All about Emotional Support Animals in Texas
What an Emotional Support Animal Does
An emotional support animal is an animal used as a companion for therapeutic purposes. If you have a physical, mental or psychiatric disability, you may benefit from the companionship of a Texas ESA. Most emotional support animals are cats or dogs. Many service animals are trained to provide forms of assistance to their owners. These animals provide their owners with enhanced safety and independence. Emotional support animals may not always be trained. Some of these animals simply provide companionship to individuals in need.
Texas Emotional Support Animal Laws
Each state has different laws and regulations regarding emotional support animals, and Texas is no exception to this. The following list details many of the laws in Texas regarding emotional support animals.
– Public facilities and providers of public transportation must admit an ESA to accompany a person with a disability. Additionally, these facilities and transportation providers must allow ESA trainers to accompany individuals with disabilities.
– The law mandates that transport, evacuation and temporary shelter be provided to emotional support animals in the event of a disaster.
– Landlords and property managers must not discriminate against disabled individuals with emotional support animals. Additionally, disabled individuals may not be charged extra fees for owning an emotional support animal.
– If individuals or establishments discriminate against disabled people with emotional support animals, they may be subjected to fines up to $300. They may also be required to perform up to 30 hours of community services.
Other laws and regulations are in place that protect disabled individuals and their emotional support animals. These laws are provided on the website of Texas governor Rick Perry.
Having Your Own Texas ESA
To have your own Texas emotional support animal, your disability must be verified by your physician. Disabilities are typically defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may also use an online service to register your animal as an emotional support animal. This typically costs a one time fee, and you are mailed a certification. If you are renting an apartment or home, you may be required to provide information regarding your emotional support animal.