MOD Blog

Massachusetts Office On Disability Blog

Tag Archives: emotional support animals

Service Animals: Frequently Asked Questions Posted on Jan 4

Service Animals: Frequently Asked Questions

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) fields a high volume of inquiries and requests for training on the subject of service animals. Our previous blog post about service animals and emotional support animals continues to be our most-viewed post. MOD staff provide technical assistance to businesses, agencies, local governments, and other organizations that are making efforts to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities to be accompanied by service animals. As part of our blog series on animals that assist persons with disabilities, this post offers a sampling of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive on this topic.

Assistance Animals: Rights Under Fair Housing Laws Posted on May 2

Assistance Animals: Rights Under Fair Housing Laws

This post is part of our series on animals that assist individuals with disabilities. Housing providers may be obligated to modify their “no pets” policies to allow a resident to keep an animal that does not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of “service animal” because of the broader definition of “assistance animal” used in such laws. This post will clarify the status of other types of animals that may assist individuals with disabilities, such as emotional support/companion animals, and their place in Fair Housing laws.

Beware of Entities Charging a Fee for Service Animal/Emotional Support Animal “Certification” Posted on Aug 27

Beware of Entities Charging a Fee for Service Animal/Emotional Support Animal “Certification”

MOD often hears from people with disabilities who have paid a fee in order to obtain a “certification” or “registration” for their service animal or emotional support animal (ESA) in order to get permission to have the animal in housing or other places that do not allow animals. We thought we would clarify the status of these so-called certifying bodies and explain what would be considered sufficient documentation that an animal is needed because of a disability.

Emotional Support Animal Vs. Service Animal: The Facts Posted on Jul 22

Emotional Support Animal Vs. Service Animal: The Facts

Last week, we highlighted some new guidance on service animals from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). In this second post in our series on service animals, we will aim to clear up confusion surrounding the different categories of animals that assist persons with disabilities. MOD consistently gets calls from individuals who benefit from the assistance or company of an animal. Callers often refer to any animal that mitigates or relieves their disability limitations as a “service animal.” However, technically not all animals that benefit a person with a disability are service animals. Service animals are specifically defined by and are subject to different laws than other animals that provide companionship and or emotional support to persons with disabilities.