Good Dogs and the Law: Service, Emotional Support, Therapy and Facility Animals

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: September 12, 2019
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  • Americans with Disabilities Act (Titles I, II & III)
  • Fair Housing Act
  • Air Carrier Access Act
  • Access to Therapy Animals
  • Legal Considerations
  • Issues and Unique Concerns
  • Special Legal Considerations
Runtime: 1 hour and 33 minutes
Recorded: September 12, 2019


Service animals, emotional support or comfort animals, therapy animals, and facility dogs -- enter the sometimes confusing world of dogs and the law. If you want to know what the differences are between each, as well as what laws affect each category, bone up with this course.

This program was recorded on September 12th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Colleen Phelan

Victim Advocate
Pima County Attorney's Office

Colleen Phelan is a Victim Advocate in the Pima County Attorney’s Office (PCAO). Pima County is part of the growing national movement of prosecutorial agencies throughout the U.S. to incorporate facility dogs to provide support for crime victims.

Rebecca J. Huss

Professor of Law
Valparaiso University Law School

Rebecca J. Huss is a Professor of Law and the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Law at Valparaiso University Law School in Valparaiso, Indiana. She has also taught at the University of Iowa College of Law, Notre Dame Law School, Stetson University College of Law and Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. In addition to Animal Law, Professor Huss teaches Non Profit Organizations, Professional Responsibility, Business Associations, Mergers & Acquisitions and other business law courses. Her primary focus in research and writing is on the changing nature of the relationship between humans and their companion animals and whether the law adequately reflects the importance of that relationship as well as analyzing issues relating to service and assistance animals.

Professor Huss is a past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee, and is a Past Chair of the American Association of Law School’s Animal Law Section. She was the 2011 recipient of the Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law award from the American Bar Association’s Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee. In 2007 Professor Huss was appointed by the District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia as the guardian/special master in Civil Action No.:3:07CV397, United States v. Approximately 53 Pit Bull Dogs (the Bad Newz Kennels case).

Professor Huss has a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from the University of Iowa College of Law and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond School of Law. Prior to beginning her academic career, Professor Huss practiced in law firms focusing on corporate issues as well as in-house in the animal health division of a pharmaceutical company. A link to her publications and other biographical information can be found at her faculty webpage available through

Gary C. Norman

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Whether as a lawyer, or as a mediator, or as a trusted colleague, you will find Gary C. Norman, Esq. L.L.M. a valuable resource in terms of what it means to be a dynamic citizen lawyer first and also a leader with a disability whose disability amplifies his unique opportunities but does not cap them. He started his public service career as a Presidential Management Fellow. He remains committed to building a legacy of public service, including, through his first state-wide appointment, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. As such, Gary has a skill set and a personal desire to build his legacy as a public policy leader in brokering others together for more informed, non-partisan, public policy dialogue and development.

Gary has a range of public policy interests, including, but not limited to, the intersection of healthcare and civil rights.

Gary is often found with Pilot at a bistro with his wonderful wife or with Pilot at a coffee house reading his volumes and drinking caf?, if not meeting on animal law and policy or disability law and policy. This notes that one of Gary and Pilot's proudest moments was, in October, 2013, when the brothers of Mount Moriah Number 116 pinned Pilot as the first honorary Master Mason guide dog of Maryland.

He has been proud to speak to numerous groups, and has been honored to be a leader in civil rights dialogue in a range of venues, including, in 2015, when he was honored to be a Visiting Fellow at the Robert J. Dole Institute for Politics.

An attorney, a mediator, and a consultant, he served, in 2012, as a Fellow at the American Arbitration Association. In 2009, he received Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the Jaycees of the United States. In 2008, he traveled as a Marshall Memorial Fellow to the European Union.

Gilda (Jill) Mariani

Litigation and Trial Attorney
Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, & Anello, P.C.

Gilda (Jill) Mariani is a litigation and trial attorney in white collar practice with experience in private practice with the firm of Obermaier, Morvillo & Abramowitz, P.C. (now Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, & Anello, P.C.) and in government with the New York County District Attorney’s Office, having held supervisory positions, including Deputy Chief of its former Frauds Bureau and later, for over 20 years, Chief of its former Money Laundering and Tax Crimes Unit. Prior to that, she clerked as an appellate law assistant in New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division (Second Department). She is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law (J.D. top five percent of her class and Law Review) and St. John’s University College of Liberal Arts (B.A. summa cum laude, Political Science). She has had a significant role in drafting legislation, including the New York Money Laundering Statute and the misdemeanor crime of Providing a Juror with a Gratuity. She has written articles and spoken on legal issues internationally, nationally and locally relating to money laundering and tax fraud prosecutions. In February 2014, she participated as a visiting professor in a course on Public Security presented at the Judges’ School in San Paolo, Brazil. She has held leadership roles in national and local bar associations She was the New York City Bar Association’s Chair of the Personal Income Taxation Committee (September 2009 through June 2012), former vice-chair of the Personal Income Taxation Committee, and former Chair of the Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals Committee. She is active in the leadership of the three sections or divisions of the American Bar Association (ABA): former Chair of the Animal Law Committee and former Chair of the Government Law Committee (August 2010 and July 2012) of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) and a member of TIPS’ Task Force on Disaster Preparedness and Response (August 2011 to July 2012); co-hosted TIPS’ internet radio podcast series “Legal TIPS;” served as TIPS’ liaison to the ABA’s Coordinating Committee on Military Law and Justice; a member of Council in the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division (GPSLD) (August 2009 through July 2014); Liaison from the International Law Section to GPSLD, was a member of the Task Force on Treaties in U.S. Law formed by the International Law Section and the American Society of International Lawyers, and is a vice-chair of the ILS International Anti-Money Laundering Committee. She was appointed by the ABA president to the Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law for three years and has a current ABA presidential appointment to the Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. On January 27, 2012 she was a recipient of the Robert M. Morgenthau Award by the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York. The award was established in 2009 to recognize an Assistant District Attorney whose professional accomplishments, honesty, integrity and commitment to justice exemplify Mr. Morgenthau’s high standards during his tenure as District Attorney.

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