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Working Animals, Explained

By The Seeing Eye

Therapy dog, guide dog, Seeing Eye® dog…there are so many different kinds of service and support animals, it can be hard to keep them all straight. Learn the lingo with our simple cheat sheet, and then share it with your family and friends! As you read the different descriptions, keep in mind that laws that protect the rights of people with therapy animals, emotional support animals and service animals to have access to public spaces are different. Only service animals have full access to public spaces under the Americans with Disabilities Act and airlines through the Air Carrier Access Act. People with disabilities are allowed to have emotional Support Animals in housing covered by the Fair Housing Act, including places like apartment complexes and condos, and they do not have to be dogs. Therapy animals have no rights to public access and may only go where invited to provide therapy visits. For more information visit seeingeye.org/access.

Title: Learn the Lingo, Animal Helpers (appears beside Seeing Eye logo)
Box 1: An illustration of a person in a hospital bed with a silhouette of a schnauzer-type dog seated on their bed. Text reads, A therapy animal is specifically trained to provide comfort to a group of people (not the owner) such as nursing home residents, hospital patients or school children.
Box 2: An illustration of a person holding and hugging a small breed dog in their arms. Text reads, An emotional support animal (or ESA) is not trained to perform a specific job or task, but provides comfort simply by being with their owner.
Box 3: An illustration of a person in a wheelchair and a German shepherd picking up a dropped object. Text reads, A service animal is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability, such as picking up objects or helping them get around.
Box 4:  A guide dog is a service animal that is trained to assist someone who is blind or visually impaired to navigate safely and independently around obstacles, over various types of terrain, and across streets.
Box 5: A photo of a German shepherd Seeing Eye dog guiding a person down a sidewalk. Text reads, A Seeing Eye® dog refers specifically to a guide dog that has graduated from The Seeing Eye. While there are many guide dog schools, only dogs trained at our school can rightly be called Seeing Eye dogs.