Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Charlotte

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emotional support animal in charlotteEver wondered, “Hmm how can I get an emotional support animal in Charlotte?”

Well, as we know, a pet can be quite beneficial to our mental health. Nowadays, people suffering from a mental disability such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression often seek the aid of an emotional support dog—or even emotional support miniature horses—to help them feel a lot more comfortable.

Learn the laws, exceptions to these rights, and places you can take your ESA in the great city of Charlotte.

Emotional Support Animal in Charlotte: Specific protection

An emotional support animal in Charlotte, North Carolina, will be protected under state and federal laws. The two main laws protecting you and your emotional support comfort animals are—the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

Now, if you have a service animal then you’re already aware of the Americans Disability Act (ADA). The ADA, in short, is a federal law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination. The ADA generally only applies to service dogs, and thus allows owners to take their service dog into all public accommodations. If you choose to get an emotional support animal in Charlotte, then know that your ESA will not be protected under this federal law.

Definition of Assistance Animal

Emotional support dogs, psychiatric service animals, and service animals! All these “terms” can get quite confusing. And often, people may intermingle the words as being the same.

Before you get an emotional support animal in Charlotte, it is crucial that you know what an assistance animal is and what your ESAs role will be.

Service dog in Charlotte lying down

First, a service dog is a dog that has undergone rigorous training in order to perform very specific tasks. Service dogs are a type of assistance animal that is prescribed to people with disabilities ranging from blindness to seizures. People with service dogs absolutely need to have their animal with them at all times in order to make life manageable.

Think about it! What would happen if seeing-eye dogs decided to take a vacation from their handlers?

Second, are your psychiatric service animals.

These assistance dogs are prescribed to those suffering from severe debilitating mental disabilities like dementia, severe depression, and severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Often psychiatric service animals are trained to assist their handler when severe PTSD like episode occurs and prevent any dangerous behaviors of the handler. Psychiatric service dogs will also have undergone a lot of training.

Lastly, are your emotional support animals.

ESAs are given to those suffering from mild anxiety, depression, and mental illness. Emotional support animals are often comforting animals and they provide almost a one-on-one animal-assisted therapy. You can literally have anything as an ESA! Dogs, cats, pigs, and even miniature horses.

But, the important thing to remember is that ESAs do not have to undergo a lot of training like their counterpart assistance animals. Rather, they are just there to comfort those in need. For example, many University students often face depression and anxiety due to loneliness and stress. Thus, they are often eligible for an ESA.

How to get an Emotional Support Animal in the Charlotte: CertaPet’s simple 5 min process

So, are you ready to get an emotional support animal in Charlotte? Don’t know where to start? Not sure if you qualify for an ESA?  If you’ve answered “Yes” to all these questions, then the good news is that we can help you.

woman holding ESA dog at a park in the Charlotte

Here at CertaPet, we make getting an emotional support animal in Charlotte stress-free! It’s important to remember that you can only get an emotional support animal letter from a licensed mental health professional. And, the good news is that CertaPet can easily connect you with a licensed mental health professional. So how do you go about getting an ESA?

The first step is to actually take our quick, 5-minute pre-screening questionnaire. Once done, you will be connected to one of our licensed mental health professional who will further evaluate your mental health. Once the evaluation is complete, and if you are a good candidate for an ESA. Then you can get your ESA letter within 48 hours!

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

So now you decide that you need to travel with your ESA, you’re probably wondering—”Can I bring my ESA on an airplane?”

The good news is that an emotional support animal in Charlotte or in fact in any other state will be protected by the Air Carrier Access Act. But, what does this mean? Well, according to the ACAA, if you have an emotional disability or any disability. Then your assistance animal is allowed to travel in the cabin with you.

An emotional support dog, cat, or in fact most ESA are allowed to travel in the cabin with passengers. So as long as the passenger provides the necessary documents such as a valid emotional support animal letter, veterinary health records, and if needed—a form that indicates the animal will not be a hazard to any passenger.

Employment Laws

The ADA is a federal law that dictates, only service dogs, trained to perform tasks are allowed in public accommodations (i.e. workplace, hotel, grocery stores, etc). An emotional support animal is not protected under the ADA, thus should your workplace choose to deny your ESA. Then they have every right to! However, some workplace management may make reasonable accommodation, but this is a case-by-case basis exception.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

Now, perhaps you’re currently renting a home, or live in a condominium. If you’re still wondering whether or not you can get an ESA. Then don’t worry! You can!

Emotional support dog sitting on a brown couch in an apartment in Charlotte, NC

An emotional support animal in Charlotte, NC, is protected under the Fair Housing Act. This law states that landlords cannot discriminate against housing to Americans with disabilities.

Landlords are required to provide a reasonable accommodation or adjust any “no-pet policy” to meet a person with disabilities needs. Additionally, those with an emotional support animal or service dog are not required to pay any pet fee!

ESA Campus Housing

Fortunately, if you’re a student suffering from mental illness, then your ESA will be allowed in student housing. According to the FHA, emotional support animals are allowed in campus housing, so as long as the student provides a valid ESA letter.

Exception to Rules

Generally, the only time a landlord or homeowner’s associations can deny your emotional support animal from reasonable accommodation is when:

  • The ESA has caused damage to the property
  • The ESA threatens the safety of others. For example, aggressive dogs are not permitted.
  • There is undue financial restraint

Punishment for misrepresenting an assistance animal

In the state of North Carolina, a person who misrepresents an emotional support animal in Charlotte, NC, will be convicted of class 3 misdemeanor. This means that there will be a fine of $200 for the first offense.

3 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1.  An ESA is any kind of animal that provides comfort to you. So, if you’re not a dog person, then you can choose to get a cat or even a bird as an ESA.
  2.  Emotional support dogs and therapy dogs are two different types of animals. ESAs provide more one-on-one support and comfort. While therapy dogs are often taken to schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to help greet patients and students.
  3.  Unlike service dogs, emotional support animals do not need to be registered with any ‘Assitance animals, Service animals, or Emotional support animal registry’.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

Because an emotional support animal is literally any companion animal. It is actually quite easy for you to find a suitable ESA. Ask yourself, “what animal comforts you the most?”.

Most new ESA owners choose to look for dogs and cats at their local non-profit organization such as animal shelters, SPCA, and private rescues.

Make sure you check out Getting an Emotional Support Animal in North Carolina for more info!

Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal

Every ESA needs some fun time! So make sure you reward your ESA for all their hard work by taking them out to new and exciting places!

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

Take you ESA to some dog parks, because even they need some downtime!

  • Frazier Dog Park
  • William Davies Park
  • Mary Warner Mack Dog Park

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

Let your ESA join you on a night out!

  • The Dog Bar
  • Angry Ale’s
  • The Lodge
  • The Flying Saucer

Resorts, fitness, and spas

Traveling to Charlotte? Need a pet-friendly hotel? Check these places out!

  • Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the EpiCentre
  • Omni Charlotte Hotel
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Charlotte Piper Glen

Events

Take your ESA to some fun events!

  • Humane Society of Charlotte tends to have Birthday Parties!
  • Strut Your Mutt Talent Show
  • Doggy Headshots to Benefit Catering to Cats & Dogs

ESAs in Charlotte: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your City Today!

We at CertaPet recognize how an ESA can benefit people’s lives so we’ve made sure that the entire process of connecting with our LMHP in your city is as easy as can be.

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