Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Arlington

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: March 6, 2024

Considering getting an emotional support animal in Arlington? We often see people with disabilities use service animals to help them with their day-to-day lives. But, what about emotional support animals?

Emotional support animals are the shining stars when it comes to helping those with mental illnesses. From depression to anxiety an emotional support animal can comfort those suffering from mental illness.

So, if you’d like to find out more about ESAs then read on!

Emotional Support Animal in Arlington: Specific Protection

In most cities and states throughout the country, those who have an ESA are going to have to work with a mental health professional to get an ESA letter.

To protect an emotional support animal in Arlington, laws have been enacted that are meant to cut down on the number of people who are claiming to have an ESA.

An emotional support animal in Arlington will be protected under two state laws. These are the federal Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act” draggable=”false” href=”/air-carrier-access-act/” data-wpil-keyword-link=”linked”>Air Carrier Access Act.

Definition of Assistance Animal

An assistance animal is an animal that helps those suffering from physical, psychological, and mental illnesses.

A service animal is trained for a specific purpose. Service animals that are trained to recognize when a person is getting ready to have a seizure, those that are trained to walk those who may be blind or have bad eyesight to the point that they need help and the like.

A Psychiatric service animal is trained to help those with psychological disorders. These animals are trained to spot certain issues, smells or the like that could signal their owner is having trouble. These differ from an emotional support animal since an ESA is not trained.

An emotional support animal is an assistance animal that does not require training. An ESAs main job is to simply provide a sense of comfort, safety, and security to those suffering from mental illness.

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in Arlington

If you’re looking at getting an emotional support animal in Arlington, then why not start by taking CertaPet’s Simple 5 Minute pre-screening test.

This 5-minuted questionnaire will run a quick analysis on your current mental health statue. If by the end of the test, you’re considered a good applicant for an ESA. Then CertaPet will connect you to a licensed mental health professional.

A licensed mental health professional will further analyze your mental health, and they will be the ones who provide you with an ESA letter.

This letter is going to state that you do have an emotional or psychiatric disability that affects your mental health. And, as such you require the assistance of an emotional support animal.

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

If you get an emotional support animal in Arlington then the good news is that you’ll be protected by the ACAA.

The Air Carrier Access Act allows individuals with disabilities to travel with their assistance animals in the cabin. This means that you won’t have to pay any pet-fee when traveling with your ESA.

However, for you to receive the many benefits of the ACAA, then you’ll need to:

  • Provide an ESA letter
  • Ensure your ESA is well-behaved! Airlines are allowed to reject your ESA should the animal display aggressive behaviors
  • You will also need to provide all the necessary airline specific documents, 48-hours prior to departure.

Employment Laws

An employer is under no legal obligation when it comes to accommodating an emotional support animal in Arlington.

However, an employee is allowed to ask their employer to make exceptions should they feel that their ESA will better their work performance.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

The federal Fair Housing Act protects those with disabilities from discrimination. This means that emotional support animal in Arlington will be protected under the FHA.

Under the FHA, landlords, and homeowners association must provide reasonable accommodation to those with an assistance animal. In other words, a landlord cannot charge any pet-fee and must wavier off any no-pet policy.

ESA Campus Housing

The federal Fair Housing Act also extends to the on-campus housing. Students suffering from mental illnesses are allowed to bring their ESA into campus housing. However, in order to do so, students need to show evidence of a valid ESA letter.

Exception to Rules

A landlord or housing agency does have the right to reject your emotional support animal. Exceptions to the Fair Housing Act can include:

  • The landlord feels that the ESA in question displays aggressive and destructive behaviors
  • The animal is damaging the property
  • The tenant is unable to provide a valid ESA letter

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

Misrepresenting an assistance animal is a serious crime. This is considered a class A infraction and a person could be fined for up to $10,000 for this act.

This punishment is going to vary according to where you are at, but most locations are using this as their base for punishment.

4 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving your ESA

When you are at the point that you are getting an ESA here are a few facts to remember:

  1. ESA’s are not service animals! Therefore, you cannot take this animal into every area that you would a service animal as they do not have all the rights that these service animals have.
  2. There is no such thing as an ESA pet. Any pet can be an ESA, it does not have to be a specific pet, and it will not have gone through any type of program to declare this animal as an ESA.
  3. There is no such thing as an ESA registration or certification. This is often a scam when you see these words associated with an ESA. A letter from a mental health professional is what is needed, there is no other way around this.
  4. The letter that you get from a mental health professional is for you. This is not a letter for the animal that you have as an ESA. This letter simply states that you need an ESA, not what animal, name of the animal and the like that the ESA is.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA

So where do you find an emotional support animal in Arlington? Anywhere! Since emotional support animals don’t require formal training, any animal can be an ESA.

You may find your ESA at a pet store or even an animal shelter. The key is to find the animal that makes you feel at ease and is the animal that you love!

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal

You can choose to take your ESA to any place that is pet-friendly!


There are many hotels that allow you to take your emotional support animal.

  • Clarion Collection Hotel Arlington
  • Residence Inn Arlington Capital View
  • The Virginian Suites
  • The Westin Crystal City Hotel
  • Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel


There are several restaurants that are going to allow ESA’s such as:

  • Whitlow’s on Wilson Bar & Grill
  • Rhodeside Grill
  • Cassatt’s Café
  • The Liberty Tavern
  • Mexicali Blues Inc

Dog Parks

Dog parks are a great way to ensure that your ESA is giving the exercise and socialization they need. These include:

  • Shirlington Dog Park
  • Glencarlyn Park
  • Benjamin Banneker Park


Events throughout the Arlington area are pet-friendly. These events may include:

  • YappyHour
  • 2018 PetOberfest
  • Pups in the Park
  • DogFest Walk ‘n’ Roll Washington DC

ESAs in Arlington: How to Get Connected with a LMHP in Arlington Today!

If you’re ready to get an emotional support animal in Arlington, then start by taking CertaPet’s pre-screening test! Once you get connected with a licensed mental health professional then you could get an ESA letter within 48 hours.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step to improving your mental and emotional well-being!

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