In the past, people were allowed to choose from any animal as theirservice animals. This was based on the notion that different peoplehad different animal preferences. It was common for people to haveanimals such as pigs, snakes, and birds. However, this choice waslimited in the year 2011 by the Americans with Disabilities Act,which limited service animals to be either dogs or miniature horses.This move was necessary as it brings certainty.
Giving people the discretion to choose their service animalsincreased the spread of dangerous diseases from animals to humans,thereby putting human life at risk. There is evidence that differentanimals suffer from various diseases that people may not know about.Allowing such animals in public places, as such, would make it easyfor such diseases to spread (Manning 2011). Moreover, not all animalshave the capacity to keep an area clean. By their nature, dogs andminiature horses can be trained to achieve this, making them idealfor this purpose.
Freedom to choose the type of service animals also made it difficultfor business owners to operate (Mini-horse. Evansville Courier &Press 2011). This is because people would opt to go for big anddangerous animals that could cause more harm to humans at theslightest provocation. Animals such as snakes, for instance, arescarily, and they may paralyze businesses because other users mayfear to be too close (U.S. Department of Justice 2011). Miniaturehorses and dogs do not pose this risk.
Despite the above limits imposed by ADA, it would suffice to notethat the law applies only insofar as public places are concerned.People who desire to have other animals apart from dogs and miniaturehorses are allowed to do so in their private homes. In public,however, the law is clear.
Manning. S.(2011, April 11). Changing definitions: New federal law limitsservice animals to dogs and mini-horses. Evansville Courier &Press. Retrieved from:http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/april/no-headline—11b05petsservice
Mini-horse.Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved from:http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/apr/11/no-headline—11b05petsservice
U.S. Departmentof Justice. (2011, July 12). Service animals. Retrieved from:http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm.