Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Stockton, California

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 14, 2021

stockton california sunsetAh, Stockton. A beautiful city in California’s Central Valley. Home to many nice places to eat, a great museum, nearby lakes, and ESAs! Getting an emotional support animal in Stockton California is simple and quick with CertaPet – we can connect you with a Licensed Mental Health Professional who operates in California for your ESA letter.

But before you get your ESA, it’s important to know the federal and state laws that apply to you and your pet!


Emotional Support Animal in Stockton California: Specific Protection

ESAs are not covered under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) – so you won’t be able to take your ESA everywhere, like with some service animals. ESAs aren’t provided the same rights.

But there are two important laws in place to ensure you and your ESA aren’t discriminated against.

Definition of Assistance Animal

An assistance animal offers help and support to a person in need. So, both emotional support animals and service animals are assistance animals… but they aren’t the same!

Service animals are skilled, trained animals that do a specific task. For example, guide dogs for the blind are trained service animals to guide blind people as they walk.

Emotional support animals are untrained, unskilled animals. They provide emotional support just by being there. They can’t carry out specific tasks to make your life easier (unless you’ve trained them to do so). They’re just a canine companion or feline friend by your side!

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

While public transport is a no-go (unless it’s pet-friendly) but you and your ESA do have the right to travel by plane! The ACAA is a federal law stating you have the right to fly without discrimination.

You can travel with your ESA on a plane from California without additional fees, so long as:

  • Your pet species/breed is accepted by the airline.
  • You meet the airline’s requirements (documents, travel crates, size limits etc.).
  • The airport and destination are equipped to handle animals.
  • You have your ESA letter!

Pssst. Sacramento International Airport is 1 hour from Stockton and has dedicated Service Animal Relief Areas!

emotional support cat in airplane

Employment Laws

Employment laws in California state that you can’t be discriminated against because of your disability – however these laws don’t stretch to allow ESAs at work.

Your employer does not have to grant your ESA access to work with you! Animals in public workplaces especially, those like restaurants and shops, just aren’t feasible.

If your employer does decide to allow your ESA, that’s completely their call and isn’t something you should feel entitled to.


Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) states that your landlord or property owner can’t discriminate against you, deny you accommodation, or charge you extra fees for living with your ESA.

You will need to show your ESA letter for proof, but you don’t need to show any “ID” for your pet.

ESA Campus Housing

At colleges, universities, and other dorm-type accommodation, your FHA rights are still in place. You can’t be discriminated against, denied a home, or charged extra fees, for living with your emotional support animal.

Exception to Rules

Most exceptions come down to the species and behavior of your animal.

Under the ACAA the airline has the right to deny you passage if your animal is showing disruptive behavior, upsetting other passengers or cannot fly. Some brachycephalic breeds can’t fly for health reasons! Always call the airport and airline well in advance to find out their requirements.

Under the FHA, a landlord can deny accommodation if your ESA is a proven danger to yourself, others or the property. They can also deny accommodation if you are neglecting your animal. They can’t, however, discriminate the breed of your pet.

Odd ESAs, like farm animals, can be denied accommodation if they aren’t suitable for indoor living. Be sensible with your ESA choice!

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

The punishment for pretending your animal is an assistance animal varies from state to state. In Stockton, you fall under Californian jurisdiction.

The penalty is up to 6 months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1000.

These laws are in place to protect true ESAs and the people that need them – and it’s a reason to be extra careful of scams.

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in Stockton California: Certapet’s Simple 5 Min Process

Simple is an understatement! We made our screening process a quiz. Who doesn’t love quizzes?

Take our completely confidential free online 5-minute pre-screening to reveal your eligibility for an ESA. It only takes a few moments, but once you’re done you can have LMHP call booked and your ESA letter with you in just a few days!

3 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  • The support and love of an ESA is a powerful thing, no matter the species of animal… but some are better ESAs than others. Cats and dogs will ensure the FHA and ACAA work smoothly in your favor.
  • You can’t certify or register your pet as an ESA – these are scams. You must have an ESA letter from a licensed medical health professional (LMHP) that states YOU need an ESA.
  • As your ESA letter is for you, any animal you buy can be an ESA if it provides emotional support… but if you already have a pet, they can be your ESA too!

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

Buy pets from reputable sellers and shelters. Stockton has 2 animal shelters you can visit to find an ESA!

Dogs and cats from shelters are, much like you, in need of a friend in a hard time. Shelter animals will be cheaper to buy but may cost more in health costs in the long run.

Cats and dogs from reputable breeders will cost more upfront, especially from American Kennel Club affiliated breeders. But you’ll know exactly what breed you’re getting, the temperament the animal is likely to have and a medical screening for genetic diseases.

emotional support animal in stockton shelter waiting for adoption

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal

You can take your emotional support dog anywhere pets are allowed! Dog-friendly parks, restaurants, and beaches are all great places.

Remember, if pets aren’t allowed, neither are ESAs! This includes taxis, grocery stores, libraries, and many other places. Give the business a ring to check if animals are allowed before going there.

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

The best park in Stockton goes to…

Michael Faklis Park!

It’s a top choice for all dog owners with 2 separate dog areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs. The car park is a bit of a walk from the dog area, so bear that in mind. There’s also a dog water fountain and a dedicated human water fountain to keep you both hydrated on your adventure.

Before heading to a new dog park or dog run, make sure you have an ESA dog travel kit. Poop scoops and leads are a must!

Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

Our favorite place for a quick quesadilla? Casa Flores! Chill on the patio with your pet and enjoy some Mexican cuisine.

Stockton has many dog-friendly restaurants you can take your ESA to.

  • Mezzo’s – the perfect place for fine dining with a well-stocked bar!
  • Cold Stone Creamery – stop here for a sweet treat or dessert.

Check that restaurants, cafés, and bars welcome pets before going there!

Resorts, Fitness, and Spas

Stockton is home to PetSmart grooming! For dogs AND cats, send your pet off for a full grooming service while you hit the spa.

For pet resorts, specialized doggy fitness centers, and spas, head to Sacramento for a day trip!

As for hotels, it has to be La Quinta Inn, Stockton! They’re the only local hotel (that we can find) that offers comfy rooms, free cancellations, NO pet fee and welcomes big dogs!


No events in Stockton… for now!

Getting an ESA is a chance to get out of the house more, feel confident and meet new people. This is an opportunity to create your own event. Start a fundraiser, a weekly meet up in the park for ESA owners and help others that need canine companionship!

emotional support dog going for a walk

ESAs in Stockton California: How to Get Connected with a LMHP In Your State Today!

Not to brag, but this is what we do best!

CertaPet puts you in touch with a licensed mental health practitioner that’s got all the necessary licenses to operate in Stockton California. We arrange for you to chat with a LMHP to discuss your mental or emotional disability who will prescribe your ESA letter if you are eligible.

There are also a couple of follow-up calls with your LMHP once you have your ESA letter to make sure that everything is going ok with your ESA.

Our team of CertaPet heroes and LMHPs can be at your service in just 5 minutes – take our pre-screening now to find out if you qualify for an ESA!

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