Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Saskatchewan, CanadaReading Time: 4 minutes
The “Land of Living Skies” is stunning. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people struggling with mental health issues. The long, cold winters can put anyone in the dumps. Luckily, getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan can help you get through the winter. These animals give their owners love and make them feel less alone. No one can ask for a better companion!
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 Saskatchewan, Canada
Getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan is a great idea for people with a mental health condition or an emotional disability. These loving animals can brighten anyone’s day in a matter of seconds. They’re obviously an important support system for their owners. Luckily, Canadian law sees how important they are!
Definition of an Assistance Animal According to Canadian Law
An assistance animal is one that, in some way, makes their owner’s life easier. There any many kinds of assistance animals with many different tasks.
First, there are service animals. They help a disabled person perform important tasks in their day-to-day life. A great example of a service animal is a service dog guiding someone with a visual impairment across the street.
Then, there are also psychiatric service animals. Their owners have a psychiatric disability and need help every day. Psychiatric service animals have very important tasks. One of them is reminding their owner to take their prescription medication on time or warning them of an oncoming panic attack.
Emotional support animals are, also considered assistance animals in certain (but not all) provinces in Canada. They shower their owners with love and keep them company every day. For someone with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for example, this is a really important task.
You may have heard of therapy animals before. They’re the dogs and horses that visit patients at hospitals or nursing homes. While a therapy dog’s presence is very soothing, they’re not considered assistance animals.
What Is an ESA Letter and Why You Need One in Canada!
As you can see, an ESA is not the same as a pet. In fact, ESAs have certain rights that pets don’t. So, how can a landlord or judge tell a pet from an ESA? That is easy: through an emotional support animal letter!
This letter is what gives an ESA their rights. Without one, you can’t fly with your companion buddy at no additional charge. Nor can you live with them in a no-pets-allowed unit.
See how important an ESA letter is? Make sure to get yours if you’re thinking of getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan! Only a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) can issue one.
Travel Laws: The Canadian Transportation Agency
One of the main privileges of getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan is being allowed to travel with them. No matter the transportation company you are traveling with inside Canada, they have the duty to accommodate you and your pooch! They also can’t charge you a pet fee for this.
The Canadian Transportation Agency grants you this right — but only if you have a valid ESA letter and adhere to their rules and regulations.
The Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Act
Want to travel by plane with your emotional support animal? Now you can! And you have the Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Act to thank. Leave the travel anxiety at home!
However, there are restrictions to this. In order to not be surprised at your flight gate, check with your airline what their ESA policy is. Better safe than sorry, we always say.
An ESA’s travel rights are dictated by federal law. All other laws, however, are drafted by each province. If you’re getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan, make sure to read up on your local laws.
There is no law saying an ESA has to be allowed in any workplace in Canada. But, if you show your boss or manager your ESA letter, they might make an exception for you. After all, their presence soothes you and makes you more productive!
If you’re getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan and renting an apartment, study the Human Rights Code. This legislation protects you against discrimination. Your ESA might not have rights, but you, as someone with a disability, has.
According to it, fair housing must be provided to anyone with emotional and mental disabilities. Thus, even if you’re renting a place with a no-pets policy, your ESA (should technically not) be refused by your landlord. Show them your ESA letter and cite your rights under the Human Rights Code.
ESA Campus Housing
Students living in campus housing and getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan are also covered by the Human Rights Act. Simply show your housing provider your ESA letter and inform them of your rights under this law. This part of the law is still a bit of a gray area, but call your school and ask them whether they have an ESA procedure in place!
Exception to Rules
With rights and freedoms come responsibilities. There are some situations in which your privileges as an ESA owner could be revoked:
- Not complying with airline regulations.
- Having an ESA who is a danger to others.
- Not providing your ESA the basic care or medical care they need.
Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal in Canada
Unfortunately, some people abuse the law and try to pass off their pets as ESAs or other assistance animals. This includes flat-out lying to landlords, faking an ESA letter, and dressing your pet in a dog vest that says “service animal.”
In several provinces, this is a crime. In fact, in Saskatchewan misrepresenting an assistance animal carries a fine of up to CAD $1,400!
5 Important Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA
Have you made the decision of getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan? Then you need to know these 5 things.
- Anyone diagnosed with a mental illness (such as anxiety) can become an ESA owner.
- People with disabilities and mental disorders are entitled to special treatment in the province under the Human Rights Code.
- An ESA does not have to go through training.
- There is no such thing as a service dog registration for ESAs in Canada. It’s a scam!
- Each airline has different ESA and pet policies. Check your airline’s regulations before hopping on the plane with your companion.
Where to Start Your Search for Your Ideal ESA!
Finding an ESA is easy. They can be a dog, cat, or even a rabbit. The only requirement they must fulfill is having a strong emotional connection with you.
This means that if you already own a pet, they can become your ESA. If you don’t, head down to an animal shelter and adopt a cute furry friend! It’s a budget-friendly and very humane way of getting a life companion.
Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal in Saskatchewan
Now that you have your ESA with you, it’s time to go for a walk! Why not enjoy a beautiful day out with your ESA in one of these places?
Dog Parks and Dog Runs
- Meewasin Valley Trail, Saskatoon
- Cranberry Flats Conservation Area, Saskatoon
- Floral Acres, Saskatoon
Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars
- Shannon’s Pub & Grill, Regina
- Prairie Sun Brewery, Saskatoon
- Orange Izakaya Fusion Cafe & Bar, Regina
Resorts, Fitness, and Spas
- Sandman Hotel, Saskatoon
- Wingate, Regina
Attending pet-friendly events is a great way of making friends if you’re new in town. A quick Facebook or Google search will show you a number of events near you year-round.
Take your ESA with you and have fun! The both of you will have a great time meeting new people (and animals!)
ESAs in Saskatchewan, Canada: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your Province Today!
Have you been diagnosed with a mental illness and are thinking of getting an emotional support animal in Saskatchewan? If so, now is the time to find a licensed mental health professional in your province.
Look for referrals for a therapist in your area online or among people you know. They will be the ones issuing you your ESA letter. After they do, you’ll be holding your ESA in no time!
Getting an emotional support animal is a great idea in a province with long, cold winters. Connect with a mental health practitioner near you and start a new chapter in your life with an adorable ESA!
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