Asking from England but interested in all jurisdictions.

Is there a list of species that can be registered as service animals or can any animal be potentially a service animal?


For purposes of the question, yes.

There are two definitions of service animal used in the UK. Some people deliberately conflate the two, which caused my confusion.

Service dogs are dogs trained to perform a specific role- seeing eye dogs for example. They are trained for months to strict guidelines. These guidelines seem to preclude an "Airbud's Law" situation allowing for a seeing-eye cat.

Service animals are protected by the law, preventing businesses from denying them entry.

Support animals are not governed by any such restrictions. There are a variety of sites that allow registration, of varying sketchiness. They allow a variety of species and there's no reason one could not own an emotional support hippo.

Support animals have no legal protections. This is where the confusion comes from- overentitled Karens insisting that they have the right to have their barely trained mutt bark at everyone when they go shopping. It is entirely legal for a business to refuse to allow such animals in.

  • I guess you work in retail :)
    – Rick
    Aug 26 at 10:37
  • 1
    @RockApe You guessed correctly. Never had to deal with an emotional support hippo but did have a "support dog" that pissed on a checkout.
    – Unfair-Ban
    Aug 26 at 11:22

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