ASA logo
Sociology of Therapy and Service Animals
Cover Page
Requires Subscription PDF


service dogs
therapy animals
invisible disabilities
emotional support animals
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

How to Cite

Mills, Meghan. 2016. “Sociology of Therapy and Service Animals”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, July. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Syllabus and usage notes for "Sociology of Therapy and Service Animals." The focus of this course is on emotional support, therapy, and service animals (collectively referred to as support animals) in U.S. society as viewed from a sociological perspective. Emphasis is on understanding the role of non-human animals in society, disability identity,...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.


Subject Area(s):
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

Birmingham Southern College (BSC) is a small private liberal arts college that uniquely offers a 4-week "Exploration Term" every January. This "Exploration Term" is designed to enhance BSC’s liberal arts education through specialized seminars, internships, service-learning, research, and study travel. Professors frequently use it as an opportunity to...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Explain a sociological perspective and the various theoretical approaches used in the sociological study of support animals.
  2. Examine and explain the differences between companion, emotional support, therapy, and service animals and the roles of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
  3. Communicate and analyze support animals utilizing sociological concepts.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Field Notes, Interview Notes, Hand in Paw Experience Summary, and "Until Tuesday" Reflection Paper.
  2. In-Class Participation and Check-Ins/Check-Outs.
  3. Engage in in-class debate presentations surrounding support animals confronting U.S. citizens and policymakers.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

Cover Page
Requires Subscription PDF

Our website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, to increase the speed and security for the site, to provide analytics about our site and visitors, and for marketing. By proceeding to the site, you are expressing your consent to the use of cookies. To find out more about how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy .