Trying to learn the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal? — Does it really matter, though? It does because there is a huge difference between both categorizations – a service and an emotional support animal. And it is essential for the handler, the animal, and the general public to understand which category an animal falls in.
The Difference Between The Animals
Understanding The Handlers
To understand the difference we first need to know who uses service animals and emotional support animals? Any individual suffering from disabilities can use service animals or emotional support animals for a number of reasons. A person with physical, psychiatric or any other mental disability may use a service animal to perform specific jobs. A service dog can perform everyday tasks for them like pulling wheelchairs, fetching dropped objects, carrying oxygen or life support equipment, alerting a person to a sound, pressing the button of an elevator or reminding them to take their medicine.
An individual with a disability may use an emotional support animal or ESA solely for companionship and because its presence has a positive effect on their life.
As defined by ADA’ i.e. ‘Americans With Disabilities Act’ service animals are specially trained to carry out certain tasks, that are directly related to the handler’s disability. For example, if the handler suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD, the service dog can help him during an anxiety attack by giving deep pressure therapy. Service animals can support people with conditions like severe allergy, narcolepsy, epilepsy, and diabetes.
Emotional Support Animals
Emotional support animals – ESA’s are also known as comfort or companion animals. The difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal is that unlike service animals, ESAs are not trained to carry out specific tasks or services.
They are needed, if the handler requires company to help alleviate his symptoms of depression, ESA can assist the handler by providing affection, comfort, and amusement. Emotional support animals are used in environments like retirement homes, hospitals, prisons and schools.
Some places do not consider ESAs as service animals. That means an emotional support animal is not allowed to go everywhere the handler is allowed to go. For instance, a service animal is allowed to come in a restaurant with the handler; in contrast, an ESA is not allowed under the state and federal law as it doesn’t meet the classification of a “service animal.”
To sum up, both of these animals have a unique job which is entirely different from the other, by acknowledging this difference we can reduce the confusion between these two roles.…