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Question DetailsAsked on 8/28/2014

What is required for an animal to be an official service animal and does Angie's list have reputable trainers?

It's for a PTSD service dog for a veteran and we live in Tennessee . We need to be able to travel with our dog for her assistance but want to go through proper channels especially given all the recent bad publicity over fake service animals. Can Angie's list recommend a trainer or organization that can certify our dog ? We have medical documentation.

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4 Answers


Hi, this is Meranda with Angie's List.

While I can't weigh in on requirements to train a service animal, we do have animal trainers rated on the List. I can't guarantee we have a PSTD service dog trainer in your area, but you could reach out to the highly rated animal trainers and ask if they do this or know who can. Thanks for asking!

Answered 5 years ago by Meranda


Like you say, unfortunately there are a lot of fake certification offers out there.

Each state has its own laws and requirements, as do some larger cities, so I would check with your local ASPCA or department of health and human services. Your veterinarian should also be able to help you, or they might actually handle such certifications.

Also, since a Vet, check with the VA doctor treating the PTSD - they may also pay for service-connected disability service animal costs if considered medically necessary.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Hi, Lorre Mendelson here. I help people get service dogs and learn about their rights and responsibiliites as well as businesses and organizations. I serve as a volunteer on a panel to educate people about service dogs with a civil rights org. and the Disability Coalition. I have a PTSD service dog who I trained and I am glad to assist you. I do this for free and if people want to give a donation that is great too. Many people do not understand the dynamics of training and owning a service dog especially those of us who have a disability others cannot see, however WE can see it.

There are several guidelines to help, and several laws to protect your right to have a service dog. Do NOT pay to register or get a certificate for your dog- it is NOT required and companies who say you do need to purchase these things are dishonest and commiting fraud. Federal law supercedes all state laws although in TN recently the Governor signed a bill matching federal law requirements. There are several laws to protect people with disabilities and their service dogs but important to know your rights. Taking your dog to work requires some documentation as does renting. Public acces is open however flying with service dogs and having the lived experience of receiving mental health services requires documentation and literally would take an act of congress to change the law. The FAA requires paperwork that is not required for other disability groups.

There is much to learn but interesting and have had my service dog for close to 10 years. You are welcome to contact me in Nashville at to help you with more info. if you would like. Most importantly, if you have a medical or non-medical disability where the service dog can help you have a better quality of life, that is what I think is great. AND you do not need to discuss your diagnosis with anyone unless you want to. Ihope this is helpful, Sincerely, Lorre-

Check out the Dept. of Justice website and type in service animal for the laws.

Source: Lorre Leon Mendelson

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_93123873


You do not mention the type of disability but here is some general information from teh ADA

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

A service dog must be well behaved in all situations, resteraunts, churches, constrution zones, stores and more

A service dog must be house trained

A service dog must not be aggressive to humans or other animals


Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9947035

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