International Association of
Assistance Dog Partners

CADO Updates Proposed Definition of a Service Animal, 2003

28 CFR 36.104 - Definition of Service Animal

Revised to read:

Service animal means an assistance dog, and may include other animals specifically trained to perform physical tasks to mitigate an individual's disability. Assistance dogs include: guide dogs that guide individuals who are legally blind; hearing dogs that alert individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to specific sounds; and, service dogs for individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness. Service dogs are trained to perform a variety of physical tasks including but not limited to pulling a wheelchair, lending balance support, picking up dropped objects or providing assistance in a medical crisis. The presence of an animal for comfort, protection or personal defense does not qualify an animal as being trained to mitigate an individual's disability and therefore does not qualify said animal as a service animal.

Note of Explanation about Update:

At the Second Annual Meeting of the Coalition of Assistance Dog Organizations, the members voted to accept the substitution of the term “Service Animal” for the term “Assistance Animal,” in the proposed definition and in its future communications with the Department of Justice and other government agencies. IAADP and other CADO members reaffirmed that decision at the Third Annual CADO Meeting held in conjunction with IAADP’s Conference in San Antonio in January 2003. This is the only change made to the original definition submitted to the Department of Justice in April 2001.

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