Ok, in response yes and no Teresa, this is a quick Google search and I guess if you want to shop prices range from $19.95 to $69.95 for “Service Dog” certification. So let us rock and roll….
http://www.abetterpet.com/abetterpet2/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Service-Dog-Law-Change-2011.pdf US Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities ACT
Notice that the key in Texas is that a "State Employee" may obtain paid leave to attend a training program to familiarize themselves with assistance dogs.
http://www.azsos.gov/public_services/chapter_laws/2002/45th_Legislature_2nd_Regular_Session/CH_302.pdf Specifically Page 4 of H.B. 2036 State of Arizona item #5 lists definition of Service Animal and specifically mentions has completed a formal training program. I do not believe this is a mail order program.
http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm this just shows how vague the overall definition of what a Service Dog actually is. The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines a Service Dog as and I quote " A dog that has been specifically trained to assist a disabled person with certain daily tasks, such as picking up an object" Give me a shock collar and I can have a dog drive me to work.
Here is my favorite: https://www.usarplus.com/Packages.asp
Go ahead and register, why you can choose what level you want your "Service" Dog to be, I like the Diamond Package cause I get Two Years of Service Animal & Service Animal Handler ID Cards.
How was the definition of "service animal" changed July 23, 2010?
On July 23, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Department’s ADA regulations, including a revised definition of “service animal.” This final rule was published in the Federal Register September 15, 2010, and the effective date is six months after that publication.
Effective March 15, 2011, “Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”
Key changes include the following:
1. Only dogs will be recognized as service animals.
2. Service animals are required to be leashed or harnessed except when performing work or tasks where such tethering would interfere with the dog's ability to perform.
3. Service animals are exempt from breed bans as well as size and weight limitations.
4. Though not considered service animals, businesses are generally required to accommodate the use of miniature horses under specific conditions.
Until the effective date, existing service animals of all species will continue to be covered under the ADA regulations.
Existing policies that were clarified or formalized include the following:
1. Dogs whose sole function is “the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship” are not considered service dogs under the ADA.
2. The use of service dogs for psychiatric and neurological disabilities is explicitly protected under the ADA.
3. “The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence” do not qualify that animal as a service animal and “an animal individually trained to provide aggressive protection, such as an attack dog, is not appropriately considered a service animal
http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleII_2010/reg2_2010.html Section 35.136 Service animals (I will save anyone from reading the whole thing.
Section 35.136 Service Animals, I am quoting directly
"Training requirement. Certain commenters recommended the adoption of formal training requirements for service animals. The Department has rejected this approach and will not impose any type of formal training requirements or certification process, but will continue to require that service animals be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. While some groups have urged the Department to modify this position, the Department has determined that such a modification would not serve the full array of individuals with disabilities who use service animals, since individuals with disabilities may be capable of training, and some have trained, their service animal to perform tasks or do work to accommodate their disability. A training and certification requirement would increase the expense of acquiring a service animal and might limit access to service animals for individuals with limited financial resources.
Some commenters proposed specific behavior or training standards for service animals, arguing that without such standards, the public has no way to differentiate between untrained pets and service animals. Many of the suggested behavior or training standards were lengthy and detailed. The Department believes that this rule addresses service animal behavior sufficiently by including provisions that address the obligations of the service animal user and the circumstances under which a service animal may be excluded, such as the requirements that an animal be housebroken and under the control of its handler."
The bottom line as I see it, and I am not a lawyer, is that you don't really need to go through some training program....what a shame.
So to the owner of VonSchiedelEnglishMastiff I apologize formally and publicly.. you do not have to prove a darn thing