Who Initiated Federal Law About Emotional Support Animals?

Who Initiated Federal Law About Emotional Support Animals?
Who Initiated Federal Law About Emotional Support Animals?

Emotional animal support (ESA) mainly refers to dogs and cats that offer emotional support to their owners. They can also include other animals. Any person pursuing ESA must be prescribed by licensed doctors, therapist or psychiatrist.  Emotional support animals are different from service dogs. Service dogs get training to perform tasks for their owners. However, ESAs do not receive any such training. Although they are trained to behave in public, they do not have access to enter public places including malls and restaurants. ESA owners are also permitted to live in non-pet-friendly residences under the act of Fair Housing. As per the Air Carrier Access Act ESAs are allowed to travel with their owners on the flight. 

  • ESAs provide all the emotional and mental support to their owners, however, taking them as a pet is not only illegal but also considered unethical in many states. The rights of ESAs and their owners are protected under federal laws, the US is the first country to initiate these laws, which include two main laws, as stated above as well:

  • FHA – Fair Housing Act: landlords are not allowed to impose breed, size and weight limitations on ESAs. Pet owners can live with their pets in apartments or houses that are not pet-friendly. Also, landlords cannot ask for medical information or contact your medical health practitioner. 
  • ACAA – Air Carrier Access Act: animals are allowed to fly with their owners without any extra fee being charged. The airline would only need legal documents and forms to be filled. 

Emotional Support Animals Rights

There are federal law guidelines for the people who have ESAs in order to protect the rights of these animals. Animals abuse laws are there to protect unethical acts against animals. The main job of an animal law attorney is to provide advice to clients, research and review the case and prepare legal documentation and fight in the court for the case. Sometimes ESAs also require animal law lawyers as they can be subject to abuse and torture by their owners. Since ESA owners are already patients of mental problems like anxiety, depression, etc. Therefore, the job of an animal law attorney is tough for Emotional Support Animals. Although federal laws are there to protect them, in case ESA is hurt, an animal lawyer is there to pursue the case. 

ESAs normally provide emotional support only and do not have any specific training to carry out tasks for their owners. Since ESAs are not official pets, therefore, their owners do not have to pay any pet fees. Emotional support animals do not have the same rights as service dogs, but they are still protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As per the law, it is important for a person to attain an ESA letter beforehand, in order to receive an emotional support animal.  

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