Next Article in Journal
Geographic Variations in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Luxembourg
Next Article in Special Issue
The Impact of Service Dogs on Engagement in Occupation among Females with Mobility Impairments: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
Previous Article in Journal
Investigation of Acute Pulmonary Deficits Associated with Biomass Fuel Cookstove Emissions in Rural Bangladesh
Previous Article in Special Issue
Dogs in the Workplace: A Review of the Benefits and Potential Challenges
Article Menu
Issue 6 (June) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 642; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060642

Public Perceptions of Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs, and Therapy Dogs

1
Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607-7302, USA
2
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
3
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activites for Health and Wellbeing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [277 KB, uploaded 15 June 2017]

Abstract

As service dogs, emotional support dogs, and therapy dogs have become more prevalent in the USA, so too has the controversy surrounding their legitimacy. Yet, there is a lack of objective data regarding the public’s understanding of the role played by each of these types of animals, as well as their perceptions regarding the legitimacy of their integration. An anonymous, online survey was distributed to examine the perceptions of US adults who do not own any type of assistance animal. A total of 505 individuals responded to the online survey, yielding 284 usable responses. Results suggest widespread misconceptions about definitions, rules, regulations, and rights associated with each type of assistance dog. In general, service dogs are more likely to be perceived as helping with a legitimate need, and their access to public spaces is viewed favorably. While there are some concerns about the legitimacy and necessary access rights for emotional support dogs, members of the public correctly identified the roles and rights of therapy dogs. Despite the media’s focus on abuses and false representation of these dogs, most participants reported feeling the majority of people are not taking advantage of the system. View Full-Text
Keywords: public perception; service dogs; therapy dogs; emotional support animals; assistance animals; Americans with Disabilities Act; Housing and Urban Development Regulations public perception; service dogs; therapy dogs; emotional support animals; assistance animals; Americans with Disabilities Act; Housing and Urban Development Regulations
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Schoenfeld-Tacher, R.; Hellyer, P.; Cheung, L.; Kogan, L. Public Perceptions of Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs, and Therapy Dogs. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 642.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top