Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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newfoundland and labrador canada st john mountain side landscape

A lot of Canadians struggle with anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental health problems. Not even the beautiful National Parks of this province can brighten up the lives of people having a rough time due to mental illness. Getting an emotional support animal in Newfoundland and Labrador makes life much easier for these silent sufferers. Emotional support animals (ESAs) are incredible assistance animals that offer comfort, love, and companionship.

Disclaimer: CertaPet has qualified therapists in British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario only at this time.

Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

An ESA is the best companion animal anyone could ask for. They’re always by their owner’s side and make living with a mental illness a less daunting task. They’re man’s best friend! Fortunately, Canadian law sees how important they are! 

Definition of an Assistance Animal According to Canadian Law

An assistance animal is one that looks after their owner and helps them in their day-to-day life. There are many types of assistance dogs and cats — and even horses.

Service animals are the most common out there and can play a lot of different roles. A guide dog, for example, helps a blind person with daily life tasks. A psychiatric service animal gets help for their owner in situations such as when they’ve had a panic attack. The one thing they all have in common is that they are specially and intensively trained.

Emotional support animals are also assistance animals. Their job is to shower their owners with love and affection. Coming home after a rough day ruined by poor mental health isn’t so hard when these cute animals are around. Unlike a service dog, an ESA does not have to go through any training.

Lastly, you may have seen a therapy dog or two making their rounds at a hospital or nursing home. They’re not considered assistance animals, but their presence still helps residents a lot!

What is an ESA Letter, and Why You Need One in Canada!

You always need an ESA letter when you have an emotional support animal in Newfoundland and Labrador. This letter is proof that your ESA is not a pet, but a legitimate assistance animal. As ESAs enjoy some rights that pets don’t, it’s crucial to always have the letter on you!

It’s also important to know that an emotional support animal letter has to be issued by a qualified mental health professional. Otherwise, it is not valid.

Travel Laws: The Canadian Transportation Agency

When it comes to traveling, individuals with disabilities have the same rights as those who don’t have disabilities. This applies to people with a mental illness too! Because of this, Canadians can travel by train, ferry, and plane with their ESAs!

emotional support dog sitting on train seat

The Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Code

This federal Code gives you the right to fly with your ESA. Keep in mind, though, that there are restrictions to this. Always check the airline’s ESA policy before booking your ticket.

Navigating Canada’s Provincial ESA Laws

Not all ESA laws are created at the federal level, however. Housing and employment are regulated by each of the individual provinces. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the law you need to read up on is the Human Rights Act (Section 5). Be sure to be thorough!

Employment Laws

Unfortunately, you can’t take your ESA to work. But you can always talk to your boss and see if they can make an exception for you. After all, the presence of your ESA increases your productivity. Be sure to take your ESA letter with you!

Housing Laws

The Human Rights Act gives you the right to fair and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities.

woman cuddling her emotional support cat

Exception to the Rules

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Getting an emotional support animal in Newfoundland and Labrador comes with responsibilities. Some things can get your rights as an ESA owner revoked:

  • Falsifying or not showing a valid ESA letter.
  • Not complying with the airline’s ESA policy.
  • Having an ESA who is a danger to others.
  • Owning an ESA who destroys property.
  • Neglecting or endangering an ESA’s life.

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal in Canada

It is illegal to pass off a pet as an assistance animal. As such, there are fines in place for misrepresenting one.

3 Important Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

Before getting an emotional support animal in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are three things you need to know:

  1. Only a qualified mental health professional can issue an ESA letter.
  2. Any person with a mental illness may qualify to become an ESA owner. This includes people who suffer from depression or from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for example.
  3. An ESA does not need to be trained.

Where to Start the Search for Your Ideal ESA!

Virtually any animal can become an ESA. All you need is a meaningful connection with them. If you already have a beloved pet, they can become your new support buddy.

If you don’t own a pet, you can always adopt. Adopting an emotional support animal is a great idea. It’s good for people on a budget and those who want to better the life of a puppy or kitty in need. Alternatively, you can also visit (responsible) breeders and buy one!

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal in Newfoundland and Labrador

If you’re getting an emotional support animal in Newfoundland and Labrador, visit one of these spots on a sunny day. We promise: you and your ESA will both have a blast!

emotional support animal in newfoundland and labrador playing in water

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

  • Mount Pearl Dog Park, Mount Pearl
  • Mundy Pond Dog Park, St. John’s
  • Sgt. Ned Nugent’s Field Dog Park, Conception Bay South

Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

It seems like the friendly folks of Newfoundland may be behind somewhat in the dog-friendly restaurants. Have you found any dog-friendly places? Let us know in the comments below!

Resorts, Fitness, and Spas

  • East Coast Newfoundland Cabin, Tors Cove
  • Hollyrood Hills Home, Harbour Main-Chapel Cove-Lakeview


The easiest way to make friends in your area is to go to events. Fortunately, there are year-round events dedicated to animal lovers and their pets in NL. A simple Facebook or Google search will give you a good list. Choose one, take Fido along, and have fun!

ESAs in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada: How to Get Connected Today!

Are you ready to get an emotional support animal in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada? If so, the next step is simple: getting in touch with a qualified mental health professional in your area.

Currently, we are only servicing Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and British Columbia. 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.

****The Canadian Transportation Agency is currently holding public consultations on the possibility of extending some ATPDR provisions. This includes the possibility of requiring that the air, rail, ferry, and bus carriers that they accept some or all untrained ESAs. They have published a consultation paper that invites travellers with disabilities, carriers, and any other interested parties to give them feedback. If anyone is interested in providing feedback, you will find more information, questions to answer, and instructions in the paper ( . The deadline for comments is February 7, 2020.

Common Questions on Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Newfoundland and Labrador

Can I travel by plane with my ESA?

Is my landlord allowed to refuse my ESA on the property I’m renting?

Where can I get an ESA?

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