Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Minneapolis

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021

how to get an ESA in minneapolis

Today, many people with emotional disabilities may be able to qualify for an emotional support animal (ESA). Did you know that an ESA is a type of assistance animal whose job is to comfort people with a mental or emotional disability? Read on, if you’re interested in learning more about getting an emotional support animal in Minneapolis!

Emotional Support Animal in Minneapolis: Specific protection

All emotional support animals are protected under two federal laws. These are the federal Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Unfortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act does not protect ESAs. This is because ESAs are not considered service animals.

Definition of Assistance Animal

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

An emotional support animal is one who does not need specialized training to perform tasks. An emotional support animal in Minneapolis will help people with emotional disabilities like depression, anxiety, loneliness, and ADHD.

On the other hand, service animals are assistance animals that are trained to perform tasks. Service dogs help those with a severe mental, physiological, or physical disability. For example, a person who is blind or deaf will need a trained service dog to help guide them.

Lastly,  psychiatric service animals are a type of assistance animal that receives training to perform tasks. A psychiatric service dog is often prescribed to those suffering from a severe psychological disability. For example, a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder may need a psychiatric service dog to perform room searches for them.

It is important to remember that therapy dogs are not warranted the same protection as assistance animals. A therapy animal generally provides comfort to more than one individual. For example, you’re very likely going to find a therapy animal in an old-age home or in a children’s hospital.

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

If you’re ready to get an emotional support animal in Minneapolis, then you can start by taking CertaPet’s 5-minute, pre-screening test!

This pre-screening questionnaire is designed to evaluate your current mental health status. And, if by the end of the test, you’re deemed a suitable candidate for an ESA. Then you’ll almost instantly connect with a licensed mental health professional.

The licensed mental health professional will provide further counseling and will evaluate your mental illness. They will be the ones who are able to provide you with an ESA letter.

Often it can take no longer than 48 hours for you to receive an ESA letter in your mail!

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

One of the first laws protecting an emotional support animal in Minneapolis is the Air Carrier Access Act. This act states that an airline will provide reasonable accommodation to those with assistance animals.

This means that if you want to travel with your ESA then all you’ll have to do is provide the following:

  • A valid ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional.
  • Documentation specific to the airline. For example, most airlines need people to fill out forms indicating that their ESA will not defecate or urinate on the aircraft.
  • You may also need to provide medical records for your ESA.
  • Finally, you’ll need to give the airline a 48-hour notice of your ESA, before departure.

Remember, if you don’t follow the airline rules or if your ESA displays aggressive behavior. Then the airline has the right to reject your ESA.

Employment Laws

The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that individuals with disabilities, will not face discrimination in the workplace. The ADA states that employers must provide reasonable public accommodation to those requiring a service animal.

An employer is under no legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to those with an ESA. But, if the disability affecting the individual is debilitating a persons work performance. Then your employer can make special exceptions—this on a case-by-case basis.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

To protect an emotional support animal in Minneapolis from housing discrimination. The Fair Housing Act states that landlords and homeowners associations, need to provide reasonable accommodation to people with disabilities.

The Fair Housing Act is a federal law which states that a landlord should waiver any no-pet policy, pet fee, or pet deposit to those with an assistance animal.

Your landlord or homeowners association is allowed to request for:

  • Proof that your ESA is an assistance animal
  • Evidence that you need an ESA for your specific disability
  • A valid ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional

ESA Campus Housing

Now if you’re a university student wondering if universities allow ESAs in on-campus housing, then you’re in luck! The Fair Housing Act extends to on-campus housing.

But, before you bring you ESA over to campus, make sure you speak to your university about their specific rules.

Exception to Rules

An emotional support animal in Minneapolis may be exempted from the federal Fair Housing Act if:

  • The animal is of a direct threat to the community, landlord, and neighbors
  • There is no proof or evidence of a valid ESA letter
  • Your ESA damages the property and continues to do so

Punishment for misrepresenting an assistance animal

As of now, 19 states have created laws that indicating it is a misdemeanor to misrepresent an assistance animal. Currently, the state of Minnesota does not indicate what the consequences are for misrepresenting an ESA. However, this is said to change in the near future.

3 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1. An emotional support animal does not need to be a dog. Nearly any companion animal can qualify as an ESA! Yes, even miniature horses!
  2. An airline is allowed to reject your ESA if they display any aggressive behaviors towards passengers. So, it’s important to socialize your ESA from the beginning!
  3. There’s no such thing as an emotional support animal registry! Remember, it is the ESA letter that gives you the privileges of the ACAA and FHA!

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

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

That being said, there are many places you can check out if you want to get an ESA.

In Minneapolis, it’s recommended that you first check out your local pet shelters, SPCAs, and rescues. There’s always going to be an animal who’s looking for a forever home!

If you’ve got no luck at the shelters, then you can try visiting or contacting local dog breeders. But, make sure that all pet breeders are reputable!

Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal

Not sure where you can take your ESA? Reward your ESA for their work by taking them to your local dog parks, doggie friendly restaurant, or even for a hike!

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

Do you have an emotional support dog? Make sure you reward them for their hard work! Check out these pawesome dog parks in Minneapolis, MN:

  • Minnehaha Park
  • Bald Eagle-Otter Lake Regional Dog Park
  • St.Anthony Parkway Off-Leash Recreation Area
  • Bloomington Dog Park
  • Cleary Lake Regional Dog Park

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

Are you heading for a night out at the restaurants? Don’t leave your ESA back! Check out these puplicious pet-friendly restaurants:

  • Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge
  • Brasa
  • The Lyndale Tap House
  • Aster Cafe
  • Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room

Resorts, fitness, and spas

Did you know there are over 68 pet-friendly hotels in Minneapolis! Here are the top 5 pet-friendly hotels you should check out:

  • The Grand Hotel Minneapolis, a Kimpton Hotel
  • Aloft Minneapolis
  • Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West
  • Loews Minneapolis Hotel


Get your calendar’s out! Check out these pawesome doggie events in Minneapolis

  • Pints for Pups
  • Summer Brewery Tour-Pints for Pit Bulls
  • Sidewalk Dog Yappy Hour

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

If you’re ready to get an emotional support animal in Minneapolis then why not start by taking CertaPet‘s 5-minute pre-screening test!

Here at CertaPet we recognize the importance an ESA can have on a person’s emotional well-being. So we’ve made the entire process of getting an ESA letter as easy as possible!

All it takes is 5 minutes for you to get connected with a licensed mental health professional.

Check out Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Minnesota for more information about state-specific laws!

Common Questions About Getting An Emotional Support Animal in Minneapolis

How Do I Get an emotional support animal in Minneapolis?

Do emotional support animals  require certification?

What laws protect emotional support animals?

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