Laws Protecting Emotional Support Animals
The love was endless, the care unsurpassed, and the bond so beautiful that it made the world a better place. Each one of us shares a connection that forces us to stay away from the ugly reality. But then, all of us are not cursed with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. The brutality of both anxiety and depression is intoxicating. The exactness of an anxiety attack can leave an individual in deep sorrow. So how do you break the monotonous sadness that considerably affects the mind and body? There are several ways out there and you may have found yours. But, if you are willing to fight depression, it is arguably your greatest strength.
Yes, I have been there, felt the angst of depression and tried my best to come out of it. Now, I came across the concept of emotional support animals two years ago. Though I had heard about it but never thought of taking the help of an emotional support cat or dog. But before you decide to get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), there are a few things you should know. This post will highlight the laws protecting emotional support animals. After all, a little knowledge goes a long way.
Laws Protecting Emotional Support Animals (ESA)
The two main laws are the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act. Both these laws protect the ESA and have a vital role to play in your’s and your ESA’s life. But before we delve deeper into the context of laws there is one more thing you need to understand. Emotional support animals are often confused with service animals. And trust me, both of them are two different services.
Service animals get training over a certain period of time to assist individuals with both mental and physical disabilities. Service animals receive protection under the American Disability Act (ADA) and they enjoy a few rights. Emotional support animals are not trained, but they are good at providing companionship. Having said that, let’s just jump right into the laws.
Air Carrier Access Act
The Air Carrier Access Act works in tandem with the Department of Transportation rules, which ask that you, as a responsible individual, not discriminate against disabled individuals. The law was passed In 1990 and it gives you certain provisions. For example, if you have an emotional support animal letter, the airline authorities have no right to refuse your transportation or the provision of basic services. But here is the trick, you must either inform the airline beforehand about your arrival so that they can make arrangements accordingly. To do so, you can first read the guidelines of the airline you are traveling with and then move ahead with advance notice.
Additionally, the act also forbids airline authorities from denying accommodation to an ESA. Not all, but some airlines will ask you to present a valid document supporting your right to have an ESA. That document is an emotional support animal letter. The letter must have been written and approved by a certified doctor, printed on their letterhead, and should include the license number of that doctor. The letter will help you travel with your ESA without unwanted confusion.
An ESA owner can sit and accommodate the pet in a safe place near to him or her. Of course, the case is different for animals with giant body structure. In that case, special arrangements seem like the only viable option. I hope now you know that if you have a legitimate letter from a certified doctor, you can travel anywhere, in the air, with your ESA.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) allows you the right to freely live in rented accommodations. Be it a house or an apartment, the owner of the property has no right to deny your accommodation. The landlord has to provide you a reasonable accommodation, and a decent one too. In other words, it means that ESA owners with a legitimate ESA letter, have the right to live with their pet in any house or apartment.
You must also keep in mind that to enjoy the privilege of this right, you must have yourself diagnosed by a mental health physician. As I mentioned earlier, a qualifying condition will decide your fate. As long as you are eligible for the ESA letter, nothing is stopping you from keeping an emotional support animal. Also, don’t forget to keep the letter with you. It will help the house or apartment owner know why you are in dire need of the animal’s support, especially house owners who are against accommodating pets on their properties.
Some of the other benefits of FHA are that a house owner will be in no position to ask for an advanced deposit for the ESA. However, if you fail to take care of the ESA or severe damage comes to the property, the owner will ask for a compensatory amount. Therefore, it is fair to say that the FHA will protect your ESA, but not their behavior. The entire concept surrounding the laws is to identify the disability of an individual and protect the animal that provides you protection.
“What are the Laws Protecting Emotional Support Animals?”
Guest Author BIO: Rebecca has worked as a Senior Content Marketer with MY ESA Doctor for the past 5 years, a service of Steady Care Medical. We make it our mission to reduce suffering from mental health conditions with the therapeutic benefits of pets. Our mental health professionals issue emotional support letters for those in need. We are compassionate and fully understand the need for an emotional support animal for your mental well-being. Obtain your genuine emotional support animal letter from a clinic that you can always trust. You do not need to have entered into any dog registry.
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Were you aware of these laws protecting emotion support animals? Do you presently have an ESA or thinking of having one?
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