Announcing a new tag from Service Dog

by Sue on November 9, 2011

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We are pleased to announce that we have added another disability specific tag to our line of Service Dog and Emotional Support Animal tags.

We have always had the following…

Service Dog
Service Animal
Seizure Alert
Medical Alert
Guide Dog
Hearing Assistance
Search and Rescue
Cadaver Dog
Emotional Support Animal

We have now added PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to our list of tags.

I have PTSD and understand that it is a disorder that, though now recognized by ADA as a disability, does not fall under the category of a medical alert dog.

Though Service Dog can be used for a PTSD dog, we feel that this new tag will serve the needs of those who wish to be more disability specific.

Sussie, Gunny and Rainy

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sutton & Suzie the Sugar Gliders 11.14.11 at 7:25 am

We have a problem with the State of NC. I have a Service Dog In Training replacing my Sugar Gliders, so that I am in compliance with my State of South Carolina and the new ADA. Please see post here

2 Wanda Stoddard 11.14.11 at 8:12 am

I am interested in the vest that the service dog in the picture is wearing. How much is that. I am also need some patchest on it. PTSD. SERVICE DOG. SEIZUIRE ALERT. WORKING DOG. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOG.

Could you please be so kind as to tell me what the price of this would run.
Thanks so much.
Wanda Stoddard

3 Alice Bell 11.14.11 at 9:14 am

I hope someone can help with this issue:
I own a vacation condo in Florida in a building that allows weekly rentals.
The building regs have a no pet policy.
When I brought my service dog into the condo I was told I could not have her due to Fair Housing Laws….unless I submitted documentation of disability and doctor’s letter of determination of need for the dog. I was told this was because I own property within the building.

Now, a tenant with terminally ill spouse in wheelchair has arrived with their service dog. They purchased the pet tags from your company, vest from Raspberry Fields, and sent the dog to a service dog academy, all in preparation of dealing with the ‘condo commandos’.

The board of directors has demanded her disability papers and doctors certification. These folks do not own within the building, but are renting from me. I have looked at the Fair Housing laws and have not found where it is permissible for the board to require such documentation and certification. Does anyone out there have any experience with this kind of situation?

4 Patch 11.14.11 at 9:50 am

I have PTSD and it is serious. I can’t stay in a crowd and suffer from anxiety attacks last one putting me in the hospital. When I have my dog with me it is controlled and if I start feeling something coming on the dog senses it and reacts. I have a service dog vest and tags. It was required that I carry cards saying this is a service dog and I am the handler. I bought a tag saying service dog from this organization. I also carry a letter that is renewed every year by my doctor saying I need this dog. It is interesting because no one is really allowed to ask for this information. I have shown it to people who just want to know more about service dogs.

5 Georgina williams 11.14.11 at 10:09 am

I have trouble on my condo. The manager says only seeing eye dogs and hearing disable…..I have mitochondrial disease were I loose my balance and fall often. My Sophia will bark and run around me to show kneed help!
I have the emotional support tag. Is there another kind more appropriate ?

6 Allice Allen 11.14.11 at 10:30 am

Glad you are adding new tags, but PTSD is a medical condition recongized as an service dog is you do alerts. I have such a dog and the rules under the ADA/DOJ state that PTSD is a service dog if the dog alerts to a condition. So here is how it reads from the ADA revison March 16, 2011. Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Under Examples it states, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seziure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with PTSD, during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. This is under How “Service Animal” is defined. So anyone can go to U.S. Department of Justice/ADA to home page, under Servicd Animals and this is there to help all of us. States can not make laws requiring you to have seperate ID tags, call the DOJ/ADA and talk with them or just go to the website. No agency can require you to release your personal medical information to get “there” ID cards. In the last year I have found that only answering the 2 questions that we can be asked is easier, than all the ID’s and I have even filed complaints against 2 different grocery stores. Last night I went to a movie was asked if she was a service dog, once I said yes that was it. Had a great time at the movies. I love the ID’s just for myself and will think of getting an new ID card. Thank you for this site I enjoy chatting with all of you.

7 Allice Allen 11.14.11 at 10:39 am

Sorry forgot to answer Alice, Georgina, patch. Call the Dept of Justice/ADA they can not discriminate against you, if they are service dogs. They need no proof of training, you do not have to show how the dog works. Tell the Condo police that you are filing against them with the Dept of Justice/American with Disabilities Act. gov. Also if you can afford it legal assistance for the condo, but it is all in the federal laws, and no state, city, local can override the federal law. Keep calm bring you service dog in and call the police if you need to. But first talk with the ADA/DOJ and also your state’s Attorney General Office you are being discrimanated against. Sorry for the spelling, I have been through all of this and I am living in an pet free apartment, because she is a service dog, not a pet. So anytime someone says no pets, remember that your dog is a service dog. Good Luck

8 Frank B. 11.14.11 at 11:58 am

To Georgina Williams,
It was very surprising to me to see somebody write that they have Mitochondrial Myopathy Disorder. I too have the same condition and fall quite often, along with other symptoms, if you are interested in having a discussion about it, I would love to send you my E-Mail and we can talk and see if there is anything different out there. Get back to me on these comments, and if you want my E-Mail I will send it to you. Good luck with your condition, and the condo association cannot deny your animal, with your disability. I have a Morkie named Bella and what is funny is she does almost the same thing, I fall and she runs around me and barks till somebody comes. I have a tag fron Spot and have never been turned away or given a hard time at all. There tags are great, and very PROFESSIONAL. Get back to me I would like to talk to you. Again good luck Georgina.

9 C-A Mystry 11.14.11 at 12:44 pm

I could not be more pleased with the tag I have gotten from Rasberry Field. I have only had trouble twice, once from Wal-Mart and once from the Pancake House. After I explained o them that DJ was an Emotional Support/Service Dog They have not given me any more problems. In fact, one greeter at the Wal-Mart now ask me how DJ is doing today, and if I need any extra help. I hate having to explain all the time, and some of the people I have meet and extremly rude, all because they tell me a Chiranian (Pom-Chi cross) cannot be a ESA/Service dog, that he is too small. It depends on the type of help you need from the dog, and also in my case, I cannot have a large dog due to certain medical issues.

10 Dave and Gracie 11.14.11 at 4:00 pm

Sussie, I’ve followed your blog for many months. Actually, we’re getting into multiple years territory. You have provided many of us, people with disabilities that have or are interested in getting and/or training a Service Dog, with good information about Service Dogs and Assitance animals. You’ve refered us to the pertinent Federal laws, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – 1990 and The Federal Fair Housing Act – 1988 revisions. It’s all there, in black and white, what our civil rights are regarding access anywhere in the USA.. As far as “no pets” regulations in apatment complexes or Housing Authorities is concerned, again, it’s defined in specifically and concisely in black and white. We have rights! Disregard the whining of the “cellar-dwellers” and litegate those organizations who would discrimnate against you and your Service Dog or Assist Animal.
Thanks Sussie,
David T. Leonard, M.S., C.R.C.

11 jb 11.15.11 at 1:28 am

I have ptsd and depression as well a some hearing impairment. I advertise my dog as a service dog. I dont feel that I should advertise that I have mental problems so that people can judge me. I take the dog to work with me and he does well. But why advertise it all over that the dog does emotional support so others can gossip? A disability is a disability.

12 Carrie 11.15.11 at 5:00 am

The past year has been an interesting journey. I, too, have a service dog, a great dane named Scarlet. Her primary function is a seizure alert dog, but she also helps with my PTSD. I dont advertise the PTSD part, but in her vest is a laminated page stating that I have stress induced seizures, and that I have PTSD, warning whomever finds me in that state not to lean across me or touch me until Im fully awake and whom to call if they should find me unconcious. Even wearing her vest and tags, however, people have still been known to ask: Is she a service dog?……I have yet to think up some smart response to this question, I just answer it honestly. But seriously? Heres your sign! UGH. The biggest problem I have though isnt even with kids, as I had thought it would be. Even with her patches, and one saying : Im working, please ask to pet me, the ADULTS are the ones who will walk up to her and start petting and baby-talking to her without a word to me. Does anyone else have this problem?

13 Allice Allen 11.15.11 at 10:53 am

Carrie I have the same problem and you are right it is mostly adults, the children will ask if they can touch. Also the people who complain the most about my service dogs are adults. They also want to bring in there pet and pushy about what I have and what my dog does. So some are just jealous because they want to bring in the pet. I wish I did not need a service dog and only had a pet, what are these people thinking? Or are they so jealous they do not realize I am disabled? My small service dog is getting older and will bite now if people touch her when she is in her working vest, so I just say she will bite, because she is working and does not want to be distracted. Which is a true statement, but she has never even nipped anyone. She will turn away. Yes we all love our pets too, but they are not needed to help us do our daily lives it is pretty bad to be jealous of a disabled person because we take our service dogs everywhere, don’t you think?

14 Michelle 11.15.11 at 5:56 pm

I have a question in reference to an issue that I came upon over the weekend in reference to my emotional support service dog that not only benefits myself, but my 4 yr. old son as well? We took our 93 yr old grandmother to see her grandson whom was incarcerated in a State of FL facility. I called the facility and made them aware that I was bringing my service animal with me for the sake of my son and myself. Since they don’t allow you to leave your car windows rolled down for any means necessary on the prison property. They said that they would have to call and get a clearance from the Warden in reference to my service animal being let into the facility. The final outcome was that they only allowed me to be able to leave my service animal in the vehicle, with all 4 windows slightly cracked for breathing air, and to put a car jack lock on my steering column so that the vehicle could be moved. I showed the serganent on staff at the time both of the badges, as well as the service animal card stating that the service animal must accomodate any disable person into an establishment. But they wasn’t trying to hear that! My dog is very beneficial to me because of not my son’s medical condition of ADHD/ODD/Autism, but for me I have a heart condition of atrial fibrillation, CHF, and Type II unstable diabetes to the point I pass out sometimes. And during these espisodes of my son or myself being sick, our sevice animal lays in the bed between us. And licks on our arms or face when he senses that something is just isn’t right. But yet we were denied the fact of his admittance into the actual facility. So my question to anybody whom can answer it is this? Has my rights been violated or overlooked from this correctional facility? I’m interested in all comments!!! Thanks!

15 Mark Darling 11.15.11 at 6:26 pm

As far as using identification for psychiatric use service dogs I am a big fan of. I am glad that with sites like this they afford us the opportunity classify the types of service dogs if we want. I have always felt that should be left to the discretion of handler and not regulated.
I have several types of disability, hearing impaired, mobility issues and ptsd to name the three big ones I suffer from. As far as the issue of Sox helping me with my ptsd I have found when we have been out in public that quite a few people out there understand that ptsd can be debilitating and know that severe ptsd has physical symptoms that are debilitating. I don’t mind talking about me having ptsd along with my other disabilities when people ask what Sox does. They often find it fascinating how Sox can detect the early warnings of my symptoms and what he does to help me. I guess you could say I help out public awareness in the area of the tremendous help a dogs can be in assisting someone with mental illness. Also my wife has disabilities and her dog TwoToez can detect one or two hours prior to the onset of her ventral hernia flair up. I know a lot of mental illness patients are not aware of the amount of assistance a service dog can be with regards to mental illness and also I know there are also mental illness patients that do not like to mention or discuss their mental illnesses. I often find that there is more discrimination from dog trainers then the general public with regards to service dogs for the mentally ill. I guess they figure those that suffer from mental retardation only need “emotional support dogs” as there is no such thing as psychiatric service dogs.
Perhaps the reason I don’t have much problem with access is because of my physical disabilities. Since getting tags for our guys what I have found that my wife and I have as far as problems with access in the fact that our dogs are very large Brazilian mastiffs and there are very few people in our area with service dogs, let alone dogs larger the 70 pounds. My wife and I have had more more attempted denials in access due to the size of our dogs and not our handicaps.
All I can say is the last time we went to McDonalds it was cute to see a little 5 year old ask to pet one of our dogs and I motioned and our 180 pound mastiffs role onto their backs so the child could rub their bellies. I then looked at the manager standing there in awe of our gentle giants and I said ” did you really think a man my size at around 220 pounds would get up and down steps with a little 10 pound chihuahua?”

16 Nashi 11.16.11 at 2:52 am

I recently received tags from here and patches from I have a few different disorders that cause me to fall; my dog is a medical alert dog, but more accurately, is a seizure response dog. Extremely helpful.

Comment for Advertising Disability. I agree that is sometimes wiser not disclose an “emotional” disorder, as some members of the public may call it. I have a neurological disorder but when most people hear it they assume it is a psychiatric disorder (which in my opinion, an illness is an illness) and what I have may appear to be a “seizure” but is no epilespy. So, medical alert is the closest description of what he does for me versus the generic service animal tag (which I have and use also). Frequently, service dog is confused with therapy dog so thsi is why I now use Medical Alert.

ESA v. Service Animal. The ADA newest rendition for service animals does not preclude animals who assist those with emotional issues; it narrows what “assistance” entails. For example, PTSD may be so strong as to become disabling. A symptom may be that during an episode someone becomes disoriented/confused maybe causing them to not pay attention to a task at hand (like baking) and burn themselves. The dog can be trained to get there attention back when the person is fading. (Forgive me as I am not very familiar with PTSD, but I am with the law in this area.) The dog performs a specific function to minimize injury due to the person’s disability of PTSD. Whereas, an ESA, may help a person remain calm for a person that has PTSD. PLEASE NOTE, I AM MERELY DISTINGUISING HOW THE LAW SEES THIS, AND NOT NECESSARILY MY PERSONAL OPINION. If an animal performs a task (think action verb: get, alerts, blocks, etc., no matter the disability (psychiatric or physical), then this is a service animal. If an animal lets someone pet him so as to soothe the disabled person, this animal is a ESA but is not an assistance animal. (AGAIN, THESE ARE NOT MY VALUE JUDGMENTS–JUST LEGAL ANALYSES)
As an aside, service animal is the overall category with guide dogs being a type of service dog.
In short, Service Animals are distinguished from ESA because they preform a function or task that helps a disabled person physically whether the disability is physical or emotional. This is primarily due to the fact that legally, assistance animals are medical durable equipment.

Housing/Condo. They can only ask the two questions which this site discusses and one even print. Also, check out the Delta Society which has much information concerning this issue. We have rights, but we also would like to live harmoniously with our neighbors. The written information is nice, BUT when things may get nasty, this is the question I ask: do you allow wheelchairs?, do you allow oxygen tanks? are hearing aids allowed in the condo? etc. My service animal is medical equipment. If you would not deny me a wheelchair, why this? Emphasize that the animal is not a pet.

Does my boy provide me comfort when I suddenly collapse in public? Yep. When he is “not working”, do we play? Absolutely. And the freedom to go out in public again without people calling the police thinking high or drunk because a hugh white dog is lying/standing next to be when I fall down, this is the greatest comfort. However, what makes my dog meet the ADA standards are his training to break my falls, block me from entering traffic (I sleep walk), and alert when my blood sugar falls to rapidly.

Going Places with a Service Dog. I fortunately have not had negative expreiences other have mentioned with exception of the size of my dog when it comes to public transporation (he is a Great Pyrenees). The size is necessary to assist when I pull myself up without hurting the dog, for example. His breed used to pull carts so sometimes he has had to pull me to safety.

Conclusion: The new ADA law’s focus is on the tasks the dog does as the defining characteristics of the definition of the service animal regardless of the handler’s disability.

17 Allice Allen 11.16.11 at 10:21 am

Michelle you do have the right to file a complaint with the Dept Of Justice/ADA. They have no right to keep your medical equipment, your service animal out, would they have you leave your wheel chair? Go on line to Dept Of or you can call and they will answer all your questions. To the other’s please read the revision of the DOJ/ADA rules March 2011. I have PTSD that is what my dog alerts on. She knows when I will have an panic/seizure attack long before I get a symptom, so I can get safe or take medication or both I have had problems with public complaining in stores, well really all kinds of places but I will only allow them to ask me the 2 questions by federal law. So go to the ADA/ website because PTSD has been changed to include the anxiety/panic attacks. We have the right to use our service dog and when mine is home she plays with us and we exercise her it is part of keeping her well. Good luck everyone, I really enjoy reading all the blogs.

18 Nashi 11.16.11 at 8:52 pm

This is for Allice Allen…sorry, sometines I have cognitive problems, but are you saying that the public gets irritated that you try to get to a safe place or take medication? I ask because this was also true for me but having a service dog seemed to mitigate this somewhat.

And, in general, is it better to include medical info quickly available to the public (like info can be seen on the dog’s vest)? All my things simply say “see wallet card”. If you want to contact me, my e-mail is

19 Terry 11.20.11 at 2:48 pm

I have been accompanied by an 8 pound chihauhau mix hearing assistance service dog for 4 years, needing his services seriously at home for bells, alarms, and door-knocking, as I am allergic to my hearing aids, even with hypoallergenic types. But he is also trained to go in public, as he is with me when I travel at all. I have been inappropriately questioned only 3 times, but am often asked if he is a service animal. My problem is with domestic airlines, one of which I use several times a year, and might need to use quickly on a family emergency basis. Allegiantair reps say a service animal must have a vet record less than a month old certifying his health, and medical certificate for me stating the need for a service animal. On one emergency occasion I paid a fee for him, since he had not been to the vet for the (not free) health certification, and he was required to be in a carrier that would fit under the seat. After that, I attempted to get clarified the airline’s procedures, telling them that I knew I could just buy my ticket in future and let them know I would be accompanied by a service animal. They told me that MOST (real) service dogs require extra space and therefore preferential seating for me, which must be reserved as far ahead as possible. I told the rep I thought they were out of ADA compliance guidelines, and was told that I probably could find more accommodating policies with some other airline!
I thought letting them know I would be traveling with a service animal who did not need extra space/preferential seating was a courtesy.
What’s the deal there? Even with out-of-country travel with a service dog, ADA policies apply in U. S. and some research shows me that service animals are often, usually, allowed with travelers to foreign countries and not subject to the quarantine, if they have vaccination records.
What records/certification is required for domestic carriers?

20 Allice Allen 11.21.11 at 10:53 am

Terry I read your blog, I think you are being discriminated against because they are saying things that are not part of the requirments. File a complaint with the Dept Of Justice/ADA and also call and speak with them. Because the federal laws include all business, so also I am not sure but check with the gov website and see if you can talk with or e-mail the dept of avaition. I find that agencies will point me in the correct direction when they do not have the answers the fact they even said you would do better on a different airline was discrimination. Also I have found that everytime I try to be prepared or let someone know in advance it causes problems and I do not understand that either. Please blog if and when you find help I would like to know too. Good luck Allice and Little Girl

21 mike s 03.10.12 at 6:56 pm

A love letter to Que my PTSD service dog. and Irene my wife

My name is Mike I’m sixty four years old. I served my country by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in July 1964. At the tender age of 18 I was deployed to Viet Nam, 22 months later I returned home to the USA. For over the past 40 years I have been living with a stranger and that stranger is me. For the past 40 years I have been alone within my soul. I worked in the work force for over 30 years, and every day was a constant struggle for me and my family. Today I’m totally disabled with PTSD. In the early years (the lost years) I self medicated with alcohol a familiar path that many of my brothers have walked or should I say crawled down. I’m not being cute or coy, but PTSD is so insidious and debilitating. So many of my brothers have fought the battles within their minds and in the end lost the war. So many of my brothers have lost their families, their friends, their jobs, and worst of all their dignity. There are lost souls forever on patrol on the streets and in the cities of America who will never find the rear area or the end of the mission. I thank God that after many years in PTSD veterans groups I have survived. I thank the VA for the dedicated counselors who I came to know and respect, and their dedication helped me survive. I also want to thank my wife who has been by my side for over thirty years, and has marched on carrying my PTSD on her back, a weight that has made her a codependent of PTSD In her own right. She has suffered the terrible roller coaster ride of being married to a vet with PTSD.

Que an unsung hero.

Ten years ago while in Germany I purchased a Swiss Bernese Mountain dog. Anyone who has ever owned a Berner knows there is something mystical about Berners a quality that is truly intuitive. Que instantly bonded to me as a puppy. Que was extremely in tune with all my emotional moods, he would lean against me and and cuddle up to me in bed when I was screaming out with another horrible nightmare. There are places I go that people who have not been there can’t comprehend. A loving wife, and family will hurt for you, friends who want to help can’t fully understand your pain and despair. Que is the only living thing that could go with me, to these dark places of despair and help pull me out. Que would come over to me when I was having a bad day or a bad hour, Que would look at me and the pain in his eyes and love he exuded to me was overwhelming and the Marine awoke in me that I had a buddy I needed to protect and I could not stand to see him suffer as he could not stand to see me suffer. I had to comfort him with love and to be strong. Many PTSD vets have a very hard time with trust and love, and showing feelings some live in a dead zone a lifetime of numbness. Being able to share emotions with an other living being is so very powerful. I believe Que helped me to be able to give of myself. We as humans are being constantly judged and even family becomes truly frustrated with PTSD. There are many forms of love, and the love I feel for my wife, daughter are absolute. The love I feel for Que is that of a best friend, a brother in arms Lone Ranger and Tonto, Batman & Robin. Que was pure and simple, his only goal and mission in life was to be protective. Que had no preconceptions, of status, was not judgmental, and absent of agenda’s. I’m so privileged to have been his best friend. Que passed away on the New Years day 2011 in my arms. I loved and mourned him as a family member. While grieving for the loss of Que I got an e-mail from my niece with picture of a beautiful puppy that had been abandoned at a trail head in the foot hills of the Adirondacks. When I looked at the photo I instantly knew I had to rescue this puppy, there was something familiar about this pup. The puppy needed to be rescued and my wife and I drove 1250 miles to rescue Truman ,and yes Truman has rescued me. The vet says He thinks Truman was born around around New Years day 2011. I like to think Que is in him somewhere. Truman is not Que however we have a solid bond and he knows my moods and I have a new best friend. I have a message to my fellow Vets who are suffering from PTSD. There are many wonderful dogs that need to be rescued. These dogs can become wonderful service or emotional support dogs with a little training. Its a wonderful feeling training these dogs who really appreciate the love trust and they return this gift many times over. Service dogs fill their role naturally, they can make a huge difference in the nucleolus of the family. I have heard that the VA has pilot programs with service dogs for PTSD with much success. These dogs can have a tremendous impact on your life. Your relationships with family and friends can improve and stabilize. When you look into the eyes of your service dog you will know

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