Emotional support animals are those that offer support and companionship to people suffering from psychological ailments. These animals are different from service animals since they aren’t specially trained. This notwithstanding, emotional support animals play a very instrumental role in improving their owners’ quality of life.
There are many reasons people need emotional support animals. For people with post-traumatic stress disorder, these animals help them cope with the trauma they live with. An emotional support dog would help a depressed person find purpose and something to commit to.
The role these animals play in their owner’s lives is out of the question. It is, therefore, important to understand these rights of ESA owners before having adopting certified emotional support animals.
1. You and Your ESA Gets Federal Protection
The Fair Housing Act protects certified emotional support animals. This means that you are federally protected to live with your certified pet in homes, condos, and apartments that typically do not allow pets. Such rights of ESA owners make it possible for you to have your pet’s constant companionship without worrying about apartment rules and violating tenant agreements.
This act specifies that tenants in need of emotional support animals shall not be expected to pay any charges, deposits, or fees to their property managers.
2. Emotional Support Animals Aren’t Required to Have Any Training
Fundamental among the rights of ESA owners is that the animals aren’t expected to have any special training. These animals relieve loneliness, provide companionship, help with anxiety and depression, and even specific phobias. They thus don’t need to have specialized training, although many do have basic obedience training.
This means that you can have your pet registered as an emotional support animal without having any training done, making it possible for you to fly with your pet without any hurdles.
3. ESAs Shouldn’t Limit Your Employment Opportunities
It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against specific candidates due to disabilities, be they physical, mental, or emotional. Employers are required to provide a suitable working environment and reasonable accommodation. For people with a serious and evident need for their emotional support dog, this may be considered an accommodation.
Prohibiting access to your ESA by employers is a violation of the rights of ESA owners. However, you ought to provide an ESA letter to prove that your pet is indeed needed for therapeutic reasons.
4. ESAs in Education
Among the rights of ESA owners are that students that require these animals must not be discriminated against. There is room for an animal that doesn’t necessarily meet the definition of a service animal, but that helps the student receive a seamless and appropriate education. Ultimately, whether a student requires an animal other than a service animal while in school is determined on a case-by-case basis to ensure that no one is discriminated against.
Colleges and universities often have a policy asking that student that use these animals register themselves with the school’s Disability Services Coordinator. They are then allowed to access all areas of the faculty open to students.
5. Rights of ESA Owners in Transportation
People traveling with emotional support animals must not be denied access to public, and even private, transportation, even those with ‘no pets’ policies. The rights of ESA owners prohibit them from being forced to sit on a specific spot, or from being charged any additional fees for their emotional support animal. The owner is also not expected to provide prior notice that they will be traveling with an emotional support animal.
Getting an Emotional Support Animal
Emotional support animals add love, vigor, and joy into your life. The best ESAs for depression get their owners out of bed each morning to walk and feed them. They inject purpose and responsibility into one’s life, helping you pull yourself together.
You can apply for an ESA letter online to register your pet as a certified emotional support dog. This way, you’ll be able to benefit from all these rights of ESA owners.