How to Register Your Dog as a Service Dog in New York
Service dogs can make the world much more accessible to people who have a disability. The Empire State respects the work of service dogs and allows people with disabilities to engage in public life.
A service dog is not a pet, it is an accommodation that allows people with disabilities to have a safe and accessible environment. Because of this vital role, service dogs must be present when necessary. By registering a service dog, it ensures that your rights are protected and that a dog will be able to carry out their job without interruption.
Does your Disability Qualify for a Service Dog in New York?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), states that a person with a disability is someone:
“[…] who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.”
People with a disability in New York must gauge whether or not a service dog would help them overcome their impairments in daily life.
The first step to getting a service dog is evaluating the need for one. Keep in mind that a service dog must be able to perform the required task daily. Also, the task they are asked to perform must be a task that is possible for a dog to accomplish. Consulting with your healthcare provider is one of the best ways to decide if a service animal is the right decision for you.
Get the Best Breed for your Disability
It’s important to be realistic when choosing a service dog. For your safety and wellbeing, a service dog must be able to accomplish the required task. Choosing the right breed for the task, rather than your favorite breed, can make all the difference.
Consider the services you need fulfilled, and decide which size or breed can best perform the task. For example, if you need a service dog to keep you from falling, you will need a large breed that can hold your weight. Pomeranians may be adorable and cute, but a small pomeranian will not be able to prevent you from falling. A larger breed dog would be a safer choice.
Train Your Dog for Your Disability
For a service dog to do the required service, they must receive training. It’s also vital that a service dog is trained to behave appropriately in social situations. A trained service dog can be obtained in three ways.
- Purchase a service dog that has already been trained for the tasks you require. Although these service dogs are costly, it’s the most convenient option.
- You can choose to obtain your own dog and outsource the training. By purchasing your dog, you can find a dog that is the right breed and size and that you have a bond with. You can then have someone else perform the formal training of the dog.
- This third option is the most cost-efficient (but time-consuming) of the three. You can purchase your own dog and perform the training on your own. Although this option requires research and lots of effort, it can also give you something the others can’t — the ability to train a dog to your own specific needs. And by spending so much time with the dog, you are more likely to develop a stronger bond, which benefits both you and your service dog.
Because of all the effort and money put into training, service dog registration can make the future with your service dog stress-free.
Register Your Service Dog in New York
Through a service dog registration, your service dog can carry out their tasks with less interruptions from uninformed persons. A registered service dog lets the public know that your dog is an animal that provides a service for a disability without having to expose your private information. Having proof of your service dog status through another entity can offer you and your service dog a layer of protection and privacy when you’re out in public. You may find that a registered service dog makes navigating the world much easier.
Service dog registration also allows you to keep your privacy. Because a registered service dog is much less likely to be denied access, you will have less of a need to explain your physical or mental needs. Although registering a service dog may take a little work in the beginning, it saves you and your dog a ton of stress in the long run.
Register Your Service Dog in New York
Registrations are typically done online and require just a few steps to complete:
1. Type the name of the service dog handler. The handler is typically the owner or the person responsible for the dog’s care.
2. Type in your service dog’s name. This is the name he would most likely respond to.
3. Type in your email address. You may be asked to verify your address.
4. Upload a recent and clear photo of your service dog. That puppy photo might warm your heart, but it’s not an accurate photo of your four-year-old dog!
5. Select the type of registration. You may choose your service dog accessories such as a paper certificate, collar tags, leash covers, and other tools.
Why Should I Register My Dog as a Service Dog in New York?
The ADA does not make registration of a service dog a requirement. However, it may be the right decision for a person that values privacy and discretion. Besides allowing you a degree of privacy and ease, registering your service dog and carrying a service dog identification card allows you to signal your animal as an assistance animal. You and your service dog represent the service dog community. Registering your dog adds legitimacy to a group that is often misrepresented by fraudulent claims.
Registering your service dog makes your dog’s job easier. Without the distraction of others, they can go about their business by providing you with service and attention.
New York Statute
A law prohibits pet owners from misrepresenting their dogs as service or therapy dogs. Just like other states, New York state has seen a rash of illegitimate service and therapy dogs.
New York Service Dog News
In New York, the Mayor’s Office provides a comprehensive list of legitimate training sites for your convenience.