I asked this question to guest relations on a recent stay at an USA - based IC after being rudely awoken by yapping from the adjacent room to my amazement, the reply is below (this must be part of Obamacare ) What is a Service Dog? Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs and even Therapy Dogs can benefit people with disabilities associated with many diagnoses, including: Arthritis Ataxia (poor balance) Autism Blindness or Impaired Vision Deafness or Impaired Hearing Diabetes Cardio/Pulmonary Disease Cerebral Palsy Physical mobility Issues Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) Psychiatric Disabilities Seizure Disorders (Epilepsy) Severe Allergy Alert Spinal Bifida Spinal Cord/Head Trauma Stroke Anxiety Depression Bipolar disorder Mood disorder Fear/phobias Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Suicidal Thoughts/Tendencies Adjustment Disorder Generalized anxiety disorder Social anxiety disorder Panic disorder Separation anxiety Dissociative Disorders Factitious Disorders Eating Disorders Impulse-Control Disorders Mental Disorders Due to a General Medical Condition Neurocognitive Disorders Mood Disorders Neurodevelopmental Disorders Personality Disorders Psychotic Disorders Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Sleep Disorders Somatoform Disorders Substance Related Disorders This is just a partial list of disabilities that qualify under ADA. What is the difference between a Service Animal, Psychiatric Service Animal, and Assistance Animal? They are the same, with respect to protections and rights. The term “Service Dog” is the federal legal term and the most commonly used. Are Emotional Support Dogs protected under Federal Law? Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), an individual who meets the proper criteria is entitled to an emotional support dog to assist them with their life. The FHAA protects individuals by allowing their emotional support dog to live with them (even when there are no pet policies in place). The ACAA protects individuals by allowing the emotional support dog to fly with them in the cabin of an airplane (without having to pay any additional fees). Any dog can be an emotional support dog, and emotional support dogs do not have to be professionally-trained. What species of animal can be an Emotional Support Animal? The Federal laws that protect Emotional Support Animals and their handlers (the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Air Carrier Access Act 49 U.S.C. 41705, and Dept. of Transportation 14 C.F.R. Part 382), neither specify nor exclude any animal species or breed. With respect to Emotional Support Animals, there are no species or breed restrictions. Consequently, cats, rabbits, miniature pigs, ferrets, birds, etc. may be ESAs. Do Emotional Support Animals have to be professionally trained? Emotional support dogs/animals do not have to be professionally-trained to perform any task. Service dogs can be trained by their owners or in any other manner the owner desires. What can be asked about the disability and what is public knowledge? You are NOT allowed to be asked by an owner, manager, or other representative of a business what your disability is that allows you to have a service dog. That information is private and you do not have to disclose it to anyone if you are asked. The only information that may be asked is if it is a service dog, and what tasks the service dog is trained to perform for you. For example, if you have a mental illness that requires that you take medication and your service dog is trained to alert you when it is time to take your medication by tugging at your shirt, then you may explain the task your service dog performs, but you are not obligated to divulge the nature of your illness or disability.