What is an Assistance Animal?
"An assistance animal can be a cat, dog or other type of companion animal, and does not need to be trained to perform a service. The emotional and/or physical benefits from the animal living in the home are what qualify the animal as an assistance animal. A letter from a medical doctor or therapist is all that is needed to classify the animal as an assistance animal." The Human Society of the U.S.
What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
ESAs may be untrained members of almost any species that providing a therapeutic benefit for those suffering from the effects of certain mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression.
How do ESAs and Assistance Animals differ?
The term ESA is not recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but is mentioned by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
How do ESAs/Assistance Animals differ from Service Animals?
Service animals are dogs that are individually trained to work or perform specific tasks for human individuals that have a disability. Service Animals are to be certified by the state. A Landlord is permitted to require some type of proof of disability and proof that the animal of training.
Does a Landlord have to allow my Assistance Animal/ESA?
No, under federal law Landlords only have to allow Assistance Animals/ESAs to those that have a disability or a mental illness related directly to a disability. A Landlord is permitted to require some type of proof of disability.
Can my Landlord restrict the breed of my Assistance Animal/ESA?
Yes, the Landlord may restrict the types of breeds, sizes or weight of animal if it would be an undue burden, such as if the Landlords insurance carrier would drop coverage of the property.
U.S. Department of Justice- Service Animals Overview
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development- FHEO 2013-01 Notice Service Animals and Assistance Animals
UK Regulations Animals on Campus Administrative Regulation 6:11
UK Disability Resource Center Service and Comfort Animal Registration
UK Wildcat Service Dogs
Emerging Laws for Landlords: Emotional Support Animals by Avvo
HUD updates housing guidelines for Service Dogs, Landlords, and Emotional Support Dogs by Anything Pawsable.com
The Humane Society of the United States- The Fair Housing Act and Assistance Animals