Description: Learn what you CAN and CANNOT do with your emotional support animal in Rhode Island. Best tips for ESA owners.

Getting an ESA letter in Rhode Island is a risky business. Want to know why?

Since emotional support animal have become popular in the USA, there appeared hundreds of online services willing to issue you an ESA registry or the ESA certificate for the minimal fee. Couple of minutes of your time and a bulging purse do the trick. However, the results are often not so rosy.

Want to know how to distinguish the fraud? Or, maybe, you are more interested in what you CAN and CANNOT do with a true ESA letter in Rhode Island? Anyway, we have all your questions covered. Read along.

Why would I ever want to register my pet as an ESA?

You probably guess that there are some undeniable benefits of getting your pet registered as the emotional support animal in Rhode Island. Perhaps, your friends or neighbors have already obtained their ESA letters and enjoy the advantages. So, what are they actually?

Above all, with the official status, you have a right to take your beloved pet to trips with you. You can keep together almost everywhere: in planes or trains, rented apartments or a campus housing. And the sweetest part about it is that you do not have to pay for it. At all. Your ESA travels for free. 

The reasonable question is whether you and your pet qualify for the ESA requirements. Check the list to make sure:

Requirements to the pet owner:

  • In order to receive the ESA letter, the pet owner need to have certain emotional or psychological disabilities, among which there could be: anxiety, PTSD, mood disorders, depression and a number of other conditions. 
  • You can get an ESA letter if you are 18 y.o. or older.

Requirements to the pet:


  • In order to become an ESA, your pet needs… only to be itself. No requirements ever. Any animal can become the ESA in Rhode Island if it brings you the necessary comfort and helps you get happy and balanced. The breed, size or gender of the pet also do not matter.


  • The pet needs to be well-mannered, otherwise you might face problems during your flight or with your landlord. That is because the animal that is a threat to other passengers / inhabitants can be refused in accommodation, even if it is the ESA. 



If you have detected that you and your pet qualify for the listed requirements, you probably cannot wait to find out what you can and cannot do with your ESA in Rhode Island.

What you CAN do with your ESA in Rhode Island


  • You can fly with it.


According to the Air Carrier Access Act, you have a right to travel with your emotional support animal if you possess a valid ESA letter. In this case, there will be no additional fees for the pet and, moreover, it will be able to travel next to you in the plane`s cabin.

Though, there is some recommendations you need to know before exercising this right. They are the following:

  • Check the rules of the definite airline you are going to use, since different carriers have different regulations regarding emotional support animals. It might happen that you will need to take some additional documents with you except the ESA letter.
  • Inform the airline that you are going to travel together with the ESA at least 2 days before the trip. The earlier, the better.


  • You can live in a rented apartment with your pet.


Any kind of the rented apartment. Yes, even including those, which have “No pets” sign. Yes, absolutely for free.

However, there is one point to note: your emotional support pet should not be a hazard to the other people that live in the apartment or to the private property. In case your animal damages anything in the apartment, it`s you who has to pay and apologize, so keep in mind to teach your pet manners.

But what if your landlord refuses to offer your ESA animal a reasonable accommodation? Do not panic. Just try to prove your right, referring him / her to the Fair Housing Act. If that does not help, you can file a complaint here.

What you CANNOT do with your ESA in Rhode Island

You might have heard the terms “service animal”, “emotional support animal” or “therapy animal” and wondered whether there was any real difference between them. In fact, there is! Though all of them are considered assistance animals, the kind of support they provide is also different. Thus, they have different rights in Rhode Island as well as wherever in the USA.

Therapy animals work with group of people and they cannot belong to one person at all. Unlike them, service animals do belong to their owners, but they serve a very specific aim. They help people with disabilities overcome the physical difficulties caused by their condition. Take the blind dog, for example. These service animals are vitally important because without their help, owners cannot perform basic duties, so, they are usually allowed almost everywhere.

Then, what about emotional support animals? Can you take them to public places or to work? Unfortunately, the answer you will get in Rhode Island is NO. Pubs and restaurants, cinemas and theatres, employers and universities – all of them are not obliged to allow your ESA. Though, you certainly can look for pet-friendly choices or discuss ESA presence personally in each case.

Watch out! There are fraudulent ESA letters in Rhode Island!

We notice new and new online platforms ready to issue ESA letters popping up every month. Most of them offer attractive prices and quick service. However, what you get is not worth ANY money, because with a fraudulent ESA letter, you will rather find problems than benefits.

So, how to make sure that you are going to get a legitimate ESA letter? Check your letter supplier on the following points:

  • Firstly, the document you will get must be called the Emotional Support Animal Letter. Not the ESA registry or the ESA certificate. The only one name is acceptable.
  • Secondly, together with the letter, you need to get the professional assistance. Only this way. Credible companies do not give you a paper and run. Instead, they provide you the help of various medical specialists: medical doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists. These specialists make the initial evaluation of your case and, what is more important, they stay in touch after you get the document.
  • The ESA letter must be valid for a year only. Lifelong letters simply do not exist, so if you got one of them, you have been cheated on.
  • All the specialists that work in the company must be state-licensed. Make sure to check it, otherwise, your letter will have no legal power.
  • If you make preference to the online service, keep in mind that is has to be HIPPA compliant.

With this information, you will be able to protect yourself from fraud and enjoy the benefits of having the emotional support animal letter.

Top 5 useful recommendations on having an ESA in the state

  1. Select your pet carefully.
    If you still do not have a pet but are looking for some animal able to bring you comfort, do learn more about the animal you choose in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. For example, if you like exotic animals like snakes, you need to know one thing. Though it is okay to register it as the ESA animal, most airlines will not let it travel in the cabin with you (in respect to the other passengers). So, think twice about the benefits you will get.
  2. Check what animal is best for your kind of disability. 
    Cats and dogs are bright examples of this rule. They will change your life in different ways. While dogs are sure to make your life more active and playful, cats will help to overcome loneliness and to feel needed.
  3. Never lie about your ESA.
    In Rhode Island, you can get legal punishment for the misrepresentation of your animal. Use correct phrases that describe your and your animal`s status: emotional support animal, psychological disability, etc. Also, note that airlines and landlords have no rights to know the specific character of your disability.
  4. Get multiply ESAs if you wish.
    In your state, you have a right to get two or more emotional support animals. Though, in practice it is easier to get one first and to apply for the second ESA letter afterwards.
  5. Take care of your pet.
    You are not the only one who needs unconditional love and support. Do take care of your pet: teach it manners, feed it well and play together. Love your emotional support pet and get love in return.



Getting an emotional support animal in Rhode Island can bring you lots of notable benefits, both financial and emotional. Be sure to follow the recommendations given in the article and make your experience smooth and pleasant!