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 more than 1 year 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 more than 1 year ago