F.A.Q.

Emotional Support Animals

Top ESA Questions

  • What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

    An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a companion animal that a licensed medical health professional has determined will provide therapeutic benefit to you if you suffer from a mental or emotional disability. Emotional support animals are typically dogs, but ultimately can be any type of animal, even your own pet. Emotional support animals do not require any specific training and are protected under two main federal laws via the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

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  • How do I qualify for an Emotional Support Animal?

    If you are affected by an emotional or mental health disorder like 450 millions others worldwide (that's 1 in 4!), then chances are you may qualify for an Emotional Support Animal.

    Do you think you qualify? Try our Free Screening it's Easy, Fast and Free , and will determine your eligibility for an emotional support animal letter in just a 2 minutes.

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  • Where can I get an ESA letter?

    You can get your ESA letter here by one our licensed mental health professionals. We provide ESA Home, and Flight letters if you qualify as having a verifiable a mental disorder.

    Do you think you qualify? Try our Free Screening it's Easy, Fast and Free , and will determine your eligibility for an emotional support animal letter in just a 2 minutes.

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  • Who can write an ESA letter?

    Any Qualified Mental Health Professional who is licensed in any jurisdiction or state can write a valid ESA letter. In order for the letter to be valid, the professional must include their licensing information and their license must be up to date.

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  • Do ESA letters expire?

    Yes. An Emotional Support Animal letter from a licensed mental health professional is valid for 1 year. When the letter has expired, a new assessment is required before another prescriptive letter can be issued.

  • Where are Emotional Support Animals allowed?

    One of the biggest questions about emotional support animals is where they are allowed. ESA’s are allowed in fewer places than traditional service animals. They do not have special rights to access any business, except where individual states have changed this right.

    Camps, motels, and hotels are treated as businesses and emotional support dogs are treated as pets. Therefore, the business can determine what animals they will allow. However, the FHA (Fair Housing Act) notes that a person can keep an emotional support dog in housing that otherwise notes a “no pets” policy.

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  • What protections are provided by the FHA for ESA’s?

    The Federal Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on certain factors, such as national origin, race, color, gender or handicapped persons. Not only it is illegal to discriminate, but a landlord must make reasonable accommodations in order for the handicapped person to enjoy and use a dwelling unit, including common use and public areas. If the tenant has provided a letter from his mental health physician stating that the renter has a mental disability, explaining that the animal is needed to lessen the effects of the disability and requesting that the animal be allowed in the rental unit as reasonable accommodation, it is unlawful for the landlord to deny or discriminate on that basis.

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  • Can you have more than 1 ESA?

    Yes. Regarding multiple animals, the case for reasonable accommodation would still be the same. For example, if someone was claiming the need for multiple emotional support animals, the person would need to provide documentation (e.g. home letter, or flight letter) for each animal from a licensed mental health professional.

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  • Can breed restrictions be put on ESA dogs?

    No. There is to be no breed, size, or weight limitations on assistance animals. However, housing providers may determine if a specific assistance animal poses a threat to the safety and health of others. This determination of threat must be based on evidence of the animal’s conduct. Breed alone does not result in the in the determination of a threat.

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  • What if my city or county has a ban on certain breeds of dogs?

    HUD (The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) specifies that weight, size, and breed restrictions are not applied to assistance animals. A housing provider will need to see if the assistance animal in question poses a threat to other residents.

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  • Should you have to pay a pet deposit for your ESA?

    According to HUD, housing providers may not charge a “pet fee” for an assistance or emotional support animal. These types of animals are not considered pets and are not subject to pet fees.

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  • Is an Emotional Support Animal allowed on on-campus or university housing?

    Many colleges or universities have “no pets” rules in regards to their housing. However, one case noted that on-campus housing does meet the definition of “dwelling” in the FHA (Fair Housing Act). Because of this, it ruled that the college was required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled students in on-campus housing. Many universities and colleges have adopted policies for assistance animals in their on-campus housing.

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  • What happens when you fly with an ESA?

    Federal Law recognizes that those suffering from certain types of psychological or emotional issues should be allowed to have their ESA’s with them while they fly. However, the person must be supported by a Qualified Mental Health Professional’s diagnosis and prescription.

    When flying with an animal, you’ll need to present your Emotional Support Animal letter to the ticket agent along with other flight documents such as your ID. As long as your letter is not more than one year old, the airline must allow you to bring your animal on board.

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  • Is there a size limit to ESA’s?

    No, there is no size limit or discrimination when it comes to ESA’s. Airlines are required to allow ESA’s to accompany you to your seat regardless of the size of your animal.

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  • Why do I need to link my ESA to my letter/certificate ID?

    It's important to link your Emotional Support Animal to your letter/certificate ID. Doing so will allow your animal and therapist license information to be searchable online in our National ESA Database 24/7 by you, and your landlord. In addition to that it will also include your ESA's name in your letter.

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  • How do I verify my ESA and therapist license information for Free?

    Steps

    1. Go to the Verification page under the "Resources" drop down.
    2. Next click the Search Now button
    3. Enter your certificate ID in the search field.

    From this search you, your landlord, or airline can verify your ESA is registered and also verify the therapists license information with a link to their state board.

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  • How do I request a reasonable accommodation form?

    We have to receive a signed waiver from you to allow the signing therapist to release information to your complex or landlord. This release is called a reasonable accommodation form.

    Steps

    1. Go to the Verification page under the "Resources" drop down.
    2. Next click the buttonGet Started button.
    3. Add the Reasonable Accommodation Form to your shopping cart and checkout.

    Once we receive your payment we can forward the form to your signing therapist to complete her section. NOTE: You will be required to add your information (name, address, etc) and sign this form before we send it to the therapist.

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