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A therapy animal is a pet that is trained with its owner, as a team, to provide comfort and stress relief to others in a variety of situations.
Therapy pets are personal pets; they work as a team with their handler to provide comfort and happiness to others. Therapy pet teams volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, private homes – anywhere they are invited. Therapy pets may also help individuals achieve physical and educational goals; petting or walking with a dog may help increase mobility, and reading to an animal may build a child’s confidence.
Therapy pets are most often dogs, but can be animals of other species. Therapy dogs are working dogs (dogs with jobs), but they are not Service Animals. Federal law does not legally define therapy pets and they do not have any legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
There are organizations that certifies dogs, cats, and rabbits as therapy pets, as well as other animals such as horses, birds, and guinea pigs.
Federal law does not currently provide a legal definition of a therapy pet. Additionally, federal law does not allow therapy pets in public places that have a “no pets” policy. Therapy pets are only allowed into facilities where they have been invited, or that are open to any pet. Some state laws may allow therapy pets to travel on public transportation to and from scheduled therapy visits, so be sure to check if that applies in your state.
*Article Courtesy of LoveOnALeash.org
DISCLAIMER: Due to the lack of regulations and the nature of the animal industry, as well as the changing practices of pet professionals - Midwest Animal Welfare Society, Inc. cannot be responsible for the actions of other pet professional companies and organizations. This includes pet professionals that have trained under the Life Changing Dog Training™ and Communicative LeashWork Process®. We will do our very best to connect you with pet resources and services and educate you on best practices, tools and information to help pet owners. However it is up to you the individual to do your own research and make a decision to hire a pet professional or work with an organization that will best meet you and your animal's needs.
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THE HEARTLAND'S ANIMAL WELFARE SPECIALISTS