The traditional methods used to treat mental health issues include medications, counseling, and therapies. However, it has been rightly said by Aristotle “man is a social animal” and hence, there is always a need for social companionship. What can be better than a cuddly animal to get support and company in times of distress and loneliness? The increase in mental health issues during recent times has also increased the dependency on the methods like having an ESA to treat these issues. A person can use his or her pet for emotional support after getting checked by a psychologist or psychiatrist, who then writes an ESA letter narrating the need for an ESA for a person.
So if you are qualified for the ESA and your doctor has recommended you an ESA dog, or cat, etc, now is the time to get complete information about the laws and regulations of ESAs. To get you started with the process, and help you avoid any future embarrassment of breaking the ESA laws, discussed below are the crucial laws of ESAs.
There are two main laws of the ESAs and their owners that have been implemented by the federal government. These laws are:
The Air Carrier Access Act
The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
Although ESAs are just like pets and do not have any special training, yet they have a very striking difference from an ordinary pet and that is the purpose that they have to fulfill by giving emotional support to the mentally disturbed owner. Hence, these pets under the above-mentioned federal laws are given special privileges.
To get the benefits of these laws and avoid any abrogation, all the nitty-gritty of these laws will be elaborated in this article.
The Air Carrier Access Act
This law was particularly passed in the year 1986. It was passed to stop the discrimination against people with mental and physical disabilities. The main provision of this act is that it allows the ESAs to be carried along on air travels.
Pets are generally not allowed on flights. However, the airlines, transport agencies, and transportation department can neither prohibit a person from bringing his or her ESA with them on the flight nor can ask for additional charges.
This letter is used as an esa letter for housing as well as aviation. This allows a person to keep the pet with him all the time even during traveling and in residential areas where pets are not allowed, that too without any additional charges.
The ESA owners do not even have to get a prior permission letter from the authorities and their ESA letters are the only documents needed for ESAs to accompany their owners while they are traveling.
Additionally, the airlines or onboard staff can not discriminate against the person carrying an ESA along. And such a person can also not be asked to sit at some specific place rather they are seated down on the regular seat that has already been booked for them.
One thing that the owners must ensure is that their ESAs are well behaved and are not likely to create disturbance for others. Although this privilege is commonly given to ESA owners, there are certain circumstances when ESAs can be excluded from the flight. These conditions are listed below:
The country that the person is traveling to does not allow that specific animal.
The ESA causes interruption to the aircraft service.
The ESA poses an undeviating danger to other travelers or individuals at the airport.
ESA is such an animal that is too heavy or too large to travel on the flight with you.
The pet used as an ESA is an animal that may be poisonous or belongs to an exotic class of animals like spiders, snakes, lizards, etc.
If you want your ESA to travel with you on an international or local flight, get all the necessary information of the ESAs law in your state and destination state, prepare the required documents in advance, and keep them in your hand-carry.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
The second major law regarding an ESA is FHA. This act was specially designed to assist individuals with impairments, especially mental illnesses. The main provision of this law is that the owner of an ESA can neither be denied an accommodation nor to keep the pet with him or her or to pay extra rent for keeping the pet in any housing society across the state.
Any person who has a legit ESA prescription letter from a certified healthcare professional, is permitted to keep the ESA with him or her wherever he or she lives.
The pets owners are usually petrified of the housing society's rules and regulations and have to look for a rental or living space where they can live with their pets. This adds an extra burden on them while they are finding accommodation for themselves. However, AHA takes this burden away from the owners of ESAs.
Passed in the year 1988, AHA obligates the landlords to allow ESAs in their rental spaces and also not discriminate against their owners.
Just like the Air Carrier Access Act, AHA also has some limitations where emotional support animal letter owners can be denied housing. These include following circumstances:
The building has less than four units and one is occupied by the landlord.
The house rented is a single-family unit and is rented without the means of a real estate agent.
ESA is an animal with such large size that it can not be kept in housing societies like a horse.
These are the crucial laws of ESAs and all the exceptions that an ESA owner must be completely aware of.
For More Information: