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Okay, this question has been on my kind forever. What exactly does an ESA do? Are they just... There with the person? Do they have any particular training? I can see maybe helping with anxiety attacks or something, but wouldn’t that be considered a flat-out SD? Where exactly can they go in the U.S.?

The reason I ask now is that for some reason, there has been an uptick in animals brought to my (public) workplace. And animals are not allowed, unless they are legitimate service animals, for public health reasons. We recently had to tell someone to take their cat outside. A CAT. It had its own stroller and everything.
 

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I think ESA is a bit of a joke...sure pets give emotional support..always have to many but at home. You go about your daily business come home for emotional support. I don't believe you need to take animals with you to give you support otherwise there is really something wrong and you need mental health assistance. And I don't mean that in an ugly way, one must get to the root of their problems and not use a pet as a bandaid.
 

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If your dog is supposedly an ESA - there are really no standards or tasks the dog is required to do for the owner. So I agree with Mufar that an ESA is a bit of joke.
Working with Asta and training him in many ways to help me qualifies him as my PSA. One of the tasks he does is when I have needed his help. My command is "Help me". It was the 1st command I taught him. On command he is to seek out my husband and lead him back to me. Turns out I needed this command this week- I- took a bad fall in the yard. Asta was with me bur I needed his help. My husband was in the house. So Asta goes looking for my husband -At the door, he raised a ruckus. My husband opened the door and saw Asta alone barking then led him to me.
Click knows the laws that govern qualifying as a SD - hope she will answer your post and chime in to clarify this.
 

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ESA have not public access rights as service animals do. The only animals recognized as service animals under the ADA are dogs and miniature horses. So cats, turtles, parrots on people's shoulders and the like may make the person feel good, but not in restaurants, on airplanes, in food stores and such please. Service animals have to have been properly trained to do at least two specific tasks that aide their handlers.
 

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If your dog is supposedly an ESA - there are really no standards or tasks the dog is required to do for the owner. So I agree with Mufar that an ESA is a bit of joke.
Working with Asta and training him in many ways to help me qualifies him as my PSA. One of the tasks he does is when I have needed his help. My command is "Help me". It was the 1st command I taught him. On command he is to seek out my husband and lead him back to me. Turns out I needed this command this week- I- took a bad fall in the yard. Asta was with me bur I needed his help. My husband was in the house. So Asta goes looking for my husband -At the door, he raised a ruckus. My husband opened the door and saw Asta alone barking then led him to me.
Click knows the laws that govern qualifying as a SD - hope she will answer your post and chime in to clarify this.
Wow--good boy, Asta! Hope you are okay.
ESA have not public access rights as service animals do. The only animals recognized as service animals under the ADA are dogs and miniature horses. So cats, turtles, parrots on people's shoulders and the like may make the person feel good, but not in restaurants, on airplanes, in food stores and such please. Service animals have to have been properly trained to do at least two specific tasks that aide their handlers.
Horses? Huh. Would never have thought that. What type of tasks would be considered to be 'aiding' (I'm picturing getting items for the handler, or tasks such as Asta's mom detailed)? Are there any grey area lines that people should be aware of?
 

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Sorry I can't quite address that question since I have no horse experiences, but there would still have to be at least two specific tasks. I suppose physical assistance is a major one for a service horse and getting/retrieving objects could be another.
 
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Wow--good boy, Asta! Hope you are okay.

Horses? Huh. Would never have thought that. What type of tasks would be considered to be 'aiding' (I'm picturing getting items for the handler, or tasks such as Asta's mom detailed)? Are there any grey area lines that people should be aware of?
Guide mini horses have been used for the blind, as they live far longer than a guide dog. I wonder if they might also pull a wheel chair??

As for ESAS - for a genuine anxiety disorder, if it helps the person get out of the house and live a normally life I am fine with it. So long as the dog is trained to the same high standards for public acess you would see in a service dog :)
 

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An ESA is covered by The Fair Housing Act in the USA. If a person rents an apartment in a no pets building, and they have an animal that helps with mental illness or emotional distress, the landlord must make an exemption for the animal. The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to allow animals that provide emotional comfort to people with mental illness or emotional distress to ride in the cabin.

ESAs are required to have the same training as your neighbor’s snarling cocker spaniel. Zero training at all, not even a CGC award. Not even a STAR Puppy.

Do these laws get abused? Yes. Should at least a CGC be required? Yes.

ESA’s are not trained for public access. Emotional comfort is not a task under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Individually trained tasks separate psychiatric service dogs from ESAs. An ESA is a pet. A psychiatric service dog is tax deductible medical equipment. If an ESA is stolen, its a minor theft. If a Psychiatric Service Dog is stolen, it’s grand theft, and a felony in my state. Service dogs are valued between $25,000 and $50,0000 due to the years of training.

Service dogs are highly trained in both public manners and assistance tasks. The difference between a psychiatric service dog and an ESA is vast. An ESA is a lump of coal. A psychiatric service dog is a diamond.
 

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Well Click as often is the case you made the differences clear much more articulately than most of us could dream of.
 

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Well Click as often is the case you made the differences clear much more articulately than most of us could dream of.
Well said. :)
ESAs are required to have the same training as your neighbor’s snarling cocker spaniel. Zero training at all, not even a CGC award. Not even a STAR Puppy.
That’s insane. And landlords are required to let these animals in their homes? Seems that would lead to some tricky situations for other owners, some of which with legitimate service animals...

How would you go about approaching someone if you knew the ESA was not allowed? Or should you?
 

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These days I try not to say anything since I have had some very screw ball interactions with mask up please requests and with people going the wrong way in the aisles of the supermarket. I think we have lost a level of effectiveness in communications since we can't read people's facial expressions. I would talk to a store manager or a landlord rather than directly the offending person. ESA in the supermarket particularly bother me. I have worked very hard to get Javelin worthy of going in the supermarket to have a reactive dog give us a set back experience.
 

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I think ESA animals definitely have a very important and necessary role for some folks, for sure! However, I do definitely think there needs to be required training, consistent standards and certifications for providing that support in public places and multiple dwelling living spaces. I work at a public library and it is so frustrating to have people with untrained dogs blatantly lie to us. People use that line so often just try bring their dog inside and so often you just have to take them at their word. I think it does a great disservice to those who genuinely need and use a true support animal, or any trained type service dog. My dog gives me emotional support but never would I lie and pass him off a genuine ESA.
 

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If you are in the USA, throw them out of the library where you work. Emotional Support is NOT a task under the Amerian's With Disabilities Act. ESA's are pets, not service dogs. Kick them out. You are following the law. Right here, clear as day:

"The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA."

Print this out, and hand it off to the people who whine and complain. You are following the law. ADA 2010 Revised Requirements: Service Animals
 

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I totally agree but try and convince the system of that. We are allowed to ask if the dog has a specific job which folks lie about and we are allowed to ask them to leave if the animal is disruptive. Other than that, it’s pretty gray and we have to take them at their word. It doesn’t happen everyday or anything but through the many years I’ve worked for this system I’ve seen my share of folks who take advantage.
 

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The reason I ask now is that for some reason, there has been an uptick in animals brought to my (public) workplace. And animals are not allowed, unless they are legitimate service animals, for public health reasons. We recently had to tell someone to take their cat outside. A CAT. It had its own stroller and everything.
Cats can actually be legitimate Service Animals. Just like some breeds/dogs are more trainable as service animals, so are cats. Obviously they wouldn’t be used for guide animals or mobility assist, but things like medical alert services, absolutely. Here’s a great example:


As a disabled person who already gets enough grief from non-disableds about so many things (much of which is illegal) I think it’s important to respect other people’s experiences & needs that may be so different from our own that on first glance we may think they’re “scamming” or “faking.” (e.g. invisible disabilities or atypical service animals like miniature horses which are amazing mobility & guide service animals but I saw people rolling their eyes at in another thread...)
 

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ADA 2010 Revised Requirements: Service Animals Unfortunately, the ADA changed in 2010 to define Service Animal as a dog. Mini horses can possibly be service animals. Cats can no longer be service animals under the ADA. However, state service animal laws may cover cats. I know my cats have responded to my low blood sugar by licking my face. Before I got Noelle, the cats were a big help.
 

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I don't understand why there are people who think this has shades of grey. The language in the ADA is crystal clear. If I worked in an environment where people wanted to bring cats, iguanas and whatever else I would suggest that an enlarged copy of the text of the law about what animals can work in that environment be printed out, enlarges, laminated and securely attached to all of the doors. Include a web address for non-believers. Unqualified animals that enter and then perhaps cause problems make things difficult for those with legitimate service dogs by creating a skeptical environment.
 
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