Did you know that if you suffer from an emotional or mental disability, you may be eligible for an Emotional Support Animal? Psychiatrists, therapists, and other medical professionals are now prescribing ESA’s to those that could benefit from the soothing effects of a furry (or feathery, scaly) pal. Not only is the medical world on board with this revolutionary therapy technique, but the Federal Government also has laws put in place to protect your rights in regards to an emotional support animal. In this post, we will explore the emotional support animal in Las Vegas, NV and what you need to know.
ESA or Service Dog?
There may be some confusion when it comes to the emotional support animal and the service animal.
To clarify, the ESA does not need any special training or skills, it is purely there to provide comfort for the patient. The animal can also be of any species i.e. miniature horses, dogs, cats, reptiles rodents etc.
The service dog, on the other hand, is specifically trained to do tasks for the individual with a disability. This includes picking up dropped items, guiding the person through a crowd or alerting the patient to a drop in blood sugar or an oncoming seizure.
Having an Emotional Support Animal in Las Vegas, NV
In all 50 states, there are laws in place to protect the person with an emotional support animal. These can vary in their specifics from state-to-state with some regions like California being a bit more liberal than others.
However, Las Vegas, NV does recognize the usage of the ESA and does have laws to protect their rights.
The ESA & Travel Laws in Las Vegas, NV
Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) a person can travel with their ESA in the cabin of the aircraft at no additional charge as long as the animal is applicable with the safety regulations and animal health requirements.
The one thing an airline does have the permission to do is to ask for proof. This is in the form of a letter from your mental health professional (ie. psychiatrist, therapist or other licensed doctors).
The letter must be written on the doctor’s letterhead, stating the person’s medical needs for the ESA. The document must be signed, dated and include the doctor’s license number, date and state/country it was issued. The letter is only valid for one year.
This document is very important when you have an ESA, as many places can and may ask to see it.
If you are refused entry onto the aircraft with your ESA, you may file a complaint. This can be done through the;
- U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) hotline for travelers with disabilities at 800-778-4838 (voice) or 800-455-9880 (TTY) for “real-time” complaints.
- An individual airline, which will respond to your written complaint via a “complaints resolution official.”
- Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
The ESA & Employment Laws in Las Vegas, NV
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual with an emotional or mental disability.
Service dogs are allowed in the workplace under the ADA. Unfortunately, ESA’s do not under Federal Law have the same rights. However, in Las Vegas, NV, you can make a request to your employer to make an exception. This will greatly depend on the business and whether it would be possible to make “reasonable accommodation” for the ESA. Places like restaurants or hospitals may not be able to do so.
The ESA & Housing Laws in Las Vegas, NV
The emotional support animal is protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This means that landlords/owners of the building cannot discriminate against the ESA even if the housing is a “no pets” policy building. However, the landlord or building manager does have the right to ask for your document of proof in regards to your mental/emotional disability and then must make reasonable accommodation for the ESA.
This law pertains to;
- Privately owned rental units
- Public housing
- Shelters/temporary housing
- Dwellings governed by homeowners or condominium associations
- Mobile homes/trailer parks
- Group home
- Retirement and nursing homes
All animals are included under this law.
If you have been denied housing you can file a complaint with the;
- Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) (NRS 118.110). This must be done within 300 days of the discriminatory act.
- United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The ESA Exceptions
Even though the law does protect the ESA to some extent, there are exceptions. Employers, landlords and even the airline can deny your ESA if;
- It poses a threat to the other employees, tenants, passengers
- It is not properly trained (ie. potty).
- If the animal is destructive
How to Get an ESA in Las Vegas, NV
There are two ways to get an emotional support animal in Brooklyn, NY. You can go through a licensed medical professional at a bricks and mortar building, or use a reputable online resource such as CertaPet.
In order to qualify for an ESA, you will be asked very specific questions. These are based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). If/when you pass the free, 5-minute pre-screening test, you will then be prescribed an ESA. You should receive a document in the form of a letter, stating;
- Verification of your need for an emotional support animal
- Recognition that you are under the care of a medical professional
If you decide to go through an online resource, the screening process is kept confidential and can take as little as five minutes.
ESA-Friendly Destination Locations in Las Vegas, NV
Because more and more people are using an ESA to help better their lives, there are several places in Las Vegas, NV that will welcome you. Check these out!
Dog Parks & Dog Runs
Take your emotional support dog for a fun run or a time out at just some of these dog-friendly parks in Las Vegas, NV.
- Desert Breeze Dog Park – fully fenced with plenty of benches
- Red Rock Canyon – beautiful trails, but does require dog to be leashed
- Barkin’ Basin Dog Park – off-leash fun with a fully fenced park
- Kellogg Zaher Sports Complex Dog Park – fenced and separate area for smaller pooches
- Centennial Hills Dog Park – popular and fenced for lots of doggy playdates
- Woofter Dog Park – clean and friendly
- Silverado Ranch Dog Park – lights for night use, water spigots and separate areas for smaller dogs.
- All American Dog Park – Northeast corner of All American Park
- Desert Inn Dog Park – fenced in neighborhood park with benches and water spigot
- Jaycee Dog Park – fenced in for off-leash fun
- Dog Fancier’s Park – reservable areas, book ahead.
- Buffalo Sports Park – off-leash fun in the designated area
- Shadow Rock Dog Park – fenced, treed and water spigots available
- Police Memorial Dog Park – well-tended grass, drinking water and fenced
- Sunset Dog Park – benches, picnic tables and off-leash fun awaits
Dog-Friendly Restaurants & Bars
Enjoy the food, fun and festivities with Fido at just some of the dog-friendly restaurants in Las Vegas, NV.
- Grape Vine Cafe – best Italian food
- MadHouse Coffee – pastries, speciality drinks and treats/water for Fido
- Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar – traditional American food with a menu just for Fido
- Coffee Pub – breakfast and lunches
- Egg Works 5 – delicious food and patio seating
- Crepe Expectations – fun name and fido-friendly
- Lucky Foo’s – sushi and other Asian-inspired delights
- In-N-Out Burger – hamburger patty just for your dog
- Krayvings – health-inspired juices, smoothies and foods
- Spiedini – Italian menu
Resorts, Fitness & Spas
Looking for some relaxation for yourself, but don’t want to leave your dog out? Check out these luxury places;
- Westin Las Vegas Hotel Casino & Spa – pet-friendly rooms
- Vdara Hotel & Spa – dogs welcome
- Alexis Park All-Suite Resort – no Pitbulls or cats
- Serene Vegas Resort – all rooms are pet-friendly
For a full listing of pet-friendly hotels in Las Vegas, NV, click here.
Looking for other pet-friendly things to do in Las Vegas, NV? Check them out!
- Howl’o’ween Pawty – held from 1pm to 3pm Oct.31st
- District Shopping Center – designer doggy shops, watering centers and outdoor patios
- Bass Pro Shop – supplies for outdoor fun and Fido-friendly
- Omni Limousine – take a tour and bring your dog along for the ride
- Downtown Summerlin – many dog-friendly shops and eateries
- Wedding Bells Chapel – welcomes dogs in the wedding party
You & Your ESA in Las Vegas, NV
Know your rights when it comes to having an ESA in Las Vegas, NV. and get back to living a full life. There are plenty of dog-friendly parks and restaurants to check out, as well as some shopping centers and hotels with spas where your emotional support animal will be welcomed.