ESA Laws That Every Pet Owner Should Learn About

As an emotional support animal owner, you already know how important living with your lovable animal is. The ESA laws allow you to get your right to spend the maximum time with your pet.


Imagine you get anxiety issues when boarding a plane or crossing a river bridge. Chances of getting these issues would be less when you’re with your pet and finish the tasks easily and safely.


  • What’re the rights of an ESA holder, which a normal pet owner doesn’t have?
  • What exactly the emotional support animal laws are?


Read on to get answers to these questions.


The ESA laws

Fair Housing Amendment Act (FHAA)

It’s also called the emotional support animal law for housing. According to the FHAA, tenants are allowed to live with their ESAs. And, for that, they don’t have to pay an extra pet deposit. The homeowners can ask tenants to provide copies of emotional support animal letters, but can’t deny housing, even in no-pet regions.


It’s necessary to note that your ESA should be well-behaved, and shouldn’t cause a problem to anyone in public. It’s clear that if your pet isn’t causing troubles to anyone why would anyone compliant against it?


Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)

Passengers are allowed to travel with their emotional support animals. According to the ACAA, individuals can fly with their ESAs in the cabin without paying any pet travel fee. Different airlines have different regulations for passengers flying with their emotional support animals. Thus, before making a reservation, make sure you read the airline instructions carefully to avoid any problem later on.


It’s important to note that many airlines recommend passengers to notify about ESA travel at least 48 hours before the trip. Additionally, you need to submit a valid emotional support animal letter, a veterinary health form and confirmation for liability and animal behavior.


Here’re some top airline requirements for ESAs-

American Airlines- Only one ESA per passenger is allowed. The animal can’t eat from tray tables or occupy a seat.

United Airlines- The passenger must have a disability within the meaning of the Department of Transportation Rules (Part 382). The animal must be properly controlled during the travel.

JetBlue- Only dogs, cats, and miniatures are allowed as emotional support animals.

Delta- The animal can’t occupy a seat and should stay beside the passenger’s seat.


How to get an emotional support animal letter?

To get an ESA letter, you need to talk to a licensed mental health professional who will carefully analyze your condition and prescribe you an emotional support animal if you’re approved. The letter must say that your ESA is an important part of your life, and you need to live with it.


The emotional support animal letter should contain important details such as the therapist’s name and contact details, signature, license number, date, time & state/country it was issued.


Using online services, you can apply for your ESA letter without leaving your home. The process involves-

  • Signing up an account online
  • Talking to a licensed therapist over a secure online platform
  • Receiving the soft copy of your ESA letter in the email


The conclusion is—animals are effective, natural medications that can help us promote mental wellness by alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. ESA laws (Air Carrier Access Act and Fair Housing Amendment Act) allow us to live and fly with our lovable dogs and cats without paying any pet deposits or travel fee.


To avail the housing and travel benefits, you must have an emotional support animal letter signed by a licensed mental health professional. The homeowner and airline can ask you to submit the ESA letter for verification purposes.

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