Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional Support Dog vs. Service Dogs

An Emotional Support Dog (ESA) is a dog that a licensed mental health professional has determined provides some benefit to an individual with a mental or emotional disability. A Service Dog is specifically trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities.  The Americans with Disabilities Act states that animals that simply provide emotional comfort do not qualify as Service Animals under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).  Conclusively emotional support dogs are not allowed access to all public areas.

Emotional support dogs provide comfort, a calming presence, and companionship for their owners. Emotional support dogs do not have access to all public areas however they are permitted to fly with a person with an emotional or psychological disability (with a letter from a qualified professional) and they are also permitted to qualify for no-pet housing with a letter from a physician.

Although they are not service dogs, Emotional Support Dogs do have certain rights in terms of housing and air travel. The Fair Housing Act includes ESAs in its definition of assistance animals. Under the act, people cannot be discriminated against due to a disability when obtaining housing. Therefore, rules such as no pets, species bans, or pet-size limitations do not apply to people who have a prescription for an ESA, and they cannot be charged a pet deposit for having their ESA live with them.

The Air Carrier Access Act allows service animals and ESAs to accompany their handler in the cabin of an aircraft. The airline might require documentation stating that the person has a disability and the reason why the animal must travel with them. If you intend to travel with an ESA, contact the airline ahead of time to ensure you can provide the appropriate paperwork.

Training Emotional Support Dogs at Dog Angels

Dog Angels provides obedience training to our Emotional Support Dogs to help them behave properly in public while providing emotional support to their new owners. 

If you are interested in obtaining an Emotional Support Dog from Dog Angels please complete our Pre-Application form here