Why call them service *animals* if they must be dogs?

I'm lucky that I live in my childhood home my family owns, and that I don't need to rely on my cats as service animals (I did have a pair that showed a strange ability to detect & mitigate/halt meltdowns before I did, though).  I just read and responded to a sentence in a blog post on a pet site hosted by our paper:
"In simpler language, dogs who provide emotional support are no longer considered service animals."
No, that isn't what it means... A lot of disabled people rely on trained miniature horses (for blind guides), cats (detect/warn for seizure, blood sugar, limited fetch/retrieval, etc.), and other animals for a variety of reasons.  Common reasons include dog allergies and a home/life that isn't good for dogs (tiny non-ground-floor apartment that the person rarely leaves), or phobias/aversions.

The change means that everyone that relies on those other species will either lose their service animal (even if they've worked together for years) or their home.  [Edit: miniature horses will be allowed in a few rare cases.]

There's little reason to restrict disabled people this way if another meeting the same standards is more appropriate; they aren't infringing on any other citizens' rights (at least not in any way that a service dog wouldn't).  From what I've read, it's a matter of our government being pressured by corporate interests to restrict American rights (as any of us could become disabled and need assistance) to make things run more smoothly for their businesses.

According to ABC7-KGO, California is considering adding protection for other service animals as they regard the federal law a "floor rather than a ceiling".  (On TV they also said that public comment will be taken, just didn't say where. I'm still trying to find it...)

The San Francisco Mayor's Office on Disability is having a meeting on the topic in May where they want to hear comments from disabled people with service animals, particularly emotional support animals. Anyone interested can contact the Mayor's Office on Disability at 415.554.6789 voice, 415.554.6799 TTY or via email at mod@sfgov.org

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