Shades Cahaba awarded facility service dog



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Therapy dog, not service dog.

The dog described is a therapy animal, not a service animal. A service animal is task trained to mitigate their handler’s disability. A therapy animal is trained to behave in group setting and provide emotional support to many people.

Mislabeling is a problem because you’ve effectively told people that swamping a disabled person’s service animal is encouraged, when most service animal handlers can’t afford for their dog to be distracted like that, even momentarily.

As a service animal handler, I am constantly bombarded by people who believe that it’s okay to pet, call to, or otherwise distract a service animal. Articles like this, mislabeling therapy animals as service animals, continue to promote that attitude, making the life of disabled handlers everywhere that much harder.

Tina Ess 227 days ago

Re: Therapy dog, not service dog.

Hi Tina, Thanks for commenting. I used the phrasing of "facility service dog" as that is how the dogs were described to me during interviews. They were not called therapy dogs. However, I am sympathetic to your concern and the difference between the role these dogs serve in and a one-on-one service dog working in a disability role. I will add some clarification to the article.
Sydney 226 days ago

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