DWQA QuestionsCategory: Animal IssuesEmotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In what ways are they of value to their human companions?
Nicola Staff asked 1 year ago

The reason for the distinction here is that it is only those animals trained to carry out a specific visible activity with a tangible benefit that are considered to be indispensable, such as Seeing Eye dogs or dogs trained to help a person cope with epileptic seizures or psychotic behavior. There is little appreciation by the mainstream of the value of companion animals as healers. When people are with their animals, it strengthens the bond, but also fosters ongoing healing work. This is especially the case when the two are in proximity because this signals the animal and is a reminder of their mission. When absent from one another, there is still a bond and a connection, and there will be an intuitive awareness, more so on the part of the animal than the human. But it will not be as intense and as immediate an interaction when the two are physically separate as when they are traveling together. As animals are wonderful healers, having them along during a journey that is stressful for the owner or when there is an ongoing health issue, and that stress might aggravate complications, and begin to interfere with their function, having the animals along may forestall this. And this is ample justification to consider these animals as indispensable in the same way, because one never knows when symptoms of illness will worsen or a new difficulty or a complication may become symptomatic, and if a companion animal is present, will be ideally positioned to go into action and apply healing relief for the owner. These animals can truly be miracle workers in their own right and should always be honored. Wherever humans go, these animals should be allowed and given special consideration and accommodations to make them welcome.