Getting an Emotional Support Animal in St. Paul, MN

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st. paul minnesota skylineDid you know getting an emotional support animal in St. Paul, Minnesota doesn’t have to be difficult? Because of the laws in place, you can live and fly with your ESA without any fee – but only if you are truly in need of one. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about what an ESA is and how you qualify for one in St. Paul!

 

Emotional Support Animal in St.Paul MN: Specific Protection

Are you planning on getting an emotional support animal in St. Paul, Minnesota? In the bustling city, an emotional support animal will be protected under two federal laws. These are the Air Carrier Access Act and the federal Fair Housing Act. Both these federal laws aim to protect people with disabilities from discrimination.

Definition an Assistance Animal

Before you plan on getting an emotional support animal in St. Paul, Minnesota, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with what exactly an emotional support animal is.

An assistance animal is an animal that has provides some form of assistance to their owners. Assistance animals can be classified as either an emotional support animal or service animals.

An emotional support animal is defined as any animal—a dog or cat— that provides safety and comfort to those suffering from a mental or emotional disability. Emotional support animals will thus provide assistance through their companionship. As such, an emotional support dog does not require any formal training to qualify as an assistance animal.

Service animals are however quite different from an emotional support animal. In order to qualify as an assistance animal, service dogs will require a lot of formal training. Seeing-eye dogs for the blind are great examples of service dogs for people with disabilities. Service animals are often trained to help people with their day-to-day tasks.

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in St.Paul, Minnesota: CertaPet’s Simple 5 Min Process

Getting an emotional support animal in St. Paul, Minnesota has never been easier! At CertaPet, we offer a free 5-minute pre-screening, which allows you to see if you could qualify for an ESA letter. If you are considered a good candidate for an emotional support animal, then CertaPet will connect you directly with a licensed mental health professional.

Remember, only a licensed mental health professional can provide a valid ESA letter!

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

Those planning on getting an emotional support animal in St. Paul, Minnesota, should know that they will be protected under the Air Carrier Access Act.

This federal law states that airlines should provide reasonable accommodation to any person(s) with an assistance animal. And, since ESAs are considered an assistance animal, airlines should always allow an ESA to accompany their handler.

In addition, an airline cannot charge their passenger a pet-fee for boarding their ESA. This is because an emotional support animal is considered a working animal and not a pet.

emotional support dog in Minnesota airport

Employment Laws

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that protects all people with disabilities. The law states that an employer must provide reasonable accommodation in the workplace for individuals with a service animal.

It is important to keep in mind that an emotional support animal is not considered a service animal. Therefore they will not be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Furthermore, an employer is not obligated to allow your ESA into the workplace.

That being said, on a case-by-case basis, some employers are aware of the benefits an ESA can have on one’s work performance and health. So, you should always talk to your employer and ask for a special exception to this rule.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

The federal Fair Housing Act is a law that ensures landlords and housing agencies will provide reasonable accommodation to those with an assistance animal. Under the Fair Housing Act, if the tenant provides proof of a valid ESA letter, then a landlord cannot reject an emotional support animal nor can they charge the tenant any pet fee.

ESA Campus Housing

Are you a student planning on getting an emotional support animal in St. Paul, Minnesota? Today, many educational institutions recognize the importance an ESA can have on a students mental health and well-being. Fortunately, the federal Fair Housing Act extends to on-campus housing. So, as long as students provide a valid ESA letter and speak to their university about bringing an ESA on campus, then many universities will allow an ESA in on-campus housing.

Exception to the Rules

Yes, it is true that there are two federal laws that protect ESAs from discrimination. However, sometimes, there are exceptions to the rules!

According to the landlord’s right, a landlord or housing agency has the right to deny reasonable accommodation to an emotional support animal if:

  • The animal in question is deemed too aggressive or a threat to the public
  • The animal in question is too large or inappropriate for the home. For example, if you have an emotional support horse, then there’s no way a landlord would allow it in an apartment right?
  • The landlord suspects a case of animal abuse

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

There are currently 20 states that make misrepresenting an assistance animal a great crime. Most states will often consider a fine or imprisonment a fair punishment for misrepresenting an assistance animal. Currently, the state of Minnesota has not stated what their punishment for falsely representing an assistance animal is.

5 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1. Not a fan of dogs? Don’t worry, you can also get an emotional support cat, pig, hamster, or even miniature horses!
  2. Any company that promises an ESA registry or certificate is false. All you need is an ESA letter in order to receive protection from the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act.
  3. An Emotional Support Animal is not a pet! This means that landlords and airlines cannot charge a pet-fee and any no-pet policy should be lifted
  4. Although they require no formal training. It is important that you teach your emotional support dog basic manners. An airline has the right to reject an ESA if they cause problems for passengers, are aggressive or make a mess in the airplane.
  5. ESAs are not required to wear any special vest or harness.

 

What is an ESA Letter?

But, wait…what is an ESA letter? and what can it do for me?

If you plan on getting an emotional support animal in St. Paul, Minnesota, then an ESA letter is a must! These letters are formal proof that you have a recognized mental illness and you do have the right to own an emotional support animal.

Without a proper and legal ESA letter, you cannot be protected under the federal Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act.

esa owner and emotional support animal in st. paul apartment

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

Planning on getting an emotional support animal in St. Paul? Not sure where to start looking for one?

Since an emotional support animal can be any domestic animal, the opportunities for finding a suitable ESA are endless! Many people on the hunt for a pawesome emotional support animal should consider visiting their local animal shelters, farms, pet sanctuaries, or even a reputable pet breeder!

Some great places to start looking for an ESA are:

  • St.Paul Animal Shelter
  • Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue
  • SPCA

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal

Treat your ESA with some time off work! Take them out to the dog park, for a hike, or even to a pet-friendly restaurant!

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

  • High Bridge Dog Park
  • Lowertown Dog Park
  • Arlington Off-Leash Dog Park

Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

  • Riverview Wine Bar
  • Eagle Street Grille
  • Day by Day Cafe

Resorts, Fitness, and Spas

  • Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge
  • Hyatt Place St.Paul
  • Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown St. Paul

Events

  • Summer Brewery Tour—Pints for Pit Bulls

ESAs in St.Paul: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your State Today!

If you’re ready to get an ESA in St. Paul then why wait! Start by taking CertaPets 5-minute pre-screening and see if you qualify for an emotional support animal in St. Paul! Remember, once you take our test, you’ll get connected to a licensed mental health professional. You can then learn more about how an ESA can better your emotional and mental well-being.

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