You Do Not Need Certification or Registration for your Anxiety Service Dog
You may have noticed that some service dogs would appear to be ‘Certified,’ or ‘Registered’ and you may have noticed that there are multiple places one would be able to obtain proof of ‘Certification’ from the online world. However, you must realize that many people consider these online businesses to be an outright scam, as anyone with a computer could easily obtain this ‘Certification’ for an animal that may not even exist, or one that is blatantly not a service animal in any way.
The truth is, people who use Anxiety Service Dogs, as well as people who use any other kind of Service Dog, Emotional Support Animal, or Psychiatric Service Dog, are not required to certify or register their dog.
You may be required to produce a doctor’s note in the case of a housing situation in which you were looking to live in a place that had a ‘no-pets’ policy, as well as in cases of Air Travel with your Anxiety Service Dog.
But for general public access rights, you do not need to certify or register your service dog at all. You do not even have to put a badge, ID, or vest on him, although these are of course an option open to you.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act – protects those who use Service Animals and has clear guidelines about what is and what is not required.
ADA Definition of a Service Animal
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.
This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.
Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.
Certification and Registration According to the ADA
CERTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION
Q17. Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as service animals?
A. No. Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, as a condition for entry.