Emotional Support Animal Requirements

Any animal can be an Emotional Support Animal. Emotional Support Animals provide some therapeutic benefit to a person with mental or psychiatric disability. Some of the animals registered as Emotional Support Animals include dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, ferrets, birds, and pigs, etc.

Federal law does not require these animals to have any specific training. The animals must have good social skills and not be aggressive to people or other animals.  The animal must be under your control at all times. The mere presence of this animal mitigates the effects of the emotional or mental disability. Emotional Support Animals are generally for people with mild anxiety or depression. The animal should have good social skills if taken in public places.

Emotional Support Animals have a right to housing and can travel on an airline for free with a note from a licensed mental health provider or doctor.  Only certain types of animals are allowed to travel in the airline cabin or travel for free.  Please check with your airline prior to travel for their specific rules regarding service animals.

The Fair Housing Act requires Landlords to modify policies, procedures, or practices to permit an individual with a disability to use, own, and live with a service and/or emotional support animal when doing so is necessary to provide a tenant with an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling.   Landlords must make reasonable accommodations.

Landlords cannot:

  • Charge pet rent or pet deposits for Emotional Support Animals
  • Require an Emotional Support Animal to have any specific training
  • Inquire about the extent of the disability, or ask for detailed medical records for the individual requesting the service or emotional support animal

USServiceAnimals.org is not responsible for the behavior of any animal.