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Diamonds in the Ruff does NOT offer Service Dog training classes.
Diamonds in the Ruff
DOES offer Pet Therapy Skills class instruction. 


What's the difference?

  • ASSISTANCE/SERVICE DOG - is specially trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability.

  • PET THERAPY DOGaccompanies their able-bodied handlers to visit patients in hospitals, hospice care, nursing homes and other facilities.  Also called Animal-Assisted Therapy

Public Access Definitions:
The Following Are Allowed Full Public Access Under the ADA:

  • Assistance and Service dogs -
    A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.  

    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.

  • Psychiatric Service Dog -
    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.

The Following Are NOT Granted Full Public Access Under the ADA:
  • Emotional support animals, comfort animals -  
    These support animals provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities.

    These are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support.  A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.

  • Animal Assisted Therapy / Pet therapy dogs
    Therapy animals provide people with therapeutic contact, usually in a clinical setting, to improve their physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning.

    These animals accompany their able-bodied handlers to visit patients in hospitals, hospice care, nursing homes and other facilities.  They do not have public access and are not service animals.



NorthWest Service Dog Alliance

P.O. Box 1911 
Spokane Valley, WA 99037 
Message phone:


On Facebook: NWSD Alliance Fans

A Community group focused on educating about Service Dog teams & Imposter service animals.  Empowering Businesses & public about ADA regulations / local laws

service dog - cattet.jpg


Summit Assistance Dogs
 | Anacortes , WA

Brigadoon Service Dogs | Bellingham, WA

Prison Pet Partnership | Gig Harbor



ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY / Pet Therapy -  (not service/assistance dogs)

These animals accompany their able-bodied handlers to visit patients in hospitals, hospice care, nursing homes and other facilities.  They do not have public access and are not service animals.

Diamonds in the Ruff offers a Pet Therapy Skills class several times per year to coincide with local Pet Partners evaluations.  Taught by Pet Partners evaluator Allison Miller.

Prerequisite - dogs must be 1 year of age and have passed the Canine Good Citizen evaluation.
For dates and to register, visit our Advanced schedule here.


Pet Partners - - provides evaluation, insurance for visiting Therapy dogs

To find a Pet Partner evaluator:  go to, then "volunteer", then scroll down to "calendar of events", then enter the info (state, city, month, etc.)   Search for evaluation info.   Register online.


Love on a Leash -

Love on a Leash® is committed to bringing comfort, happiness, and healing to more people nationwide by increasing public awareness of pet-provided therapy.  Our volunteer organization provides an accessible certification process that allows qualified therapy teams to provide effective pet-provided therapy services in their community.


For more information on Love on a Leash,  contact Linda Irish in Spokane.  She will guide you through the process. 

Alliance of Therapy Dogs -

ATD provides testing, certification, registration, support, and insurance for members who volunteer with dogs to visit hospitals, special needs centers, schools, nursing homes, and other facilities. We’re a network of caring volunteers who are willing to share our special canines to bring smiles and joy to people, young and old alike.


In Spokane:


Reading Rovers - therapy dogs assisting struggling young readers

Linda Irish -

Article - "Creature Comforts"

Animal Assisted Therapy for Substance Abuse


Animal Assisted Play Therapy Course - Rise Van Fleet

AAPT Online Course Catalog


Three Steps to Making Your Dog a Therapy Dog - AKC


The Human-Animal Bond in Clinical Social Work Practice - Katherine Compton

Assessing Handlers for Competence in Animal-Assisted Interventions - Ann R. Howie

Therapy Dogs - Training Your Dog To Reach Others, 2nd Edition - Kathy Diamond Davis

The Human-Animal Bond in Clinical Social Work Practice.jpg
Assistance & Service Dogs
Psychiatric support vs ESA
Pet therapy
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