Getting an emotional support animal in Louisiana can appear daunting at first. In reality, if you really need one, there’s a safe, secure, fast, yet legitimate way. There are many Americans with emotional and mental disabilities that can benefit from the human-animal bond of an assistance animal.
Read on to learn more about the laws that protect ESAs, how ESAs differ from other assistance animals, and how to get an ESA.
Emotional Support Animal in Louisiana: Specific protection
First and foremost: there are two federal laws that protect emotional support animals. It really is important to know what these laws are and where their limitations lie. Many people think that ESAs and service animals are the same and also that they have the same legal protection. Those people are wrong. Very wrong.
If you are planning on getting an emotional support animal in Louisiana, you should know the differences between the various types of assistance animals and what laws protect each kind.
Definition of Assistance Animal
An assistance animal is an animal that ‘assists’ someone suffering from a mental or physical disability.
Service animals and psychiatric service animals receive intensive and specific training to perform tasks that help people with a large range of disabilities. These animals (mostly dogs) can help guide the blind, or open doors and press elevator buttons for people in a wheelchair. There are even some dogs that alert diabetics to spikes in their blood sugar levels or alert an epileptic to an oncoming seizure.
Some psychiatric service dogs even help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other severe anxiety disorders! They can preempt an anxiety attack or a panic attack and bring medication or distract the person by licking their face or pawing at them!
Emotional support animals are different. An ESA does not need any specific training (even though basic obedience training is always recommended). This means, that practically any animals can be an ESA. Although, the most common (and accepted) ESAs are dogs an cats. You may have some problems trying to enforce legal protection for your emotional support giraffe!
ESAs provide calming comfort to people suffering from emotional conditions or mental illnesses. It is hardly surprising that most dogs and cats are natural ESAs. All they need to do is be a companion to their owner. The mere presence of an ESA mitigates the symptoms of the person’s disability!
How to get an Emotional Support Animal in Louisiana: CertaPet’s Simple 5 min Process
The sole purpose of CertaPet is to help people get their ESA letters in a simple, quick, efficient, and legitimate way!
The last thing someone who is having a rough time needs is a mountain of paperwork and the admin of finding someone to help. CertaPet’s process is simple. In fact, you simply start by taking a free online 5-min pre-screening. After that, if your answers indicate that you may qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a LMHP in your state!
After consulting with the LMHP, you could have your ESA letter in as little as 48 hrs.
Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)
The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) allows service dogs and emotional support animals to travel in the cabin of an aircraft with their owners free of charge.
There is a shocking amount of people trying to get their pets onto flights for free with fake ESA letters! Consequently, airlines are tightening their ESA policy to avoid frauds from abusing the system. So, if you plan on flying with your ESA, you have to research the airline’s ESA policy and make sure you check every box on their list! You will, among other things, need your ESA letter in hand!
An emotional support animal in Lousiana does not have a free ticket to go to work with you! Whether or not you may bring your ESA to work is entirely up to the discretion of your employer.
Remember how we said that ESAs don’t need any training? Well, this might be a good place to mention that they don’t HAVE to have training, however, if you want to stand a chance of bringing Fido to the office, he’d better be incredibly obedient and calm.
Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prevents landlord’s from refusing rental accommodation to someone based on the fact that they have a disability. This means that a landlord has to provide you with reasonable accommodation even if there is a “no-pet” policy in place. They are also not allowed to charge you any sort of pet fee or a pet deposit in order for your ESA to be allowed to live with you!
ESA Campus Housing
The Fair Housing Act is enforced in Louisiana colleges!
A college or university must provide you with reasonable accommodation. However, like with the airlines tightening their ESA policies, schools are taking a closer look at the law that allows students to live with their animals in dorms.
If you want to take your ESA to college with you, call ahead and ask what the ESA procedure or protocol is at that school!
Exception to Rules
First, should know that the laws that protect an emotional support animal in Louisiana have limits! For example, legal protection ends should your animal show aggressive, disruptive or destructive behavior. It honestly should come as no surprise that your ESA can and will be denied access to flights and accommodation if they display that sort of behavior!
On that note: the law does not protect any ESA owner who abuses or neglects their animal!
Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal
Louisiana does not currently have any laws for misrepresenting assistance animals. It is incredibly easy to purchase fake vests and tags that say “service animal” which is why more and more states are creating legislation to help curb the misrepresentation of service animals.
Every person who misrepresents an assistance animal is giving these animals a bad reputation, which above all, is honestly not fair towards people who truly need an ESA because of a REAL disability!
5. Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA
- Emotional support animals are not allowed in areas with a “no-pet” policy without permission.
- Psychiatric service animals are trained to perform tasks for persons with psychiatric disabilities, emotional support animals only provide emotional support.
- Dogs and cats are the most common and accepted ESAs.
- There is no such thing as ESA certification or registration.
- An ESA letter has to be issued by a LMHP in your state.
Where to Find a Suitable ESA!
First of all, you really don’t have to look far to find an emotional support animal in Louisiana! They don’t require any specific training which essentially means that any cat or dog could be an ESA. Of course, you might already have a furchild who fits the bill perfectly, but if not, it’s time to look for a furry addition to your family!
Please adopt. Don’t shop. Animal shelters are often overflowing with animals who need rescuing! Why not give a dog (or a cat) a second chance and a place to call home? You really have the chance to change an animal’s world!
You will find dogs and cats of just about any shape, size, and pedigree (or lack thereof) in shelters. After all, all that matters is that you benefit from their presence and that they help make the world a less lonely and scary place for you!
Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal
If you are looking for places to take your emotional support animal in Louisiana you’re in luck! Why not try one or more of the following hangouts. After all: only the best for Fido!
Dog Parks and Dog Runs
- Nola City Bark – Separate play areas for little and big doggos.
- Gretna Dog Park – Off-leash and has fun agility equipment.
Dog-friendly restaurants and bars
- The Bulldog
Resorts, fitness, and spas
- Ace Hotel
- Hotel Indigo
- Mardi Paws
ESAs in Louisiana: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your State Today!
CertaPet has found a way to make finding a LMHP in Louisiana incredibly easy, so if you think you need an ESA, why not start the process by taking the simple pre-screening. The quiz will honestly only take you a couple of minutes!
If your answers indicate that you may qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a LMHP and you could have your ESA in as little as 48 hrs!