If you have an emotional or mental disability in the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States, you might be considering getting an emotional support animal in Dallas. Learn the vital info you need to know to proper own an ESA in this metro area!
Emotional Support Animal in Dallas: Specific Protection
Being an emotional support animal owner in the state of Texas has plenty of advantages. Not only do owners benefit from being around their comfort animals, but you will also be legally allowed to live and fly with them.
The two federal laws that concern emotional support animals are the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. To be covered by them, you’ll need an ESA letter issued by a mental health professional.
All these milestones for ESAs and their owners have been achieved by the fight of federal regulators and animal activists.
Definition of Assistance Animal
Assistance animals help their owners with day-to-day activities and by providing their care and love on a daily basis. Emotional support animals (ESAs) fit into this category because they provide emotional comfort. They’re not trained professionally, and only need a letter prescribing them to a patient.
There are other kinds of assistance animals as well. A service dog, such as guide dogs, have been professionally trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. Companies such as Karma Dog are in charge of training service dogs. They’re covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and can go into public places without needing previous permission.
Despite being lumped into the same category, an emotional support dog and a service dog are not the same things. They are protected by different laws and the process to get them is different.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in Dallas: CertaPet’s simple 5-minute process
It might seem difficult to get an emotional support animal in Dallas, Texas, but it’s not. CertaPet cares about its clients’ well-being, so it handles all the paperwork and boring parts of the process. All you need to do is answer a questionnaire and then wait!
The first step is finding out if you qualify as an ESA owner.
To know this, all you have to do is take CertaPet’s free, 5-minute pre-screening questionnaire!
This will determine if your mental health problem allows you to have an ESA at your care. If you pass it, we’ll put you in touch with a licensed mental health professional. They will be the ones to issue the letter that will be sent to you. In some cases, this whole process takes only 48 hours!
Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)
Despite animals on planes not always being allowed, an emotional support animal in Dallas and its owner can travel together during a flight thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act. The airline can’t charge the passenger an extra pet fee, nor can it deny boarding. You will also be allowed to be together inside the cabin. This law will only apply if you do the following:
- Give your chosen airline a notice that you’ll be traveling with an ESA of at least 48 hours prior to boarding.
- Show the airline your emotional support letter.
- Check with your airline what other documents they require. Some airlines request a vaccination form, among other papers.
As long as you comply with all the rules you won’t run into any problems. You should also make sure your ESA won’t be aggressive towards passengers during the flight.
Sadly, emotional support dogs don’t have to be let into public places — your workplace included. Because they’re not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the only way of bringing them with you would be talking to your employer. If you explain that the ESA’s presence would be an asset to your mental health and work performance, they might make an exception for you.
This arguing would work on a case-by-case basis, so don’t forget to have your ESA letter and arguments in your favor!
Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)
Those getting an emotional support animal in Dallas can rent an apartment to live there with their ESA. The Fair Housing Act makes it so that ESA owners can live with their companion animals without being discriminated against. This means that your landlord can’t charge you an extra fee or evict you just for having an ESA.
Even if a property has a no-pets policy, you can rent it!
To be protected by the FHA, you need to have your ESA letter at hand. If your housing provider asks for it, you must show it to them. Other than that, just make sure your ESA knows how to behave so they don’t disturb the neighbors.
ESA Campus Housing
On-campus housing is also included in the Fair Housing Act. This means that if you’re a student living in a residence hall, you are entitled to live with your ESA. You will not be asked to pay an extra fee either.
In order to be fully covered, don’t forget to show the residence hall management your ESA letter. Another thing to note is that you must guarantee your emotional support animal will not disturb your neighbors or be aggressive. As long as you do these things, you won’t come across any issues.
Exception to Rules
The FHA and the ACAA won’t always apply to you. If you fail to comply with some of the things listed below, you can be punished:
- Not showing your ESA letter to airlines or housing providers means you won’t be allowed boarding or housing.
- If you neglect your ESA (for example, by beating them or not giving them enough pet food), the state of Texas can intervene and take them away.
- You will have to pay for all the damages your emotional support animal causes.
- Showing a fake or invalid ESA letter means that the FHA and the ACAA won’t apply to you.
Punishment for Misrepresenting Assistance Animals
Misrepresenting an emotional support animal in Dallas and in Texas has serious legal consequences. In this city and in this state, passing off comfort pets as assistance animals is a crime.
It’s considered a misdemeanor and you may have to pay a fine of up to $300. On top of that, you may also be mandated to do community service for up to 30 hours.
It’s really not that difficult getting an emotional support animal in Dallas for those who need it. Why not do it the legal way?
4 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA
There are some key facts you should remember when you get your ESA:
- Emotional support animals are not psychiatric service animals, service dogs, a therapy dog or comfort pets. They are their own thing.
- Only licensed mental health professionals can prescribe an ESA letter, which you will use to get your comfort animal.
- Emotional support animals don’t need to be professionally trained.
- Emotional support animals don’t have to be dogs and cats, you can have a miniature horse as an ESA! Check which animals are banned by airlines when looking into what animal to get. United Airlines, for example, has put “peacock” on their no-flight list.
Where to Find a Suitable ESA!
Now, onto the fun part! Virtually any animal can become your emotional support animal in Dallas. The only condition is that they are recognized by law as an ESA and that the both of you connect.
If you already have a pet, they could become your emotional support buddy. If not, there is always a non-profit organization or an animal shelter in Dallas looking to rehouse some animals. Do a quick Google search and you’re bound to find something.
Just think about it, you could be getting a new furry friend and giving them another shot at living a good life!
Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal
It’s only logical that you’d want to bring your new furry friend on all kinds of adventures with you. Luckily, Dallas is the perfect place for this! There are countless public places where you and your puppy will be welcomed. Here are some cool and worth-checking-out dog-friendly establishments in Dallas, Texas.
Dog Parks and Dog Runs
Let your pup run to his heart’s content in one of these grassy areas:
- NorthBark Dog Park
- Cedar Ridge Natural Preserve
- Meadow Foundation Dog Park
Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars
Is there anything better than having your best friend tag along to a nice lunch out? We don’t think so… Here are some places where you can make this happen:
- The Dream Cafe
Resorts, Fitness, and Spas
If you’re going to Dallas on vacation, you can check into one of these hotels with your ESA:
- Aloft Dallas Downtown
- Hotel Lumen
- Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Dog-dedicated events are always a blast for the owner and the emotional support dog. There are other dog-loving people and their cute puppies around for you to meet and chat with. Not to mention that it’s a great opportunity to socialize your dog, too! A quick Facebook or Google search will easily show you which events are welcoming to dogs near you. Don’t miss this chance!
ESAs in Dallas: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your State Today
As soon as you finish your pre-screening test, we’ll analyze your results. If the result indicates that you’re a good candidate for an emotional support animal letter, then we’ll put you in touch with a licensed mental health professional as soon as possible. The days of looking through the yellow pages are done! Now, we take care of every little thing. All you need to worry about is choosing an ESA who you supports you until the very end.