ESA Certification in Iowa
There are many benefits to having an emotional support animal (ESA) in your home. ESA’s are trained to behave as companion animals and assist their owners with anxiety, depression, stress, and other emotional disorders. Somewhat similar to service animals, though not quite, an emotional service animal is a pet that can provide stress relief than their owner may have. This is done in order to improve their quality of life.
In general, most people have emotional support animals in the form of cats and dogs. However, there are people who have emotional support animals in the form of birds, rodents, and even fish. Emotional support animals are a great source of comfort for their owners.
Not any pet can become an emotional support animal. Only pets that have been certified via a legit ESA letter can be classified as an emotional support animal. This certification may allow you to take your animals with you in places that may otherwise be off limits for them.
Understanding Emotional Support Animal Certification in Iowa
One thing to keep in mind is that an emotional support animal is not the same as a service animal. A service animal must be trained to perform a specific task for their owner. The only difference between an emotional support animal and a service animal is that the emotional support animal doesn’t necessarily have to have training.
Furthermore, in order for an ESA to be eligible for an ESA certification, the owner must have been diagnosed with a condition by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) who acknowledges the patient’s conditions and prescribes an ESA.
The state of Iowa has recognized the important role of emotional support animals in promoting health and wellness. That is why they have passed and given approval to federal regulations relating to the protection of emotional support animals.
Your Iowa emotionally supported animals are protected by the Fair Housing Act. This act ensures that people who are mentally disabled have equal access to fair accommodation for their emotional support animals. Landlords are not permitted to restrict your emotional support animals. They also must not impose additional charges depending on their size or breed, among other factors. However, if your pet is rowdy and may cause undue harm to another person or to the property, your landlord is allowed to request you to vacate the premises. They must usually give you a ten-day notice.
So, landlords must allow you to have a place to live if you have an emotional support animal. Still, they may ask to see your ESA letter, so it’s good to have your papers in hand. A prospective tenant must still ensure that the tenant’s qualifications are still met in order to be considered for approval.
Furthermore, the Air Carrier Access Act used to allow emotional support animals to ride along with their owners on flights, with no extra fees. However, this law currently no longer protects emotional support animals, since people often use such an excuse to avoid fees. The only animals that are permitted to stay are service dogs. You might be able to take your emotional support animal with you if they are small enough. However, this won’t be for free and you’d need to show the airline your letter.