Illinois – Service Dogs

We all know parenting is a difficult job on its own but it’s even more difficult when you’re a disabled parent of young children and you need a little extra help. The good news is you’ve decided you’re going to get a service dog to help you out with some of the things you can’t do on your own. The bad news is you don’t know how to make that happen or how to register a dog as a service dog. Well first off, let’s go over what qualifies as a service dog.

Service animals are trained animals to do tasks or work for people with disabilities, according to the ADA. Service dogs can do tasks such as assist the blind or deaf, protecting those with seizure disorders, remind the disabled to take their medications, and calming a person with PTSD from their anxiety attacks. Services animals cannot be refused in the majority of places except operating rooms or burn units.

What Business Staff Can and Cannot Ask

They CANNOT ask about your disability or what is wrong with you
They CANNOT ask for a special id card or medical identification
They CANNOT ask for the dog to demonstrate its abilities
They CAN ask if the service dog is required because of a disability, though as mentioned before, they cannot ask what they disability is.
They CAN ask what task or job the dog has been trained to perform
They CANNOT ask you to remove a service dog because of allergies, nor can they refuse service to you because you have a service dog.
They CANNOT ask you to remove your animal UNLESS the service animal is out of control and you are not taking proper action to control it, and/or the service animal is not house broken. Even then they must give you or any disabled person with a service pet the opportunity to receive service without their service pet.

How do I get a service dog?

Well you can go to certain sites that sell them but I must warn you, this is a very pricey option. Service dogs range in the thousands and this is not the most convenient option for most people, understandably so.

Another option is to train your dog yourself from a puppy and then get it registered yourself. You can go to your city website or the ADA website for more information on what it would take for the dog to qualify as a registered service dog but this is the more convenient option and less expensive than buying a service time, though it does require a lot of patience and dedication to train your dog.

All and all, the decision is up to you and only you know what decision is best for you but do your research before making a final decision and make sure you have funds available for both options because even if you don’t buy your service dog, you do still have to take care of your dog. It is still a pet after all, it just serves for more than one purpose as a service animal.

Resource Links:

http://www.nsarco.com/
http://www.petpartners.org/ServiceAnimalFAQs
http://servicedogcentral.org/content/
http://www.ag.state.il.us/rights/servanimals.html
https://www.animallaw.info/statute/il-assistance-animals-assistance-animalguide-dog-laws

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