According to the ADA National Network, a service animal is “…any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” These include tasks such as guiding people who are blind, protecting a person who is having a seizure, reassuring a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during an anxiety attack or performing other duties. The 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 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA and service animals
What I’ve learned from personal experience is that these dogs can have a profound effect on client self-awareness and behavior.