Service Dog verses Emotional Support Animal

by Sue on June 23, 2016

Again today I received a phone call from the authorities who had an Emotional Support Animal owner in custody for breaking the law by taking an Emotional Support Animal into a store posted Service Animals Only.

I cannot express this enough.

Despite what online companies out there try to tell you, in order to relieve you of some of your money, Emotional Support Animals are NOT Service Animals and are NOT allowed into places posted Service Animals Only. Official looking Emotional Support Animal  tags that have the Department of Justice seal on them and/or state “Full Access Required” are WRONG and may eventually get you in trouble with the law for falsifying a Service Animal (such as the call I received today). Why do these companies sell these tags, patches, or “registrations” and not advise you of the rules? Simple. They have your money, they don’t care what happens to you.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states the following…

“Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”

Which means that if your dog is an Emotional Support Animal, it is NOT a Service Animal, does not have the same rights as a Service Animal and cannot enter ANY place posted Service Animals Only.

Service Animals are recognized by the Department of Justice/ADA. Emotional Support Animals are recognized by the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. That means that Emotional Support Animals are allowed to stay in rented or leased dwellings with a no pets policy and they are allowed to fly on an airline. They are NOT allowed into grocery stores, hotels/motels (unless they allow pets), restaurants, hospitals, anyplace posted service animals only.

Thank you for reading this and understanding. I do not like getting phone calls from authorities because someone decided to break the law and falsify a service dog. Remember….falsifying a service dog IS a federal offence!



Customer Service Supervisor for

We care about our customers and want them to know the rules and regs. We would rather lose a sale than sell something to someone that will not work for them.

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