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Is there a difference between a service dog and a therapy dog?

TFI Envision Honey Pet TherapyWN

Is there a difference between a service dog and a therapy dog?

Norwalk, CT — Did you know that April 30 is National Therapy Animal Day? This day is designated to recognize the exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need.

At TFI Envision, we have our very own certified therapy dog – Honey . She is the 3rd office dog to participate in this important program. Her human companion is Elizabeth Ball, President and Creative Director of TFI Envision.

What’s the difference between a therapy dog and a service dog?
The differences between a Service Dog and a Therapy Dog are very different. By law the “Service Dog” term and “Therapy Dog” term are quite different and are not meant to be equivalent.

By Federal Law, a Service Animal is trained to provide assistance or perform tasks for the benefit of a person that has a physical or mental disability which requires that person to need help with life functions.

Certified human/animal teams can be found helping people of all ages in a variety of different settings including hospitals, pediatric care units, veteran centers, retirement homes, schools, libraries, in the workplace and at nursing homes, as well as in stressful situations like natural disaster areas.

Where can you take a therapy dog?
Therapy Dog’s do not have the same access rights as a Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal. Most businesses, hotels, apartment landlords and airlines treat therapy dogs as pets.

Two of the organizations that currently offer Therapy Animal Certification programs:
Pet Partners is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose volunteers in their Therapy Animal Program interact with a wide variety of clients including veterans with PTSD, seniors living with Alzheimer’s, students with literacy challenges, patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities, and those approaching end of life. For more information, go to petpartners.org

Therapy Dogs International® (TDI®) is a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization is dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.
For more information, go to tdi-dog.org

Photo above:
Honey engaging the patients and staff at a local medical facility with her special form of therapy