Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Omaha

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021

emotional support animal omaha skyline

Did you know that an emotional support animal in Omaha has special rights that pets don’t? If you live in this city, you’ll be allowed to get, live, and fly with an ESA. They are prescribed to people with a mental health disability, and their company and love they give their owners is crucial for this animal-assisted therapy.

To know more about emotional support animals in Omaha, NE, keep reading!

Emotional Support Animal in Omaha: Specific Protection

It’s a great idea to get an emotional support animal in Omaha. This human-animal bond has huge therapeutic benefits. Getting one means that you’ll deal better with your emotional disability and improve your mental health and well-being.

These animals are protected by two federal laws: the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Animal Carrier Access Act (ACAA). They regulate housing and traveling by plane, within the US and abroad. These laws give an equal opportunity to travel and housing to people with and without mental and emotional disabilities.

Definition of Assistance Animal

An assistance animal helps their owner in their day-to-day life. Emotional support dogs help their owners cope by giving them love and keeping them company. Because of this, they are considered assistance animals. This means they’re protected by law and are seen as much more than pets.

A service animal is also an assistance animal. They are professionally trained to perform tasks. To get a clearer picture of what a service dog is, think of a guide dog. They are always given to people with disabilities. Service dogs are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Despite being lumped together in the assistance animal category, ESAs and service animals are not the same. Unlike service animals, an emotional support dog isn’t trained and doesn’t need to wear a dog vest. They’re companion animals that help not with physical disabilities, but with mental and emotional ones.

There are other animals in this category, such as therapy animals and psychiatric service animals. These, too, are not the same as emotional support animals.

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

The first thing to do is find out if you’re eligible to own an emotional support animal in Omaha. To find out, all you need to do is take our pre-screening test online. If you pass it, we’ll connect you to a licensed mental health professional close to you. They will be the ones filling out your ESA letter, which you’ll get shortly. In some cases, this whole process takes only 48 hours!

As you can tell, CertaPet handles most of the boring paperwork so you don’t have to break a sweat.

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

Thanks to this federal law, you can now fly with your ESA! They will board the plane with you, most of the times won’t have to be in a carrier, and won’t pay an extra fee. Each airline as their own ESA policy, but here is what they usually ask for:

  • A notice that you’ll be traveling with an ESA at least 48 hours prior to departure.
  • Show the ESA letter, as issued by a licensed mental health professional.
  • Check if they ask for any additional documents. If so, bring them too.

You should also assure the airline that your ESA won’t be a direct threat to any passenger or airline staff. If you comply with this, you should be allowed to board with your companion animal with no problems.

Employment Laws

Only service dogs are allowed into public spaces with no specific pet-friendly policy because they’re covered by the ADA. Unlike them, emotional support animals don’t enjoy the same privilege. You can’t bring an emotional support animal to work unless your employer lets you.

However, you could always try to talk to your employer to open an exception for you. Since your mental health and well-being state are benefited by your ESA’s company, they might let you bring them. Arguing this matter works on a case-by-case basis, so there are no guarantees, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Don’t forget to show your employer your ESA letter!

emotional support dog in omaha employment laws

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

Like the state of Nebraska, renting a place and getting an emotional support animal in Omaha is not impossible. Your landlord can’t refuse to house you because of your ESA. They must provide reasonable accommodation for the both of you. This should also be done with no added pet fee.

To be protected by this law, you need to show your housing provider your emotional support letter. It’s also good to make sure they won’t be a nuisance or aggressive to your neighbors. As long as you comply with everything, you won’t run into any problems when looking for a house to rent.

ESA Campus Housing

Students staying in a residence hall have nothing to worry about. On-campus housing is included in the Fair Housing Act. This means that those living in campus housing have the same rights and responsibilities as any other tenant. Students living in a dorm owned by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for example, can live with their companion animals.

To be protected, show your housing provider your ESA letter. Don’t forget to teach your emotional support dog not to bother neighbors by barking or being aggressive by lunging.

Exception to Rules

Both the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act ask owners to comply with some rules. If they don’t, they won’t be covered by these laws any longer. Here are some of the instances in which you can lose your rights as an ESA owner:

  • Not taking care of your ESA properly can lead the state of Nebraska to intervene and take them away.
  • Showing a fake ESA letter or not showing one at all means the laws don’t protect you.
  • If you ESA causes any damages, you will have to pay for them.
  • Aggressive and unruly emotional support animals will be refused housing and boarding.

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Emotional Support Animal

Passing off a pet as an emotional support animal in Omaha and Nebraska as a whole has great consequences. People who do it will be charged with a class 3 misdemeanor. It also comes with a prison sentence of up to three months, a fine of up to $500 — or both.

As you can tell, the consequences of misrepresenting any assistance animal are significant. It’s not that difficult to get an ESA legally, so why risk being caught and severely punished? CertaPet makes this whole process easier. With our help, you can get your companion animal with no hassle.

3 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

Before getting to hold your ESA, you need to know a few things. Here are top three pieces of information you should know:

  1. Emotional support animals aren’t entitled to public accommodation. Only places that have a pet-friendly policy allow ESAs inside.
  2. An emotional support animal is awarded by a mental health professional.
  3. An emotional support animal doesn’t have to be a dog. They can be a cat or even a miniature horse!

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

Now, this is the fun part! Since the ESA letter is awarded to patients, virtually any animal on the ESA-approved list can become a support animal. Be sure to check which species and breeds are allowed, though!

If you already have a pet, they could become your new ESA. If not, there are always animal shelters looking for new owners. It’s the best of both worlds: you find a new friend there, and they have another chance of being happy in a good home. What could be better?

emotional support animal in omaha dog park

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal

Owning an emotional support animal in Omaha is fantastic. First of all, the FHA and the ACAA apply to you. Secondly, there are hundreds of pet- and dog-friendly spaces where the two of you can go! It’s natural to want to enjoy the great outdoors with them, and you can in Omaha. You can also experience some of the bustling city culture with them!

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

Bring your emotional support dog to one of these dog parks. Let them run to their heart’s content here:

  • Hanscom Park Dog Park
  • Chalco Hills Recreation Area
  • Memorial Park
  • Hefflinger Dog Park

Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

Go out for a drink or bite to eat with your furry friend to one of these places:

  • Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom
  • Crave
  • Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles

Resorts, Fitness, and Spas

Are you traveling with your emotional support animal in Omaha? If so, you should check into one of these pet-friendly places:

  • Best Western Plus Kelly Inn
  • Aksarben Suites Omaha
  • Hilton Omaha


There are always dozens of pet-friendly events going on year-round in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s a great way to get out there and expose your pup to other pups. This helps them socialize, something you definitely want to do with your ESA! You can also meet other people who are just as passionate about emotional support dogs as you.

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

CertaPet makes your life a lot easier. All you have to do to get your ESA is complete our screening test and wait for us to contact you. If you’re eligible to become an owner, we’ll put you straight in touch with a mental health professional in your area!

As you can see, getting an emotional support animal in Omaha has tons of advantages!

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