ESA Weekly News Report May 22nd: New Utah ESA Law Comes into Effect

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dog reading newspaper at the beach

In this week’s news, we report on Utah’s new ESA laws. The new laws aim to stop fraudsters from misrepresenting their pets as ESAs in order to get them into rented accommodation. We also meet an ESA who is helping its owner live a better life. Read on to find out more!

New ESA Law in Utah Came into Effect This Week

As of the 14th of May, HB43, as well as a bunch of other bills, came into effect in Utah. With HB43 in effect, it is now a criminal offense to misrepresent a pet as an emotional support animal (ESA). At the same time, the bill prevents property owners from discriminating against individuals who own an emotional support animal.

This comes after the rising number of assistance animals across the country. With the ever-increasing number of ESAs around, there seems to be a corresponding increase in tensions between owners of support animals and skeptics.

Republican James Dunnigan sponsored a bill aimed at discouraging individuals from falsely claiming to need a support animal. In Utah, it is already a misdemeanor to falsely identify a pet as a service animal. Service dogs are trained to do specific tasks for their owners. Dunnigan argues that it should also be a crime for people to misrepresent a need for an emotional support animal.

Some say that this new bill might discourage legitimately disabled persons from making claims about their support animals. This might further marginalize and inconvenience them. Most are hopeful, however, that this new law will prevent people from making false claims about their pets in the hopes of getting out of paying a pet-fee.


person using fake stamp

Bipolar Woman Needs Her Daily Dose of Bella the Pit-Bull

Bullmastiff or Border Collie. Emotional support dogs make a positive difference in the lives of those who suffer from mental or psychological illness.

Kim Palchikoff owns a 3-year old Pit Bull-Boxer mix. Kim says that she relies on Bella every day. By stroking her velvety ears or rubbing her back, her emotional support dog helps to calm her.

Kim’s psychiatrist completely supports her need for Bella and has written a prescription to this effect. Bella can go with her bipolar owner just about anywhere. Kim does have some rules though. She understands that some people fear Pit Bull crosses. She doesn’t take her pup with her to restaurants, the gym, or other people’s homes.


woman on sofa with her emotional support dog

Certapet’s View on This Week’s News!

Certapet backs the need for legislation about ESAs. Individuals who need their emotional support animals, really need them! If people run around falsely claiming their pets to be ESAs, that could spell disaster for those who truly need their support animals.

These laws are to protect, not hinder, Americans with legitimate disabilities.

Do you think that you have mental health issues? Could you benefit from the comfort and companionship of your very own ESA? Take the Certapet 5-min pre-screening questionnaire. In no time at all, you could connect with one of our licensed mental health professionals (LMHPs). They will assess your situation or condition and could send your ESA letter to you in no time!

We love it when pooches get recognition for the wonderful work that they do! They truly are remarkable animals. Support animals, service dogs, therapy dogs… they are all a valuable part of our society and deserved to be recognized as such!

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