ESA Weekly News Report July 2nd: New Tennessee ESA Laws in Effect

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Jack Russell dog reading esa news

Every week, we bring you the best emotional support animal news. Today is no exception. Our first story is about new ESA laws coming into effect in July in Tennessee. The second is a heartwarming tale of a man and his ESA alligator. Grab a cup of coffee and keep reading!

New ESA Housing Laws Coming to Tennessee

Woman with emotional support dog

From today on, the state’s animal housing laws will be changed.

As you may know, landlords can request an additional reasonable accommodation form in addition to an ESA letter. And now, a tenant can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if they misrepresent their pet as an ESA or service animal.

So if you’re thinking of submitting false documents claiming you are an ESA owner in order to live with your pet free of charge, beware – there are now consequences.


Pennsylvania Man Tells Story of Emotional Support Alligator

emotional support alligator

York, Pennsylvania, is known for its beautiful Victorian-era architecture. Behind one of those brownstone facades lives Wally, a 35-pound emotional support alligator.

Joe Henney is Wally’s owner. He got his reptilian companion to help him cope with depression. So far, he has made great progress with his mental health well-being. Henney told Insider Edition that he doesn’t know what he would do if he didn’t have Wally by his side.

This isn’t an ordinary alligator. For starters, he loves watching television. Secondly, he is house trained and roams around the house freely. He even has his own pool. But most surprisingly, Wally loves hugs and kisses!

A normal day in their life includes taking walks around their neighborhood and bonding in the yard. Henney says that they get odd looks from neighbors. Nonetheless, he says he would never say goodbye to his loving ESA.


CertaPet’s Thoughts on This Week’s News

We’re all for tighter regulations when it comes to emotional support animals. If you have an ESA letter from a certified LMHP, they should readily be able to supply your landlord with the necessary support documentation should they require it.

For the sake of all those pet parents who truly rely on their ESAs to live a better life, it is very important that the laws and regulations that allow these animals greater access to society are well controlled and well adhered to.

As for a Pennsylvania man and his alligator, it sounds like Joe Henney and Wally do look as if they make each other happy! And while Wally seems to be a positive influence in Joe’s life, do note that our LMHPs won’t sign an ESA letter for an alligator.

At Certapet, we do not certify anything other than cats and dogs and the occasional rabbit. We understand that other animals may have therapeutic value and we do not discredit that at all. But it is our policy to only recognize dogs, cats, and rabbits due to zoning restrictions, health concerns and regulations, and public safety.

So are you ready to welcome an emotional support animal into your life? Kick-start the process by taking our simple, yet thorough 5-minute pre-screening test today.

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