Service animals can improve the quality of
life for people with disabilities by providing guidance and physical or emotional assistance
such as helping create personal space when in public for those suffering from Post-traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are several organizations that provide
service animals for Missourians. The process of applying for a service animal
may differ among organizations, but each organization usually requires a 2-4 week training
class where you will be matched and trained on how to effectively work your service animal. If you qualify for a service animal, the Americans
with Disabilities Act requires that service animals MUST be harnessed, leashed, or tethered,
unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability.. In that case, the handler must maintain control
of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. If you believe that you could benefit from
a service animal, visit for a listing
of service animal organizations. People who utilize service animals do not always have a physical disability that is visible to others. Therefore, some people try to pass off their pet as a service animal. This is fraud. Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are NOT considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act. These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person. Because these animals have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. However, some state or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places. Please check with your state and local government agencies to find out about these laws. For more information, contact the Governor’s Council on Disability

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1 thought on “How to Obtain a Service Animal and Service Animal Fraud

  1. What about owner-trained / owner-handled service dogs? Legitimate service dogs that help with physical and mental disabilities?

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