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Mental Health Information

This guide provides information to assist users find mental health resources to become aware of and to make choices toward a fulfilling life. This LibGuide is for informational purposes only.

Jaeger: Byron Beplay's Service Dog

Byron Beplay and his service dog

Byron Beplay was an army ranger serving for 14 years before leaving the military in 2012.  He was paired with Jaeger through the Rescue 22 Foundation in 2017.  This organization trains and places service animals with veterans free of charge.

For more information about U.S. army veteran Byron Beplay and his service dog, please see Nonprofit Leading the Charge in Florida to Help Veterans Get Service Dogs.

Service Animals

How Service Animal is defined

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 Must Be Under Control

A service animal must be under the control of its handler. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless the individual’s disability prevents using these devices or these devices interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of tasks. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Inquiries

When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions:

1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?

2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless:

  • The dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it.
  • The dog is not housebroken.

When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.