Did you know that if you suffer from an emotional or mental disability, you may be eligible for an emotional support animal (ESA)? Licensed mental health professionals (LMHPs) are now prescribing ESAs to those that could benefit from the soothing effects of a furry pal. Not only is the medical world on board with this revolutionary therapy technique, but the federal government also has laws in place to protect your rights in regards to your need for an ESA. In this post, we will explore what you need to know about getting an emotional support animal in Las Vegas, NV.
Emotional Support Animal in Las Vegas: Specific protection
To begin, emotional support animals fall into the “assistance animals” category just like service animals. If you are thinking about getting an emotional support animal in Las Vegas, NV, it is very important to know the differences between service animals and ESAs, and how their legal protection differs!
Both ESAs and service animals are protected by federal laws, but service animals enjoy more protection!
Assistance Animal Definition
An assistance animal is a companion furry friend that assists you in your daily life if you suffer from an emotional/mental/or physical disability. Service and emotional support animals are assistance animals but don’t be fooled: the two are not the same.
There may be some confusion when it comes to an emotional support animal and a service animal or psychiatric service animal!
To clarify, an ESA does not need any special training or skills, it is purely there to provide comfort for its owner. Because they need little to no training any dog (or cat) can be an ESA.
Not every dog can be a service dog or a psychiatric service dog though. These dogs receive specific and intensive training to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. This includes tasks such as picking up dropped items or guiding a blind or deaf person through a crowd. Other things these incredible dogs are trained to do are to alert a diabetic to a drop in blood sugar levels or an oncoming seizure for someone suffering from epilepsy.
How to get an Emotional Support Animal in Arizona: CertaPet’s simple 5 min process
Getting your ESA letter shouldn’t be hard. Life is hard enough when you are suffering from an emotional condition or mental illness. That’s why we’re here to help!
What CertaPet does is make it really easy for people to get in touch with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) who can issue those important ESA letters. All you need to do is start by taking a simple free online pre-screening. If your answers indicate that you may qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a LMHP in your state. Easy. Quick. Efficient.
With your ESA letter in hand, you officially qualify for legal protection under two very important federal laws!
Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)
Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) a person can travel with their ESA in the cabin of an aircraft free of charge. Air travel can be nerve-wracking, and many people find it easier to stay calm on flights with their furry companions by their side.
There have been countless incidents of people abusing this law to get their pets on flights for free with fake ESA letters. Airlines have had no choice but to tighten their policies on allowing ESAs on their flights.
The letter must be written on the doctor’s letterhead, stating that the person needs an emotional support animal to mitigate the symptoms of their disability. The document must be signed, dated and include the doctor’s license number, date and state/country it was issued. It is also important to know that 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.
Service dogs are allowed in the workplace under the ADA. Unfortunately, ESA’s do not have the same rights.
If you have an emotional support animal in Las Vegas and want to bring them to work with you, you’ll need to ask your employer for permission. It is entirely up to the discretion of the employer to allow or not allow your ESA to join you at work.
Remember, ESAs are not legally required to have any training, but it really does help to have a well trained and obedient ESA. Your employer is much more likely to allow your ESA to come to work if they are calm and quiet.
Housing Laws (FHA)
Whether you have an emotional support animal in Las Vegas or any other city in the U.S., you are protected by the Fair Housing Act (FHA). According to this law, a landlord has to provide you with “reasonable accommodation”. They cannot refuse you access to a rental property based on the fact that you have a disability and need an ESA because of it.
A landlord cannot deny you housing based on an existing “no-pet policy”, and is also not allowed to charge you a “pet fee”.
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).
ESA Campus Housing
Campus housing falls under the FHA. If you want to bring your ESA onto campus, you must be provided with “reasonable accommodation”.
With the astronomical increase of ESAs flooding onto campuses, colleges and universities are also taking a closer look at the law to avoid allowing people to abuse the system. Be sure to research the policy at your school and follow their procedure of allowing your ESA onto campus.
ESAs are not service animals, so remember that your ESA is not allowed in classes, libraries or other public places with a “no-pet” policy!
Exception to the Rules
Even though the law protects an emotional support animal in Las Vegas: there are exceptions. Employers, landlords and even the airlines can deny your ESA if:
- It poses a threat to the other animals, tenants, passengers.
- It is not potty trained.
- If the animal is destructive.
Aggressive, destructive and disruptive behavior will not be tolerated by anyone! You will also have to kiss your ESA letter (and possibly your ESA) goodbye if you neglect or abuse your animal!
Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal
There is a law in place in Nevada that makes misrepresenting an assistance animal illegal. You can get a fine up to $500 if authorities catch you misrepresenting an assistance animal! Just don’t do it!
5 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA
- An emotional support animal in Las Vegas does not have the same legal protection as a service animal or psychiatric service animal.
- There are two federal laws that protect ESAs: the ACAA and the FHA.
- There is no such thing as ESA registration or certification.
- An ESA letter has to be issued by a LMHP in your state.
- ESAs do not require specific training, but they can be refused access to flights and accommodation if they show aggressive, disruptive or destructive behavior.
Where to Find a Suitable ESA
Any dog (or cat) can be an ESA! Maybe you already have a dog or cat at home that you share a special bond with. Or perhaps you still need to find your canine companion! Before you hit the search button for breeders: consider adoption!
There are so many animals in shelters and rescue centers waiting for a second chance and a furever home. Remember, shelters do not only have mixed breeds! There are many pedigrees who also need to find loving homes!
Where to Take Your ESA in Las Vegas, NV
Vegas is fun! Not only for humans but for ESAs as well! There is no shortage of fantastic options of where to take your emotional support animal in Las Vegas.
Dog Parks & Dog Runs
Take your emotional support dog for a fun run or a time out at 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 the dog to be on a leash.
- Barkin’ Basin Dog Park – off-leash fun with a fully fenced park.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants & Bars
Enjoy the food, fun, and festivities with Fido at some of these dog-friendly restaurants in Vegas:
- 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.
Resorts, Fitness & Spas
Looking for some relaxation for yourself, but don’t want to leave your dog behind? 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 allowed.
- Serene Vegas Resort – all rooms are pet-friendly.
Looking for other pet-friendly things to do? Check these out:
- Howl’o’ween Pawty – held from 11 pm to 3 pm Oct.31st.
- District Shopping Center – designer doggy shops, watering centers, and outdoor patios.
ESAs in Las Vegas: How to Get Connected with a LMHP in Your State Today!
CertaPet has made the process of getting in touch with a LMHP in your state really easy. All you need to do is take the pre-screening and if the results show that you may qualify for an ESA, we will put you in touch with a LMHP.
Afre consulting with the LMHP, you could have your ESA letter in as little as 48 hrs!