The Fair Housing Act regulates emotional support animals (ESA). ESAs provide support to individuals with documented mental health conditions and under the care of licensed healthcare providers. ESAs help their individuals maintain housing. ESAs are allowed in housing but don't have special rights on transportation, stores, businesses, or other locations.
The American Disabilities Act regulates service animals. Service animals are trained to assist disabled individuals. These animals are trained to provide a specific task to offset the disability. Service animals can accompany disabled individuals almost everywhere.
Therapy animals provide support and bring joy to others. Therapy animals have handlers, who are often their owners. Their handlers make arrangements for the therapy animals to support individuals and groups at many community locations such as libraries, hospitals, college campuses, nursing homes, and community events. Therapy animals have no special rights to go places.
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a specialized form of animal therapy that provides targeted therapeutic support to clients. AAT helps people face their fears, reduce anxiety, cope with persistent pain, lower blood pressure and improve mental and physical health.
There are currently three therapy Frenchies in my practice.