Additional Definitions


Working Animals

These are animals that help people work and/or complete tasks.

These include animals used by:

  • Armed Forces
  • Police, Fire, Park, and Security Departments
  • Governmental Agencies such as the FBI, Homeland Security, and TSA (airport)
  • Professional Search and Rescue Groups
  • Persons with Disabilities


Technically, animals used in sports, therapy, obedience, conformation are not “working animals.”   

Therapy Animals

These are animal teams that have been approved by certain schools, libraries, healthcare institutions to help people feel or do better.


These animals may be vested, but do nothave public access under the Department of Justice (DOJ) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) addressing Americans with Disabilities (ADA).



The term, “therapy animal” is being used in press and literature to describe dogs that have been trained to provide emotional support to adults and children with disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, etc.  Unless these animals assist the handler in performing activities of daily living, these animals do nothave access into public areas under federal regulations.


Emotional Support Animals

Animals, whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or promote emotional well-being. 


These animals do not have public access under the DOJ CFR for ADA access, but can be approved for housing by following guidelines per Housing and Urban Development and on air flights by adherence to guidelines per Federal Aviation Association.


Service Animals in Training

These animals are in training to provide tasks for people with disabilities or ailments.  These animals do nothave access into public areas under the federal regulations addressing ADA. However, most states have laws permitting these animals access into public areas. Check with your own state legislation for more information.