog even easier by outfitting your dog in a service dog vest to make it easily recognizable as a working dog to airline staff and fellow travelers.

Here are five more travel tips from WorkingServiceDog.com to make sure your next trip with you canine companion goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Call Ahead

Although many airlines accept service animal and service dogs, it's always important to verify the airline's policy before booking your flight. It it is advisable to call ahead to the airline to notify them that your service dog will be accompanying you on the flight. Usually they will note your ticket that you are accompanied by a service dog.

2. Know your dog’s size

A service animal may accompany their handler in the aircraft cabin if the service dog can be accommodated without blocking an isle or areas used for emergency evacuations.  If the service animal is too big to sit under the seat or at the handler’s feet without intruding on another passenger’s space or obstructing the isle it will need to travel in the cargo hold.

3. You May Not Be the Only One with a Service Dog On Board

Be aware that others may also be traveling with their service dogs on your flight. Some airlines may have a limit as to how many animals – either service animals or regular pets - can be aboard the plane at any time. This is why it's important to call ahead and advise the airline you have a service dog as soon as possible. Of course a service animal will most likely take precedence over a regular pet in the case that the animal count limit is reached on a select flight, but it is still good practice to inform your airline in advance to avoid any issues.

4. Research Your Flight's Pet Health Requirements 

Find out ahead of time what vaccinations or health certificates are required for your service dog to fly. Then book an appointment with your vet to make sure that your dog has a clean bill of health before embarking on your trip.

5. Know the Risks

Not all dogs are created equally and certain breeds carry more of a flight risk than others. The Humane Society recommends that dogs with “pushed in” faces, such as bulldogs and pugs, should not travel by plane.

Follow These Tips and Enjoy Your Trip

Flying with service animals has never been easier, especially when you follow all the above steps.

Don't forget the number one tip and make sure your service dog is equipped with a noticeable service dog vest.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Emotional Support Animal Vests

Emotional Support Animals, or ESAs, offer more than just companionship. They provide an increased comfort level for their owner, particularly in social situations. They also require a note from a licensed mental health professional to qualify.

While people are growing accustomed to seeing service dogs, identifiable by their service dog vests in public places, emotional support animals are a newer movement and may require getting used to by some people. They are also not covered by the same laws as service animals.

What is the Difference Between a Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal

Many people confuse emotional support animals with service animals but there are important distinctions between the two.

Service dogs, including seeing-eye dogs and dogs that aid with disabilities, are supported by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) while emotional support dogs are not and therefore do not receive the same privileges as service dogs in public. While emotional support animals are allowed to fly with their owners and qualify for no-pet housing, they are not required to be allowed entry into any public establishment that ban animals (Source: National Service Animal Registry).

What Is An Emotional Support Animal?

Dogs are the popular choice for emotional support animals and are easily recognizable with an emotional support animal vest. They provide comfort for their owners in public places, such as stores, restaurants and airplanes.

While dogs are common emotional support animals, other less common species have also filled the role. Some of the unique and perhaps surprising animals to assist people for emotional support include pigs, rabbits, snakes and alligators.

Unfortunately, some of these animals may cause anxiety to the general public, despite providing comfort to their owner (Source: Boston Globe).

Stand Out with an Emotional Support Animal Vest

Although emotional support animals are not supported by the ADA, you can still help the public to accept your animal companion by purchasing an emotional support animal vest. These vests highlight that your animal is there to offer you support and will reduce the number of potential confrontations from less animal-loving people in public.