Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Albuquerque

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021

emotional support animal albuquerque travel laws by air balloonsIf you’re interested in getting an Emotional Support Animal in Albuquerque, there are some serious questions concerning your rights as an ESA owner. Know, these animals can range from the live-in pet you already own, to one specifically chosen for the purpose. Albuquerque follows the legislation for those with emotional and/or mental disabilities who have an emotional support animal but there are specific protections you must know if you reside there.

Learn all about it and also pet-friendly places to them when you own and emotional support animal in Albuquerque!

An Emotional Support Animal in Albuquerque: Specific protection

Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Albuquerque will not give you or your animal the same protection and legal rights as those enjoyed by service dogs. An Emotional Support Animal is nonetheless afforded similar protection, especially for air travel and housing.

To enjoy protection in Albuquerque for you and your emotional support animal, you will be required to produce an ESA letter from your licensed medical health practitioner. This ESA letter covers such emotional and psychological disabilities as, but not limited to:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Definition of Assistance Animal

The best way to define an assistance animal is to tell you what it is not. Service animals may also be referred to as assistance animals, assist animals, support animals, or helper animals depending on the country and the animal’s function.

Emotional Support Animals are therefore categorized under assistance animals but are not service dogs. ESAs are not specifically trained to assist their owners or handlers with specific disabilities, such as seeing eye dogs might.

How to get an Emotional Support Animal in Albuquerque: CertaPet’s simple 5 min process

Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Albuquerque will improve your life, if you suffer from a disabling mental or emotional condition. The first step is to see whether you qualify, which you can do by taking Certapet’s Screening Test.

The next step is to obtain an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter from a licensed medical health professional in your area. The ESA Letter should provide:

  • Recognition on a case-by-case basis that you are under a licensed mental health professional’s care for mental or emotional disabilities
  • Confirmation that your disability affects your mental well-being
  • Prescription for an emotional support animal, as a necessary reinforcement for your mental health

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination against the disabled while traveling by air.

The ACAA rules that airlines may not refuse transportation, limit, or require advanced notice before offering service to individuals who are disabled. Certain airlines may, however, require advanced notice for ESAs accompanying the passenger. Check the specific airlines for their requirements, or here for some airlines’ ESA policies.

The Air Carrier Act restricts airlines from:

  • charging fees for accommodating disabled persons with an ESA
  • asking questions about the disability
  • restricting ESA owners and their animals from boarding the airplane
  • seating the disabled passenger and/or ESA in a specific location, provided the animal does not obstruct an aisle that must remain unobstructed

Airlines are legally required to employ a Customer Resolution Official (CRO) who is specifically trained to handle disability-related disputes and uncertainties.

Employment Laws

While the Fair Employment and Housing Act only covers eligibility of ESAs for living and flying conditions and not in the workplace, it is worthwhile approaching your employer for permission to have your ESA at work, noting that the animal may enhance your ability to do your job.

Furthermore, it states that the employers should make suitable accommodations for the disabled employee and emotional support animal to the best of their ability. If the ESA assists the employee in their ability to do the job, employers may be likely to consider their inclusion a reasonable accommodation.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

The federal law for an Emotional Support Animal in Albuquerque Housing Act says that housing facilities must allow service dogs and emotional support animals. An Emotional Support Animal is permitted if they are necessary for a disabled person to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the home.

To qualify, you must have a disability-related need for the animal which alleviates the emotional effects of your disability.

New Mexico’s Human Rights Act prohibits housing discrimination based on disability, provided the disability does not affect the ability to rent or maintain the said housing. This law doesn’t mention ESAs or service animals, but Albuquerque landlords remain subject to the federal Fair Housing Act.

emotional support animal in albuquerque supports FHA

ESA Campus Housing

The FHA applies to campus housing, as these qualify as a housing facility, but it is worth checking with your education facility specifically.

The University of New Mexico’s Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual has a Policy 2295 regarding Service and Assistance Animals. The policies state: “In some cases, Assistance Animals that do not qualify as Service Animals may be permitted in UNM Student Housing if shown to be necessary to afford a student with a documented disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy UNM Student Housing.”

Exception to Rules

For every rule, it is said that there is an exception. ESAs may be denied access:

  • if the animal poses a risk to the safety of others
  • if the animal’s behavior is unacceptable
  • in situations where the disabled person is not in control of the animal
  • when flying with the owner, if application has not been made 48 hours in advance

The FHA laws do not apply:

  • if the animal is too large for the accommodation
  • Buildings with 4 or less units, where the landlord resides in one of these units
  • Single-family houses rented out without using a real estate agent

Punishment for misrepresenting an assistance animal

The New Mexico State’s new section of the Service Animal Act is enacted to read:

“A person shall not knowingly present as a qualified service animal any animal that does not meet a definition of “qualified service animal” pursuant to Section 28-11-2 NMSA 1978. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished pursuant to Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.”

6 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1. Animals need care. You must be prepared to look after your ESA, and provide food, water and veterinary care
  2. Emotional Support Animals need not be registered or certified!!
  3. Make sure you choose an animal which fits with your lifestyle and your abilities and needs, and vice-versa
  4. Your Support Animal can be any age, a puppy or an elderly hedgehog. Age is not important. What’s important is the animal’s proclivity to providing you with the support, comfort, and companionship you need, when you need it
  5. Think about your needs before making a decision. For example, a fish may not be the best choice for an ESA. Once you have committed to an ESA, you should not change your mind
  6. Emotional Support Animals are not legally required to wear identification as such. While service animal vests are available to purchase online, your animal can live within the letter of the law without it

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

Remember that your existing pet might well be suitable as an emotional support animal in Albuquerque for your particular needs. If not, it is worth considering a cat or a mini horse, whatever animal best suits your needs.

You are not restricted to a dog, but it would be irresponsible to have a large breed horse accompany you on your daily routine. Your local humane society will have many loving animals needing a good home every bit as much as you need a support animal. Pay yours a visit if you are looking at getting an emotional support animal in Albuquerque.

potential ESA in Albuquerque at animal shelter

While dogs are not your only choice, among the best breeds identified for support are

  • Labradors
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Yorkshire terriers
  • Poodles

Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal in Albuquerque

Should you have progressed to getting an emotional support animal in Albuquerque, you will want to feel welcome having your companion accompany you. Where in Albuquerque can you enjoy having your ESA by your side while you are out and about?

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

  • Santa Fe Village Dog Park
  • Montessa Dog Park
  • Bud Warren and Lady Dog Park

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

  • Kelly’s Brew Pub
  • Flying Star Cafe Juan Tabo
  • Marble Brewery

Resorts, fitness, and spas

  • Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel
  • Hotel Cascada
  • The Inn at Paradise


While Albuquerque has no listed upcoming events publicized for the moment, you might be interested in looking into the Woofstock Pet Expo in Edgewood later this year.

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

Albuquerque mental health practitioners need to hold a valid license in the state of New Mexico. By completing the screening online, you may be well on your way to getting your emotional support animal in Albuquerque.

Everyone is entitled to live the best life possible. The human-animal bond from an Emotional Support Animal is a sure fire way to improve your daily life if you suffer from emotional or mental disabilities. The comfort and companionship they provide are priceless.

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