“Live Large. Think Big.” is Dallas’s tourist slogan. Dallas, Texas is surrounded by 12 counties spanning over nearly 9,000 square miles, making it 4th larges metropolitan area in the USA. Unsurprisingly there is a lot to be explored and discovered. With an abundance of dog-friendly parks and attractions and the overall acceptance of pets in Texas, Dallas can be an ideal place for a person with an emotional support animal (ESA) to live.
If you believe that an ESA would be beneficial, click the link below to get started on the online questionnaire. You will be matched with a Texas licensed healthcare professional to evaluate your needs.
What is an ESA?
When people think of emotional support animals, they often think of dogs. And although a majority of ESAs are dogs, an ESA can be almost any animal.
An emotional support animal is not the same as a therapy animal or a service animal. A service animal undergoes specialized training to fulfill a specific action for a person, which helps them with their disability, for example, to sense impending seizures or guide sight-impaired individuals. Emotional support animals don’t need special training. Instead, ESAs offer security and emotional warmth to a person with an emotional or mental health issue.
These two federal ESA laws that protect Emotional support animals:
- Fair Housing Act, individuals who own emotional support animals cannot be discriminated against by landlords. A building’s policies and restrictions that apply to other pets do not apply to ESAs.
- Air Carrier Access Act, an ESA can accompany their handler in the cabin of the aircraft.
Because federal law protects ESAs, the owner of an ESA must have a valid ESA letter to be legal. An ESA must be a part of an individual’s mental health plan for their mental or emotional condition, and an ESA letter from a licensed healthcare professional stating as such must be written.
What Is An ESA Letter?
An ESA letter provides documentation that an animal is a part of a patient’s mental health treatment. It offers documentation that the laws for the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) apply to the animal and must be honored. The ESA can then travel and live with their owner in areas not typically approved for other animals.
Where Can I Get an ESA Letter in Dallas?
All ESA letters must be issued from a licensed medical healthcare professional (LMHP). Among these are:
- licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT)
- licensed clinical social workers (LCSW)
ESA letters are available either online or IRL (in real life). Patients who believe that an ESA would be beneficial to their well being can inquire with their healthcare professional. If their healthcare professional agrees that an ESA is right for their treatment, they will issue an official ESA letter, written and signed with their license and phone number. This enables landlords and airlines to validate the ESA letter directly with the licensed healthcare professional.
If your current healthcare professional is not familiar with emotional support animals, you can look to online therapists that specialize in emotional support animals. ESA Doctors can connect you to a licensed healthcare professional licensed in Texas to assist you with your ESA documentation. Click the link below to start the online questionnaire now.
When inquiring about an ESA Letter in Dallas make sure the licensed healthcare professional is licensed to practice in the state of Texas.ESA Doctors, est. 2015
Where You Can Take Your ESA
ESAs have the right to be in the following places:
- No Pets Allowed residences
- College dorms
- Within a cabin of a plane while they’re with their handler
- Animal shelters and pet stores
Other than that, ESAs must comply with animal laws that fall under the general public. Although many business owners welcome ESAs and pets, businesses still have the right to ask an animal to leave their premises. Therefore, it is wise to inquire with businesses upfront if and to what extent they accept ESA visitors.
Where You Can Adopt an ESA
The following are popular Texan adoption sites where someone can find their fur-ever friend and ESA.
Lost Paws Rescue of Texas
The Lost Paws Rescue of Texas has been in business since 2005. They have new dog and cat adoptions every week and have already found homes for 7,000 animals since their opening. Their focus is addressing animal cruelty and promoting responsible pet ownership.
Located in the north of Dallas, Operation Kindness is a no-kill center that offers a safe haven for animals who require medical care, compassion, and housing. Operation Kindness also provides a foster program to help socialize abused and homeless animals, operates a pet food pantry, and connects animals with loving homes.
Humane Society of Dallas, aka Dog & Kitty City
Dog & Kitty City is a no-kill shelter that is in the business of providing a safe and healthy environment for the abused and neglected animals for over 40 years. Apart from their foster and adoption programs, this non-profit organization also promotes responsible pet ownership and offers low-cost spay/neuter.
Where You Can Take Your ESA for Exercise Before a Flight out of DFW
When traveling with an emotional support animal—especially a dog—ensuring they are toileted and get exercise before a trip is a priority. ESAs are animals, after all, and accidents happen. It’s best to prevent uncomfortable situations by letting a dog do their thing before traveling.
The following are popular dog parks located near the Dallas Fort Worth airport. Just a warning: Texans seem to love adorable dog park names. Be ready for cuteness overload!
Fort Woof Dog Park at Gateway Park
Take your ESA to Fort Woof Dog Park and watch them run while you sit on their well-maintained picnic benches. There are water fountains for humans and watering stations for pets. Waste bags are easily available and the park is kept clean and neat.
White Rock Dog Park
This White Rock Dog Park was the first ever dog park made in Dallas. This dog park runs on private donations and requires a leash upon entering and leaving the park. Dogs are also encouraged to be vaccinated. The dog park offers fenced sections for small dogs and larger dogs.
Wagging Tail Dog Park
The Wagging Tail Dog Park offers five-acres of fun for dogs. The park includes an observation deck looking over White Rock Creek. Water stations and fountains are available and the parking is convenient.
Your ESA: Texas Dog News
It took until 2019 for Texans to allow live animals on patios in restaurants statewide. Prior to 2019, convoluted ordinances and dog variance applications made it difficult for pet-loving restaurants to allow dogs in their outdoor dining areas. Senate Bill 476 allows dogs to accompany their owners as long as establishments post signs welcoming pets.