18 June, 2018

Getting an Emotional Support Animal in New Orleans 

emotional support animal new Orleans cathedralIf you plan on owning an emotional support animal in New Orleans, there are a few laws you’ll need to be aware of. In the great city of New Orleans, emotional support animals provide their service in improving one’s personal emotional well-being. Read on to learn more about what laws protect you and your ESA and to take them in NOLA!

Emotional Support Animal in New Orleans: Specific protection

An emotional support animal in New Orleans will be protected under two important federal laws. The first law, known as the Air Carrier Access Act ensures that people with an ESA can travel in a flight. The second law, known as the federal Fair Housing Act, ensures that people with disabilities can request a reasonable accommodation for them and their ESA.

Definition of Assistance Animal

One of the biggest concerns people have before getting an emotional support animal in New Orleans is that they don’t know the difference between an ESA and a service animal.

An emotional support animal, a service dog, and psychiatric service animals—all fall under the category of an assistance animal.

An assistance animal is an animal that provides service or aid to a person with disabilities. More specifically, a service dog is generally a highly trained dog, who is able to perform specific tasks for their owners. For example, a guide dog that leads the blind is considered a service dog.

Psychiatric service animals are a type of assistance animal that aids people with severe, debilitating mental disorders or disabilities. Psychiatric service animals may be trained to, for example, block a veteran from having a post-traumatic stress disorder episode.

An emotional support animal is often an animal, that provides comfort to those suffering from an array of mental illnesses. An emotional support animal does not require any special training in order to assist their handlers. All ESAs work to better the health and well-being of their owners!

Often, people with mental illnesses such as depression, loneliness associated with depression, and anxiety, may be prescribed an emotional support dog.

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

If you’re ready to get an emotional support animal in New Orleans, then why not start at CertaPet?

At CertaPet all you have to do is take a quick and easy, pre-screening test. A 5-minute pre-screening test, will quickly analyzer your current mental health. And, if you do make a good candidate for an ESA, then you’ll instantly get connected to a licensed mental health professional.

The licensed mental health professional will offer quick counseling service that will further discuss your mental health. Once approved, you’ll be able to get your very own ESA letter within 48-hours!

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

All emotional support animals—including an emotional support animal in New Orleans, will be protected under the Air Carrier Access Act.

This law states that individuals with disabilities are permitted to bring their assistance animal onboard an aircraft.

Now, in order to meet the Air Carrier Access Act requirements, you’ll need to show evidence of a valid emotional support animal letter.

Additionally, the Air Carrier Access Act does not guarantee you a free pass to board any airline!

Most airlines will require that passengers go through an entire check-in process by providing documentation such as:

  • A valid ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional
  • You may or may not need to provide a record of your animals health status and recent vaccinations
  • Some airlines require a mandatory 24 to 48-hour notice prior to your departure date
  • Most airlines will require you to fill documentation stating that your ESA will not defecate or urinate inappropriately during the flight.

Employment Laws

All service animals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act allows individuals with disabilities to be accompanied with their service animal in a public space. However, an emotional support animal in New Orleans has not warranted this same protection.

So, your employer can reject your ESA should you choose to bring them to your workplace. Nevertheless, on a case-by-case basis, exceptions can be made. If you believe your ESA will better your work performance, then you can always ask your employer to make an exception to this rule.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

Those who choose to rent an apartment, condo, or home, will, for the most part, be protected under the federal Fair Housing Act. The federal Fair Housing Act states that landlords should provide reasonable accommodation to those with an emotional support animal.

emotional support animal in new orleans house

This means that an emotional support animal in New Orleans can stay in a rental property that is otherwise considered a no pet-policy home! Additionally, a landlord cannot charge ESA owners a pet-fee, as an emotional support animal is not considered a pet.

ESA Campus Housing

Today, many students suffer from various mental health problems. In fact, the majority of university students tend to suffer from depression, stress, and anxiety. Fortunately, the federal Fair Housing Act also extends to university on-campus housing.

If you’re a student suffering from mental illness, then you will be allowed to stay with your ESA in on-campus housing. However, you will not be allowed to bring your ESA into public accommodations like lecture theatres and campus cafeterias.

Exception to Rules

Although emotional support animals are held in high regard for their service in mental health, it is important to remember that they may still be exempted from the federal housing laws. An emotional support animal in New Orleans can be denied reasonable accommodation if:

  • The animal displays aggressive behavior—either to the landlord or other members of the community
  • The owner of the ESA is not able to properly control the animal, the ESA may be an excessive barker
  • An emotional support animal that causes damage to the property may be rejected by the landlord

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

Currently, the state of Louisiana does not have any definitive laws indicating the punishment for misrepresenting an assistance animal. However, this is said to change in the near future.

3 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1. Did you know that an emotional support animal isn’t restricted to being a dog? Yes, if you want you can choose to get a rabbit, cat, or even miniature horses as an ESA!
  2. Therapy dogs are not emotional support animals! Therapy dogs are comfort animals who’s job is to go around children’s hospital or even old age homes—to simply provide momentary companionship to those who love pets!
  3. Not sure if you qualify for an emotional support animal? ESAs are often prescribed to those with mental illnesses and disorders like; bipolar disorder, ADD, substance-related disorder, depression, and learning disorders.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

Most people often tend to visit the Louisiana SPCA or local animal shelters when searching for their ESA. Some individuals, choose to adopt directly from a reputable breeder. Whatever the case, you can choose to get an emotional support animal from wherever you please as they don’t require training like a service animal.

Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal

emotional support cat in new orleans flying laws

There are many places you can take your emotional support animal to! Even an emotional support dog needs some time to be a dog and have fun! So, why not treat them to dog park visits, take them on a hike, or even a night out at a restaurant.

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

  • NOLA City Bark
  • The Dog Levee
  • Wisner Dog Park

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

  • Cafe Lafitte in Exile
  • Cafe Amelie
  • The Bulldog
  • Herbsaint

Resorts, fitness, and spas

  • Omni Royal Orleans
  • Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District
  • Staybridge Suites New Orleans French Quarter
  • Windsor Court Hotel

Events

New Orleans is a city full of fun, social events! Make sure you check out these upcoming events:

  • Puppy Social
  • Show Me Your ID
  • NOLA on Tap

ESAs in New Orleans: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your City Today!

Today many individuals have succumbed to emotional and mental disabilities. It’s not well-known that an assistance animal—such as an emotional support animal—can better one’s mental health by providing support and comfort to those in need.

Do you have questions about getting an emotional support animal in New Orleans? Let us know in the comments below!