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One thought on “Service and Therapy Animals: Changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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  1. I would also like to add that pit-bull propaganda groups have gone to great lengths to confuse the terms “service dogs”, and “therapy dogs”. Therapy dogs ARE NOT considered BY LAW in the United States to have the same status as SERVICE DOGS. Service dogs directly assist their handicapped owners with daily tasks in some fashion; therapy dogs are handled by their owners to assist others at specific times, such as visits to a facility.

    If you look at organizations like Guiding Eyes for the Blind, they have been breeding their own line of guide dogs since the mid-sixties; looking for potential dogs in shelters and through random breeders was not working, since most dogs failed to meet the rigourous standard required of guide dogs. Many other types of service dog programs use their own breeders, also; the making of a service dog starts with the breeding, and working with the pup from the time it is born through careful handling exersizes and socialization. Pit bulls are exceedingly rare as service dogs; and are never listed as a recommended breed by any of the major service dog organization.

    The term “therapy dog”, however, is a very loose term; there are informal situations where one may consider a dog a “therapy” dog, because the owner brings the dog into a LTC facility for visits. My mom was in an Assited Living Facility whre the secretary brought her Lab to work. The aides would regularly bring the dog into the common areas to visit the residents and help with OT exercises by having the dog fetch tossed objects. The dog had no formal training or certification.

    Certified Therapy dogs must generally pass the CGC test,and be evaluated by a recognized therapy dog organization.

    As far as claims that pit bulls are often used as therapy dogs, it simply doesn’t hold up; yes, some pit bulls are indeed certified therapy dogs, but if you go to any therapy dog organization website and look at the “members” pictures of participating dogs, again, pit bulls are RARE. This can be quantified, if you take the time, searching therapy dog websites across the country. Pit bull advocates bank on the fact that if they keep insisting that these dogs are commonly used as therapy and service dogs, people will believe them.

    Its all part of the misinformation campaign aimed at protecting the for-profit breeders of these dogs.

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