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Six things you should know about service dogs

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service-dogsHave you ever thought of getting a service dog for yourself or a loved one? In honor of National Service Dog Month, here are some fast facts on these hardworking dogs that make life better for Marine Corps families around the globe.

  • Service animals are dogs that are trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The tasks performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. For example, a service dog can alert or protect a person having a seizure, pull a wheelchair, or remind a person with mental illness to take prescribed medication.
  • Don’t confuse service dogs with Comfort Animals. Comfort animals provide companionship and sometimes help with certain phobias, but are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas, even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
  • The ADA does not require service animals to wear gear that identifies them as working dogs. Remember, business owners can only ask limited questions when it is not obvious what service your dog provides.
  • While service dogs may be cute, never give them a snack or treat. Do not touch or pat the dog if the owner hasn’t given you permission to do so.
  • Does a member of your family have a service animal? Have you recently received orders to PCS? The Exceptional Family Member Program can assist with arranging adequate accommodation at your new location and ensuring care is not interrupted during the move.

To learn more about relocating with exceptional family members, click here.

Article by MCCS

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