• Rhesa Houston, DVM

Definition of an Emotional Support Animal


What is an Emotional Support Animal? Assistance Animals Consulting is your resource to provide education and understanding of the different types of working animals and how they are defined and differentiated.


What is an Emotional Support Animal?


The Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act provide definitions for emotional support animals. These acts indicate an emotional support animal may be an animal of any species that assists a person with disabilities by providing emotional support. The use of the emotional support animal must be supported by a qualified physician, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional on the basis of a disability-related need.


Unlike service dogs, emotional support animals do not have to be trained for a specific disability related task. However, like service dogs, there is no required national certification for emotional support animals.


The Fair Housing Act protects against disability discrimination for housing accommodations for persons using emotional support animals. The Air Carrier Access Act protects against disability discrimination with air travel for persons flying with emotional support animals.

Assistance Animals Consulting are veterinarians advocating for and serving clients with disabilities. To learn more about emotional support animals contact Assistance Animals Consulting today.


Helpful resources:

Air Carriers Access Act:

https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/service-animals-including-emotional-support-animals

Fair Housing Act:

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/ReasonableAccommodations15

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