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If you are wondering about the advantages of having an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) certification, then you are in the right spot. We will cover some of the major benefits of having this certification.
Difference between Having a Pet and an Emotional Support Animal
The majority of people are not familiar with the term “emotional support animal,” but most are familiar with service animals. These service animals are trained to perform very specific tasks, and while they are great working with the visually impaired, for individuals suffering emotional or psychological illnesses, those service animals would not be a good option.
Emotional support animals are not pets in the traditional sense that a person would keep an animal as a pet. The emotional support animal is providing a medically necessary service to the individual who requires this type of treatment. A way to determine whether the animal is a pet or providing a medical service is by finding out whether there is an ESA certification in place. With a valid emotional service animal certification, the animal and animal owner is protected under federal and state law.
Special Protections Provided to Owners of Emotional Support Animals
There are a series of legal protections provided owners of ESAs provided the animal has the proper certification.
- When traveling, the animal can be brought with the owner on a plane, bus or another form of public transportation. While there may need to be special accommodations made in advance, i.e., taking a dog on an airplane, the law mandates that the company offering these transportation services cannot refuse access to individuals using an ESA provided the animal has the necessary certification. These animals are beneficial for individuals who are suffering from anxiety and feel apprehensive about traveling; the animal can allay any fears the person feels which should make for a more enjoyable traveling experience.
- Landlords cannot force tenants to move out due to having an ESA. There are laws in place that protect renters from landlords who do not want animals in their building. If you had a “pet,” then the landlord could refuse to rent the apartment or require you to either get rid of the animal or move. Once the animal has been certified as an emotional support animal, then you are protected by the law. Since these animals are typically well-behaved and do not pose any risk to the property, the landlord should have no issues, but if they do, the law will be on your side.
- Hotels cannot refuse to rent a room to you. There will be some hotels that have a zero-pet policy which is their choice. If you rent a room and have the proper ESA certifications, then the hotel will not be able to refuse to rent a room to you.
These are just some of the benefits of having an ESA certification. If you require the services of an emotional support animal, it would be prudent to get them certified as soon as possible.