Service dogs, therapy dogs, emotional support animals

WHICH OF THESE KINDS of working dogs fits your needs? A service dog, whose rights are provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must be obedience, task and public access trained. There is no legitimate service dog registry, so don’t buy into the internet scams offering service dog registration, ID, and “papers”. They’re all bullshit and a waste of money.

Therapy dogs work with their handlers to provide animal assisted therapy in a variety of environments including places like libraries (reading dogs), hospitals, eldercare facilities, courtrooms, airports, and schools. There are three primary national organizations that provide training, registration, and liability insurance for therapy dog teams.

  1. Alliance of Therapy Dogs
  2. Therapy Dogs International
  3. Pet Partners

You can google “therapy dog training, your city and state” to find therapy dog classes near you.

ESAs (emotional support animals) are untrained and in way too many cases just an excuse to take a family pet places she’s not allowed. If you want a comfort dog – another term for an ESA – that’s fine. But your ESA doesn’t have access rights, she is a pet who makes you feel good and belongs only in places where pet dogs are allowed. [

This illustration is an example of the kind of havoc a “fake” service dog can wreak.



Questions? Visit me at or email me at


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