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2018 Update | How to Get An Emotional Support Animal in Los Angeles, CA

Emotional support animals (ESAs) have quickly become a leading source of support for those who suffer from emotional and psychological disabilities. Studies show that living with a pet can assuage anxiety, depression, and an array of other psychological and mental disabilities. Owners of emotional support animals across Los Angeles, CA attest to the impact of the presence of animals on the human spirit.

Existing Emotional Support Dog in Los Angeles, CA

At the time of this writing, substantial Federal and Los Angeles, CA State law exists which protects individuals with disabilities who employ service animals.

There’s a movement afoot to draft similar legal protections governing the use of emotional support animals.

These newer regulations, more narrow in scope than service animal laws, introduce complexities in particular circumstances. In the end, Los Angeles, CA emotional support animals> owners enjoy greater privileges than those of companion pets.

A study by the World Health Organization found that people who had diabetes, angina, asthma, or arthritis were more likely to suffer from depression than people without these conditions.

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Lucky for you and your furry friend, there are establishments in Los Angeles, CA where emotional support dogs are welcomed with open paws:

If you suffer from an emotional or psychological disability that would be significantly reduced by the companionship of a Los Angeles, CA ESA, you are eligible for an ESA note. There is some debate as to what constitutes an emotional or psychological disability, as the Americans with Disabilities Act defines them very loosely.

A psychological disability is defined as a mental abnormality that affects the day-to-day function of your life as the result of persistent, destructive behavioral patterns. Such disability would include intellectual disabilities and autism. Studies show that ESAs have a calming effect on people with these conditions.

Getting an Emotional Support Dog in Los Angeles, CA

An emotional disability is one which impacts an individual’s ability to recognize, express or control their emotions. In many instances, the companionship emotional support animals provide mitigates depression.

Legal problems can sometimes bubble up when dealing with the nuanced differences between service and support animals.

Service animals, which are traditionally dogs and horses, are highly trained to perform a particular skill, for example detecting a seizure, pulling a wheelchair, and guidance for the visually challenged.

Comparatively, emotional support animals (dogs, rats, cats, birds, and others) require no specialized training. Specialized documentation proving the disability and the need for the support animal may be required in some instances.

Many Association Attorneys believe that unless you are deaf or deaf, your reasonable accommodation request is fraudulent. The ADA defined an individual’s disability is a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual.” Major life activities include, but are not limited to: ÒÉcaring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

Laws regarding your Los Angeles, CA Emotional Support Animal

Emotional support animals, like service animals, are protected by Federal and state law in travel and housing. Though, support animals do not enjoy the same public places protection.

Federal Law requires landlord to allow tenants to live with their psychiatric service dogs and emotional support animals.

In practice, this means renters cannot be charged a pet deposit, nor evicted (excluding certain rare exceptions).

Landlords can require documentation supporting the need for a service or support animal. However, as no training is required for a support animal, there’s no need for any time of “animal” certification.

Flying with your Los Angeles, CA Emotional Support Dog

In the air, the strict rules of the Federal Air Carrier Access Act govern emotional support animals.

Folks flying with a support animal must have written documentation from a licensed mental health professional declaring the traveler’s disability and the need for the animal. This letter must be issued within the past year, on the professional’s letterhead, and indicate the type of provided health care. Typically, airlines require at least 48 hours notice you’re traveling in the company of a support animal.

Emotional support animals are not granted unlimited legal protection. In Los Angeles, CA, only service animals, and not support animals, are offered unfettered access to a public place.

Landlords also have the very limited ability to deny support animals, if the animal poses a threat to the safety or health others or would cause substantial property damage.

This exception is not based on breed or size; the threat to property or safety must be specific to the animal in question.

On the other hand, the amount of damage done by an animal need not be substantial if it is unreasonable. (See, e.g., Woodside Village v. Hertzmark, FH-FL Rptr. ¦ 18,129 (Conn. Sup. Ct. 1993), where failing to clean up or walk the dog in designated areas resulted in a proper eviction).

Should your disability’s treatment require an emotional support animal, there are Federal Laws that protect you. These laws are relatively new on the books, so it’s probably best to research Federal laws on the matter: The Fair Housing Act, the Air Carriers Access Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Without ever leaving the comfort of your home or office, you can qualify for an Emotional Support Animal. To qualify, you must complete the following steps.

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