Service Dogs in Florida
It seems more common than ever in Flagler to see dogs strolling through stores or public areas with their human companions. Many of these pups are family pets, but often these are service dogs.
Service dogs work with people who have disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits life activities, and establishes that anyone with a disability may use a service dog. Fortunately for Florida residents, in our state there are no legal requirements to register or certify a service animal.
Types of Service Dogs
Mobility Assistance Dog: Mobility assistance dogs support their handlers when moving from place to place and are trained to help with movement, whether it's by foot or wheelchair.
Seizure Alert Dogs: Dogs have the ability to tune into changes in human behavior. Seizure alert dogs can recognize subtle signs that a seizure is imminent, helping their handlers get into safe positions. These dogs can also alert others that their owners need help.
Diabetic alert dog: Dogs' olfactory receptors are more abundant than humans' - roughly 300 million compared to the six million human beings have. Some dogs can smell things like chemical changes in the body, including changes in blood sugar, which helps people with diabetes avoid critical drops.
Hearing dogs: Hearing dogs serve as ears for people who cannot hear. They are trained to alert their handlers to doorbells, knocks, fire alarms, crying babies, and much more.
Mobility assistance dogs: Service dogs can fill the void for individuals who do not walk or have other impairments. They may bring objects to their owner, like phones or utensils. They also may help move wheelchairs or provide support while getting around.
Psychiatric support dogs: Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric conditions can benefit from psychiatric support dogs that provide comfort and perform tasks that make handlers feel safe and secure.
Assistance animals play vital roles in their handlers' lives.