Obtaining an Emotional Support Animal in Los Angeles

If you are looking to obtain an emotional support animal in Los Angeles it would be beneficial to understand what Emotional Support Animals (otherwise known as ESA’s) do, how you can qualify to get one, and what happens after you have received your emotional support animal letter in Los Angeles.

What are Emotional Support Animals (ESA’s)?

Unlike traditional service animals, emotional support animals undergo no form of special preparation in order to get their emotional support dog certification. Although there are other animals that qualify as emotional support animals, dogs are the most common. Any species or breed of household animal may be documented and certified as an emotional support animal; by doing this, this animal is allowed to fly, cage free, with its owner for no additional charge, because the registered animal provides a series of support, in this case emotional, to their owner and handler – who has been diagnosed by a licensed medical therapist.

Am I Eligible to have an ESA?

One qualifying factor in determining if you are eligible for an emotional support animal in Los Angeles, is that a person has to have and established, identifiable emotional disorder that affects at least one facet of their daily activities. Subsequently, after an emotional disability has been recognized and diagnosed, a qualified mental-health specialist will prescribe an emotional support dog certification.

While there is an array of emotional and mental health disorders that are acknowledged in order to obtain an emotional support dog in Los Angeles, a few common ones are listed below:

• Personality Disorders
• PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
• Anxiety – Specific or Generalized in nature
• Disorders that affect mood
• Depressive Disorder
• Panic Disorder(s) – this is a wide-ranging diagnosis
• Social Phobia(s) – this includes the fear of flying
• As a blanketing coverall, any psychological or social ailment that is acknowledged by the DSM IV, (more specially knowns as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), may qualify you to receive an emotional support animal letter in Los Angeles.

What Does this Mean for Me After I Have Been Prescribed an Emotional Support Dog in Los Angeles?

Once you have been given a prescription for your emotional support animal, they are now permitted into otherwise non-pet accessible areas, like non-pet housing, or cage-less flying, because they now provide a certifiable emotional service to their owner.

Because they are not certified “service” animals – in so much, they have not undergone any sort of formal training, ESA’s are not obligated to wear any form of differentiating training markers, such as uniforms, nor do they have identification outside of their owner’s documentation letter. The only item that is required, that has already been obtained after a person’s diagnosis of emotional compromise is the lawful treatment letter, which requests the aided use of an ESA.

It is important to understand that once you register or certify your emotional support animal, (there are a number of ways to do this), the registration service does not aid in providing or giving you or your emotional assisting pet any additional rights or privileges. These additional, “special” rights can only be gained through a valid, medical prescription as administered by a registered psychological health authority.

So You Plan on Flying with your ESA – Tips and Tricks

Before you fly with your emotional support pet, you must give the airlines with your ESA support letter, which is no more than one year old, at the ticking counter during your check-in. Some airlines require at least a forty-eight hour notice in advance that you will be flying with a cage-less pet. The airline is not allowed to charge you any additional fees for your pet, with the presentation of this letter / prescription/ or certification. The airline, though, may ask to make a duplicate of your prescription letter and call for its verification, or this may be done online via entering the registration identification number.

Airlines can justifiably take measures to ensure your traveling animal companion will not compromise the safety or flight enjoyment of other passengers. This is often done by a visual observation of your pet. If the support animal appears to be a danger, threat, vicious, a nuisance to others, or unreasonably boisterous, the airline can and may negate the accommodation of your ESA on your flight.

There are no size restrictions when it comes to which breeds of emotional support animals, are allowed to sit with their owners. Pets that are as large as Boxers or Dalmatians often fly with their human counterparts; but be aware that if your animal is too bulky to be securely detained in your lap, they are required to sit on the floor.

Emotional Support Animals and the Fair Housing Act

Due to the passing of the FHA law of 1988, property managers and owners are required to make reasonable accommodations to their tenants if they have a certified emotional support animal. There are, however, a few cases in which the FHA will not be upheld, since a reasonable accommodation could not be provided:

• If a landlord occupies one unit of a livable-building that has four units or less.
• Hotels and Motels are public property and fall under the American Disability Act ordinance, which lawfully only requires them to accept service animals.
• Private clubs
• Any single-family unit of housing that is sold and/ or lent without the usage or utilization of a real-estate agent.

What Are the Rules that Pertain to Property Owners?

• Cannot ask the ESA to perform a certain serviceable task (like lead their owner across the street).
• Cannot request or demand a down payment, fee, or any other sort of monetary compensation for your pet’s stay.
• Request medical records or inquire further into a person’s disability
• Cannot refuse to accommodate you based on their insurance policy’s pet restrictions for species, breed, or weight limit.

I Have My Certificate, Now What?

After becoming certified to have an emotional support pet, you are covered under any clauses that pertain to ESA’s listed in both the Air Carriers Access Act and the Fair Housing Act. These laws and jurisdictions require property owners, managers, and airlines to accept the support letter and any other pet associated prescriptions you may have. By not accepting the letter, you and your support animal are being discriminated against; thus, the personnel above are violating a federal law.