Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Long Beach

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021

emotional support animal long beach skyline

Fun Fact: an emotional support animal is a type of assistance animal who aids those suffering from mental or emotional illnesses.  If you’re interested in getting an emotional animal in Long Beach, then keep on reading to find out more!

Emotional Support Animal in Long Beach: Specific protection

An emotional support animal in Long Beach, California, will be protected under two laws.

These are the federal Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act does also protect assistance animals such as a service dog. But, the ADA does not warrant the same protection to emotional support animals.

Definition of Assistance Animal

An assistance animal is any type of animal who helps people with disabilities. There are generally 3 types of assistance animals—service dogs, an emotional support dog, and a psychiatric service dog.

Now, service dogs undergo special training to perform tasks. People with disabilities are often prescribed a service dog to help them with their day-to-day lives. Guide dogs and a seeing-eye dog for the blind are a great example of a service dog.

In contrast to service animals, an emotional support animal is a type of assistance animal that does not receive training to perform tasks. ESAs are often given to those suffering from mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, and ADHD.

Psychiatric service animals are assistance animals who do receive formal training. Those suffering from severe psychological disorders may need a psychiatric service dog to help block any psychological episodes.

Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may be prescribed a psychiatric service dog.

Finally, it is important to mention that therapy dogs are not considered assistance animals. Therapy dogs help more than one individual, and they are often seen in old-age homes or children’s hospitals.

How to get an Emotional Support Animal in Long Beach: CertaPet’s simple 5 min process

If you’re ready to get an emotional support animal in Long Beach, then you can start by taking CertaPet’s 5-minute pre-screening questionnaire.

This quick pre-screening test will screen your current mental health status. And, if by the end of the test, you’re deemed a fit candidate for an ESA. Then, you’ll get connected to a licensed mental health professional.

A licensed mental health professional will provide further counseling services to evaluate your mental health. If the mental health professional believes you’re still a good candidate for an ESA, then they will sign you off for an ESA letter.

An ESA letter is the most important key to those looking to get an ESA! Without a valid ESA letter, you will not be protected under the federal Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act.

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

One of the most important laws protecting assistance animals is the Air Carrier Access Act. All emotional support animals—including an emotional support animal in Long Beach, will be protected under the ACAA.

The ACAA states that individuals with disabilities will not face discrimination when traveling. Now, before you do decide to travel, you’ll need to meet the following air travel rules:

  • You will need to show evidence of a valid ESA letter.
  • All emotional support animals need to be in good behavior. Remember, if an ESA displays aggressive behaviors then the airline has the right to deny your ESA.
  • You will need to notify the airline 48-hours before your departure.

Employment Laws

The Americans with Disabilities Act is an anti-discrimination law, which protects assistance animals. Under this law, an employer is legally obligated to make reasonable accommodation to those with a service animal.

Technically, an emotional support animal in Long Beach is not covered under the ADA. However, if you do believe that an ESA will better your work performance, then you can always request for reasonable accommodation.

An employer can make exceptions to the ADA on a case-by-case basis.

Fair Housing Act

The second most important law for ESAs, the Fair Housing Act is there so you will not have to part with your emotional support animal provide the accommodation does not allow pets. A “reasonable accommodation”!

For a tenant to be covered by the law, all they have to do is show their landlord the ESA letter. You should also make sure your ESA won’t be a nuisance to neighbors. The FHA applies to all kinds of housing, including multiple- or single-family housing.

ESA Campus Housing

If you’re a university student, then don’t worry! The Fair Housing Act extends to on-campus housing.

Today, many universities recognize the importance of an ESA to one’s health and well-being. So, if you’re a student suffering from mental illnesses then you can bring your ESA to stay with you.

Exception to Rules

An emotional support animal in Long Beach may be exempted from the Fair Housing Act when:

  • The emotional support animal displays aggressive behavior towards members of the public
  • When the owner of the ESA does not show evidence of a valid ESA letter
  • An ESA may be rejected if they damage and continue to damage the property.

Punishment for misrepresenting an assistance animal

Any person(s) who choose to misrepresent an emotional support animal in Long Beach, California, may be faced with fines. According to the state of California, a person who knowingly misrepresents an emotional support animal can be fined up to $1,000. In addition, the individual can be jailed for up to 6 months in prison.

3 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1. An emotional support animal is not allowed in public places such as malls and grocery stores. Only service animals are allowed in public places.
  2. People who own an ESA often suffer from depression, loneliness, anxiety attacks, and ADHD!
  3. Not a fan of dogs? An ESA can be any animal—dogs, cats, pigs, and even miniature horses!

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

An emotional support animal does not require specialized training to qualify as an assistance animal.

This means that you can find a suitable ESA where ever you would normally find a companion animal. People often choose to adopt an ESA from their local shelters.

But, if you are unable to find an ESA in your local SPCA or pet rescue, then you can contact a local, reputable pet breeder.

Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal

All ESAs need some fun time! So, why not treat your ESA to a night out? Or maybe treat them to regular dog park visits! Check out these pawesome places you and your ESA can visit

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

Does your ESA love to socialize? Why not take them to a puptastic dog park! Check out these awesome dog parks in Long Beach:

  • Recreation Park Dog Park
  • El Dorado Park
  • Uptown Dog Park
  • Arts District Dog Park
  • Oberrieder Dog Park

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

Looking for a dog-friendly restaurant? Why not take your ESA to these puplicious restaurants:

  • The Attic
  • Gallagher’s Pub & Grill
  • Ambrosia Cafe
  • Utopia Good Food & Fine Art
  • Cafe Sevilla Long Beach

Resorts, fitness, and spas

Pet-friendly hotels are all over Long Beach! Check out these pet-friendly hotels in California

  • The Queen Mary
  • Hotel Maya A Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
  • Hotel Current
  • Hyatt Regency Long Beach


There are always new events in Long Beach California, check out Surf City Surf Dog if you’ve got an ESA who loves the water!

ESAs in Long Beach: How to Get Connected with a LMHP in Your City Today!

Emotional support animals have shown to be quite beneficial to our mental and emotional health. So, if you believe you’re in need of an ESA, then why not start by taking CertaPet‘s 5-minute pre-screening test to find out. Once you finish the test, you’ll get connected with a licensed mental health professional. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try!

Common Questions About Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Long Beach

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

What Laws Protect Emotional Support Animals from Discrimination?

How Do I Get an Emotional Support Animal?

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