Description: Connecticut's emotional support animal regulations. Know your rights and have the proper documentation to be compliant with ESA laws.

“That`s too complicated…”

This is what most people think about registering their pet as an ESA. Official status confirmed by a heap of documents that are hard to get… Fruitless efforts to get people convinced that you REALLY need to have your friend with you…

It is no longer the case!

Now, in Connecticut, everything you need to enjoy the company of your pet friend anywhere is only the ESA letter! Though, each state has its rules, so get ready to learn how things are going in your area. In this article, you can find the information about the major regulations that relate to registering and having the emotional support animal in Connecticut, USA. So, let`s sit down and have a talk.

The Definition of ESA

Naturally, an ESA means an emotional support animal. It’s such an animal that provides therapeutic benefits to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. Simply put, this animal helps its owner to restore their health and well-being. Note that an ESA is not a service animal. Your rights to have an ESA are protected within your primary rental housing and/ or in the cabin of an aircraft as you fly. But when it comes to public places, in most cases, ESAs aren’t allowed to be taken unless it’s a pet-friendly facility. 

Moreover, you can face widespread misconceptions about definitions, rules, regulations, and rights associated with emotional support animals. So, knowing the rights and obligations seems like a necessary matter. That’s why you might find this article of great importance if you are interested in ESA and everything connected with it.

How to register your pet as an ESA

To be regarded as an ESA, you need to get a special letter, which is written by a mental health specialist. Emotional support animals come under Federal Laws. Today, there are dozens of online services that can issue a valid ESA letter. The process of obtaining it is rather easy, fast, and straightforward. You just apply online, perform a free emotional support animal qualification test, get your application accepted and then pay. And that’s it. You’re done. Right after confirmation, you get a digital copy of your ESA letter. 

Still, it is of vital importance to add that not all ESA letters you can get online are suitable according to the Connecticut laws. Below, you’ll find the essential points that the proper ESA letter need to have. Let’s have a closer look.

Key points of a proper ESA letter:

  • Information about the fact that the particular individual is suffering from the emotional disability which comes under the definition set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Information that a particular emotional support animal is a crucial part of the treatment plan.
  • It must be printed or written on the letterhead of a therapist. Plus, it should include signature, place, date and license number of the physician.

Main benefits the ESA letter gives you

Once you get your ESA letter, you can enjoy all the benefits it comes with, including the following ones:

  • You can travel with your pet and let it sit on your lap, instead of being in a cage under a seat, where regular pets usually travel.
  • You don’t need to pay for your pet as you travel.
  • You can stay at non-animal friendly accommodations with your pet.

Noteworthy is to add that there are special requirements the owners of the emotional support animal should follow. Let’s review the major ones.

Special requirements to travel with your ESA

  • Your ESA letter must be valid at the time of travel. By default, emotional support animal letters are valid for only one year from the date of issuance. Once it’s passed, you will need to revalidate it. So, don’t forget to check it out before you take your ESA with you.
  • If you take your ESA to the residential buildings that have no-pet policies, ensure that your animal still meets the requirements described below. It’s true that by taking an ESA prescription letter from a licensed medical professional, you get excused from having to pay pet rent and pet deposit. Nevertheless, you are still responsible for any damages, if any, are caused to the property from your ESA.

Basic rules for the owner of the emotional support animal

Though this rule goes without saying, it’s still well worth repeating the basic rules the owner of the emotional support animal should ensure:

  • The dog must be on a leash at all times in public places.
  • The emotional support animal must behave in a proper way, not interfering with others. It should not bark all the time or in any other way distract people nearby. In case the ESA behaves disruptive, both the owner and the animal would be asked to leave the plane or public venue. 
  • Your ESA must be vaccinated according to Connecticut laws. 

Conclusion

One thing is certain: you can greatly benefit from having an emotional support animal in Connecticut. Generally, an emotional support animal is not ADA-approved and thus, it is not exempt from several restrictions, for instance, access to public places or private venues when compared to a service animal. Still, you can enjoy many benefits if you get your pet registered as an ESA, most notably, you’ll be able to take it on board of the aircraft with you, not in the cargo section. Plus, you’ll be able to stay at the residential buildings with no-pet policies with your ESA. This may sound like a fixture, but don’t forget that there are still restrictions needed to travel with your ESA. First of all, the animal needs to be manageable in public. 

Finally, as it was mentioned somewhere in the article, an ESA along with its owner can face public misunderstanding. That’s why there have been created a number of associations designed to raise awareness and educate the public about how these animals can help people.