Service Dogs and Prescriptions?

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
Barked: Sun May 28, '06 2:29am PST 
Note: If this conflicts with Dogster's new policy in the Service and Therapy Forum, please let me know and I will ask the question elsewhere.

Also, please note that I would like to limit this discussion to the need of getting a prescription for the different types of service animals, not whether or not prescriptions should be required. Thank you.

Thanks for sitting through that brief technicality speech. Now, my question is, what kind of service dogs need prescriptions from a doctor? I know that you must have a doctor's note/prescription for a PSD, and it is advisble for you to get one for all types of service animals, but are you required to have one for Mobility Assistance? For Hearing/Perception Assistance? What about for a dog that does a little of all three, (Mobility/PSD/Hearing)?

Can Tux lose his "In Training" status without me having a perscription? Without a doctor having knowledge I am enjoying ("reaping the benefits") of a service animal?

Just curious. Thanks very much for any help. *grin*
Tux & Big Sis
Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
Barked: Sun May 28, '06 4:10am PST 
I would say that if you feel he is trained for everything you need him trained for go ahead and "graduate" him. That's what I did with Dodger. I don't have a doctors note for her.....yet. I have been trying last week to get in to see a therapist but first they gave me a hassle because I need to bring Dodger with me.....actually told me I would need to leave her tied up outside because she is not a real service dog since I didn't get her through a school.....now they are giving me a hassle because I can't afford to pay the $80.00 they want to see me I can only afford $25.00. The whole time they are making me feel worse then my disability is making me feel to the point where I actually told them if I hurt myself it will be on their heads and hubby can sue them for wrongful death because they won't see me and I NEED to be seen. So with all that being said.....as I stated in the begining if he is trained for what you need him to do I would say go ahead and "graduate" him to full Service Dog status.
Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
Barked: Sun May 28, '06 1:33pm PST 
Dodger & Dodger's Mommy,
That is so sad what you are going through right now. Is it possible to find another doctor that's a little more compassionate? Also, do you have any protection under the ADA that could cover you and let Dodger in with you? That is a bummer that (those people) are doing that to you.

Thank you for the information about the doctor's note. I don't know that Tux is ready to graduate yet, I will start really intensive training with him this summer (mid-June) which will help me make a determination.

New Question:
Can a person go to a doctor (that is possibly in favor of service animals) and say that the service animal is still in training, but get a doctor's note that says the service animal should stay with them at all times and should be admitted into all places with them? (Note: Oregon allows the same rules for SDIT as SD, and I would not use this "in training" note to get access to other states that don't have the rule that says SDIT is looked at as SD.)

Thanks all,
Tux & Big Sis

P.S. I am trying to figure this all out about prescriptions etc. and in training because I plan to go to college in the fall and my college doesn't like service animals, and says they (and their disability services dept) make the determination if I need one or not, and also that they don't allow SDITs, but it is in Oregon and a public community college so would they be forced to under the ADA and state law or would it be to their decresion(sp?) like they are saying?

Edited by author Sun May 28, '06 1:34pm PST



Tiny- All Heart with a- Big Bark.
Barked: Mon May 29, '06 7:58am PST 
Have your doctor run a battery of tests including gait for yourself. Your doctor should be able to write a letter on your behalf stating the need for a SD. This is not a prescription, but it is a medical letter. I had a similar letter written when I applied for SSDI and Medicare. I also had to have such a letter when I applied for my drivers license.

Prescriptions are normally reserved for expenses to be paid by an insurance provider.

Check with the college to see if a medical letter would suffice. If a doctor necessitates the SD, I do not see how they could refuse.
Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
Barked: Mon May 29, '06 9:16am PST 
Hey Tux,

No service dog has to have a prescription. The reason you'd want a letter from your doctor (Tiny is right it is a letter from your doctor that you want because it will be able to say more and carry more weight than something scrawled on a prescription pad) saying you have a service dog is because if you are ever challenged in court, you want proof that your dog is a service dog. And having a letter from your doctor (written before whatever you're in court for whatever happened) provides this proof. In addition, to get certain disability accomodations you might have to show a doctor's letter, too. Like to get the CA service dog ID tag I had to show a letter from my doctor. And the disabled transit card I had to show the letter from my doctor, too. In addition, the Air Carriers Act says you have to give credible verbal assurance or have some form of proof that your dog is a service dog. Most airlines that I've been on don't believe anyone's assurance is credible so having a letter from your doctor is a great way to prove that you are a real SD. WHen I went through my school's disability services I had to present my letter from my doctor and I had to get a separate university form filled out by my doctor before they'd even talk to me.

So while Tux doesn't need a letter from a doctor, it wouldn't hurt to have one. Not having a letter doesn't change his status as in training or even as full service dog.

As to graduating to full SD status, here is what I am doing. The psychiatric service dog society has a public access test that is basically the ADI test plus some.


I am working with my trainer to be able to do all of these things without the headcollar (with the headcollar Sabrina coudl already pass with flying colors), and probably by the end of the summer Sabrina will be ready for the final "test". This "test" will consist of my husband videotaping my trainer goingn through all the situations with me. I will make sure the time/date stamp is on the video, and I will say the time/date at the beginning and end of the video. The reason to videotape it is again in case you ever need to go to court you will have proof that your dog is in fact a well behaved service dog. And again, it's important that this stuff predate whatever it is you're going to court for.

As to your question about using the doctors note from in training, as long as you are in a state with in training laws, you are totally within your rights using the note while Tux is in training. I'm not sure how the law would look on it if you went to another state without in training laws, though.

Make sure your doctor writes the note on his doctor's letterhead. When you get the note, make a bunch of copies and keep the original at home somewhere, just keep copies with you.

I hope all of this helps!