This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]


A Brief Information Resource on Assistance Animals for the Disabled


August 2003


Updated April 2004


Compiled by:


Kristina Adams, MS 

Stacy Rice

Animal Welfare Information Center

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

National Agricultural Library

10301 Baltimore Avenue

Beltsville, MD 20705-2351

Telephone: (301) 504-6212

Fax: (301) 504-7125






Providing for the health of humans through animal interactions dates back many centuries.  As an example, horseback riding is mentioned throughout history as a cure for various sicknesses including gout, neurological disorders and depression.  Today, animals provide therapeutic benefits to humans with physical and mental illnesses as well as provide assistance to people with disabilities. 


The most commonly recognized assistance animals are dogs.  Due to their social nature, dogs are wonderful pets, companions, and protectors.  Dogs work closely with people in a variety of areas including law enforcement, search and rescue, and farming.  As assistance animals, dogs provide help for the visually and hearing impaired, serve as an alert system for impending seizures, and offer additional strength and mobility for the physically disabled.  Dogs also provide comfort for people suffering emotional difficulties.


There are many other animal species that provide therapeutic benefits to people.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically defines a service animal as a “guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.”  Some of these “other animals” that assist people with disabilities are monkeys, birds, pigs, and horses.  An even greater number of animal species serve as therapy animals, including rabbits, hamsters, and snakes.


This information resource was created in response to many of the questions the Animal Welfare Information Center receives about the laws relating to assistance animals.  This document serves as a starting point in learning about types of assistance animals, the services they provide and the laws that affect them.  Many specific questions are answered in a document created by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Association of Attorneys General Disability Rights Task Force - 


Although many service animals wear special collars or harnesses, by law they are not required to wear special identification equipment.  Therefore, some, but not all service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Also, some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers.  For more information about service animals in places of business, see


Categories of Assistance (Service) Animals


Guide Animals

Guide dog use began in Germany in the 1920’s for veterans of World War I who lost their sight.  In 1929, The Seeing Eye became the first group in the United States to breed, raise, and train guide dogs.  Although the formal training of guide dogs dates back 75 years, training only became more widespread in the last 30 years and there are many groups raising and training these dogs. 


Guide dogs help the blind/visually impaired to “see” in their everyday lives. Guide dogs assist by stopping their human companion before crossing streets and making sure the streets are safe to cross, by avoiding obstacles such as signs, cars, and other people, and by helping their companion locate things.


The most common breeds used as guide dogs are German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers.  These guide dogs often wear a harness with a stiff, short, U-shaped handle that keeps the dog and the human companion in very close contact with each other.


The Guide Horse Foundation began in 1999 with the goal of training miniature horses as guide horses for the visually impaired.  These miniature horses provide an alternative mobility function for blind people and so far perform well at keeping their people safe. 


Hearing Animals

Roy Kabat, a movie animal trainer, founded Dogs for the Deaf in 1977 to train dogs to assist hearing-impaired people.  These first hearing dogs were trained with input from an audiologist and the American Humane Association.


Hearing dogs provide the sense of sound to their hearing impaired companions. These dogs can be trained to alert a person to a smoke alarm, door knock or bell, telephone, alarm clock, kitchen timer, baby cry, or the person=s own name. A hearing dog may wear an orange collar and leash or a vest. A variety of breeds are used a hearing dogs, since intelligence and trainability are more important than strength and size.


Service Animals

Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) pioneered the concept of the service dog, a highly trained canine used to assist people who have disabilities with specialized services in 1975.  Service dogs are trained to be the strength and movement for people with muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and congenital abnormalities. A service dog can perform many tasks for their companions such as picking up dropped articles, pulling wheelchairs, assisting walkers, turning lights on and off, opening and closing doors, carrying school books, and pulling their companions out of bed. Most service dogs are generally Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers.


Monkeys, typically capuchins, also serve quadriplegic humans.  Monkey helpers perform simple tasks, such as getting something to eat or drink, retrieving dropped or out of reach items, assisting with audio cassettes, video cassettes, CDs, and books, and operating lights.  Dr. M.J. Williard, a behavioral psychologist, and Judi Zazula, an occupational therapist, trained the first monkey helper in 1979 (see Helping Hands).


Seizure Alert Animals


Some animals can be trained to recognize specific changes preceding an epileptic seizure in people.  These animals, usually dogs, can provide a signal that acts as a useful warning to their human companion.  Dogs may alert people by whining, licking the owner, and alerting others to their special companion’s impending seizure. This alerting behavior allows the owner to get to a safe place or in a safe position before the onset of the seizure.


Social/Therapy Animals


Social/therapy animals provide emotional support in places such as elder care facilities and hospitals.  These animals do not have the same legal status as assistance/service animals and are not mentioned in the ADA.  Many visiting therapy dogs help physically stimulate people in nursing homes or assisted living facilities by playing ball, being brushed or pet, and going for walks. Although many therapy animals are dogs, any type of animal that is good natured can be used to provide these services.  Some animals, including horses, help in reaching people that were once thought unreachable. 


Selected Bibliographic References


* These citations were selected using the Agricola database, a searchable bibliographic database at the National Agricultural Library.  NAL call numbers are provided.  For more information about requesting materials, go to



C.A.T.: Companion animal therapy (1984). National 4-H News 62(1): 12-14, 25, ISSN: 0027-9285.

            NAL Call Number:  275.28 N212

            Descriptors:  companion animal therapy, 4-H projects, treatment of disabled patients, dogs, rabbits, animal training

Eyes for the blind (1983). National 4-H News 61(9): 22, ISSN: 0027-9285.

            NAL Call Number:  275.28 N212

            Descriptors:  raising guide dog puppies, 4-H projects, The Seeing Eye, dogs

Guide dogs for the blind (1974). California Veterinarian 28(10): 12-13, ISSN: 0008-1612.

            NAL Call Number:  41.8 C12

            Descriptors:  dogs, animal training, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., non-profits

Anderson, M.K., T.H. Friend, J.W. Evans, and D.M. Bushong (1999). Behavioral assessment of horses in therapeutic riding programs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 63(1): 11-24, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  horses, therapeutic recreation, temperament, blood plasma, hydrocortisone, epinephrine, norepinephrine, stimuli, responses, grading

Cawley, R., D. Cawley, and K. Retter (1994). Therapeutic horseback riding and self-concept in adolescents with special educational needs. Anthrozoos 7(2): 129-134, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  adolescents, horse riding, self perception, self esteem, therapeutic recreation

Delta Society (1980). Delta Society Information Packets: (1) Pets in Hospitals, (2) Hearing Dog Packet, (3) Animals in Nursing Homes and Public Housing - Legislation and Implementation, (4) Pets in Prison.  Renton, WA: The Delta Society.
NAL Call Number:  SF411.5.P4

            Descriptors: pets, social aspects, United States, pet owners, hearing ear dogs, animal welfare

DePauw, K.P. (1984). Therapeutic horseback riding in Europe and North America. In: The Pet Connection: Its Influence on Our Health and Quality of Life, R.K. Anderson, B.L. Hart and L.A. Hart (eds.), Minneapolis, MN: Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments, University of Minnesota, pp.141-153.
NAL Call Number:  SF411.5.P47

            Descriptors: horse riding, therapy, physically handicapped persons, europe, North America

Dietrich, C. (1984). Temperament evaluation of puppies: use in guide dog selection. In: The Pet Connection : Its Influence on Our Health and Quality of Life, R.K. Anderson, B.L. Hart and L.A. Hart (eds.), Minneapolis, MN: Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments, University of Minnesota, pp. 194-199.
NAL Call Number:  SF411.5.P47

            Descriptors: handicapped persons, dogs, training animal, breed differences

Eames, E. and T. Eames (1999). Veterinarians as healers, helpers and humanitarians: working with assistance dogs and disabled clients. Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference 13: 309-310.

            NAL Call Number:  SF605.N672

            Descriptors:  dogs, working animals, veterinarians, handicapped persons

Eames, E. and T. Eames (1996). Veterinarians, disabled clients, and assistance dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 209(8): 1398-1402, ISSN: 0003-1488.

            NAL Call Number:  41.8 Am3

            Descriptors:  veterinarians, handicapped persons, working animals, dogs, guide dogs, veterinary services, hearing dogs, service dogs

Engel, B.T. (1992). Therapeutic Riding Programs Instruction and Rehabilitation: A Handbook for Instructors and Therapists. Durango, CO: Barbara Engel Therapy Services, 637 p., ISBN: 0963306502.
NAL Call Number:  RM931.H6T44 1992

            Descriptors: horsemanship, therapeutic use, horses, psychological aspects, human animal relationships, training horses

Flach, M., C. Heisterkamp and E. Stephan (1984). Aircraft noise influenced behaviour of service dogs. In: Proceedings of the International Congress on Applied Ethology in Farm Animals, Kiel 1984, J. Unshelm, G. van Putten and K. Zeeb (eds.), Darmstadt, Germany: Kuratorium fur Technik und Bauwesen in der Landwirtschaft (KTBL),  pp.343-349.
NAL Call Number:  SF756.7.I5 1984

            Descriptors: dogs, noise, aircraft, animal behavior, reproductive behavior

Funk, M.S.M. and B.A. Smith (2000). Occupational therapists and therapeutic riding. Anthrozoos 13(3): 174-181, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  horse riding, therapeutic recreation

Goddard, M.E. and R.G. Beilharz (1986). Early prediction of adult behaviour in potential guide dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 15(3): 247-260, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  dogs, guides, adults, animal behavior, prediction, genetic correlation, heritability, selection, fearfulness

Goddard, M.E. and R.G. Beilharz (1984). A factor analysis of fearfulness in potential guide dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 12(3): 253-265, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  factor analysis, analytical methods, animal behavior, dogs, breeds, training animal

Hart, L.A., B.L. Hart, and B. Bergin (1987). Socializing effects of service dogs for people with disabilities. Anthrozoos 1(1): 41-44, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  dogs, attachment behavior, social interaction, handicapped persons

Hart, L.A., R.L. Zasloff, and A.M. Benfatto (1996). The socializing role of hearing dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 47(1/2): 7-15, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  dogs, working animals, deafness, social adjustment, social integration, social interaction

Heisterkamp, C. (1983). Der Einfluss von Fluglarm auf das Verhalten von Diensthunden [The behavior of service dogs influenced by aircraft noise]. Unpublished thesis, Tierarztliche Hochschule, Hannover, Germany, 140 p.

            NAL Call Number:  41.2 H198 1983 [no.23]

Henderson, K. (1996). No dogs allowed? Federal policies on access for service animals. Animal Welfare Information Center Newsletter 7(2): 13-16, ISSN: 1050-561X.

            NAL Call Number:  AHV4701.A952

            Descriptors:  animals, training, handicapped persons, government policy, legislation, animal welfare, Americans with Disabilities Act

Koda, N. (2001). Inappropriate behavior of potential guide dogs for the blind and coping behavior of human raisers. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 72(1): 79-87, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  guide dogs, puppies, animal behavior, behavior modification, human behavior, relationships, age differences, play behavior, human-animal relationships

Limond, J.A., J.W.S. Bradshaw, and K.F.M. Cormack (1997). Behavior of children with learning disabilities interacting with a therapy dog. Anthrozoos 10(2/3): 84-89, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  dogs, children, mental retardation

Mader, B., L.A. Hart, and B. Bergin (1989). Social acknowledgments for children with disabilities: effects of service dogs. Child Development 60(6): 1529-1534, ISSN: 0009-3920.

            NAL Call Number:  RJ1.C3 

            Abstract:  While service dogs are known to perform important tasks for people using wheelchairs, such as retrieving dropped items or pulling a wheelchair, they may also serve as an antidote for social ostracism. Adults in wheelchairs have been found to receive many more social acknowledgments when a service dog is present than when not. This study examined whether disabled children in wheelchairs with service dogs receive more frequent social acknowledgment than when no dog is present. Behaviors of passersby in response to children in wheelchairs were recorded in shopping malls and on school playgrounds. In both settings, social acknowledgments (e.g., friendly glances, smiles, and conversations) were substantially more frequent when a service dogs may assist in normalizing the social interactions for children with disabilities producing social isolation.

            Descriptors:  handicapped children, social interaction, dogs, peer relationships, California, youth development, assistance animals, strangers' social acknowledgement

Murphy, J.A. (1995). Assessment of the temperament of potential guide dogs. Anthrozoos 8(4): 224-234, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  guide dogs, assessment, training of animals, grading

Murphy, J.A. (1998). Describing categories of temperament in potential guide dogs for the blind. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 58(1/2): 163-178, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  guide dogs, temperament, training of animals, culling, animal behavior

Nicholson, J., S. Kemp Wheeler, and D. Griffiths (1995). Distress arising from the end of a guide dog partnership. Anthrozoos 8(2): 100-110, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  guide dogs, man, mental stress, grief

NIH Technology Assessment Workshop Working Group (eds.) (1987). Health Benefits of Pets: Program and Abstracts. Bethesda, MD: Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.5.N53

            Descriptors: health, companion animals, human-animal interaction

NIH Technology Assessment Workshop Working Group (eds.) (1988). Health Benefits of Pets: Summary of Working Group. Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.5.N532

            Descriptors: health, human-animal interaction, companion animals

Peel, B.W. (1975). The training of guide dogs for the blind. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 23(11): 269-272, ISSN: 0048-0169.

            NAL Call Number:  41.8 N483

            Descriptors:  history of guide dogs, training, selection process, breeding program, matching dogs and people

Potter, J.T., J.W. Evans, and B.H. Nolt, Jr. (1994). Therapeutic horseback riding. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 204(1): 131-133, ISSN: 0003-1488.

            NAL Call Number:  41.8 Am3

            Descriptors:  handicapped persons, horse riding, therapy, programs

Rich, G.A., P. Odegard-Johnson, L. Kowalsky and R. Story (1983). Guidelines for organizing a horseback riding program for individuals with disabilities.  Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University, Cooperative Extension Service.
NAL Call Number:  275.29 C71E no.518A

            Descriptors: horses, therapeutic riding, horsemanship, disabilities

Sanders, C.R. (2000). The impact of guide dogs on the identity of people with visual impairments. Anthrozoos 13(3): 131-139, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  guide dogs, self perception, blindness

Sandler, J.L. (1996). Care and treatment of service dogs and their owners. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 208(12): 1979-1981, ISSN: 0003-1488.

            NAL Call Number:  41.8 Am3

            Descriptors:  dogs, working animals, veterinary services, handicapped persons, customer relations

Scheffler, K.H. (1979). Restitution des dens caninus beim diensthund [Restoration of canine teeth in service dogs]. Monatshefte Fur Veterinarmedizin 34(13): 504-507, ISSN: 0026-9263.

            NAL Call Number:  41.8 M742

Serpell, J.A. and Y.Y. Hsu (2001). Development and validation of a novel method for evaluating behavior and temperament in guide dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 72(4): 347-364, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  guide dogs, animal behavior, temperament, evaluation, questionnaires, validity

Shalev, A. and D. Ben Mordehai (1996). Snakes: interactions with children with disabilities and the elderly--some psychological considerations. Anthrozoos 9(4): 182-187, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  handicapped children, reptiles, snakes, human-animal interactions

Shirley, R.M. (1982). Development of a 4-H therapeutic horseback riding program in Carroll County, Maryland. Unpublished thesis, University of Maryland, College Park, MD,

106 p.

            NAL Call Number:  RM931.H6S5  

            Abstract: A therapeutic riding program teaches horsemanship in a safe and controlled environment to people who have physical, mental, or psychological handicaps, or who are deaf or blind. The author explains the creation of a therapeutic riding program using his own experiences in establishing the Carroll County, Maryland 4-H Riding for the Handicaped Program and mateials published by other programs. Areas of explanation include: administration; insurance, recruiting/training volunteers; physical facilities; special equipment needed for horse and rider; recruiting handicapped riders; funding; public relations and publicity. A sample of an actual riding lesson is included.

            Descriptors: 4-H clubs, Maryland, horsemanship, therapeutic use, educational design

Siegel, M.E. and Koplin, H.M. (1984). More Than a Friend: Dogs With a Purpose.  New York, NY: Walker and Company, ISBN: 0802765580.
NAL Call Number:  SF428.2.S54

            Descriptors: dogs, human-animal interaction, kids, seniors,  therapy dogs, police dogs, hearing dogs, guide dogs

Slabbert, J.M. and J.S.J. Odendaal (1999). Early prediction of adult police dog efficiency--a longitudinal study. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 64(4): 269-288, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  dogs, training of animals, puppies, performance testing, temperament, aggressive behavior, working animals, gun shyness, age differences, prediction

Spink, J. (1993). Developmental Riding Therapy: A Team Approach to Assessment and Treatment.  Tucson, AZ: Therapy Skill Builders, ISBN: 0884506339.
NAL Call Number:  NBU SF309.26 H35 S7 1993

            Descriptors: horsemanship, therapeutic use, horses, rehabilitation

Stepansky, K. (1974). Service dogs breeds and working dogs breeds [Sluzebni a pracovni plemena psu].  Praha, Czech Republic: Statni Zemedelske Nakladatelstvi (SZN)),
NAL Call Number:  SF428.2.S73

      Descriptors: working dogs, service dogs , breeds

Stiverson, C. and N. Pritchett (1996). Assistance Dog Providers in the United States, 2nd Edition.  Asheville, N.C.: N.C. Service Dogs, ISBN: 0965215504.
NAL Call Number:  HV1569.6.S75  1996

      Descriptors: service dogs, training directories, United States

Vincent, I.C. and R.A. Leahy (1997). Real-time non-invasive measurement of heart rate in working dogs: a technique with potential applications in the objective assessment of welfare problems. The Veterinary Journal 153(2): 179-184, ISSN: 1090-0233.

            NAL Call Number:  SF601.V484 

            Abstract:  The Polar Sport Tester (Polar Electro OY) is a telemetric heart rate monitor designed for use in humans. Its usefulness as a monitor during training of guide dogs is assessed in this paper. Heart rates from six representative dogs at a similar stage of early training were recorded at 5-s intervals during a 15-20 min work session. The dogs were F1 Labrador Retriever X Golden Retrievers. They were chosen if their behaviour could be clearly categorized by their experienced trainers as either 'calm/non-stress prone' (Type A) or 'excitable/stress prone' (Type B) during work. Verbal recordings were made of environmental cues and behavioural responses in each dog. Variability in heart rate was significantly related to a subject's described temperament.

            Descriptors:  guide dogs, heart rate, variation, measurement, monitors, animal welfare, temperament

Walsh, P.G. and P.G. Mertin (1994). The training of pets as therapy dogs in a women's prison: a pilot study. Anthrozoos 7(2): 124-128, ISSN: 0892-7936.

            NAL Call Number:  SF411.A57

            Descriptors:  women, dogs, training of animals, correctional institutions, psychological factors, Australia

Weiss, E. (2002). Selecting shelter dogs for service dog training. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 5(1): 43-62, ISSN: 1088-8705.

            NAL Call Number:  HV4701.J68

            Descriptors:  dogs, working animals, training of animals, selection criteria, choice of species, testing, aggressive behavior, fearfulness, temperament, decision making

Weiss, E. and G. Greenberg (1997). Service dog selection tests: effectiveness for dogs from animal shelters. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 53(4): 297-308, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  dogs, working animals, guide dogs, handicapped persons, selection, behavior patterns, stray animals

Wilsson, E. and P.E. Sundgren (1997). The use of a behaviour test for selection of dogs for service and breeding. II. Heritability for tested parameters and effect of selection based on service dog characteristics. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 54(2/3): 235-241, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  dogs, working animals, heritability, characteristics, animal behavior, behavior patterns, testing, animal breeding, selection criteria

Wilsson, E. and P.E. Sundgren (1997). The use of a behaviour test for the selection of dogs for service and breeding. I. Method of testing and evaluating test results in the adult dog, demands on different kinds of service dogs, sex and breed differences. Applied Animal Behavior Science 53(4): 279-295, ISSN: 0168-1591.

            NAL Call Number:  QL750.A6

            Descriptors:  dogs, working animals, dog breeds, sex differences, selection, behavior patterns, testing

Wollrab, T.I. (1998). Animals contribute service to society. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 212(4): 475-476, ISSN: 0003-1488.

            NAL Call Number:  41.8 Am3

            Descriptors:  therapeutic recreation, horse riding

Wright, P.J. and T.A. Mason (1977). The usefulness of palpation of joint laxity in puppies as a predictor of hip dysplasia in a guide dog breeding programme. The Journal of Small Animal Practice 18(8): 513-522, ISSN: 0022-4510.

            NAL Call Number:  41.8 J8292

            Descriptors:  hip laxity, radiographs, method comparison, palpation, young dogs, predictors


 Selected World Wide Web Resources

Legal Resources

State Laws

Assistance Animal Access Consulting Services

State laws for animal access.


Guide Dog Protection Laws for Several States

Guide dog protection laws by state.


Disability Resources Inc.

Laws for each state regarding the use of animals by people with disabilities.



State access laws for guide dog users.


Federal Laws

Delta Society

Service animals in housing, history of housing act, protection of the fair housing act, required conduct.


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Fair Housing Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 109 of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.


International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

Assistance dogs selection and training information, assistance dog laws and legal resources, assistant dog information from around the world.


Animal Welfare Information Center

Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, Fair Housing Amendments Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Implementation of ADA.


U.S. Department of Justice

Enforcement, New or Proposed Regulations, ADA Publications, Code Certification, ADA Information Line, Technical Assistance Program.


U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Disability Rights Laws.


U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

ADA Business Brief, Americans with Disabilities Act, violations.


Traveling with a Service Animal - US Department of Transportation (DOT) Guidance (PDF) (Microsoft Word)

            Guidelines for transportation personnel regarding service animals.

General Information

CyberCIL Assistance Dog Information

Definition of assistance dogs.

Service Animal Registry of

            Registry service for service and therapy animals.


Service Animal Links

            Links to more service animal web sites, particularly dogs.

History of Service Animals

Natural History Museum

Beginning of guide, hearing, and service dogs.

Assistance Dog Resources

Amazing Tails, LLC

Definition of a service dog, training a service dog, cost of a service dog.


Canine Circle by Dana Marshall

Laws pertaining to service animals, access issues, guide dogs, hearing dogs, service dogs, information for businesses, traveling information, equipment links.


Delta Society

Benefits of a having a service dog, health benefits, who can benefit.


Guide Dogs

Pros and cons of assistance dogs, the history of guide dogs and their training.


International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)

A non-profit, cross-disability organization representing people partnered with guide, hearing and service dogs.


National Service Dogs Training Centre Inc.

Problems usually aided by dogs, breeding information.


National Education for Assistance Dog Services

A non-profit organization that trains dogs to assist people who are deaf or physically disabled.


Dogs for the Deaf, Inc.

            An organization that rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to assist deaf people.


The Seeing Eye

            The oldest organization in the United States that trains guide dogs for the blind.


Seizure-Alert Dogs Save Humans With Early Warnings

            National Geographic article about seizure-alert dogs.



Other Service and Therapy Animals

Helping Hands

Benefits of having service monkeys, who would benefit from a monkeys service.


The Guide Horse Foundation

Information about miniature horses and training details.


The Daily Cat

Benefits a therapy cat can give.


Hometown America Online

What cat therapists can do.


Paws Prints and Purrs

Examples of pet therapy and how animals can help people.


Federation of Riding for the Disabled International

            Worldwide organization dedicated to developing therapeutic riding programs.


North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, Inc. NARHA

Promotes the benefit of the horse in helping people with physical, emotional and learning disabilities.


American Hippotherapy Association

            The use of equine movement as a treatment strategy.

USDA logo ARS logo NAL logo
The Animal Welfare Information Center,
April 9, 2004