ESA Certification in Delaware
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal is a pet that provides therapeutic benefits to the owner. An emotional support animal may be any domesticated animal, but usually cats and dogs are used.
Delaware does not have any law which specifically defines an emotional support animal. That’s why, when talking about emotional support animals in Delaware, we’re going to refer to the federal law.
According to the federal law, you must have a doctor’s note from a licensed mental health professional to bring your emotional support animal in the housing place and be freed from pet fees. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals don’t have to be dogs. You can choose cats, fish, birds, snakes, turtles, etc, to be your emotional support animals.
Restrictions on Emotional Support Animals in Delaware
There are no specific restrictions on using an emotional support animal in public places such as restaurants, hotels, malls, etc. As long as the business owners allow you to bring your emotional support animals inside, you pass. It is not necessary to have a doctor’s note to use your emotional support animal in public places in Delaware.
You do not need to register your pet with the state of Delaware or obtain any certification or license for your pet as an emotional support animal. It is also not necessary to have medical documentation of disability or training for your pet as an emotional support animal; however, if you choose to provide such documentation, it must be from a licensed mental health professional who has examined you within one year of the date of the documentation.
On the other hand, since there are no specific laws about it, you may also be denied access to a public place or an accommodation at a public place because you are accompanied by your emotional support animal. You may be asked to remove your emotional support animal from the premises.
If you refuse to remove your emotional support animal from the premises, you will be asked to leave. Exceptions are only made for service animals. But you still should always check with individual businesses about their policies regarding service animals and other animals before bringing them into any establishment.
Do You Need to Show Certification to Your Landlord?
A landlord may require a pet owner to provide documentation that the animal is a “service animal” or “emotional support animal” to demonstrate that the pet is trained to perform a specific task for an individual with a disability.
An emotional support animal does not need to be licensed or certified, but some landlords may require documentation from your physician.
What Can the Delaware Landlord Do?
Landlords are required by federal law to accept an emotional support animal. They are allowed to require tenants to provide documentation and/or training for an emotional support animal, but it must be reasonable and based on legitimate business purposes.
A landlord cannot refuse housing because of such a request without first trying to resolve any violations with the tenant.