Assistance Animals: Counsel Clients, Prevent Fraud

Learn to identify the various types of assistance animals, and counsel clients regarding the selection, needed training, and care of these animals. Dr. Zenithson Ng, diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, discusses what you need to know about assistance animals to better serve clients and patients, support access to appropriate animals for those with disabilities, and assist in preventing fraud.

Participants can expect to:
• Understand how service, psychiatric service, and emotional support animals (collectively, “assistance animals”) are defined under federal law, and what “rights of access” are accorded these animals under that law.
• Obtain guidance for caring for the assistance animal as patient, while complying with legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
• Learn about a new model for interprofessional collaboration between veterinary and human healthcare providers that supports appropriate selection, care, training (if needed), and oversight for assistance animals.
• Discover how to best communicate the value of assistance animals, combat fraud, and support the needs of your clients who derive legitimate benefits from assistance animals.

Dr. Zenithson Ng is a clinical assistant professor in the community practice service at the University of Tennessee. He received his veterinary degree from Cornell University; then completed a small animal rotating internship at the ASPCA in NYC, followed by an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) canine/feline residency combined with a master’s degree in human-animal bond studies at Virginia Tech.

He founded the animal-assisted intervention program at Virginia Tech and now serves as veterinary advisor of the Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee which is UT’s animal-assisted intervention program.

Dr. Ng’s clinical interests include behavior, dentistry, preventive medicine, and management of chronic disease. His research interests span all aspects of the human-animal bond including the effect of human-animal interaction on both humans and animals, the veterinary-client relationship, and stress reduction in both veterinary and animal-assisted intervention settings.

Dr. Zenithson Ng