Law Says No Service Birds Allowed? Register Him As An Emotional Support Parrot.

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A question question came in from a reader this week, asking, “I have heard of there being birds certified as therapy or service birds. I was wondering if it is true and what the steps are to make it happen?” This is a great question, but a little complicated to answer. The short answer is, yes, parrots can be nationally registered as therapy animals, but no, they cannot be considered as service birds under federal law.

A few years ago, parrots and other animals were becoming increasingly popular as registered service animals. Since then, federal law now recognizes only dogs, and in some special cases miniature horses, as service animals. Certified service animals are trained to perform major life tasks to assist people with physical or severe psychiatric impairments/disabilities. Parrots can be registered as emotional support animals, nevertheless, which gives the owner some rights and allowances where their pet parrot is concerned.

Click below to read about the differences between Emotional Support and Therapy Parrots:

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ParrotShop is a news and media website that collects stories, information and resources from around the web. Michaela Kennedy, online publisher and owner of the website, researches birds, both captive and in the wild, in order to support parrot rescues, wildlife rehabilitation and conservation, and promote awareness for parrots in need. Please visit and post comments and questions about parrot behavior, nutrition, and any other questions you may have about birds in our world. Thank you for visiting, and come back often!

7 Comments to Law Says No Service Birds Allowed? Register Him As An Emotional Support Parrot.

  1. I have severe depression and anxiety and I have a female Eclectus who makes me so happy. She is sweet, loving and beautiful. I believe she is helping me when it comes to my illnesses. Parrots can indeed be helpful in that area.

  2. So glad for you Amber that you have a Birdy that helps you. My neurologist asked my what I do to have fun. I showed I’m a pic of Lynus and told him I have a blue bird of happyness

  3. Erika l king

    I have depression and anxiety. Also profound deaf in my left ear and 10% hearing left in my right. I have a sun conure who I had registered as a service animal back in 2007. He’s able to alert me of sounds by turning up the volume on my hearing aid and tug on my ear lobe. He’s been performing these tasks for all this time even before he became registered . In a case like this, can he still be registered as a service animal even though he was
    registered before the 2011 law took effect?? He’s saved me on numerous occasions on almost being hit by cars. What can I do in a case like this ?? Please let me know.

    E. King

    • parrotshop

      Hi Erica,
      This is an excellent question, and I’d love to research this more. Apologies for taking so long to reply. If I were you, I’d call the place where you originally got registered, tell them your story, and ask if there is a grandfather clause that allows it. At the very least, he cn be registered as an Emotional Support Animal. There may be some restrictions on where you go with him, but I’ve found that even without the actual registration, most local establishments, like public restaurants and other places, are accepting when you come in. Good luck, and please comment again if you get more information before I do! Blessings, Michaela

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