Emotional support dogs are not allowed on campus, but service dogs are, and even though many students may think they are the same thing, they are not.
A service dog is trained to perform a function, or do a job, that his or her owner can’t perform on their own due to a physical, intellectual or emotional disability. These dogs may, of course, provide emotional support and comfort, but they are specifically trained to provide assistance beyond soothing benefits.
Service dogs receive more legal protections than emotional support dogs and are allowed in just about any and every public space, whereas emotional support dogs do not enjoy the same widespread access.
An emotion support animal (ESA) is an animal that can provide emotional and therapeutic benefits to those suffering from emotional issues, anxiety or psychiatric problems.
Also, these animals are not only dogs they can be any kind of animal such as a horse, rabbit, cat, etc.
ESA’s help with emotional factors such as anxiety, depression, and fear.
“I would say everyone that brings a dog, including myself, feel the therapeutic benefits of having a dog all day. If you are referring to emotional support dogs many will not admit that that is what their dog is for because it isn’t protected under the ADA or maybe it can feel minimizing,” explained Sidney Sheer, a CSUSB student who trains service animals.
In order to have a service dog here on campus, you must show proof of disability and the dog is to wear a vest or patch, though it is not required if it interferes with the dog’s performance or task. Due to this, fake service dogs can be a real problem and could hurt the reputation and acceptance of students who really need them as opposed to bringing your dog to class without approval.
Showing proof is very necessary to have a successful college education for students who require a service dog with them on campus.
These are just examples of possible work performed by a Service Animal: alerting deaf or hard of hearing individuals, providing guidance to a blind or visually impaired individual, pulling a wheelchair, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications and calming a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. Service dogs are capable of services students may not even imagine.
Sarah Bartlett explains the service her dog, Splenda, provides her at CSUSB, “She smells my blood and bodily chemicals and warns me before low blood pressure or a seizure.”
It is amazing the things animals could do for students and the relationship they develop with their service animals.
Under the ADA (American Disabilities Act), businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. Here on campus some examples of this include, but are not limited to classrooms and lecture halls, the library, the Student Union, restrooms, the Commons, etc.
These animals help students get through school, making them feel independent and without these service dogs, they would not be able to come to class and get an education while being protected from any challenge’s students might face from their disabilities.