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!
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, however, 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, emotional support animals are also seen as assistance animals.
It is important to understand the difference between the different assistance animals and the laws that apply to them.
Service animals include guide dogs, hearing dogs, and diabetic alert dogs, among others. These dogs are extensively trained to perform tasks that are essential to the well-being of their owners.
ESAs, on the other hand, do not need any specific training. This is great because it means that any dog (or cat) can be an ESA. Their sole purpose is to provide calming and comforting companionship and emotional support to their owners. However, they don’t always have the same legal protection as service animals do.
What is an ESA Letter and Why You Need One in Canada!
An emotional support animal letter is a legal document that describes your need for an ESA. This is also the piece of paper that differentiates a mere 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 qualified mental health professional who can practice in your province can write a legitimate ESA letter. The letter must be dated and written on the professional’s letterhead. It must state and specify that you have a mental, emotional, or psychological disability and that your ESA is a part of your clinical treatment plan.
Travel Laws: The Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency allows for individuals to travel with their assistance 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.
Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
A person suffering from anxiety, aviophobia, or PTSD could benefit greatly from the companionship of their ESA during a flight.
The Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities voluntary code makes allowances for such people. Individuals suffering from physical or mental disabilities may fly with their assistance animal at no extra cost.
Navigating Canada’s Provincial ESA Laws
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.
Employers are not obligated to allow you to take your ESA to work. 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. Keep in mind, however, that some landlords simply might not allow an ESA. Make sure that yours is sympathetic before trying to bring an ESA home. Otherwise, look for accommodation where pets are allowed.
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.
Exceptions 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 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 up to $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 ESA laws in 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 pupper 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 caught on to the awesomeness of dog-friendly restaurants and bars yet. 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 Today!
Are you interested in getting an emotional support animal in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador? To get started, take our free 5-minute pre-screening test. We’ll put you in touch with a qualified mental health professional who can practice in your province. They’ll book an appointment with you, and if you qualify, they’ll issue you an emotional support animal letter!
We are invoking the Human Rights Code when we issue these letters. The Human Rights Code provides the broadest protections to service animal users, as it extends the right to be free from discrimination, harassment, and reprisal in all of the social areas covered by the Code, including services, goods and facilities, accommodation, contracts, employment, and vocational associations. We are also fully aware and understand that an ESA does not have to be honored and can be denied. We make sure to let our clients know this. There is no legal obligation for the other party to approve an ESA request, but they may be motivated to do so on compassionate grounds. Animals that have little training, are poorly behaved or have damaged property will be rejected.