Service dogs fulfill a variety of special needs for their owners. The most well known example of these services are guide dogs for the blind, but these amazing canines don’t stop there. Some dogs alert their epileptic owners when they identify a seizure coming on, while others detect drops in blood sugar and notify their diabetic owners of the changes.
Regardless of the service dog role, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides parameters to ensure businesses and other enterprises are cognizant of the inherent rights of the disabled person to enter an establishment with his/her identified service dog. According to the ADA:
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or 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 ADA.
Learn more about the ADA’s revised requirements at https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm.
Our canine companions have long been supporting the needs of humans. This ancient relationship has found new meaning for many people suffering from conditions such as sight impairments, diabetes, and epilepsy, as well as physical impairments.
Integrated Animal Network (IAN) is a non-profit organization that has a simple mission of connecting those in need of service dogs with the resources that can end in the wonderful union of human and canine in a united front that can improve quality of life.
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To provide free education, information, advocacy, and advice about and for Service Dogs, the people that need them, and the people that care for them. To bring community support to People with Service Dogs, and to act as a bridge and resource between Service Agencies and the communities they serve.
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"I.A.N Was an invaluable resource for me as I went through the process to get Lucy. Their help and and the resources they had available made the whole process much less daunting."