Scientific research is now confirming what people have known all along; pets make us happy. Not only do we experience a “feel good” emotion, but pets have been proven to lower our blood pressure and stress levels.
These findings are good news for those that suffer from a mental or emotional condition such as extreme anxiety, phobias, PTSD, and other conditions as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). And since the medical world is now recognizing the benefits of having an animal, laws have been put in place to protect individuals that need an emotional support animal even in the larger cities such as Brooklyn, NY.
ESA or Service Dog?
There is a difference between an emotional support animal (ESA) and a Service Dog. People with specific physical limitations may need a Service Dog to perform a variety of tasks from picking up dropped items, alert the person to a change in their blood sugar, or even “calling” 911.
The ESA does not need to have any special skills but is there to provide emotional support. The animal can also be of any species including those that may seem less likely to have a job including birds, rodents, reptiles and even miniature horses.
Having an Emotional Support Animal in Brooklyn, NY
In the United States, there are laws in place that protect the person with an emotional support animal. These can vary in their specifics from state to state with some regions (California) being a bit more liberal than others.
Brooklyn, NY may not be as fair or generous as sunny California when it comes to an emotional support animal, but there are still laws put in place to protect the rights of an ESA.
The ESA & Travel Laws in Brooklyn, NY
Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) a person can travel in the cabin of the aircraft with their ESA. However, you typically will have to prove you need this animal to fly with and when you get to your final destination.
The proof is in the form of a letter from your mental health professional (i.e., psychiatrist, therapist or other licensed doctors). The letter must be written on the doctor’s letterhead, stating the person’s medical needs for the ESA. The document must be signed, dated and include the medical professional’s license number, date and state/country it was issued. The letter is only valid for one year.
The ESA & Employment Laws in Brooklyn, NY
Under the ADA, employers cannot discriminate against those that suffer from an emotional or mental condition. In fact, those businesses with five or more employees must make reasonable accommodations to support the person and ESA. However, the employer may want to see proof from a medical professional stating the need for an emotional support animal in the workplace.
The ESA & Housing Laws in Brooklyn, NY
The emotional support animal is protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), meaning that landlords/owners of the building cannot discriminate against the ESA even if the housing is a “no pets” policy building. As with employers, landlords and building managers must make reasonable accommodation for the person with the ESA. A letter of proof may also be required.
The ESA Exceptions
As with any rule, there are exceptions. In the case of an ESA, it will not be granted full public access in Brooklyn, NY the way a Service Dog would be.
Employers can also deny the ESA if it poses a threat to the other employees, or is not trained (i.e., potty). Landlords can also evict or deny housing if the animal is destructive or poses a threat to the other tenants. However, this does not mean the landlord can discriminate against the size or breed of a dog, as long as it is well-behaved it is covered under the Federal Law.
How to Get an ESA in Brooklyn, NY
There are two ways to get an emotional support animal in Brooklyn, NY. You can go through a licensed medical professional or use a reputable online resource such as CertaPet that meets all the laws and criteria to do so legally.
You will be asked precise questions as stated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), If you pass the screening test, you will be prescribed an ESA via a letter stating;
- Verification of your need for an emotional support animal
- Recognition that you are under the care of a medical professional
This pre-screening process is confidential and can take less than five minutes for an online issue.
ESA-Friendly Destination Locations in Brooklyn, NY
Since emotional support dog/animal is becoming more and more a necessity, many places are ESA-friendly in Brooklyn, NY. Check these out!
Dog Parks & Dog Runs
Having a good dog park and a dog run is a must-have in a large city. These are places where your pooch is welcomed, where he can blow off some steam and meet some fun doggy friends. These parks and runs are the perfect places for you and your ESA;
- Gerritsen Avenue dog-friendly beach – surf and sand await
- Dyker Beach Park – off leash fun and grassy areas for romping
- Prospect Park Dog Field – free roaming fun and swimming allowed at specific hours
- Fort Greene Park – off leash hours available
- Seth Low Playground – dog fun at every turn
- Brower Park – well maintained and allows for off leash
- Dimattina Playground and Dog Run- off leash play in designated areas
- Hillside Dog Park – fenced in with plenty of benches
- Brooklyn Bridge Dog Park – fenced with views of the bridge
- Manhattan Beach Dog Run – small but clean
- Prospect Park Trail – 3.25-mile hiking fun for you and Fido
- J Byrne Memorial Park – small and can be busy
- City Tales – sightseeing at its best
- Adam Yauch Park – leashed dogs always welcome
- McGolrick Dog Park – plenty of off-leash fun to be had
Dog-Friendly Restaurants & Bars
Want to bring your ESA to a restaurant or bar? Then these are just some of the businesses that will welcome you and your pooch on their outdoor patios;
- Sotto Voce – Italian-style cafe
- Buttermilk Channel – American-style cuisine
- Enid’s – Southern-style comfort foods
- Habana Outpost – Mexican fiesta!
- Brooklyn Ice cream Factory – yum!
- Cebu Bar & Bistro – eclectic take on typical bistro food
- Bar Matchless – serves a daily lunch menu
- Heights Cafe – delicious food and warm sidewalk
- Duckduck – dog-friendly bar
- Tatiana – Russian-style food
Resorts, Fitness & Spas
Sometimes we just have to get away and pamper ourselves. Bringing Fido along for the relaxation has been made easy with these dog-friendly resorts, fitness centers, and spas.
- Exhibit Salon – encourages doggy visitors
- Modern Brooklyn Vacation Suites – Luxurious comfort
- The Justice Manor – B&B
Looking for a fun event to bring your dog? Check out the Fido Coffee Bark in beautiful Prospect Park. There are coffee and pastries for the two-legged folks and plenty of biscuits for the pups. Plus, your dog can enjoy some good ole’ off-leash romping with his furry friends. Check the dates for their next upcoming events.
You & Your ESA in Brooklyn, NY
If you are suffering from an emotional or mental disability, know your rights when it comes to having an emotional support animal in Brooklyn, NY.
If you believe you may benefit from an emotional support animal then be sure to contact your medical professional or go online to get the prescription you need. Getting back to enjoying your life with the help of an ESA is well worth it.