Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Lexington, KY

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lexington kentucky skylineEmotional support animals (ESAs) are more than just pets. They can comfort and give us the strength to keep going when our mental an/or emotional disabilities get in our way. In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about getting an emotional support animal in Lexington Kentucky!

 

Emotional Support Animal in Lexington: Specific Protection

If you plan on getting an emotional support animal in Lexington, Kentucky, then it is crucial to be aware of two “Ironclad” law. The two federal laws protecting your emotional support animal from discrimination are the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act. Finally, it is important to know that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not extend protection to an ESA.

Definition an Assistance Animal

In the state of Kentucky, an emotional support animal in Lexington is considered a type of assistance animal. By definition, an ESA is designated to provide comfort and safety to individuals suffering from mental or psychological illnesses. For example, a licensed mental health professional may prescribe an emotional support dog to a person who may be suffering from depression or anxiety.

Another type of assistance animal are service animals. In particular, service animals are designated to perform very specific tasks that aid their handlers. An important distinction to note is that ESAs do not require formal training to qualify for their animal-assisted therapy.

However, service dogs will undergo tremendous training to qualify for their animal-assisted therapy. Examples of service dogs include seeing-eye dogs for blind or dogs that help individuals restricted to a wheelchair.

Although service animals and ESAs are considered the main type of assistance animals. There are many other types of animal-assisted therapy options, in which do not fall under the “assistance” category due to they are not owned by a single person.

One great example are therapy dogs. Therapy dogs are often well-behaved family pets who are able to provide comfort to large groups of people. For example, you’ll often find a therapy dog at schools, children’s hospitals, and old age homes.

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in Lexington: CertaPet’s Simple 5 Min Process

Not sure if qualify for getting an emotional support animal in Lexington, Kentucky? Well, you don’t have to spend a lot of money going to a mental health professional trying to figure things out. CertaPet offers a free 5-minute pre-screening process that will give you a good idea on whether or not you’re a good candidate for an ESA letter.

If after the pre-screening test you are deemed a good candidate for an emotional support animal. Then you will instantly be connected to a licensed mental health professional.

 

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

Are you wondering if you can travel after getting an emotional support animal in Lexington? Well, the good news is you can!

If you plan on getting an emotional support animal in Lexington, Kentucky, then you and your ESA will be protected under the Air Carrier Access Act.

This federal law was created so that people with disabilities will not face discrimination during travel. Under the Air Carrier Access Act, airlines must make reasonable accommodation for any assistance animal.

In addition, the airline you choose to fly with cannot charge you any pet fee since an ESA is not considered a pet. To receive protection from the Air Carrier Access Act, the handlers of an ESA must provide an ESA letter as well as any necessary documents the airline may ask you for.

Employment Laws

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that protects people with disabilities who own a service dog. Unfortunately, as an emotional support animal is not considered a service dog, an employer is not obligated to make reasonable accommodation for your ESA.

Nevertheless, on a case-by-case basis, special exceptions can be made. In other words, if you feel that your ESA betters your overall work performance and is not a hazard during work, then you can always speak to your employer about bringing your ESA to work!

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

Getting an emotional support animal in Lexington, Kentucky would also mean that you will be protected under the federal Fair Housing Act.

emotional support animal in lexington kentucky apartment with owner

Any individual with a disability will be protected from discrimination under this federal law. The Fair Housing Act states that landlords and housing agencies should provide reasonable accommodation to those with emotional support dogs or service dogs.

This means that a landlord or property owner cannot charge you any pet fee for bringing your dog onto the property. In addition, any “no-pet” policy should be lifted in order to accommodate the person with the disability.

ESA Campus Housing

If you are a college student suffering from stress, depression, or anxiety then you to can consider getting an emotional support animal in Lexington, Kentucky!

Today, there are many students who enter university and college feeling stressed or anxious. And, for some students, an emotional support animal can often be quite therapeutic! Fortunately, the federal Fair Housing Act extends to on-campus housing as well!

However, before you bring your support dog to campus, it is important to talk to your university and provide the necessary documents needed to meet their policies.

Exception to the Rules

Now, getting an emotional support animal in Lexington, Kentucky does not give you a free pass all the time! Sometimes housing agencies and airlines can choose to reject your ESA should you not meet their criteria. For example, the landlord has the right to reject an ESA if :

  • The animal is a danger to the public or landlord
  • If the animal is too big to accommodate for the home
  • If the landlord suspects animal abuse or if the animal’s welfare is compromised

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

In many states, the punishment for misrepresenting an assistance animal is often a hefty fine and possible eviction. However, as of 2018, the state of Kentucky does not state the possible consequences for misrepresenting an ESA.

4 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1. Did you know that even cats can qualify as an ESA! Yes, that’s right! You don’t necessarily need to get a dog.
  2. To receive protection from the two federal laws, all you will ever need is an ESA letter. Any company that chooses to provide emotional support animal certification or registration is not real.
  3. Your local physician or doctor cannot provide a valid ESA letter to you. Only a licensed mental health professional can!
  4. Today, many airlines will require an ESA letter that must be dated within 12 months. For example, if you travel every year with your ESA, then you will have to renew an ESA letter every year.

emotional support dog in lexington kentucky apartment next to owner

 

What is an ESA Letter?

Before you plan on getting an emotional support animal in Lexington, Kentucky, you will first need to obtain an ESA letter. An ESA letter is simply a document that states that an individual can legally have an emotional support animal due to disability.

An  ESA letter can only be given to those who qualify for one! and only a licensed mental health professional can provide a valid ESA letter. Without an ESA letter, you or your ESA will not be protected under the federal Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

An emotional support animal does not require any special training. Rather, a calm and well-behaved animal is all you need! So where do you go if you plan on getting an emotional support animal in Lexington, Kentucky? Well, you can visit your local:

  • Dog rescue
  • A reputable pet breeder
  • Non-profit organizations like animal shelters

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal

All emotional support animals need a break from their hard work! So, make sure you take them out for some fun. If you’ve got an emotional support dog, then you can take them for a stroll in the city, to the beach, dog park, hike, and even pet-friendly restaurant!

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

  • Wellington Park
  • Masterson Station Dog Park
  • Pleasant Ridge Dog Park
  • Cold Stream Dog Park

Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

  • The Sage Rabbit
  • Double Dogs
  • Charlie Brown’s Restaurant

Resorts, Fitness and Spas

  • La Quinta Inn and Suites Lexington South
  • Candlewood Suites Lexington
  • Hyatt Place Lexington
  • DoubleTree Suites

Events

  • Blue Stallion Brewing
  • American Saddlebred Museum
  • Chrisman Mill Winery

ESAs in Lexington: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your State Today!

Today, many people recognize the benefits an emotional support animal can have on one’s mental and emotional well-being. So, if you believe you too can benefit from having an emotional support animal by your side, then consider taking the CertaPets pre-screening to see if you qualify for an ESA.

Once you connect with a licensed mental health professional, you can learn more about how an ESA can help change your life!

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