Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Anaheim, CA

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: October 14, 2022

emotional support animal in Anaheim california disneyland The original Disney land; a happy place for all! However, when you suffer from disabilities like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and more, it’s hard to find comfort in even the most fun settings. That’s where ESAs step in. Emotional support animals help improve the emotional well-being of people with emotional and/or mental disabilities. If you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, an ESA may be able to improve your mental health. Keep scrolling if you want to learn how to get an emotional support animal in Anaheim!

Emotional Support Animal in Anaheim: Specific Protection

Emotional support animals have protection from two federal laws: the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. They do not need specific training unlike a service animal, but they must be well behaved.

Definition an Assistance Animal

Assistance animals are those that provide, you guessed it, assistance to anyone, whether that be mentally, emotionally, or physically. Emotional support animals and service animals are your furry assistance buddies who can take care of you when you most need it.

While service animals are physically trained to help their disabled owner, emotional support animals don’t! This is why the former are allowed in various public places while the latter only allowed in airports and housing.

It’s also wise to know that a dog that visits a Children’s Hospital at the UCI Medical Center to provide therapy services, hence the name therapy animal, and is not considered an assistance animal so will not have the same rights as an ESA or SA.

emotional support dog in anaheim airport

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in Anaheim, CA: CertaPet’s Simple 5 Min Process

If you’re looking to get an emotional support animal in Anaheim, CA, first take the CertaPet’s easy 5-minute pre-screening to see if you have a qualifying disability. If you do, CertaPet will put you in contact with a local licensed mental health professional and can have your letter within 48 business hours.

What is an ESA Letter?

A valid ESA letter is a document that explains the need for the emotional support animal based on the licensed mental health professional’s evaluation.

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

The Air Carrier Act allows emotional support animals to travel with their disabled or mentally ill owner in the cabin of an aircraft. The owners do not have to pay a pet fee, and if the animal is small enough, it can sit on the lap of the owner. It does not have to stay in a carrier, but must bring one!

Many airlines are updating their policies and are only permitting dogs and cats aboard the cabin and require owners to give a written statement of their animal’s behavior along with other additional documentation.

It’s best to look into your airline’s pet/esa policy before booking your flight!

Employment Laws

Unlike with service dogs, employers have no legal obligation to allow emotional support animals in the office. So although you can ask your employer to allow your ESA to accompany you to work, they have the right to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow it or not.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act) 

The Fair Housing Act protects those with disabilities from living discrimination for having an emotional support animal. The landlord must provide reasonable accommodations and allow ESAs even in strict no-pet housing.

ESA owners should take extra care to minimize disturbances caused by their emotional support animals like grooming and behavioral training. Frequenting the dog groomer can help with hair in the hallways or any strong dog odors.

ESA Campus Housing

Emotional support animals are allowed in campus housing as part of the Fair Housing Act. Colleges must make reasonable accommodations to disabled students and allow ESAs in dorms and off-campus housing.

You should be OK as long as the animal is not a threat and does not cause significant disruption to other students. ESAs are only permitted in the housing, not in classes or other places on campus as a service dog would.

Exceptions to the Rules

Emotional support animals do not have to be trained to complete specific tasks for a disabled owner like a service dog would. They do, however, need basic obedience training. An emotional support animal must behave itself during plane rides, and only relieve itself in designated areas of the airport.

It should not cause a disturbance to the other passengers. Emotional support animals in apartments or homes with no-pet policies need to behave themselves and not be aggressive. There should be minimal barking and destruction of the unit or common areas.

Many no-pet rentals or homes do not have fenced-in backyards. By that token, owners should make sure their dogs have enough exercise so that they are calm and happy and don’t take their frustration out on the landlord’s property.

Other residents may not be pet-friendly and have prejudices to certain dog breeds like pit bulls and may look for a reason to complain or file a report.

emotional support dog in college studying

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

Misrepresenting a service animal is a misdemeanor in the state of California. If you knowingly claim to be the owner or trainer of the fake service dog to police officers, you can receive up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

There have been many misrepresented service dogs that have caused injuries to other dogs or people. Service and police dogs are carefully selected as puppies and extensively trained to behave in public and perform tasks.

The Sheriff’s office and the police department are on the lookout for people misrepresenting their assistance animals so they can bring them in places that do not allow pets.

5 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1. Emotional support animals are not service animals. They only have specific rights regarding housing and air travel.
  2. Remember, some airlines are restricting what types of animals they allow to travel in the air cabin. Emotional support dogs and cats are generally accepted through all airlines.
  3. Emotional support animals do not need specific training, but at the same time, they need to have basic obedience training and know how to behave in public so that they aren’t a danger to anyone.
  4. All you need is a letter from a licensed mental health professional; there is no “emotional support registry” or other certifications. Many sites are offering fake certificates and registries for profit.
  5. Many airlines are changing their pet policies. So, before you purchase a plane ticket, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you read the latest updates to the specific airline’s policy. Maybe they will allow your mini horse in the cabin, maybe they won’t.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

First of all, any animal can become an ESA; however, many airlines are only allowing dogs and cats aboard the aircraft cabin. It is therefore probably safer to get these creatures to be your ESA so that you aren’t barred from getting on a plane with your peacock or snake.

That being said, you can find a suitable ESA at your local shelter.

Or perhaps, you already own a pet that would make a great ESA!

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal

You can take your emotional support animal to places that allow pets. Remember, they only have special rights for air travel and housing.

It is up to the discretion of any shop, restaurant or business owner to allow your ESA on the premises. But luckily there is a list of pet-friendly places that welcome emotional support animals in Anaheim!

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

  • Olive Hills Dog Park
  • Hermon Dog Park
  • Laguna Beach Dog Park
  • Recreation Park Dog Park
  • Fullerton Pooch Park
  • Irvine Central Bark Dog Park

Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

  • Umami Burger
  • The Pizza Press
  • Brewberry Cafe
  • McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon
  • Karl Strauss Brewery
  • Park 55 Cafe
  • Board & Brew
  • Casa Rangel

Resorts, Fitness, and Spas

  • Dach 2 Danes
  • Disney Kennel Club
  • DogVacay Anaheim
  • Mar Mel Inn
  • Paw Print Foto

emotional support animals in anaheim dog spa


  • Goldie Palooza
  • Howl-O-Wine
  • Surf City Surf Dog

ESAs in Anaheim: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your State Today!

Emotional support animals provide comfort and support to those suffering from mental and/or emotional disabilities. So, if you’re looking into getting an emotional support animal in Anaheim, CA, the first easy step is to take the free, 5-minute pre-screening.

If you qualify, CertaPet will put you in touch with an LMHP today!

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