Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Milwaukee

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021

emotional support animal MilwaukeeWe all know service animals have more rights than a pet. Think of a guide dog and all the public establishments they have to right to go into. But they’re not the only animals to have added rights! An emotional support animal in Milwaukee also enjoys legal protection, namely concerning housing and during a flight. People with mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be ESA owners in Milwaukee!

To learn more about the perks and the legal protection you’re afforded, keep reading.

Emotional Support Animal in Milwaukee: Specific Protection

An emotional support dog keeps their owner company during the most stressful days, even when they go through a panic attack. This human-animal bond has been shown several times to help cope with their mental health issues.

Having an emotional support animal in Milwaukee means both you and your companion will be covered by anti-discrimination laws.

The rights and duties of an ESA owner in Milwaukee are the same as they are in the rest of Wisconsin.

Definition of Assistance Animal

An assistance animal helps humans with some aspect of their day-to-day lives. An emotional support animal is there to provide emotional assistance to people with a mental disability. Because of this, they’re considered assistance animals and are protected by law.

Service animal in Milwaukee with a man in a wheelchair

But there are other animals that fit into this category. A service animal, for example, is also considered an assistance animal. They help people with disabilities, usually related to mobility or eyesight disabilities. A service dog is professionally trained to perform tasks for their owners. Unlike ESAs, they are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

There are even more assistance animal categories, but we’ll stop here. The most important thing to note is that service animals and emotional support dogs are not the same thing. The only similarity is that they’re both assistance animals. They are each protected by different laws and have different rights.

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in Milwaukee: CertaPet’s simple 5-minute process

Getting an ESA in the city isn’t that difficult now that CertaPet exists. We take care of all the boring paperwork while you only fill out some forms and relax. The first step in getting an ESA is knowing if you’re eligible. To know that, all you have to do is take our simple pre-screening test.

It won’t take you more than five minutes and you’ll know whether or not you can be an ESA owner.

If you qualify, we’ll put you in touch with a licensed mental health professional. They will talk to you a little more and then write you the emotional support letter. Once they do, we’ll send that document your way and everything will be done! You’ll have to wait for it to get there and then you can go on all the adventures you want with them.

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

Despite animals on planes being a much-argued topic, the Air Carrier Access Act clears everything up. ESAs are allowed to fly with their owners at no added charge. This means that the next time you fly from Charlotte to Ashville, your best friend can go with you. This also applies to flights within Wisconsin and to other parts of the world too!

To be covered by the ACAA, here is what you have to do:

  • Give your airline a notice of at least 48 hours that you’ll be traveling with an ESA.
  • Show the airline your emotional support letter, as issued by a mental health professional.
  • Assure your ESA won’t be aggressive towards passengers or flight attendants.
  • Check with your airline to see if they ask for any additional documents.

As long as you do all these things, you shouldn’t have a problem traveling with your ESA. It will be a flight you won’t forget!

Employment Laws

Unfortunately, an emotional support animal in Milwaukee does not have to be allowed in a workplace. Since they’re not covered by the ADA, employers are not legally obliged to provide reasonable accommodation to ESAs.

However, you could try arguing that your ESA’s presence helps your productivity and makes you feel safe. This would work on a case-by-case basis, so there are no guarantees it would work. Remember to show your ESA letter to your boss and you might get lucky.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

The Fair Housing Act grants ESA owners the right to live with their emotional support animal. A landlord can’t refuse them housing simply because of the ESA nor charge a pet fee. Being a tenant with an emotional support animal in Milwaukee means that the law is on your side.

To be protected by this landlord-tenant law, all you have to do is show your landlord the ESA letter. They don’t always ask, but it’s always best to show them the letter anyway. You should also make sure your dog won’t harass or be a nuisance to neighbors.

The Fair Housing Act applies to all sorts of housing conditions. Besides regular houses and apartments, assisted-living facilities and multi-family housing units are also covered by the FHA.

ESA Campus Housing

If you’re a student getting an emotional support animal in Milwaukee, we have good news. University-owned on-campus halls are also included in the Fair Housing Act. This means that you will have the exact same rights as any other renter.

You’ll be able to live with your dog if you show the letter and can assure housing providers that they won’t be a nuisance.

Exception to Rules

There are a few instances when your rights as an ESA owner in Milwaukee might be revoked. Here are some examples:

  • If you neglect your ESA, the state can intervene and take them away.
  • You’ll have to pay for any damage your ESA causes.
  • An aggressive emotional support dog may be denied boarding and housing.
  • Not having or showing the right documents means the FHA and the ACAA won’t be applied to you.
  • Faking ESA papers means the laws won’t cover you and you will be punished.

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

Passing off a pet as an emotional support animal in Milwaukee doesn’t have big consequences as of yet. However, many states have been cracking down on assistance animal misrepresentation. In some states, this can carry a short jail time and community service, while in others you may have to pay a fine!

Getting an emotional support animal in Milwaukee isn’t as hard as you think it is. If you have a disability, why not do it the legal way?

5 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

Emotional support dog in Milwaukee on the lap of its owner

There are some things you will need to know before receiving your ESA. We have compiled a list so you’ll be up to speed in no time:

  1. An emotional support animal is not a therapy dog, nor a pet, nor a service dog. They’re their own thing!
  2. An emotional support animal in Milwaukee does not have to be a dog. It can be a cat or even an Indian-runner duck!
  3. The list of mental health problems that qualify you for an ESA is long. Think of severe anxiety, dementia and Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and much more.
  4. You can’t just walk into an establishment (restaurants, bars…) with an ESA. They are only allowed inside dog- or animal-friendly places.
  5. An ESA can only be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

Now that all the boring paperwork is done, here comes the fun part — you get to pick out your ESA. Since the letter is awarded to a patient, virtually any animal can become an ESA. Check your state’s list of accepted ESAs and go off of that!

If you already have a pet at home, they could become your new company animal. If you don’t, there are always animal shelters looking for new owners. You would be giving a puppy or a kitty a chance to be happy and loved. You might even find your new best friend there! It would be the best of both worlds.

When picking out an ESA, pay attention to the breed you’re getting. Some airlines don’t allow certain breeds on board, so be sure to check that out before making a decision.

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal

Milwaukee has a lot of dog-friendly establishments you can go to with your ESA! You can go out for some fresh air or eat together at a restaurant. The possibilities are endless. We’ve come up with a list of a few interesting places to check out.

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

Bring your emotional support dog to one of these outdoor spaces so they can run to their heart’s content. He’ll be sure to be wagging his tail by the time you go home!

  • Granville Dog Park
  • Milwaukee Boat Line Cruises
  • Estabrook Park Dog Exercise Area

Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

Your ESA will be allowed into any one of these restaurants:

  • Rock Bottom Brewery
  • Stack’d
  • The Wicked Hop

Resorts, Fitness and Spas

If you’re planning a holiday in Milwaukee with your ESA, check into one of these dog-friendly places:

  • Candlewood Suites Milwaukee Brown Deer
  • SpringHill Suites Milwaukee Downtown
  • Historic Bay View Bungalow by Lake (Airbnb)


Luckily, there are dozens of events year-round in Milwaukee that are dedicated to dogs. Here you can let them socialize with other puppies and meet new people. You might even make some friends! All it takes it a quick Google or Facebook search and you’re bound to find one that pleases you!

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

Only a licensed mental health professional can issue your ESA letter. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pick up your yellow pages and start looking! Here at CertaPet, we take care of all that. If you qualify as an ESA owner, we’ll connect you with a licensed mental health professional in Wisconsin. All you have to do is fill out our simple 5-minute pre-test and you’ll be all set!

Getting an emotional support animal in Milwaukee doesn’t seem that hard anymore, does it?

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