For people with mental health disorders, getting an emotional support animal in New Brunswick, Canada, can be a life-changing decision.
These sweet companion animals can show their owners unconditional love and calm them down with their presence. Emotional support animals (ESA) are a crucial part of these people’s clinical treatment plan and road to wellbeing.
Getting an Emotional Support Animal in New Brunswick, Canada
It’s very important to know everything there is to know about Canada’s policies on ESAs. Only then can you live a happy, care-free life with your companion puppy or kitty by your side!
Definition of an Assistance Animal According to Canadian Law
According to Canadian law, the definition of an assistance animal (in certain provinces) is an animal that brings support and comfort to someone with a physical, mental, emotional, or psychological disability. This definition applies to both service dogs and psychiatric service dogs, and in some provinces, it applies to emotional support animals as well.
Firstly, there are service animals. They are most commonly dogs and are trained by professional trainers to perform specific tasks for their owners. You have probably seen a service dog or two guiding someone with a visual impairment, right? While a guide dog is the most common kind, there are plenty more roles a service dog can play.
Then, there are psychiatric service animals. Professional service dog trainers are in charge of training them, too. However, their role is not to open doors and cross the road with their owner safely. Rather, they’re responsible for a number of tasks related to their owner’s mental health. For example, reminding them to take their meds or alerting someone when they have a panic attack.
In some provinces, emotional support animals are also considered assistance animals. Their company is more than enough for their owners to instantly feel better. ESAs make great companions to people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and/or other mood disorders.
What is an ESA Letter and Why You Need One in Canada
An emotional support letter is the most important document any ESA owner can have. It’s this piece of paper that separates a simple pet from a legitimate assistance animal.
The most important thing to remember is that it can only be issued by a qualified mental health professional who can practice in your province. Unfortunately, there are companies out there claiming to sell one to people in need. Keep in mind that they are nothing but scams. Fake emotional support letters do a lot of harm!
Travel Laws: Canadian Transportation Agency
Under Canadian law, a disabled person has just as many rights as an abled person. Luckily, the Canadian Transportation Agency is there to enforce that when it concerns traveling.
In New Brunswick, Canada, ESAs and their owners can travel together. This applies to planes, trains, and ferries.
Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
Besides the Canadian Transportation Agency, there are other laws in place protecting persons with disabilities. The Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities voluntary code is one of them. It regulates assistance animals on board planes with their owners.
In order to travel by plane with your ESA, there are some things you will need to do. Firstly, you need your emotional support animal letter. Without it, you’re not going anywhere.
Then, you need to check with the airline to see if they have any extra requirements. Some ask for vet forms, while others will ask for records of vaccines. Many airlines have breed restrictions in place too. So make sure they allow your dog (or cat) on the airline’s flights!
All in all, if you want to have a hassle-free vacation, do your research before boarding the plan. It’s better to be prepared than to be caught by surprise by a sneaky little requirement! It’s the responsibility of every ESA owner to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of traveling with animals.
Navigating Canada’s Provincial ESA Laws
In the United States, ESAs are protected by clear-cut federal laws. However, Canada is a different story and its laws on ESAs vary from province to province.
When getting an emotional support animal in New Brunswick, it’s important to study the local laws. Otherwise, how could you know if you can live with your companion buddy or bring them to work?
For many Canadian provinces, accommodating ESAs is still a gray area. Always try to reason with landlords before threatening to sue them for not allowing you access!
Since an ESA is not a service animal, they can’t go into work with you unfortunately. However, this doesn’t mean that an exception can’t be made for you!
Your ESA’s job is to make you feel well mentally. Their presence, in a way, makes you a more productive worker. Try explaining this to your boss or manager and show them your ESA letter. You never know, they could realize how helpful your emotional support buddy is and let you bring them to work! It does also help if your ESA is very, very well behaved!
If you’re getting an emotional support animal in New Brunswick, the Human Rights Act will become your best friend.
Section 5 of the Act gives you the right to fair housing. This means that your landlord cannot refuse your application for a home simply because of your disability. Of course, 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. Keep in mind: animals that have little training, are poorly behaved, or have damaged property will most likely be rejected.
Exceptions to the Rules
Your rights as an emotional support animal owner come with a lot of responsibilities. So if you don’t do everything the right way, your rights could be revoked.
Not complying with the airline’s rules and requirements for ESAs is enough for them to deny you boarding. That’s why it’s so important to read the fine print in advance.
Also, if you’re renting a unit but your ESA is a nuisance or danger to others, you may be evicted. Just because an emotional support animal doesn’t need to be trained doesn’t mean they are allowed to misbehave. Make sure to teach them basic commands and obedience skills at home.
Lastly, neglecting or abusing an ESA is enough grounds for your animal to be taken away from you. Mistreating animals is a serious issue that can lead to you being prosecuted!
Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal in Canada
Passing off a pet as an assistance dog is a serious problem. It hurts the people who really need these animals because of their physical or mental disability. As such, there are penalties in place for people who misrepresent assistance animals in Canada.
Doing things the right way is the best way to avoid unpleasant problems such as fines.
5 Important Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA
Before getting an emotional support animal in New Brunswick, you need to commit these facts to memory.
- People suffering from mental health disabilities, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety, may get an ESA.
- While an ESA is a type of assistance animal (in certain provinces), it’s not considered a service animal.
- Only a qualified mental health professional who can practice in your province can issue you an ESA letter.
- You need an ESA letter to be able to travel with your furry companion.
- Emotional support animals do not need training.
Where to Start the Search for Your Ideal ESA!
First stop: your pets at home! Any dog or cat can be an ESA, so maybe you already have the perfect one!
Animal shelters are the perfect place to start looking for your future ESA if you don’t already have one. There are so many animals in need waiting to go to a loving home. By taking one home, you’d be giving them a new chance at being happy. Plus, you never know, you may find your new best friend there!
Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal in New Brunswick
Once you have your ESA by your side, it’s time to go out on adventures together! These pet-friendly places are the suggestions we have for you in New Brunswick. We promise you’ll love them.
Remember: If a place is pet-friendly, your ESA will be welcome.
Dog Parks and Dog Runs
Let Fido run and make friends at one of these dog parks:
- Edmunston Dog Park, Edmunston
- Isaac’s Run Dog Park, Moncton
Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars
Grab a bite to eat and take your companion puppy or kitty to one of these places:
- Lemongrass, Saint John
- Fred’s, Cap Pele
- Pepper’s Pub, Saint John
Resorts, Fitness, and Spas
Finally, relax the whole day at one of these pet-friendly establishments:
- The Algonquin Resort, Saint Andrews
- Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown, Moncton
- Comfort Inn Fredericton, Fredericton
The best place to make friends who also love animals is at a pet-friendly event. You will get to meet new people who love their pet just as much as you love your ESA. Plus, your furry friend can also play with other dogs or cats! Have a look online to find fun and fantastic animal events in New Brunswick!
ESAs in New Brunswick, Canada: How to Get Connected Today!
Are you interested in getting an emotional support animal in New Brunswick? 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.