Service Animal Resources
On March 30, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of C.L., an Orange County speech-language pathologist with PTSD and other disabilities, who trained and relies on her service dog, Aspen, to function in public and live independently. The ruling overturns a September 2019 U.S. District Court judgment that service dogs must be formally “certified.”
The unanimous three-judge ruling is the first appellate court decision in the nation addressing training and certification requirements for service dogs. The decision affirms federal regulations stating that persons may self-train service dogs to perform tasks related to a disability and are not required to undergo formal, often expensive and time-consuming, training programs.