What Really is a Therapy Animal? My Guest Answers The Question. I Have Emotional Therapy Cats. Mental Health Awareness.

What Really is a Therapy Animal? My Guest Answers The Question. I Have Emotional Therapy Cats. Mental Health Awareness.

WELCOME Recovery Friends!

One of the best things I did for myself, my recovery, and mental and emotional health is having therapy kitties! Lol. I have three and I love them so much. They help give me focus and purpose in taking care of my Cats. But let’s learn the real difference between a Real Service Animal vs Therapy Animals.

My recovery guest Aurora explains what is a “Therapy Animal?” And be it in recovery, having mental or emotional challenges, and especially for those who have disabilities.

ALL ANIMALS DO bring us such JOY and can Save a Life … ~Cat

(My Mr. Boots and his Box!)

What Really is a Therapy Animal? 


In the past, up until a few years ago, the only types of services animals you regularly heard of, were actual service animals. Mainly dogs who would help their owners who had major physical disabilities.
Over the past few years, the topic of service and therapy animals has increased at an alarming rate. An even more alarming thing is the number of people who were suddenly registering and claiming their pets to be service animals. It’s kind of a hot topic, so what really
is a therapy animal?

Service vs Therapy

A service animal has to go through intensive training before being certified as a service animal. One of the biggest distinguishable features between an actual service dog is they are actually trained for a specific purpose. The ADA website states that a service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do certain work or specific tasks for their owner who has a disability that they are unable to do for themselves.

These tasks can include things such as pulling a wheelchair, retrieving an item that has been dropped, reminding them to take their medication, pushing the elevator button, or alerting a person to a sound. Without these service animals, these individuals would not be able to live with the same level of functionality.


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Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy animals are not service animals. This doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose, but they are not a service animal. In addition, animals that are not dogs are not considered to be service animals in almost all cases. If someone comes to you and claims that the iguana on their shoulder is their service animal, it is in fact, not a service animal. They may find comfort in their pet iguana, yes. A certified service animal, it is not.

Registration for a Therapy or Comfort Animal

The ADA recognizes that a therapy or comfort animal can indeed provide comfort and are often used as part of a medical treatment plan. But the ADA website very clearly states that any sort of therapy or emotional support animal is not a service animal.

Strictly speaking concerning animals that are considered to be a therapy or comfort animal, there is a specific process that has to be followed in order for them to be considered a therapy or comfort animal. There are a lot of websites that will send you a service animal vest and a card stating that your pet is a service animal, but these services are actually illegal.

In fact, receiving any sort of certification or registration completed online is not only illegal, but it makes it hard for actual service animals to be allowed in public places, due to the saturation of claimed emotional support animals being toted around in public as if they are trained to do anything aside from providing comfort.

Often, someone will illegally register their pet as a therapy animal in hopes of them “legally” being able to have them in a rental unit that doesn’t allow pets.


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The only legal way to have a pet be considered a therapy or comfort animal is to have a psychiatrist prescribe them as such to you. Most psychiatrists won’t accept patients if this is their sole purpose for treatment, and will only prescribe dogs to previously existing patients.

These prescriptions also expire, as the purpose of an emotional support animal is to provide comfort during a healing period, and you will have to be evaluated on a yearly basis before your prescription to your therapy animal can be renewed.

“Therapy Animal” is a Loose Term

More simply put, a therapy animal doesn’t really have more rights than a regular pet does. And most importantly, if you bring your therapy animal into public and they misbehave, a business has every right to eject you without warning.

This rule is the same as real service animals. However, more and more businesses are likely to turn away a real service animal due to bad experiences with a therapy animal.

Let’s keep it simple for those with legal disabilities to have those “rights” with fewer problems or complications of their importantly needed “Legitimate Service Animals.” 

~Aurora M.

I wanted to add …that my three cats are “Emotional Therapy animals and ae part of my overall mental and emotional managed care plan. We are currently getting ready to move into a new townhome and complex and they as a courtesy waving my pet deposit and the monthly pet fee as they got a letter from my doctor verifying that my pets are for my overall health and emotional well-being.

And our move will is also an important part of my feeling safe as it’s a gated community and will have a bigger place to live and that too will help my overall emotional and mental health as having challenges with Depression – Agoraphobia, and Anxiety … ~Cat


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*Happy Caturday* ~~ “Recovery Ramblins Is Back On Cyberspace” In Our New Home!

Welcome Recovery Friends and New Visitors,

I know this will be a bit Cheeezy, but as my “FAV” WWE Wrestler Pal “THE ROCK” says, “FINALLY~~”Recovery Ramblins has come BACK to Cyberspace”! Well at least he IS easy on the EYES to look at!…..AM I RIGHT LADIES??…..LOL…

File:Dwayne Johnson at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg - Wikipedia ...                                 

My hubby and I are in our New home, the move went *Smooth*…..and I have to tell you how wonderful people have been here to us, and  to ME in ARIZONA! What I mean by this is, even though I’m KEENLY AWARE that I only have one published book out, and don’t really consider myself an established writer, I happened to bring some copies of my paperback with me, and almost every person I have come in contact with has wanted to BUY a copy from ME! The cable guy, the power guy who came to turn on my electric services, the woman who is manager her at the Apt complex, even the lady at “Sears” who sold us our new bed, and MORE!

So it’s now time to put all the *Drama* behind us! It’s a New Day!, with new goals and many blessings abound. My heart is filled with “Gratitude, Luv, Thankfulness, and  positive Possibilities!
This is what you receive in a Beautiful Life in Recovery…

Photo via DeviantArt by ChimereOkorieMba http://fav.me/d4gnei6This is Very true!

I’m grateful to all who take time out of your day, to stop by my “Little Recovery Blog” here to share your “Thoughts & Feelings” with me.  It means SO MUCH to me to know that I can help share my “Message” of *HOPE* with you, and to help others learn about “Addicted Compulsive Gambling,” the disease, and recovery. Also to share my life a little with you as to my “Daily Life Challenges” of living in recovery with Mental & Emotional illness & disorders as well.

At times, daily living can be difficult in recovery & dealing with mental health illness, but the support of all my friends here, my recovery friends, follow friends, and even all the New Visitors & seekers,  you help ME each day to have a “LIFE” worth “LIVING”! As I come upon my 7 year recovery birthday on, Jan 29th, 2014……I look back to where I was 7 years ago and think, WOW, God truly “Can & Does” still perform *MIRACLES* people!

So as my GOOD recovery friend “Sandy Swenson” says,…..”I carried around this BREW of  lies and fears until I started to WRITE”……”Only then did I start to “Let Go”!! “I was doing and saying the same things over and over”….”Nothing is going to change unless I MADE THE CHANGE,” The only thing I can change IS ME”!

That is true in my life experiences, and in my recovery from Compulsive Gambling. I learned in “Gamblers Anonymous” that I CAN NOT CHANGE…..”People, Places, or THINGS”…….only I can change ME.

That’s very simply put. When I learned to LET GO and LET GOD, only then did my life begin to change for the better. God won’t FORCE the change or path, he simply just puts it in FRONT of you. If your HEART IS OPEN, and your EARS & HEART can hear him, you’ll KNOW which path to take! God is never forceful, he is a truly “Kind and Spiritual” being. I’ve always believed he brings others in our lives, be it short or long-term, at the right moments in time for a reason. Either to help us, or challenge, he brings others to us for a purpose.

It wasn’t until I was on the “Edge of Darkness” that he saved me from my OWN stubborn ways of thinking I HAD CONTROL of my life. But as my failed attempts to leave this world behind me, GOD had other plans for this “Broken Down” SOUL. It wasn’t until then, that I was on my KNEES calling upon him for HELP &  Salvation! Not only did he SAVE me from my OWN death, he gave me, & SHOWED ME my Purpose in Life!

To help those who may not be able to help themselves from addicted gambling, and ALL types of addictions. To give *HOPE* to others. I WILL truly believe this until my last “BREATH” on this earth, and be told by “GOD” himself , if I was able to fulfill the purpose he had given me for my time here in this world…..

**GO ahead…..take a BITE out of LIFE!! **

So, TODAY I say,….”Go ahead and take a BIG BITE” out of LIFE! And now that it’s Fall, it TRULY is time to “Turn Over a New Leaf, & to Live & Love” all the blessings that are given to US each and everyday! I’m a very blessed woman because of ALL of my friends here who SUPPORT me in all ‘I DO” in Recovery, as well as being a Writer, Published Author, & Blogger, & Sponsor to others in recovery, For all this, I say,….*THANK YOU*!!

May God Bless you and yours!,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
of  “Addicted To Dimes”  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485