Comments for Woman Faces Scrutiny at Disney Parks for Service Dog That Helps Her Through Trauma

Service Dog

Theodore. Credit: Instagram - @jenn.bethune


  1. Obi Wan

    It’s an emotional support animal, not a service animal. What TASK is it trained to perform? Does it turn on the lights or alert her to take her medicine? Or does it simply comfort her? The ADA guidelines clearly define the difference between the two. It’s not a working dog. It’s a comfort animal.

    1. Lynne Aaron

      I have a esa and she is a dog and she is a working one.I have ptsd, general axienty and depression and i get Axienty attacks and the dog this lady has can help her to better handle her axienty at the park.I would say she may have ptsd because of this.when she pets her dog this can bring her back to earth.The dog she has is not a pet and should not be petted.Like when you see the dog in disney with a vest on that will say service dog or esa on them.they both are doing a duty but in different ways The dog makes living her life more easier.

      1. John

        Still not a service dog. Blind, diabetes, seizures. Those are service dogs. Take a xanax. From someone who does and leaves his support dog at home.

        1. Liz

          Not everyone can take medication for their anxiety! There is such a thing as a psychiatric service dog. The difference between an ERA and a service dog is the training!

    2. Paul Alter

      In the article it said, “Theo is able to switch on lights and wake Jenn from a nightmare, before consoling her nose to nose. He also acts as a weighted blanket, helping to keep her feeling safe and to keep her anxiety at bay.”

      A dog who has been trained to recognize that someone is having a nightmare, wake them, and turn on lights absolutely meets the qualifications of a service animal.

      When in doubt, be kind.

      1. Kathy

        Amen, try kindness, my cousin needs her support animal to go out of the house. Remember the GOLDEN RULE. People stop being so negative and judgemental. Be kind

    3. Liz

      The ADA says “work OR tasks” and there is such a thing as a psychiatric service dog!

    4. Tj

      I think this is a case of mislabeling by the article not the handler. The dog is a PTSD service dog not a ESA, I follow them on Instagram.

  2. Melanie

    If it’s an emotional support dog then no, it’s not allowed in the parks. They do not have the same rights as legit service animals.

    1. Harley

      Support animals are aloud thats the most i see at the parks!

  3. Paul Alter

    Why is it so hard to be kind? Be thoughtful? Be considerate? Put yourself in someone else’s position and think about how it would feel to be treated in a cruel way? This woman – this family – has suffered severe trauma. You don’t get over it, or through it, by “taking a Xanax.”

    The dog is able to recognize when she’s having a nightmare, wake her, and *turn on the lights*. This is a trained service animal, who also provides emotional support at other times.

    Really, just be kind. We all know some people will try to game the system. But why not start with the assumption that other people aren’t out to take advantage; that they are as they appear and they deserve some compassion and kindness? That we don’t know their story, nor do they know ours. Just a little “golden rule”?

  4. Kweli Ya-Saleem

    Theo is an emotional support dog, NOT a service animal. Quite frankly, I’m sick of seeing them in the grocery stores and on airplanes. Service animals are NOT covered under the ADA. Businesses are not required to recognize emotional support animals, but do so as a courtesy.

  5. Semi Loopy

    Service Animal Defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA:
    A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button.

    Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA.

    Examples of animals that fit the ADA’s definition of “service animal” because they have been specifically trained to perform a task for the person with a disability:

    · Psychiatric Service Dog is a dog that has been trained to perform tasks that assist individuals with disabilities to detect the onset of psychiatric episodes and lessen their effects. Tasks performed by psychiatric service animals may include reminding the handler to take medicine, providing safety checks or room searches, or turning on lights for persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, interrupting self-mutilation by persons with dissociative identity disorders, and keeping disoriented individuals from danger.

    Under Title II and III of the ADA, service animals are limited to dogs. However, entities must make reasonable modifications in policies to allow individuals with disabilities to use miniature horses if they have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities

  6. Servicesally

    It specifically states the dog turns on lights and wakes her from nightmares. He is also trained to do dpt which is deep pressure therapy which is just a few of the things service dogs are trained to do.

Comments are closed.