Weatherford Democrat

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June 1, 2013

VETERANS’ CORNER: The differences in therapy, service and working dogs


Service dogs earn another important designation. They are protected under the 1990 Code of Federal Regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act. This legislation provides access to service animals working with their humans in any area where the public is permitted.

In the United States it is not required by law, ADA, to register an animal used for human service. It is not unusual to find service dogs with their partners in all venues and arenas, anywhere people go.

Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. They are trained to provide comfort, affection and entertainment to people in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, schools and retirement homes. These dogs are often used in therapeutic environments, such as assisting with teaching children experiencing learning disabilities and as stress reducers with victims of accidents, crimes and natural disasters and crises. Therapy dogs are not service dogs and are not protected by ADA regulations. Public institutions may limit or prohibit access to a therapy dog.

Training required for a therapy dog designation varies, and it is much less rigorous than that of service dogs.

Regardless of the dog, whether working dog, service dog, or therapy dog, these dogs remain our best friends, favorite family members, loyal assistants and in most cases, our heroes!

Researching information regarding these animals, the following sites were found for the dog desired. For therapy or service dogs go to www.caninecompanionsforindependence, Santa Rosa, Calif., and for protective dogs go to, Frankfort, Ky.

Remember, be detailed and informative when speaking to these kennels in order to avoid problems.

Speak to you again next week.

Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133.

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