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: