Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
As far as I know, you need a letter from your therapist that treated you stating you have a real need for one. The animal would be allowed in no pet housings (or you wouldn’t have to pay a fee if the housing requires). You can’t, however, take it to places where pets aren’t allowed. Only service animals are allowed to go there.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
Yes, your doctor or psychiatric professional must decide that the company of an animal would be therapeutic in treating some manner of mental or emotional ailment. They will then essentially 'prescribe' you a pet. An ESA (Emotional Support Animal) has no requirements for training and the like, the benefits they provide are their company and/or the sense of responsibility they give their owner, depending on your specific situation. They are allowed in pet-free housing and are exempt from pet rent, assuming your rental housing falls under the Fair Housing Act - not all rentals do! They're also allowed in-cabin on airplanes, unless they'd be a major impediment to safety or the ability of the flight crew to do their job. They are not, as winteriscoming said, allowed anywhere else where pets are banned - they're not service animals and you don't have the same rights with an ESA as a service dog handler does with their SD.

Essentially, if you have a mental illness or disability, you might qualify. Talk to your doctor/therapist/psychiatrist/etc. Sadly, a lot of people see it as an easy way to bring their pooch on vacation or get out of paying pet rent, which in the end hurts people who genuinely struggle to function without this option, by making landlords more suspicious and resistant to the idea, airlines tighten up restrictions, and so forth. If you really feel you'd find relief from mental health issues with an ESA, I wish you lots of luck sorting it out with your doctor!

EDIT: Just wanted to note that the above is the case in the USA. I don't know which other countries have categories like ESA nor what their specific regulations are.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,366 Posts
Yes, your doctor or psychiatric professional must decide that the company of an animal would be therapeutic in treating some manner of mental or emotional ailment. They will then essentially 'prescribe' you a pet. An ESA (Emotional Support Animal) has no requirements for training and the like, the benefits they provide are their company and/or the sense of responsibility they give their owner, depending on your specific situation. They are allowed in pet-free housing and are exempt from pet rent, assuming your rental housing falls under the Fair Housing Act - not all rentals do! They're also allowed in-cabin on airplanes, unless they'd be a major impediment to safety or the ability of the flight crew to do their job. They are not, as winteriscoming said, allowed anywhere else where pets are banned - they're not service animals and you don't have the same rights with an ESA as a service dog handler does with their SD.

Essentially, if you have a mental illness or disability, you might qualify. Talk to your doctor/therapist/psychiatrist/etc. Sadly, a lot of people see it as an easy way to bring their pooch on vacation or get out of paying pet rent, which in the end hurts people who genuinely struggle to function without this option, by making landlords more suspicious and resistant to the idea, airlines tighten up restrictions, and so forth. If you really feel you'd find relief from mental health issues with an ESA, I wish you lots of luck sorting it out with your doctor!

EDIT: Just wanted to note that the above is the case in the USA. I don't know which other countries have categories like ESA nor what their specific regulations are.
It's pretty much the same in Canada. You must be diagnosed with a recognized mental disability like anxiety/depression, etc, and you must have a letter from your doctor stating that you need an ESA. ESA's are exempt from no pet policy's in housing, and are allowed in cabin on airplanes. Otherwise, they have no more public access rights than pets do. My Pug Kuma is actually an ESA, although it's not really necessary since I've been able to purchase a condo in a pet friendly complex. Prior to that, it was very necessary, as affordable pet friendly rentals are almost impossible to find in my city.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
In order to qualify as an ESA owner, individuals must be certified as emotionally disabled by a psychiatrist, therapist or any other certified mental health professional.
And an important point is the attitude in public places. Most store owners are compassionate and empathetic towards ESA pet owners and won’t mind if you bring a pet to their store. Same with even plains, etc.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
And an important point is the attitude in public places. Most store owners are compassionate and empathetic towards ESA pet owners and won’t mind if you bring a pet to their store. Same with even plains, etc.
I want to emphasize that ESAs have no legal rights to enter stores that pet dogs are not allowed in. I'd urge anyone with an ESA or potentially getting one not to even attempt to bring their ESAs to these places, especially ones that sell or serve food. As someone who's worked in multiple retail stores, I can tell you right off that many employees - even managers - have no clue what the difference between ESAs and Psychiatric Service Dogs are, and may agree to let an ESA enter under the false impression that they're legally required to do so. This can get the employees in trouble for violating policy or even food safety codes. Additionally, since ESAs are NOT public access trained, if they behave in a disruptive or destructive manner, it contributes to the poor public perception of what service dogs are, how they behave, and how to act around them. Which, in turn, makes life more difficult for legitimate service dog handlers in that location in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,246 Posts
I want to emphasize that ESAs have no legal rights to enter stores that pet dogs are not allowed in. I'd urge anyone with an ESA or potentially getting one not to even attempt to bring their ESAs to these places, especially ones that sell or serve food. As someone who's worked in multiple retail stores, I can tell you right off that many employees - even managers - have no clue what the difference between ESAs and Psychiatric Service Dogs are, and may agree to let an ESA enter under the false impression that they're legally required to do so. This can get the employees in trouble for violating policy or even food safety codes. Additionally, since ESAs are NOT public access trained, if they behave in a disruptive or destructive manner, it contributes to the poor public perception of what service dogs are, how they behave, and how to act around them. Which, in turn, makes life more difficult for legitimate service dog handlers in that location in the future.
ALL OF THIS!

ESAs have no public access rights. If there's a store that allows PETS, like PetSmart or Tractor Supply, that's okay, but stores that are Service Dogs only are Service Dogs only - not ESAs. And bringing an ESA into those stores can really make life even more difficult for people with legitimate Service Dogs. Please don't do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,167 Posts
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top