14 May, 2018

Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Maine

If you’re getting an emotional support animal in Maine, then understand your rights and how to access them. Read on for more information!!

Emotional Support Animal in Maine: Specific Protection

In the eyes of the law, an emotional support animal (ESA) will not be allowed to have the same access to public places as service animals. However, when getting an emotional support dog in Maine, it’s well worth knowing the ins and outs, the definition and exceptions, and the important laws that pertain to ESAs.

Definition of Assistance Animal

In Maine, an assistance animal can be any furry friend that helps you with your emotional, mental or physical disabilities; and therefore, includes both service animals and emotional support animals.

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

Emotional support dog on the lap of ESA owner in a plane in Maine

Although ESAs are not covered under the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act), they do come under the ACAA (Air Carrier Access Act)! All you need to have and do is:

  • A letter from a mental health professional (this is always a must) which provides:
    • Recognition that you are a patient on a case-by-case basis under a licensed mental health professional’s care for mental or emotional disabilities.
    • Verification that you are significantly limited by an individual disability, such as depression or a similar condition, affecting your mental well-being.
    • Prescription for an emotional support dog (also known as a companion dog), or another support animal, as a necessary reinforcement for your mental health.
  • At least 48 hours’ notice
  • All the required forms – more airlines are requiring more forms for you to fill out. Take a look at Delta airlines requirements for example.

It’s always wise to contact the airline in advance to make them aware that you will be traveling with your ESA and arrange for all the necessary paperwork to be completed before you travel.

Employment Laws

Sadly, if you’re getting an emotional support animal in Maine, your employer is not legally obliged to allow your dog in the workplace. However, many sympathetic employers will consider this stance on a case-by-case basis. Show your employer the letter from a licensed mental health professional stating your dog is an ESA. This may help sway their decision and allow your dog to accompany you to work.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

Under the Maine Human Rights Act, a landlord cannot refuse tenancy to a person with an emotional support dog/animal. The landlord is required to make reasonable accommodation to your needs to live with your ESA.

ESA Campus Housing

For the student getting an emotional support animal in Maine, there’s good news! A letter from a mental health professional stating the animal (in most cases, a dog) is an ESA, gives the right to take the dog into campus housing.

For those struggling with post-traumatic stress or another mental health issue, students need not be denied the benefit of an emotional support animal.

Exception to Rules

For example, dogs that are not house-trained, aggressive, or shows anti-social behaviors such as barking, can have their rights revoked for both housing and flying. This is the same for emotional support animals as for service animals.

To avoid this make sure your dog is obedience trained and housebroken.

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

Maine Law takes a dim view of those who misrepresent a pet as an assistance animal (a service animal or ESA). As of July 2016, the fine for misrepresentation has risen from $500 per offense to up to $1,000.

7 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

When getting an emotional support animal in Maine, you need to keep the following in mind:

  1. An ESA is not a pet but an assistance animal! They have a purpose to help with your emotional or mental disability!
  2. There is no such thing as a registered or certified emotional support animal (Beware bogus sites!)
  3. Only a licensed mental health professional can write a letter explaining and proving your need of an ESA!
  4. An emotional support animal is NOT a service animal
  5. However, having an ESA letter does allow the animal to travel with you on air flights free of charge, on any airline (granted the airline accepts the dog/cat breed or animal) – look to our other Airlines Pet/ESA Policy pages to know which ones are allowed and which ones are not
  6. In addition, a landlord has to make reasonable accommodation to a person owning an ESA
  7. You are not alone! An estimated one-in-four Americans suffer from an emotional or mental health disorder

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

ESA cat carried and hugged by ESA owner in Maine

Sadly there are many bogus sites offering false certification for an ESA. Please remember that only a licensed mental health professional can write the letter granting this status.

If you’re getting an emotional support animal in Maine, the answer is CertaPet’s simple 5-minute process. This offers a free pre-screening questionnaire, taking no more than 5-minutes to complete.

This checks whether you have a valid case and if the answer is ‘Yes’, place you in contact with a licensed mental health professional.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

Any animal can be an ESA – they don’t have to be a dog! The main requirement is a supportive (!) animal that forms a bond of trust with you and provides comfort and aid to your emotional or mental disability. When getting an emotional support animal in Maine, a great place to start your search are rescue shelters.

Shelters have countless pets in need of loving homes. By taking on a rescue, not only will the pet help you but it may save their life!

Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal

It’s vital your ESA leads a full life, which means getting out and about. Check out these dog-friendly venues in Maine.

Dog-friendly Restaurants and Bars

There are tons of dog-friendly restaurants and bars in Maine! Check out:

  • Portland Lobster Company
  • Rollover Cafe

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

Not sure what park you should treat your dog to? Check out these pawesome parks in Maine!

  • Quarry Run Dog Park
  • Acadia National Park

Resorts, Fitness, and Spas

The state of Maine is full of puptastic resorts, spas, and hotels! Make sure you visit Captain Jefferds Inn when booking a hotel!

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

When struggling with post-traumatic stress or a mental health issue, the last thing you need is more hurdles to jump.

The only legitimate route is a letter from a licensed mental health professional, stating your mental/emotional disability (anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc.) and your need for an emotional support animal.

To check if you qualify, use CertaPet’s 5-minute questionnaire and get a definitive answer! From there, CertaPet can also put you in touch with the correct mental health professional and smooth the path to keeping your dog by your side.