6. What recourse do I have if a business does NOT follow the law and does not allow me the same access as others without disabilities?
1. How do I register my Service Dog and get my ID Tags?top
Very simple. You simply fill out the short form here on our homepage with some of your information and some of your dogs information and your dog will immediately be registered. You will then be taken to the next page where you can order your ID cards which will be sent to you via USPS and you will receive a tracking number sent to your email.
2. Is my service dog a Tax Write Off?top
YES! Most people are not aware of this, but the IRS allows deductions for expenses of caring for a service dog. This includes all of your expenses from vet bills, to food, to equipment and training. It’s all a write off!
3. How do I take my dog on an airplane?top
Many of the airlines will ask that you notify them in advance of travel that a service dog will be accompanying you. We recommend informing the airline at booking that you will have a service dog with you and let them know that your dog will be clearly marked with his/her service ID when you arrive at the airport.
4. My dog is very large. Is there a size limit?top
No. The ADA prohibits any discrimination so the size of your dog means nothing. Airlines are required to allow the dog to accompany you to your seat regardless of the size of your service dog.
5. What are businesses allowed to ask me when I have my dog with me?top
This is very limited and heavily favors the person with a disability. A business is ONLY allowed to ask you two questions. They may ask:
1. Is your dog a service dog?
2. What duties does he/she perform?
They may NOT ask what your disability is or anything else.
6. What recourse do I have if a business does NOT follow the law and does not allow me the same access as others without disabilities?top
There have been many lawsuits brought on businesses that do not follow the ADA rules. For instance, I have heard of clients of ours who have settled with very large restaurant chains for thousands of dollars for not being allowed entry. We recommend first writing a letter to the manager/owner of the establishment letting them know about your situation and try to resolve the matter that way. In the worst case scenario you can always find a lawyer that specializes in ADA cases.
7. What is the difference between an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and a Service Dog?top
An emotional support animal is just that. It’s a dog that belongs to somebody who has emotional needs. Sometimes people will refer to them as “therapy dogs” or “comfort dogs” but this is not recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The person must have a mental health professional determine that the presence of a dog is necessary for them to continue their daily living habits. They are also required to have their physician write a letter to this effect.
These ESA’s are allowed to fly as well and live in housing that would otherwise say “No Animals.” However, under the current ADA and Fair Housing Laws an ESA is only protected as follows:
An ESA may fly in the cabin of a commercial or private airline with their handler, and the handler does not have to pay a pet or other fee. A very specific prescription letter from a licensed mental health profession is ALWAYS required by airlines, as well as advance notice in most cases that the passenger will be flying with an ESA.
Landlords and property managers must make reasonable accommodations for tenants or prospective tenants with ESAs, even if the apartment, house, college dorm, or other residence does not allow pets. Reasonable fees may be asked of the client, similar to a pet fee. Besides requiring a letter of prescription. Property managers/landlords may require that the (prospective) tenant’s mental health professional complete and sign a Third Party Verification form.
8. Can a business ever ask me to leave when I’m with my service dog?top
The only time you may be asked to leave an establishment is if your dog is causing a disturbance. This may be caused by your dog barking/growling, being unruly, urinating or defecating, etc…Other than those reasons, no the business may not ask you to just leave if your dog is not being a nuisance. It is VERY important that you only register well behaved, trained service dogs with us because the last thing the world needs is unruly, aggressive dogs giving our trained dogs a bad name. Not only will you give service dogs a bad name but it’s also a crime to impersonate a service dog so don’t do it.
9. Is my dog required to wear any identifying clothes or a harness?top
No. The ADA does not require service dogs to wear any type of clothing or harnesses. However, we strongly encourage you to make your dog look as “official” as possible. It will cause you far less confusion when taking them places and you will definitely be happy you did…We carry the best harnesses on the market and you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you our product sheet and sizing chart.
10. What kind of photo do you need for my ID?top
We just ask that you simply upload a high quality image/headshot of your dog to the upload form on the ID application. We ask that it be a JPG or a PNG and that it not be any larger than 500×500 pixels.
11. What if I want to register my dog as an emotional support animal?top
If you would like to register your dog as an emotional support animal please visit our sister site: www.esaregistration.org.