Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and LabradorReading Time: 5 minutes
What do you need to know if you are thinking about getting an emotional support animal in Corner Brook Newfoundland in Canada? Read on to learn about the emotional support animal (ESA) laws in this beautiful neck of the Canadian woods!
Disclaimer: CertaPet’s LMHPs do not issue ESA letters for Canadians at this time, but later in 2019, we will have qualified therapists in multiple Canadian provinces who specialize in treatment planning and emotional support animals.
Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Corner Brook, Canada
Having an emotional support animal (ESA) can mean all the difference for someone suffering from a mental illness or mental disability such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Americans with disabilities are protected by two clear-cut emotional support animal laws. If you do a bit of reading, you will know exactly where you and your ESA stand with regards to fair housing laws and regulations involving public spaces. In Canada, the laws are not yet as concrete.
There are still quite a few legal gray areas. Also, to make things a little trickier, the laws differ from province to province.
Definition of an Assistance Animal According to Canadian Law
According to Canadian law, the definition of an assistance animal is one that brings physical or emotional support and comfort to an individual with a physical, mental, or emotional disability. In some provinces, Canadian law discerns between service animals and emotional support animals.
It is important to understand the difference between the different service animals and the laws that apply to them.
Service animals include guide dogs, hearing dogs, and diabetic alert dogs, among others. These dogs are trained to perform tasks that are essential to the well-being of their owners.
Are ESAs Assistance Animals?
Assistance animals include emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals. Emotional support dogs provide support and comfort to a person with a mental health disability. Unlike say a guide dog, individuals with disabilities of a mental illness nature rely on an ESA to provide emotional support. This is something that comes naturally to dogs and cats, so they do not legally require any training.
The third category is that of therapy animals, which are technically not considered assistance animals. Whereas a service dog provides support to one individual, usually its owner, a therapy dog can provide comfort and support to many people.
Along with its handler, the therapy dog will visit places such as hospitals, homes for the elderly, and disaster sites. Here the animal will spend time with humans in distress to comfort them and bring about improved healing and/or quality of life.
What is an ESA Letter, and Why You Need One in Canada!
An emotional support letter is a prescription for an individual suffering from a mental or psychological disability. The prescription recommends the companionship of a support animal as part of their treatment regime. This is also the piece of paper that differentiates a pet from an ESA.
If you want to enjoy the privileges awarded to owners of ESAs, then you will need to have a valid ESA letter. Only a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) can write a legitimate ESA letter. The letter must be dated and written on the LMHPs letterhead. It must state and specify that you have a mental or psychological disability and that your ESA is integral to your treatment.
Travel Laws: The Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency allows for individuals to travel with their assistance animals. The agency regards ESAs as assistance animals along with service animals and psychiatric service animals.
All types of assistance animals may travel with their owners on most public transportation offered by the Canadian government. But, rules and regulations do apply to the use of this transportation when you are accompanied by an assistance animal. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the policies of the different modes of transport that you intend on using.
The Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Act
A person suffering from anxiety, aviophobia, or PTSD could benefit greatly from the companionship of their pet during a flight. The Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Act (AAPDA) makes allowances for such people. Individuals suffering from physical or mental disabilities may fly with their service animal at no extra cost.
ESA laws differ from province to province in Canada. Most provinces use their Human Rights Act as a guideline for defining the regulations regarding ESAs and other assistance animals. Still, we highly recommend reading up on the laws of the specific province you’re in if you have or are planning to get an ESA.
Some provinces are much more welcoming and supportive of ESAs than others!
Let’s Look at ESA Laws in Corner Brook
In Labrador and Newfoundland, the Blind Persons’ Rights Act details the public accommodations, services, and facilities to which a blind person has the right to access. The Human Rights Code extends these rights to individuals with hearing impairments, and other disabled people.
Canada ESA Laws do not state that you can take your ESA to work with you. However, if you have a legitimate ESA letter, there is no harm in taking that to your employer to see if they might be sympathetic to your situation. If your ESA is not a distraction to your colleagues and helps to boost your morale, it could be a win-win for you and your boss!
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Human Rights Commission provides guidance for tenants and their landlords regarding service animals. The Human Rights Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination and harassment in situations regarding employment, public services and rental housing.
A landlord may, therefore, not discriminate against an individual by denying them accommodation or requiring different rental criteria to be imposed.
ESA Campus Housing
Most housing laws can be extended to campus housing too. However, if you would like to bring your ESA to campus with you, it is best to find out beforehand what the ESA rules are at the school that you will be going to.
Exception to the Rules
Different airlines have different policies about passengers traveling with their ESAs. Some airlines have restrictions for certain breeds. Another thing to check before the time is whether your ESA needs to be harnessed or kept in a crate or travel carrier during the flight.
Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal in Canada
The perks of having an emotional support animal can be very appealing to most. So much so that some might be tempted to falsely represent their pet as an ESA. This is completely unethical, gives ESAs a bad name, and makes things difficult for those who really do need their ESA.
Go through the correct channels and get a legitimate ESA letter. The punishment for misrepresenting an assistance animal in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador is a fine of no more than $ 500. Passing your pet off as an ESA is a crime. Don’t do it!
2 Important Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA
- Familiarize yourself with the Canada ESA laws as well as those specific to the province that you stay in.
- Not all landlords have to make accommodations for pet owners with an ESA letter.
Where to Start the Search for Your Ideal ESA!
Your ideal ESA could already be that smiley-faced, tail-wagging creature that shares your home with you! However, if you do not have a pet, any cat or dog that you want to bring into your life could be your ideal ESA. An animal does not need special breeding or specific training to be an ESA.
The best place to look for the ideal four-legged friend is your local animal shelter or animal rescue center. There are usually loads of wonderful cats and dogs looking for a fresh start at a good life. Whether you are looking for a puppy or a kitten, a purebred or a pavement special, you will be sure to find your perfect match!
Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal in Corner Brook
Corner Brook is ideal for outdoor lovers! This makes it great for those who like to take their puppers along with them on adventures. Below are some of the spots where your hound is welcome to join you.
Dog Parks and Dog Runs
If you are road-tripping, the Irving Big Stop Bark Park is a great place to refuel and let your doggo stretch their legs. The fenced in Mount Pearl dog park is open from dawn until dusk. In St John’s, the Mundy Pond dog park is a space for your doggo to run around off-leash
Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars
It seems as if the folks of Corner Brook, Newfoundland haven’t cottoned on to the awesomeness of dog-friendly restaurants and bars. However, if you are holidaying in Elliston, the Home from the Ice Floes Craft Shop welcomes your on-leash hound to do a spot of shopping with you.
Resorts, Fitness, and Spas
Cozy Mountain Cottage is pet-friendly and has a great view! The 4-star Marble Inn resort is also a super place to stay when holidaying with your pupper.
Check out the notice boards at your local vet or pet store for information about dog-friendly events in your area. You can also check your local community’s Facebook page for notices about fun pet activities!
ESAs in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your Province Today!
Getting an ESA in Corner Brook, Newfoundland is as easy as getting in touch with your mental health professional. After a consultation, your LMHP will be able to assess your need for an ESA. Should they find that your treatment could be benefited by having an ESA, you could be well on your way to having an ESA letter and an ESA all of your own!
Common Questions About ESAs in Corner Brook Newfoundland, and Labrador, Canada
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