Service Animals – FAQ

February 27, 2020

In case you are curious about what a service animal versus an emotional support animal is, we have the answers! They may seem similar, but there are some very important differences to note.

  • What is a service animal?
    • Service animals are defined as a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. Some examples include:
      • Alerting persons with hearing disabilities to sounds
      • Pulling wheelchairs or carrying/picking up things for persons with mobility disabilities
      • Assisting persons with mobility disabilities with balance.
      • Service animals are not pets. 

  • I have an emotional support dog. Is this the same as a service animal?
    • Nope! Emotional support dogs are not the same as service dogs. A doctor’s note will not turn an animal into a service dog, as they are not considered service animals under ADA. 

  • Can other animals be considered to be service animals?
    • In addition to service dogs, the revised ADA regulations have included miniature horses that are trained specifically to do work or perform tasks for those with disabilities. 

  • What is the difference between a service animal and a pet?
    • If it is unclear whether the animal is a pet or a service animal, you may ask the person with the animal only the following, according to Michigan Law:
      • Is the animal a service animal required because of a disability?
      • What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

  • Are businesses allowed to question me?
    • The business can ask only the above two questions. 

If you’d like to find out more, keep reading here.