It’s a well-known fact that service dogs have rights that pets don’t. But did you know that emotional support animals are also given special rights? If you’ve ever considered getting an emotional support animal in Mesa, this article is for you. We explain who can get one, what you’ll be allowed and not allowed to do, and how to go about getting one. If you live in Mesa, Arizona, keep reading!
Emotional Support Animal in Mesa: Specific Protection
Emotional support animals are prescribed by a mental health professional. To be an ESA owner, you have to have a mental health or emotional disability. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Asperger’s Syndrome, for example, you might qualify as an ESA owner.
There are two main laws that protect emotional support dogs and their owners. The Fair Housing Act regulates housing in rented units. The Air Carrier Access Act regulates traveling by plane. These two iron-clad federal laws will be your best friends.
Definition of Assistance Animal
An assistance animal helps their owner in their day-to-day life. Emotional support animals help their owners cope with their psychiatric disability. The human-animal bond that they establish has been shown to have therapeutic benefit in the long run. Thanks to the love and affection given by the ESA, the owner’s health, and well-being is affected in a positive way.
Service dogs are also considered assistance animals. They are professionally trained to perform tasks, such as opening and closing doors. They are given to people with disabilities. Think of guide-dogs to have a clearer picture in mind.
But an emotional support dog differs greatly from a service dog. The latter has to go through training, while an emotional support dog does not. They are also covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, while ESAs are not.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in Mesa: CertaPet’s simple 5-minute process
CertaPet does the boring part of getting an emotional support animal in Mesa. We handle all the paperwork and put you in touch with a licensed mental health professional.
The first step is to find out whether you are eligible to become an emotional support animal owner. You can find out quickly by taking our pre-screening test. It won’t take more than 5 minutes and will tell you whether we can move on to the next step.
Then, if you pass the test, we send your information to a mental health professional. They will be the ones issuing your ESA letter. If everything goes fine, you should have it in a short amount of time. Sometimes the process only takes 48 hours!
Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)
This federal law states that ESAs can fly with their owners free of charge. As long as you show all the required documents, you won’t have any legal problems. It’s also important to make sure that your pup won’t misbehave during the flight!
In order for this law to be applied to you, here’s what you have to do:
- Give your chosen airline a notice of at least 48 hours that you’ll be flying with an ESA.
- Carry your ESA letter with you to show the airline staff at the airport.
- Check with your airline (on the phone or online) if they ask for any additional documents.
Every airline has a pets policy and an ESA policy. Read up on the ESA policy so you won’t be caught by surprise when boarding. Flying with an ESA is a relatively easy process, so it shouldn’t stress you out too much.
Unfortunately, you can’t bring your ESA to public places that are not pet-friendly. This also applies to any emotional support animal in Mesa in the workplace.
However, you can try talking to your manager and ask for an exception. Since this companion animal helps you cope with your emotional disability, they might let you bring them. Arguing would be done on a case-by-case basis. Prepare the points you want to bring up and don’t forget the ESA letter at home!
Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)
Thanks to the Fair Housing Act, you can live with your ESA in a rented unit. Your landlord can’t deny you housing because of your ESA. They also can’t charge you an extra pet fee, since the FHA is on your side. The unit you rent has to provide reasonable accommodation for both you and your support animal.
To be covered by the law, all you need to do is show your landlord your ESA letter. You should also assure them that your companion animal won’t be a nuisance to the neighbors. As long as you do this, they can’t evict you or deny you housing.
ESA Campus Housing
We have great news for students living in residence halls and getting an emotional support animal in Mesa. The Fair Housing Act also applies to on-campus housing. You will have the exact same rights and responsibilities as any other tenant.
To be protected, all you need to do is show your university housing provider your emotional support letter. Don’t forget to also make sure your ESA won’t be unruly or aggressive towards anyone. After all that is done, you’re set to live with your furry best friend!
Exception to Rules
As always, there are some exceptions to these rules. Here are some instances when your rights as an ESA owner could be revoked:
- Not showing an airline or a landlord your ESA letter throws your FHA- and ACCA-granted rights out the window.
- Showing a fake ESA letter will have the same result.
- If your ESA does any damage, you’ll have to pay for it.
- If your ESA gets violent or disturbs the peace, you may be evicted.
- Negligence of an ESA is enough for the state to intervene and take them away.
Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal
Arizona law for emotional support animals is tightening. A person caught misrepresenting an assistance animal might not be tried in court as of yet, but can still be punished. As we’ve mentioned, being caught trying to pass off a pet as an ESA could result in denied housing, eviction, and denied boarding.
There is a bill being discussed in the state of Arizona that would bring legal punishment. Getting an emotional support animal in Mesa isn’t that hard if you have a disability. Why not do it the legal way?
3 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA
It’s always best to be well-informed about what an ESA is before making the decision to get one. Here are three crucial facts you should know:
- Emotional support dogs are neither therapy animals, therapy dogs, a psychiatric service dog or a pet. They’re in their own category.
- You don’t have to choose a dog to be your ESA. You could look into getting miniature horses, a cat, or even a pot-bellied pig!
- You can’t bring your ESA to a public place without the manager’s permission. The only exceptions are places with a pet-friendly policy.
Where to Find a Suitable ESA!
Finding a good ESA is the easiest part. Since the emotional support letter is awarded to you, virtually any animal could become your new ESA. Just remember to read the ESA-approved list for the United States!
If you already have a pet, they could become your support animal. If you don’t, you can always adopt. There is bound to be a non-profit organization running a shelter in your area. Your best friend might be there waiting for you to bring them home! You’d also be doing something nice for the animal by giving them a new chance of being happy.
Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal
Now that you have your furry best friend with you, it’s reasonable to want to take him places with you. Luckily, there are a lot of places that welcome an emotional support animal in Mesa. Here’s a list of some of them.
Dog Parks and Dog Runs
Let your ESA run free in one of these dog parks:
- Quail Run Dog Park
- Echo Mountain Off Leash Area at Grovers Basin
- Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park
Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars
You can grab a drink or a bite to eat at one of these dog-friendly places with your ESA:
- The Monastery
- Inside the Bungalow
- Uncle Bear’s Grill
Resorts, Fitness, and Spas
If you’re taking a vacation with your emotional support animal in Mesa, these are the places to check into:
- La Quinta Inn & Suites Mesa Superstition Springs
- Arizona Golf Resort & Conference Center
- La Quinta Inn & Suites Phoenix Mesa West
ESAs in Mesa: How to Get Connected with a LMHP in Your State Today!
CertaPet thinks a lot about its customers. For this reason, we want to make your life easier during the process of getting an ESA. This is why we handle all the paperwork, while you only fill out some forms. The first step is to take a screening test. After that, we’ll connect you to a licensed mental health professional in your state. This is meant to take the least amount of time possible, and to be the least stressful.
As you can see, getting an emotional support animal in Mesa really isn’t that difficult. It will be such a positive addition to your life!