Posted by: Jessica | July 30, 2010

New DOJ Definitions

I don’t have much to say about it, but wanted to share the links I’ve read recently for anyone else. The biggest change is the specification that a Service Animal (Called “Assistance Animal” in most other countries) can only be a dog. The only exception seems to be miniature horses for the blind. (Which I spent hours reading about, how fascinating! The mini horses appear to be about the same or smaller in height than Reed, but up to twice as heavy.) The new rules specifically exclude many types of animals as well such as rodents and wild animals. (Which seems redundant to me, as if it’s not a dog… [No, it’s not a pig or a rat or a boy.]).

Another part which seems to be new is inclusion of Psychiatric Service Dogs.

Some good blogs about it:

http://servicedogsawayoflife.blogspot.com/2010/07/newschanges-in-thedefinition-of-service.html

http://asdbymyside.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-service-dog-defintion-by-law.htm

The adorableness is sleeping on the couch right now as we’re working from home today. Snoring his head off. I’ve never had a dog that snored so much!

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Responses

  1. I know a few programs that are using mini Horses as mobility support animals. I don’t know how a horse would do as a seeing-eye animal, but as mobility assistance they are body-wise, and longevity-wise more suitable for the tasks than any dog breed… but of course they take very specialized and expensive care so not many people can OWN them! heehee

    Horses have a MUCH longer working life than dogs large enough to be suitable for mobility assistance, and are less susceptible to injuries than dogs bracing, or pulling. It’s really interesting, and mini Horses have been bred to basically be pets so are typically very people oriented by nature. I know a local mobility team and they are amazing together! Some days she’s in a wheelchair and the horse helps by pulling, but on ‘good days’ as she puts it, the horse is there to brace, and assist her in walking. The horse has been working for 7 years (He’s 9), and has years longer ahead of him! Many minis live into their 20’s, and many work/pull until they are 12-15 years old or older! That’s at least double the working life of most large-breed dogs!


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